Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Saturne (Paris, France)

We read about a new restaurant with a Swedish chef making fantastic French food. We needed to have a very nice place to have; Saturne was going to be our destination for lunch. Saturne is located in the 2nd arrondissement near the Bourse of Paris.

Chef Sven Chartier; the 24-year old chef who has cooked with the very famous chef Passard, left Racines with the sommelier Ewen Lemoigne to open Saturne.  Chef Sven Chartier's cooking has started people to gossip how good his food is in Paris. He has taken his Nordic sensibilities with the fine art of cooking French food and the outcome has been a tremedous success for him. Saturne is dedicated to elevating wild & rigorously sourced artisanal ingredients.  The food is rustic yet very modern, calculated to show off the prodcue rather than the dish as a whole. 

We took the lunch menu at 37 euros per person. We also took two glasses of white wine for 10 euros each.

The decor of Saturne is nothing we have seen in Paris. When we entered the main dining room; we were pleasantly surprised to see an atrium styled restaurant. Though it was grey & overcast outside; there was natural light streaming in from the glass ceiling. The space of the restaurant is large so that the spacing of the tables gave the dinners enough privacy for their discussions.

The decor is modern Nordic loft furniture which had strong straight lines...lots of dark & blonde wood (the floor). The ambiance was soft & glowing with the candles burning (a nice touch in the middle of the day).

A cute idea...fresh bread served in a bag of grass. You can tell that the concept of the restaurant is about fresh & seasonal foods.

My starter was White asparagus d'Argenteuil, poached egg, cereals and alliaire. The white asparagus was fresh, soft & much natural flavour. The d'argenteuil, poached egg, cereals and alliaire when mixed together was a hit of flavours and added so much flavour when eaten with the asparagus. This was not only beautifully presented; it was a taste of fresh and inspriration

My friend's starter was Tartare of milk fed veal & oyster. The tartare of veal was so fresh and rich in veal flavour. The oyster added another unique dimension in taste to the tartare. The crunchy bread crumbs added texture to the soft & tender tartare. A stunning dish!

One of the enormous wine cabinets show casing the many 'natural wines' that Saturne specialises in.

My main dish was Milk fed veal, topinambour, grand roux. The presentation was like Spring on on a dish...beautiful. The veal was so tender & moist. The topinambour and grand roux added great colour and flavour to the dish.

My friend's main dish was Young hen 21 semaines, carrots, endives. This dish was also beautifully presentation. The poularde was amazingly moist and tender. The carrots and endives were so fresh and were a great combination of sweetness from the carrots and the bitterness from the endives.

The open kitchen where all the action was happening...but you would not even know that there were people cooking; it was so silent and calm.  

My dessert was Oseille, apples, goat cheese.  The dessert was very looked like a spring herb garden on top of snow.  The flavours were so fresh, unique and blended so well.  

My friend's dessert was Argousier, carrots, honey.  Another gorgeous looking dessert.  This time...bright summer colours of orange, yellow, mustard and honey all on one dish.  The ingredients were a lovely combination and flavours burst of sweetness.  

We ended our meal with Coffee (5 euros each...ouch).

Overall; for the first time; we had the most obnoxious & arrogant service in France (maybe the world). It ruined our lunch (the food was outstanding). We have never had an experience like this in Paris. We were so shocked at first that we were stunned and could not find words to describe what was happening. Once it set in...boy were we #%*+^!-off!!!

In short; we wanted a glass of wine to go with the lunch...we asked the evil witch of the west what they had opened.  She said; "I can't tell you that".  "You tell me what you are in the mood for; dry, full-bodied, etc. and I will decide for you".  Ummmmm; what?  We never heard such non-sense.  We again asked; just tell us what you have open and we can decide what we feel like having (we do know our wines)...but she still refused.  So we said; "whatever you think goes with the food we are having".

She served the wines and it was ok; but we detected that the wine had not been open that day because it lost some of its freshness.  We wanted to see the bottle so we can see what wine we were drinking and inspect if indeed it was just opened.  The evil witch said that "yes it was just opened and no you cannot see the bottle".  Ummmm; what?  We never accused her of lying to us; but after her actions; we for sure knew there was something wrong in Saturne land.  That's it!  Its war time!

The situation was getting worse and worse.  We needed a new strategy.  We noticed a male wait person who was seemed much more friendly at the other tables and he seemed to have more knowledge about wines (we were ease-dropping).  When he walked by; we stopped him and struck a conversation about wines in general and asked what were the wine available that day (it turned out that he was the sommelier)...he was very nice to explain the wines and he even showed us the bottle we were drinking.  How difficult was that for that evil witch?

Anyways; we concluded that the wine we were drinking was not opened that day.  That our female wait person was the most evil witch we have encountered in a long time and she totally ruined the experience of eating at such a fine establishment.  That the male wait person/ sommelier really saved the day (oh; sorry, that was the short version of my story).

Saturne indeed is a lovely place in terms of ambiance, decor and especially the food (really outstanding and beautiful).  If we return to Saturne and we see that evil witch; I will immediately ask that she does not serve us. 

Address: 17 rue Dame des Victoires
75002 Paris


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