R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Today is about respect, treating the food delicately and not chopping it off like crazy. It goes for many foods: mushrooms, fish, even cream and butter. I found it to be appropriate for today’s menu (both in class and in the restaurant). 


More fish on today’s menu, cooked in broth (briefly) and white wine, and finished off in the oven. We cooked two recipes. The most intricate task for me so far is fileing a fish. You have to be sure not to chop off the meat, make sure the filet de sole knife does not cut off the precious meat but slides against the middle bone. This was especially true, but perhaps easier, with a flat fish like the sole we had today. 



Filets de sole bonne femme, pommes vapeur

Fileting my sole
Unfortunately, I was in a rush with my own dish, so didn’t have time to take a picture of my own. But here is Joppe’s final presentation (thanks in advance 🙂 for the picture) of what it should look like. It is topped with a reduction of white wine, fish stock, shallots, mushrooms and parsley, cream and butter and passed in the salamander for a little colour.



Filets de lieu dugléré

Showing us how to filet a big huge ‘lieu’

The fish is presented with a reduction of white wine, fish stock, shallots, parsley, tomatoes, cream and butter

                                           

Last night, as a final meal with my mom before she headed off to the states was to the famous and popular Le Chateaubriand, a new wave French bistro tucked in the 11th arrondissement. It opened in 2006 and has been featured as one of the hottest meals in town as well as the hippest eatery in Paris. The concept, I believe, draws on older French traditions with new wave flair, perhaps a shadow of Chef Inaki Aizpitarte’s upbringings. 

As the 11th best restaurant (out of the top 50 in the world), one expects a lot, especially when it beats 3 star Michelin restaurants such as Pierre Gagnaire and L’AstranceThere is only 1 menu, for 50 euros including 4 amuse-bouches (which changes daily) – therefore no choice and your fate is basically in the hands of the kitchen. The menus (both wine and food) come simply on a printed piece of white paper, very informal and kind, as are the waiters, who funny enough were all scruffy and bearded with long hair; and the decor as simple, art-deco like. I found the dishes to be imaginative and creative, and playing on a lot of flavor from simple rareness of the food; its affordable in a good neighborhood – basically the best of both worlds.

They had a huge blackboard in the restaurant which I thought was the menu. But it just had a lot of different names, one of the waiters told me that it was to pay ‘homage’ and say thanks to all the winemakers who sold their ‘natural’ wine to the restaurant.




We started with amuse-bouches:

1. Gougères au fromage (Cheese pastry)



2. Shot de concombre et ceviche (Shot of cucumber juice and red snapper ceviche)

3. Cuisse de grenouille, crumble de pain (Frog leg topped with bread crumbs)
4. Langoustines, caviar citron (Sweet langoustines with caviar lemon) with a side of miso-like soup
Entrée:

Encornets crus, accompagnement de légumes (Raw squid with vegetables – leek, pickled shallots and spinach)


At the bottom there was even a surprise…black squid ink – very yummy with the sourdough bread


Plats:

Dorade grillée et carottes assortis (grilled seabream, orange and yellow carottes).

– I found this fish to be undercooked, it was raw at the center and at the bottom, but the cooked part was well done. I understand that some fish might be served half-cooked or undercooked ie. for salmon but this was really pushing it as it was literally raw at the bottom. Chef would not be please 🙂



2. The highlight of the night for me. Steak bleu (i love it raw) with raw and half-cooked cèpes mushrooms (Chef would love this), topped with trompettes de la mort mushrooms (yes, they are black) and on a walnut-based paste.
Desserts:

1. Chantilly, Apple and sponge cake. The chantilly was very fluffy and the sponge cake was soaked in Calvados liquor 🙂
2. Glace au Sarrasin, glace de pamplemousse et salsifis (Buckwheat ice-cream (yes the one that makes sour dough ice cream, grapefruit paste and salsify (oyster plant? very Asian and familiar taste but could not put my finger on the name in cantonese)
I love the look and the feel of the place, it’s affordable to many and it matches the way the Chef presents the food. As you may encounter, the food is mostly served undercooked/raw and the vegetables slice thinly or served whole – as the Chef was quoted in an interview: “I just hope people can understand what I am trying to accomplish each time, and that by having fewer and fewer flavors, the essential becomes more distinct.”

I agree that the food should be rewarded as one of the best in the world but what might entice more people to come is perhaps the good looking, scruffy and long-haired (if you’re into that sort of thing) all-male crew of waiters?

Le Chateaubriand







  • 129, Avenue Parmentier75011 ParisFrance
  • 01 43 57 45 95
  • Metro: Goncourt (Ligne 11)

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  1. […] outside of the ‘boundaries’. Notable restaurants include Vivant, Les Fines Gueules, Chateaubriand and now […]



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