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).