Back into Paris for dinner. We are leaving for Slovenia tomorrow and since there are no direct flights from Stockholm, we stopped over in Paris. Also, Jessica is going back to NYC today from Paris so it made sense.
We went to Itineraires for dinner which was highly recommended to me and had recently been written up in the NYTimes. Great call.
The restaurant is located in the 5th, about a 10 minute block from Notre Dame. The vibe there is refreshing and new. Maybe fits 50 people, tops. Walls are covered in taupe linen, the small window to the kitchen is in the back, there are round and square tables and one high one with stools that separate the room. Black boards in different locations so you can read the menu of the day no matter where you are sitting. Very subtle and sophisticated.
The room is run by 3 women. The menu is 36 euros for 3 courses (appetizer, main and dessert) or 29 euros without dessert. Always a few added bonuses to share that cost a little extra and the menu changes daily. The wine list is extensive.
We all shared a small plate of thinly sliced salamis and a plate of goat cheese and baskets of brown and white bread to start. That in itself is a new concept for Parisians having cheese as a first course to share. All delicious.
Many of us got the gazpacho. A cold tomato soup with a green tomato granita dollop and a few different veggies perfectly cut topped with a thinly sliced roasted piece of tomato which was a nice touch. Refreshing and tasty. Fred got the mushroom carpaccio. Large thinly sliced raw mushrooms over clams and a handful of thinly sliced fennel over the top. I considered the gazpacho but then again I felt I had to do what we do in Paris, and went with the foie gras. 3 sliced of foie gras placed in between thin slices of crispy toast ( that crumbled when you pick it up ) like a sandwich with different sauces and condiments perfectly placed, like art, around the plate. Each appetizer was not only really good but you could tell the care that went into each plates preparation.
Main courses went 2 ways although there were more options. Cod roasted in a light brown broth served in a white bowl topped with a mixture of Japanese vegetables mixed with a lemon confit. Nice and light. I had the chicken. A small breast with the leg of the wing attached. Crispy skin and perfectly cooked meat. Actually cooked in a way that I wasn't sure if it was pan roasted or baked. This was served over whipped buttery potatoes that had a balsamic soy sauce on top and a swatch of a spicy mustard on the side with a few thinly sliced radishes. Sublime.
The kids had enough and blew out to walk back to the hotel along the Seine. Fred and I split one dessert. A round cylinder of crispy pastry topped with pastry cream surrounded by thickly sliced strawberries that had been macerated in sugar and a handful of fresh raspberries on top. A perfect finish.
Loved this place. A great recommendation. Glad we went. As much as I do adore Brasserie Lipp and some of the old school restaurants, I much prefer to see the new chefs come in and take French cooking to a new level. Itineraires would be it.
We strolled back along the Seine to our hotel and discussed where we would live in Paris for an extended period of time and how it is a must somewhere in our future.