Sunday, 27 November 2011

La Cremerie

La Cremerie (9 Rue Quatre Vents, Paris)

La Cremerie is a small, well known wine bar and only seats about 12 people. They carry only organic wines and well sourced food products such as butter, bread, meats, cheeses etc.The owner Serge,  is very well connected in the food scene in Paris, having regulars such as Pierre Herme and sourcing his butter from one of the best producers in Paris, Jean-Yves Bordier Butter - incredibly good.  This was our last stop in Paris, which was such a treat and a perfect way to end our Parisian eating adventures.




A beautiful Meursault Premier Cru

Camembert and Jean-Yves Bordier Butter
Stinky, Creamy, Delicious Camembert. The Jean-Yves butter was soft, creamy, salty, sweet = perfection.
Goat cheese in olive oil 
Again, a delectable delight. The cheese is of impeccable quality and seriously delicious.
Smoked Andouille Sausage

Classic Sausage

Jacques Genin

Jacques Genin (133 Rue de Turenne, Paris)

I have literally died and gone to HEAVEN. Jacques Genin is a master chocolatier but he is also incredibly well known for his caramels and his made to order Mille Feuille. The shoppe is incredible and the pastries and treats are extraordinary.



Mille Feuille
HEAVEN HEAVEN HEAVEN
This is perhaps the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. Made to order, the layers of pastry are incredibly flaky and BUTTERY. Unbelievably fork tender and is very messy (as it should be). We went with the server's recommendation of the vanilla cream inside and it was such an excellent choice, we ordered another. I believe it was a vanilla bean cream (as per the black speckles) and it was perfectly sweet. Paired with the immensely buttery, flaky pastry and the sweet cream. Literally perfection !! I could eat these everyday!


Look at all the thin layers of buttery, flaky pastry!!!!

Chocolate Eclair with Caramel Filling
These were also delicious but after the Mille Feuille, nothing could even compare.


Complementary Chocolates and Macadamia Caramels
WOW...the caramels are delicious. They are very expensive treats at 110 EUROS/kg. The caramels are soft, melt in your mouth, sweet, buttery and nutty. I ended up trying most of the flavours: vanilla, macadamia nut, peanut, passion fuit-mango and hazelnut. They are all to DIE FOR. I cannot emphasize enough the buttery flavour that comes through in these tiny morsels.


L’As du Fallafel

L’As du Fallafel (34 Rue des Rosiers, Paris)

My favourite place in La Marais. These falafels are some of the best I have ever had. The service is ridiculously speedy with a very easy-going, fun atmosphere. It may seem strange to find the best falafel in Paris, but one bite and you will be convinced!


Falafel Pita
Fresh, succulant, delicately fried falafel balls packed in with an eggplant and vegetable salad mixture with some sort of creamy sauce (definitely includes tahini).  The portion is HUGE, 8-9 falafel balls per pita and so satisfying. A great cheap eat in Paris.

Le Grenier à Pain

Le Grenier à Pain (38 Rue Abbesses,Paris)

Le Grenier à Pain is another wonderful place in Montmartre for baguettes and croissants. They won best baguette 2010 and definitely is one of my favourites. They also have incredible croissants (Pierre Herme still is number one in my heart and tummy). In addition, we went back to Au Levain L'Antan for Camembert and Butter baguettes - Could not leave Paris without one last sandwich.

Parmesan and Sun dried Tomato Bread
Incredibly fresh bread with a savoury stuffing of Roasted Sun dried Tomatoes and Parmesan


Croissants
Very flaky croissants with a soft, buttery interior. My second favourite croissants in Paris.

Hidden Kitchen

Hidden Kitchen

Hidden Kitchen is run by Laura and Braden, who began hosting dinners back in 2007 when they first moved to Paris. Word quickly spread and now has become a private supper club in  Paris (reservations are a must, months in advanced). We had the pleasure of dining at their new restaurant, Verjus (before the opening), but the dinner is usually held at their home in Paris. Very reasonably priced 8 course tasting menu with wine pairings, it is a must in Paris. You dine with up to 16 other guests at a long dinner table, and it is quite a special dining experience, like none other I have had. I loved every course! Our wine pairings were incredibly selected by I believe her name was Margot, who is associated with La Derniere Goutte, an excellent wine shoppe in Paris.


Dining Room set up for 16 guests

Vodka, Champagne with Lychee
A tasty, bubbly apertif

Tasting menu for the Evening with Wine Pairings

Citrus tofu, Wild Rice, Bone Marrow,  Mussels, Smoked Curry
The citrus tofu was very subtle while the mussel was bursting with flavour.
The wild rice provided a nice starchy texture compared to the soft textures of the other two elements.

Sea Scallops, Grapefruit, Poppy Seed, Onion Ash, Chipotle, Chive
The sea scallops were incredibly creamy and soft. The flavour of the grapefruit was actually quite strong compared to the mild scallop. Poppy seeds texturally provided a nice crunch.


