Sunday, December 21, 2008

Le Beurre Noisette (15th arrondissement)

A new generation of chefs are on the rise. They’re young, have trained with the best, and they put in a lot of hard work to make a name for themselves. Chef Thierry Blanqui is a member of that new crew someone named “bistronomy”, a mix of bistro cuisine, strong on traditional French food, and gastronomy, which has all the sophistication and excellence associated with a French food menu (I stole that 'bistronomy' phrase from the internet).

Le Beurre Noisette, is situated in a quiet street of the 15th arrondissement, near the postmodern Parc André Citroen and the very busy Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. It seems the 15th has become the place to be for a bistro focusing on great value for money.

Due to this explosion of fantastic places to eat in the 15th, it took us about 30 minutes to find a damn parking space. We ended up parking illegally and were wondering all through our dinner; had the car been towed?

The menu at Le Beurre Noisette had so many dishes we wanted to try. Since we could not make up our minds, we decided to take the mystery 40 € 6-course set menu. The value of the menu was just astounding.

Le Beurre Noisette serves imaginative, simple, although not quite typical of a French food menu. Everything stems from traditional French food, but there’s imagination and thoroughness in the preparation that make it very different.

The first dish was soup of chestnut. A very light starter with full of flavour. A nice portion to wet our appetites and getting our curiosity for what else is coming.

The next dish was scallop in water crest soup. The scallop was so fresh and was pan fried perfectly, almost sashimi like in the center. The fantastic crest soup added intense flavour to an already lovely dish.

The next dish was carpaccio of pig trotters with lentils and topped with tete-du-moin cheese. I normally do not like pig trotters, but this dish has changed my mind. The unique taste of pig trotters mixed with a vinegrette like dressing was very nice. The lentils and tete-du-moin added more texture and flavours. The combination was just lovely.

The next dish was brandade of hadock with cabbage. Another amazing dish. The texture was soft and delicate. Though this dish can be too rich & heavy (which is not goodf), instead it was light and very tasty.

The next dish was slow cooked lamb with salsifis. The lamb was so delicious. It fell apart with the slight touch of my fork. The salsifis, which was a great companion to the lamb, added some bitterness to the dish.

For the pre-dessert, it was fresh oranges and pomelo. A refreshing dessert that prepared our taste buds for the next dessert.

For dessert, it was a chocolate mousse and pear cake. Another nice dessert but this time it was richer and more deadly for my waste line. This cake was not too sweet which was good. The fresh pear in the center for the cake added a different twist and flavour.

The mini cakes to accompany the tea or coffee was home-made marshmallows and butter madeleines. I do not drink coffee at night but I was still happy to indulge and eat all the mini cakes.

The wine we had was Trousseau, le Ginglet 2006. I never had this wine before. It is from the Jura region, 50 miles east of Burgundy. The colour was a very light crimson. From the colour; at first, I thought this wine would not have fruit, but I was proven wrong. This crisp red has bright acidity and notes of raspberry. There’s a nice kick of spice, making this Trousseau an ideal pairing for all the wonderful food we had.

The service was very nice and informative. And the wine selection, although small, is very well done. Wines we have never heard about are also mixed with the classics, most of them very affordable. It's this kind of place that leaves good memories and I want to keep coming back.

My bad luck, I wanted a nice photo of the facade of the bistro; but they were cleaning the building.

Click here for directions to Le Buerre Noisette

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