[Paris, 14e] Montée – exceptional tasting menu

french
japanese
france
paris

(Prabhakar Ragde) #1

This was the last meal of our January trip to Paris (I will post on a few of the other meals also), and it was possibly the best, combining gracious and friendly service, stunning plating, and delicious flavour. The Montparnasse restaurant is run by a young couple from Kobe, Japan (he cooks, she handles the front of house). It’s small and lacks its own sign. (Sorry for the slightly-off colours on the photos, I was using an iPhone 6.)

Both lunch and dinner are set menus (80€ at dinner, for more courses). Wine by the glass was 8€; she brought out three bottles for me to choose from, and I chose a Graves.

Chestnuts, candied walnuts, and dried champignons de Paris. Wouldn’t have thought of that last ingredient, but it worked.

Brandade of salt cod, an exceptional version, with good texture and balance. My partner does not like salt cod, but she said, “You can make this for me.”

I thought, “This can’t possibly taste as good as it looks,” but it did. Scallops, quinoa, pistachio cream, nori. I asked how the nori was made, and was told, “Tapioca.”

Cauliflower risotto, though there was no texture of rice grains, instead tiny firm pieces of cauliflower. It was dusted with powdered mushroom and garnished with a housemade deep-fried rice cracker. Comforting.

Bar (Mediterranean sea bass) with black pepper crust, and caramelized endive.

Braised pork cheeks with sprouted lentils. This was my one criticism of the entire meal: I’d never had sprouted lentils before, and I didn’t think they worked as well as other sprouted legumes, but it was definitely an experiment worth trying. The pork was really good.

Pineapple cream atop sautéed pineapple, coconut milk sorbet, and dried pineapple.

Oreillettes (a crisp variation on a beignet) and housemade chocolates.

It was the right amount of food, paced well, and the perfect way to wind up our stay in a city we love.

Go now. This place will get popular, you won’t be able to reserve, and prices will go up. 9 rue Léopold Robert, near Métro stations Vavin and Raspail. They have a minimal website, and a reservation button (mechanism by La Fourchette).


Paris dinner boat question (plus another)
#2

Thanks, your review did persuade me to put it in my address book to remind me to reserve the place SOOON.

The lunch 40 euros with 8 plates and very refined, I wonder how would be the dinner.

Compared this place with Alliance, both cooked by Japanese chef, do you see the Japanese influence in the food?


(Prabhakar Ragde) #3

I learned about Montée from John Talbott’s blog, and he only eats lunch out, so I have no information about what dinner would be like. Would be nice to hear a report from somewhere.

I think the Japanese influence is more prominent at Montée than at Alliance. Perhaps that is because the Montée couple have only been in France for a year and the restaurant is four months old. But also I think it is a deliberate decision, on both sides.


#4

Just reserved for the next weekend for a coming anniversary! Quite happy actually, I would like something more Japanese to replace Sola (closed for renovation). I think the menu wouldn’t be too different from yours…let’s see.


#5

Thanks for spurring me to go today – John Talbott had already put Montée on my list of places to try, any your report moved it into first position.

Our lunch was lovely and very similar to yours.

In addition to the first amuse we had a second with smoked eggplant as the main ingredient done in a millefeuille (I didn’t catch what served as the layering agent) in a bite-size piece.

The brandade de morue is indeed exceptional with great intensity and harmony.

That was followed, in place of the cauliflower risotto, by an exceptional fried leek leaves with hazelnuts and black truffles. On paper, it might sound like it won’t work, but in fact it was super. L, who does not like truffles, had the same dish without the truffles and was also very impressed.

Then the same enjoyable noix de St-Jacques, quinoa, pistache, nori dish.

Next up, the same bar with black pepper crust and just a tiny bit of yuzu. Absolutely beautiful, and like the brandade, notable for the intensity and harmony.

Unlike you, I was quite enthusiastic about the lentil sprouts with the pork and thought that the combination of the two superior to each on its own.

In place of your dessert, we had three half raspberries wrapped in a lychee foam, and then we finished with the oreillettes, chocolate, and a very good espresso for me.

For wine, we shared a bottle of red 2015 Santenay 1er Cru Clos des Mouches from Domaine de l’Aste (David Moreau). The wine was perfect throughout the meal – elegant, sumptuous, and refined with precise, ripe (but not overripe) raspberry aromas and flavors.


(Prabhakar Ragde) #6

So glad you went and enjoyed! I don’t know why the lentils didn’t quite work for me. I grew up having home-sprouted mung beans (in South Indian cooking) and I love small green French lentils. I just found myself wishing they’d been unsprouted.

I forgot to mention – the chef came out to see us off at the end of the meal, and I dredged from my memory a few polite end-of-meal phrases I learned for a trip to Japan, which amused both of them greatly.


#7

Thanks again @plragde and @onzieme, your write up made me to change priority and led to another exceptional meal this year.

