Pantagruel - 24 Rue du Sentier 75002 Paris
This was for my girlfriend’s birthday dinner. And what made me found Hungryonion! (@naf 's review / report on Pantagruel from right before COVID. Since then, it’s earned a Michelin star and prices have crept up considerably.
However, considering the amounts of different dishes you’ll eat, 85 euros for that menu was still great value. (Looks like it’ll be 90 euros from June).
The menu was the same as still advertised on their website, thank god because I definitely forgot the order of the dishes and what was what!
We went for the wine pairings which are 69 euros per person (quite expensive? Not sure, first time I’m going for those in such a place). And we also got some rosé champagne when we got in (gf wanted try a rosé, which unsurprisingly wasn’t as good as normal champagne - in my opinion).
The deal of the restaurant is to serve 3 dishes, per course. There’s always a central / main one. One which has the same main ingredients but a completely different way of cooking the same ingredients, and one which seemed to be the same but lacking the main ingredient.
The appetisers were good - and I forgot to snap a shot!
There’s also an emphasis on service with finishing the plate in front of you, or for the smoked artichoke it comes in its dome of smoke and a big artichoke, and they fish the pieces of smoked artichokes out of the artichoke shell.
These were the first course. I’m not a fan of artichokes - but this was exquisite. The way the smoke artichoke was crispy on the outside in the big dish was great and the sauce was also really good. Here, all dishes had artichokes, whelks and curry, except that central tempura whelk bite which lacked the artichoke. The other dish was artichoke purée with a whelk on top. The contrast was very good.
2nd course was my favourite thing of the trip. The spider crab. It was a cold dish, with the bisque and fennel surrounding this incredibly soft crab meat, absolutely wonderful.
Again the 2 other dishes. First the ravioli had crab and fennel inside (and was filled with liquid). The other one was only fennel based, although I gotta say I now don’t remember what it tasted like!
The first main was the fish course. We went for the monkfish (and I also went for the 16 euro caviar add-on, which didn’t add too much to the dish, but considering the overall bill, what’s 16 euros less or 16 euros more!) It was very well cooked and full of flavours for the main plate. The side was this round bit of asparagus, sponge and monbéliard sausage also very tasty. The other two were a monkfish ceviche, very well done too and very fresh. The courgette tagliatelle was not as good, maybe lacking in flavours a bit.
The main meat course was slightly underwhelming for me, in the sense that it was more classic. Presentation was again good, but the main piece of lamb, was not exceptional to me. The little cromesquis bite was however very good. Also to point out, there was a slight slowdown in service between the fish and meat course for us. This was the only part of the dinner where I “waited” for a bit. Everything else was very well paced with about 5 minutes wait between finishing and getting on to the next course. The green beans side, was super fresh (cold) and refreshing though.
After this course, they brought one cone per person (that looked the same as the ones in naf’s review - but with different flavours). I think ours was thyme and rosemary with the bottom being fromage frais, a tasty palate cleanser.
Onto the dessert, again a triple dish affair. I think I made a mistake here that the coffee ice cream and the revisited tiramisu were on different plates so I didn’t eat them together. Because the coffee ice cream was delicious and I just ate it in one go (and also forgot to take a picture of it) Again very good desserts overall. The little flower ball was a whisky baba, which was very well soaked in whisky! The tiramisu inside had some crispy biscuit and the petals are dark chocolate. Loads of almonds all around too. The white stuff was a mascarpone emulsion.
The meal finished with another trio of mignardises which I didn’t picture. Overall, such a good meal for a birthday, we came in at 8:15, we left at midnight (although we had finished eating at about half past eleven).
Also if you too have a significant other that doesn’t drink much, best way to get them drunk is by getting the wine pairings for a 6 course meal.
Highly recommended, and I think the best meal of our trip.