We seldom chose a restaurant by its location (unless it is in the far end of Paris like 16th) By coincidence , several of our last great meals, and the restaurants were all located in 11th district, around République. This says something about hot spots for food in Paris.
You can find a lot of information on Sota Atsumi and his long waited project Maison in French and English, and even in NYT. Sota, originated from Tokyo, his CV includes Joel Robuchon and Troisgros, but his best recognition came from his cooking in Clown Bar. His new project, Maison, opened September this year, is dedicated to a traditional French cuisine serves biodynamic products and natural wines.
I read that the restaurant wanted to give a home feeling, I guess relaxed and comfortable feeling. According to the server, it was a small building converted from an ex-workshop repairing coffee machines, then to an ex restaurant. Sota has added a mezzanine to create the 2 floors. The usage of ground floor at the moment was reception area, a few chairs and a table, a day bed, and a lot of boxes of wine, which was not intended.
The loft-style dining room was located at the first floor with a big open kitchen, as long as the room. People could either eat at the counter, which was interesting to observe the busy kitchen. There was a very long wooden common table and a few individual tables at the side.
We reserved about 1 month in advance. Lunch was only served with 1 menu, a degustation with 5 courses, (or 6 if you would like an additional cheese course).
A few amuses bouches style tarts as first course - Pickles beet with Kalamata cheese, Onion, shallot and comté, veal tartare with an anchovy cream
All of them were delicious.
Tuna from the south western Vendée, eau de tomate, clementine, tarrogon and a cream with zest of kulu with nutmeg. I worried that I heard wrongly the sound “kulu” (syllables very short) and I tried to imitate the same way the Japanese serveuse pronounced, she nodded her head. At first, I was thinking of kumquat, but in fact kulu exists, it is a Japanese citrus called snow lemon. A fine delicate dish.
Red mullet of Noirmoutier, grilled leek, celeriac and a jelly like sauce prepared from collagen of fish skin
Wild duck Col Vert cooked with coal served with chestnut cream, beets and a lovely meat juice, sided with pithiviers with cabbage and foie gras
Cabbage (not very soft) with foie gras below with the same duck juice, excellent
Paris Brest with hazelnuts, pear caramelised with alcohol and vanilla ice cream and basil sauce
Waffle to accompany expresso
We order 2 glasses, a white Bourgogne for me, a red Bordeaux (Château Cazebonne - Graves) for mister. Too bad, my slight headache forbad for drinking more.
Food was well cooked, flavours were delicate and equilibrium. After eating a lot of creative tasting menus, actually personally, I appreciate a return to more traditional food. Service was friendly, though I would say still a bit young. The bread and butter disappeared after the tuna course and only returned with our duck course. My duck dish arrived without the beet, it was corrected instantly with an apology.
Go? Sure! It was an excellent value for a well executed 55€ lunch. Note that the place is spacious, diners shared their meals on a 8 meter common table, but a lot of spaces between each group. Quite noisy when the room was full because of the brick tiles on the wall and the floor doesn’t help to absorb sound, it isn’t a problem for us though.