So, I thought nothing could get more interesting than the last post I did about La Cave de L'Os a Moëlle, a very good & memorable bistro in the 15th arrondissement. BUT that was until we tried Les Grandes Table du 104.
Les Grandes Table du 104 is an enormous restaurant that is situated in the old morgue of the 19th arrondissement. The old morgue has been renovated into a very cool cultural center. The center has art shows/galleries/installations, an enormous yet artsy carousel, performance areas, food kiosk, book shop, etc.
We found Les Grandes Table du 104 from www.omnivore.fr; a website that not only caters to people who love food & wine, what makes it really special is that the site is from some of the most up-and-coming, talented & young chefs all over France.
The concept from the 'Omnivores & Les Grandes Tables' is that every month a chef is chosen to cook at Les Grandes Table du 104. The chef gets to choose the theme of the evening. We were so lucky to find out that when we were going to be in Paris; the theme was 'PIG'. Everything from the pig was going to be used, prepared, cooked and served. That sounded too good to be missed. So we bought our tickets from paypal while in Bangkok and reserved our seats.
We decided we had to do a mini-tour of the place one day in advance so we knew where we were going. Parking in this area is non-existent; so we had to park the car somewhere and walk a bit to Les Grandes Table. Les Grandes Table is located in the most multi-ethnic (black, brown, yellow, white; scarved, turbaned) multi-lingual (French, Arabic, Thai, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Hebrew) area of the city. We are never in this part of Paris and it was interesting to notice this aspect of the 19th arrondissement.
When we arrived; people were queuing up to show the hostesses their reservations. Once inside Les Grandes Table; you had to choose where to sit from very long communal tables. Les Grandes Tables has a very industrial decor...exposed ceilings, concrete & bricks, steel & metal and a grayish concrete floor. The place is huge. The place was buzzing with talk and anticipation of what was about to come.
The concept of the wine was that everyone had to go to the bar and there was a selection of wines that were chosen for the special evening. The wine list was extensive with wines from different regions from France. BUT; what caught our eyes was the wine that was specially chosen as the 'vin selection 100% P.I.G.' It was Campredon par Alain Chabanon.
We could not believe it. We were very pleasantly surprised. As some of you readers might know by now; we are big fans of Alain Chabanon wines. He makes some of the finest organic wines from the Languedoc. For sure we bought a bottle to accompany our dinner. When we arrived our seats; we told everyone at our table that if they wanted a great wine at a reasonable price they should try the Chabanon. They all did and loved it. Alain Chabanon owes us a huge commission.
The first amuse bouche was Parmessan Croissant Stuffed with Pork Sausage.
The next amuse bouche was Pork Ribs with Special Sauce.
The next amuse bouche was Mini baguette with Spicy Chorizos and Ham wrapped with Jalapeño chili.
The next amuse bouche was Boudin Noir topped with green apple & hazelnut.
The next amuse bouche was Grattons (craklin pork fat).
The starter was Tête de Porc.
The main dish was Pork Belly topped with Pork Cheek with Endive Emulsion.
The chefs came out after the serving for an applause and to explain about idea of of PIG night.
The experience was tremendously delightful; the food was amazingly unique, creative, simple and very very very delicious. The atmosphere was electric because the people who attended this event were definately foodies & wine lovers...so there was never a boring discussion around this area.
On top of all this; the evening only cost us 35 euros per person (not including wine); the cost was nothing but the experience was everything.
Address: 104, rue d'Aubervilliers / 5, rue Curial, (Métro : Riquet, Crimée) in the 19th,
closed Sundays after 6 PM and Mondays.