I wanted to post about my favorite meal in Paris. This is in line with how we are always in search of good food, the trials and tribulations we’d go through to get to that food.
I’ve been relying on San Pelligrino’s world’s best restaurant list for awhile now and I feel like it’s a good resource on where to go for different types of cool dining experiences (Biko and Pujol in Mexico City were pretty spot on). In this case, San Pelligrino listed Le Chateaubriand as one of the top 50 best restaurants in the world. It sounded interesting enough, chefs trying to change up French cuisine at reasonable prices. At 50 euro a person, you are indulged in whatever they feel like creating for that evening. Sounds like our type of place! The night before arriving in Paris, San Pelligrino announced that they were awarded #9 best restaurant in the world. The highest ranking for a French restaurant this year! Knowing this I wanted to go there the evening we arrived. Unfortunately, they were CLOSED. WHAAAAT? No signs, nothing, just..closed. Another couple looked equally disappointed as us…luckily they found out the restaurant would be open the following day!
So the trick to going to this restaurant. You can try to book a reservation, though you need a local phone number to accomplish this. Iff you don’t have that as an option, you must wait in line at the restaurant. It’s not as bad as it seems. Well, first you need to mentally prepare yourself to eat dinner at 10pm. I really mean that. This is the norm in Latin America and Europe that you will be dining “late.” Good thing ❤ got me accustomed to eating our dinners normally at 9pm! So, get yourself to the restaurant by 9pm and stand in line. At 9:30 most diners will start leaving and the staff will let you in the restaurant to the bar area. From here, chill out and get a glass of wine or something. The chalkboard tells you what’s available.
By the time you have a nice little buzz you’ll be seated! The couple we met the night before came 15 minutes after us and were seated at the table next to us! On to the menu. You don’t even have to think about what you’re going to eat, they will tell you what will be served (just make sure you tell them what allergies you may have). And off you go!
I almost forgot to take a photo of this. It was little puffs of bread with a cheesy taste. You know how pao de quejo has a chewy/mochi like consistency? Well these have the same flavor as pao de quejo but with fluffiness.
Our next plate was ceviche. When we saw the bowls we were like…where’s the ceviche?! When I drank it I felt like I just had ceviche. Whoa, what powerfully pink liquid ceviche you are. Tricky, tricky. Who knew what looked like a diluted mess would pack such a ceviche punch.
Next up were duck hearts. Whoa, hearts? I’ve had hearts before but I still feel a little sadness because it’s the little critter’s HEART…uncooked! My sadness quickly faded and I enjoyed how the seeds on the hearts added a crunchy texture to an otherwise sad chewing experience. The flavors of the seeds also adds a nuttiness to the gamey flavor.
Next up, artichokes. I really do like artichokes. I especially like them grilled. This may seem like a simple dish but it’s cooked so well. For one thing the outside of the artichoke, the leaves where you can suck on the underside to get some meat…were steamed. However, the heart of the artichoke…they sliced it thinly and grilled those guys. Oh, what a nice transition. Usually you have grilled artichokes and the outside becomes dry and the heart isn’t necessarily grilled perfectly. Then they topped it off with a bit of cheese, kind of like queso fresco. Delightful!
We then had a seafood bouillobaise. See the little radishes? ❤ made a comment saying “did he get these radishes from San Diego? haha.” This is in reference to the little radishes/carrots that SAAM served us. At that time, the chef told us that those radishes were from SD! Such a little bowl of soup but packed full of flavor. that’s the nice thing about teeny tiny radishes…it’s like 1 big radish packed into the size of your pinkie!
This next dish was OK for me. I’m not really a fan of cucumbers. But if you like persian style cucumbers and you like oil that tastes refreshing like cucumbers, then you’d like this dish. The fish tasted watered down, as if this was the fish that lost all its flavor from the ceviche and ended up on this plate…soaking up the cucumber. Yeah, so you have to like cucumber.
Oil poached fish. This was perfectly cooked fish! They poached it and then crisped the skin. Wow, just wow. Oh and the carrots are a nice touch because they were slightly raw, for crunch.
Our next dish was pigeon. I remember tasting five spice in the seasoning. As far as I know, game bird and five spice is always a win win. Maybe this goes back to how my mom would prepare quail. She’d always put five spice in it. It must get rid of the gaminess?
I couldn’t even finish the pigeon because I was getting so full! Anyway on to dessert. You get TWO. The first one was a fruit sorbet, I believe it was peach. I don’t remember exactly but it was tangy, but not sour. They put coffee grounds underneath it. Very refreshing!
The next dessert had chocolate cake. It was topped with flakey pieces that tasted like…an ice cream cone! It’s like a broken ice cream cone in a bowl!
Lastly, strawberries with sides like fennel on it. It was like a strawberry mint, similar to the stuff they give you after dinner at an Indian restaurant!
Overall, the food was pretty good. I would definitely recommend Le Chateaubriand as one of your $$$ dining experiences. That’s the nice thing about a San Pelligrino versus Michelin rated restaurant – don’t walk into this restaurant expecting world class service as you would a 3 star Michelin. They just serve food their way and well. It’s totally different from traditional French cuisine. It’s no wonder they climbed higher in ranking this year. They are doing something different and it works. Enjoy!
29 Avenue Parmentier, Paris 75011, France
+33 (0)1 43 57 45 95