Why do I believe that lunch is the best way to enjoy a gourmet, i.e. michelin starred, meal in Paris? Consider this.
- It is easier to get a reservation.
- You are awake.
- For those of us that don’t eat as much the courses tend to be smaller.
- It is a steal. That’s right, compared to dinner, a steal.
On each trip to France we try to eat at least one outstanding meal and this one featured a visit to David Toutain. His one star Michelin restaurant, opened in 2014, is located at the border of the 7th and 6th districts. The chef, who trained under Allain Passard and worked at great restaurants such as L’Arpege, brings the food of his youth, spent in the lush farms of Normandy to your table. And for our palates this means something that we are now used to but can be lacking in Paris: an ingredient driven tasting menu. The ingredients, fresh and often foraged, are the stars of his show. Throw in some minimalist sensibility, a fine sense of design and a coastal emphasis and you have a winner.
On arrival around 12:00 we were seated upstairs. Florence immediately caught the slight, we were steered away from the every day local lunch crowd. Put the tourists out of sight. I didn’t care, in fact to me it felt like a private dining experience for the two of us tucked away from the noise in the library.
I am not going to give a detailed review of every plate that we enjoyed. I will let the pictures talk and note that the meal was incredibly balanced, thoughtfully plated, beautifully designed and innovative. Service was professional if a bit stiff.
Afterwards think about this meal and what you would pay for it including a 1/2 bottle of Saumur red for me and two glasses of Sancerre for Flo.
The menu at lunch offers three tasting options, we chose the least expensive (55 euro) and the middle one (80 euro) and they took it from there. What followed was a show of flavor, texture and color.
Amuse? Beet carpaccio
The most amazing brioche nest.
The menu started.
Black sesame soup with seaweed roll and juniper.
Cod without the morels for Flo (don’t worry we shared them). Even the darn foam was delicious.
And a savory egg custard in shell.
Lamb two ways.
Haddock. Two kinds of carrots. Eggplant.
Even the crackers impressed.
Mixed fruits and ice cream over vanilla cream.
Espressos were needed.
But they were not done with us. Look carefully at the bowl, those are tea smoke infused macarons. You see them, the light grey circles.
Two and a half hours later we walked into the 7th and back to the Yellow Flat via Rue Saint Dominque laughing. The sun was shining and the Eiffel Tower gleamed. Paris was perfect.
Oh yes, the cost for two including the morel supplement was $216. That is with tax and tip.
Worth every centime.
Reservations were relatively easy by email, staff was very responsive.
Address 29 rue Surcouf, 75007 Paris