Red Cabbage Raviolis, Seaweed, Red Pepper, Seafood Broth
This was one of my favourites of the night. The smokey red cabbage, red pepper and dehydrated sheep's milk ricotta stuffed in these perfectly al dente raviolis. The seaweed was spicy and had a crackling texture. The sea bass broth was extremely flavourful, salty and creamy.


House Smoked Salmon, Beets, Quail Egg, Herbs, Buttermilk
The salmon was smoked for 10 minutes right before service and delivered a beautiful smokey flavour. The roasted beets were sweet with a light, crunchy texture while the quail egg was decadently creamy.

Buckwheat Cracker, Winter Pickles, Greens, Pine Nuts Butter, Ricotta
Slightly burnt buckwheat cracker gave way to a surprisingly nice flavour, in addition to the pickled mushrooms and pears.Very fresh tasting.

Duck Breast, White Miso Labne, Cauliflower, Nori Crumbs, Micro Basil
Fatty duck with a white miso and Lebanese cheese. The nori crumbs, had the texture of bread crumbs and added an element of crunch. The kimchi vinegarette provided a nice acidity to the fatty duck breast.


Pork Belly, Chicharron, Frisee, Turnip, Carrot, Bok Choy, Mustard Broth
I LOVE PORK BELLY. Nice crispy sear with a tender, fatty pork belly that had been braised in Guinness for 4 hours. The mixture of micro vegetables provided a nice lightness to the dish ,which paired excellently with the pork belly.  

Chocolate Ganache, Pineapple Habanero Sorbet, Chevre Custard, Graham Crumbs
Rich Valrona chocolate with a bit of sea salt to bring out the decadent flavours. The sorbet was very light but could not pick up hints of habanero. The chevre was incredibly creamy. Really great balance of flavours.

Braden our Chef/Host for the Evening

Les Deux Magots

Les Deux Magots (6 Place St Germain des Prés, Paris)

Lex Deux Magots is a great cafe to eat, drink and people watch. Located in St. German des Pres, it is an ideal location and of course a bit of a tourist trap. Hemingway, Sartre, Picasso used to love hanging out here, hence the historical popularity of the cafe.


Croque Monsieur
Ham, Cheese and Bechamel Sauce. Tasty but definately a tourist trap. Not the best croque monsieur I have ever had but you cannot really go wrong with ham and cheese.

Pierre Hermé

Pierre Hermé (72 Rue Bonaparte)

I LOVE PIERRE HERME!!!!



Croissants
THE BEST CROISSANTS I HAVE EVER HAD.
Seriously heavenly, utter perfection. They had the flakiest exterior with a light crunch and inside was buttery and delicious. I had a couple of these, wish I could eat these everyday.


Pain du Chocolat
Very good croissant with extremely decadent chocolate (he is a chocolatier afterall) but not as good as the butter croissant.



Macarons
Mandarin and olive oil
Really nice flavour with hints of floral notes. Mandarin and the olive oil was a really good combination.
Creme Brulee
Very delicious, one of my favourites. Sweet without being overpowering.
Mogadar (Chocolate and Passionfruit)
Best flavour by far! The rich chocolate is cut by the tartness fo the passionfruit.
White truffle and Hazelnut
Very savoury - hints of garlic and the truffle flavour was evident.
Infiniment Caramel
Nice balance of salt and sweet but I enjoy the Laduree ones better.

Spring

Spring (6 Rue Bailleul, Paris)

Spring is one of the hottest restaurants in Paris at the moment and I phoned relentlessly trying to get a reservation. They only take reservations one month in advance and we thankfully lucked out and had an incredible tasting menu for dinner, using the freshest ingredients, menu changing daily.



Open concept kitchen

Chablis Premier Cru "La Forest" by Dauvissat
Best Chablis I have had to date!!

Fried Pancake with Sausage, Pear and Black Pudding
A flavour explosion. The salty, savoury sausage paired nicely with the fried pancake and crisp pears.

Fried Oyster and Fresh Oyster with Radish, Mustard Leaves and Oyster Vinaigrette
The fried oyster was incredibly succulent, juicy and flavourful. The fresh oyster gave was a great contrast in both flavours and textures.

Sole with Razor Clams, Cockles and Poulet Jus
Fresh sole in a lovely seafood broth.

Pigeon with heliantis and a Sun Root and Watercress Salad
Incredibly tender meat and the heliantis was similar to a potato drenched in delicious french butter.

Oven baked Caramelised Apples with Goat Cheese Sorbet and Cocoa Shavings
This dessert was amazing. The apples were crunchy, soft and sweet and paired beautifully with the pungent flavour of the goat cheese sorbet and bitter cocoa shavings.


Clementine Jelly with Chestnut Mousse and Vanilla Cream
I am a huge chesnut fan so this dessert was another hit. The crispy chestnut bits over the chesnut mousse really gave it the flavour of roasted chesnuts. In addition, the clementine jelly and vanilla cream added a contrast of flavours.

Chocolate Marshmallows

Citrus and Walnut tart