Frédéric Simonin

I have been wanting to go to Frédéric Simonin since I heard about its opening in April of last year. Gathering good marks from food critics and bloggers alike and recently winning its 1st Michelin star 3 weeks ago, I am not surprised that the menu prices have almost doubled. Damn!




The restaurant, Frédéric Simonin, is titled after the Chef himself. A former Chef at big-name restaurants like Taillevent, Le Cinq at the Four Seasons George V Hotel and notably Joel Robuchon’s right-hand man who helped him win Michelin stars in London and Paris; Simonin decided to open his own restaurant. 



Despite the 1st star prices, the restaurant kept the original 38 euros lunch menu among the choices – including the 130 euros (or 180 euros with wine) tasting menu which doubled in price since its Michelin award. From the front, there is not indication of what to expect indoors. As you walk in though, it might seem a little impersonal – decor is restricted to black and white with a sitting area at the front and a long dining room separated by glass windows. 







The menu of the day…


Amuse-Bouche: Pot of mousse of foie gras, reduction of porto wine and emulsion of parmesan
2 words: Too good!




Entrées:


Mulet carpaccio with red peppers, citrus vinaigrette
It was very fresh and clean in taste and beautiful in color.

With warm toasted open-faced baguette

Rabbit with mustard greens, on a bed of lentils, nuts and a reduction of jus
A little bit heavier than the mullet. I liked the lentils better than the rabbit (perhaps because it’s more of a white meat kind of poultry) – maybe because it did not taste like lentils as much?




Plats


Pollock with spinach leaves, garlic chips and watercress





Braised veal in its jus with roasted potato and beet leaves.
I thought the meat was a bit too stringy for the cut of the meat – the jarret; the “knuckle”.


On the side, we HAD to order Joel Robuchon’s famous potato purée or should I say butter purée. Its a very well-known and HEAVY dish of equal amounts of potato and butter….yes…equal amounts..but boy does it taste good! (Perhaps not afterwards when you get up from your seat)


“Oooh poor commis” repeated my good friend Maniko; who joined for lunch. And she was right. “Look the commis had to cut all these little brunoise, and weed out the bad mustard leaves”…How interesting it is that now our appreciation for food and the process of making has changed so much in the last 6 months!


Desserts


Le Café Frivole with pear confite and Arabica ice-cream
Exceptionally, they let me have this instead of the dessert for the Lunch menu. The photo does not do the dessert any justice. It literally came as a ball of chocolate but before I had time to react and take a picture the waitress poured hot melted chocolate and the ball started to disappear before my eyes. A big ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’ moment.


Panna cotta, pistacchio sauce and pistacchio foam with oreo cookies. 
A very interesting mix and beautiful flavor and color. 

Caramelized Apple with Apple sorbet, and Lemon Mousse.
Very light and clean in presentation and taste. 





Loved the caramel candy at the end.




It might seem a little expensive, but the Chef is very precise and imaginative in his dishes which are presented with lots of color (something that contrasts with the decor of the restaurant). A restaurant to look out for in the near future. Try the Lunch menu at 38 euros. 




Frédéric Simonin
25 Rue Bayen, 75017
Tel: 01 45 74 74 74
Metro: Charles de Gaulle Etoile (Ligne 1, 2 et 6), Ternes (Ligne 2)
Closed: Sundays and Mondays

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