We went last Saturday for lunch, Montée is situated in a quiet street from the busy boulevards in the Montparnesse district. The restaurant still had the old sign from the last restaurant.

There were several changes from plragde’s and onzieme’s meal. The biggest change with the pork gone.

I took a glass of white, the chef’s wife brought out 2 bottles and let me tasted them! I choose the bourgogne-Domaine Michel, subtle yet harmonious which goes well with the entries and the fish. So good that I got myself another glass.

Comté biscuits, caramelised walnut and dried cepes - the melted Comté inside the biscuit was a really nice touch, matched well with the rest of ingredients. Comté is our favourite cheese, so no need to say more.

Morue - cooked with crème, garlic and oil - that simple but splendid, bread was very good too.

Poireau pressé, hazelnuts, truffle - I like the plate, but I think it would be even better if accompanied with a contrasting sauce (Just my personal feeling)

Scallop, radis, quinoa, seaweed with pistachio lemony sauce

Sole with Comté, scallop sauce and spinach - my favourite dish, a lot of umami especially in the sauce

Braised ox-tail with Brussel sprouts and mushroom powder - meat melting in mouth with the tendon jelly, delicious

Dessert - Litchi with raspberries, just like onzieme described, quite good

Dessert - here came our surprise - Chocolate - when I reserved the place, I mentioned about plragde’s post on HO, the restaurant has read the pieces and especially the word “anniversary”.

Not really birthday, but not too far, a marriage anniversary 12 years already! Pff
Chocolate was really good, 2 slices of thin chocolat with a chocolate creme in the middle

Dessert - Oreillettes

Chef came out to greet us after the lunch with his wife, we talked a little, he said it was his dream to come to work in France. I was surprised that the restaurant was opened a few months and will be closed for renovation end of Feburary. The chef explained that he needed to expand the kitchen. They opened in a hurry last year when the renovation wasn’t totally finished.

Husband said that the cooking is very Japanese influenced. Both of us like the meal a lot, and the warm greetings and the service. Ingredients were top quality selected with care and seasonal sensibilities. We will definitely come again.

Go and do not hesitate.


(Prabhakar Ragde) #8

Such a sweet gesture at the end! Glad your meal was so enjoyable. I look forward to hearing what they can achieve after the renovation.


#9

Glad you enjoyed it. Good to see that the chef mixes things around, even when keeping the same ingredients. To me, that shows that he’s truly interested in what he does and not just repeating a formula.


#10

I’m looking forward to eating there.


[Paris] Dining in Kitchen Ter(re), William Ledeuil
#11

@onzieme Indeed, this is how you see the chef is experienced but at the same time still likes to experiment. Hope the best for him with the renovation. Beautiful flowers arrangement!

@plragde Also, letting me taste the different bottles of wine was a very nice gesture too.

@bcc you won’t be disappointed!


#12

Thanks for posting about this restaurant. I am going to echo all of the positive reports for Montée above. My meal here ended up being one of the best lunches of a recent trip to Paris.

Menu
In addition to the €40 tasting menu at lunch, there is also a 3 course menu available for €32. I had the tasting menu.


Amuse Bouche
Parmesan crisp, dried mushrooms, and a candied walnut.


Betterave/ algues/ oeuf du caille
A bed of chopped beets topped with a soft boiled quail egg. The algae in this dish tasted of seaweed.


Thon/ asperge/ avocat/ truffe
This was an asparagus, then a layer of chopped raw tuna, then surrounded by slices of avocado. With a few slices of black truffle on top. Delicious mix of the fatty avocado and the tuna, with a little fresh crunch from the asparagus and the perfume of the truffle.


Morue/ pomme de terre
Salt cod brandade, not overly salty, very balanced, with a perfect little potato.


Barbeau/ poireau
A delicate piece of flounder covered with softened leeks, with a simple butter sauce.


Agneu confit/ Parmesan
Was asked to select a knife out of a box for this next course which was kind of amusing. Lamb confit. It had a crispy exterior and a tender slightly gamy interior. Very flavorful lamb. Served with some artichoke hearts, mushroom, and greens. The lamb is under there somewhere. Chef came out and poured some sauce on the whole thing that was clear-ish and had a bit of a gelatinous consistency. Delicious! My favorite savory dish of the meal. I forget where the parmesan was in this dish, maybe it was in the sauce.


Pavlova/ fraises/ citron
First dessert was an airy pavlova with strawberry and a lemon sorbet. Refreshing. I’m not the biggest pavlova/meringue fan but this was pretty good.


Chocolat
Second dessert was a chocolate crisp thing on top of chocolate sauce.


Oreillettes
Little deep fried crispy dough sheets dusted with powdered sugar.


I really enjoyed this meal. Could definitely taste the Japanese influence in the dishes, especially in the entrées. Très oishi!


Paris Trip Report April 2018
#13

We had one of our favorite meals there last year. I definitely intend to return this fall.


#14

Good to know they didn’t raise price since they got 1 star now.