La Gazzetta

Just a few blocks east of the Place de la Bastille and down a small side street from Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, sits La Gazzetta – a low-lit and wood panelled neobistro (su rprisingly reminded me of Balthazar or Pastis in New York in terms of decor).

The entrance outside…

Walking in, on your right you see the main bar

La Gazzetta under Swedish Chef Peter Nilsson, is one of the new affordable, price-fixe wonders of the contemporary Parisian restaurant scene and penned in an April 2010 New York Times piece by Christine Muhlke (click here to read the article). Other restaurants mentioned include Frenchie (which I have yet to visit), Yam t’cha, L’Agrume, Le Chateaubriand and Jadis. Do you see similarities between these restaurants?
The reservation was early, 20h00 and many people hung out at the bar but the restaurant quickly filled up by 22h00. Tucked in a cozy table in the second dining room, we were presented with a prix-fixe menu, either of 5 courses for 38 euros or 7 for 52 euros (with 2 more dishes). We were lucky enough to see a fellow Ferrandi colleague, Rosella (who is interning there) before her shift started. She informed us the menu changed every week based on what’s available in the market so I knew we were in for a real treat – after I read about the diverse dishes that were offered in the menu of March 12 (also available on their website).
Oeuf poché et navets, beurre noisette et bergamote
Poached egg with turnips, beurre noisette foam and leaf of bergamot. I love egg, especially in dishes where the egg yolks spreads on the dish so found it very refreshing to have it for dinner – something I haven’t had for a while. The texture with the crunchyness of the raw turnip played on a good contrast.

Macquereau brûlé-fumé et poireaux, rhubarbe et foin
Charred-smoked Mackerel fish with leek rhubarb and choke. When I first read ‘foin’, I told myself, wait they are serving hay (like the type that horses eat?) but I quickly was mistaken with this very clean presentation of a very smoky fish served with a light and not overpowering but supportive bouillon. I am not naturally a fan of rhubarb either but eating little bits and pieces of this dish together went very surprisingly well.

Céléri cuit au sel et aux algues, lieu jaune basse température et ail des ours
Celery cooked in salt and seaweed, yellow pollock fish cooked at low temperature with wild garlic. I really enjoyed this dish. I thought the piece on the right was a puff pastry but it was in fact thinly sliced celery (and the kind with only a subtle celery taste) interlaced with seaweed; something that went very well with the fish – which was cooked perfectly, not dry at all; in fact very moist and soft to touch.

Tourteau et pousse-pied, carottes
Crab and Barnacle, carrots. I was very excited about this dish because I have seen pousse-pied in the seafood markets or fish stations and they remind me of small dinosaur legs. They are crustaceans that stick to rocks and are found in Europe and the coast of North Africa.

Veau basque et moelle, salsifis et Carmine
Basque veal with bone-marrow, salsify. I was very impressed with the portion of this dish. Usually the meat in a prix-fixe menu appears small, but not here where my palate got to taste 2 pieces of bone-marrow and a well-portione pinkish Veal in its smoky and sweet jus.
Soupe de cynorrhodon et lait de chèvre, muesli et noix
When I read this on the menu, I asked myself what is ‘cynorrhodon’ until I had to ask the waiter embarassingly; “it’s the fruit from the rose-bush”…”ooh” I said. This dish reminded me of something I could eat for breakfast since I am a big fan of muesli and nuts. It was crunchy on the outside and the goat’s milk was very soft.

Baba à l’orange sanguine et sorbet amandes – yaourt de brebis
Finally the last dish! A traditional baba with blood orange, ewe’s milk yoghurt and almond sorbet with mint tea foam. I am not a big fan of desserts but thought the baba was good, Ioved the blood oranges – something I haven’t had since living in Italy and I was very impressed with the lightness yet strong taste of the mint tea foam which I welcomed whole-heartedly.
Millefeuille chiboust avocat – agumes
Mille-feuille of avocado and kumquat. Apologies for the picture, I started eating it only to realize I forgot to take a picture so i tried to put it together the best I could…I like kumquat and always welcome avocado of any type in dishes though the pastry was a bit too hard for me.

Before we left, we got some little Cannelés – a cute parting gift!

In short, two thumbs up for the inventiveness and freshness of ingredients at La Gazzetta. Very proud of Rosella to be part of this wonderful team of Chefs whom we got to meet briefly at the end of our meal!

La Gazzetta
29 Rue de Cotte, 75012
Tel: 01 43 47 47 05

Metro: Ledru-Rollin (Ligne 8)


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