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Paris’s Frederic Simonin: An Excellent Secret

Sorbets and chocolate mousse [1]
As mentioned, I am but one of the food-obsessed people in my family. My older brother, Matt, and his wife, Yuko, regularly explore great restaurants in Tokyo, where they live, and have come to befriend a 2-star Michelin chef there. On his recommendation, we lunched at the lovely Frederic Simonin [2]. The easy-to-miss eatery on a side street in northwestern Paris debuted less than a year ago, but word has it that Chef Simonin—who worked at Taillevent [3], Le Cinq [4], and opened a Joël Robuchon [5] restaurant in London—may be receiving some stars of his own soon.

Amuse bouche [6]

The ubiquitous foie grass–Port reduction–Parmesan foam amuse bouche arrives!
(It’s still delicious.) In tableware news, the Mod glassware of varying patterns gave a playful spirit to an otherwise subdued dining room.

Vegetable salad [7]

This got everyone craning their necks: a “vegetable salad,” but so much more than that. Various vegetables, some raw and some lightly cooked, with an anchovy-laced dressing. (Matt beamed at his shrewd pick.) I kept it on reserve as a final course in case I was still hungry (I wasn’t).

Escargot [8]

When in France, order escargot (snails)… with hazelnut, lettuce, and parsley sauce.

Scallops with radishes [9]

Scallops with radishes… love the bright presentation.

Egg mushroom truffle cream [10]

This won the appetizer race: a soft-boiled egg in truffle cream with mushrooms and herbs.

John Dory [11]

John Dory with cockles and roasted green onions in light citrus sauce

Calamari [12]

Calamari with mixed vegetables and fried zucchini blossoms

Sea bass [13]

Line-caught sea bass and rigatoni stuffed with tomatoes, olives, and herbs. The rigatoni might have been a bit fussy; they were better to look at than to eat.

Chicken [14]

Chicken with (one long) truffle-cream macaroni

Mashed potatoes [15]

Simonin tips his hat to former boss Robuchon with this signature dish of potato purée. As local food writer Barbra Austin [16] put it: “I don’t know if it’s more accurate to describe it as potatoes enriched with butter or butter enriched with potatoes.” (For the record, I thought these were better than Robuchon [5]‘s—more butter, I’m sure!)

Venison [17]

Venison and potatoes in a sauce that tasted of, among other things, chocolate

Squid ink risotto [18]

Presenting the victor of the entrées! Squid ink risotto with calamari, scallop, and mussels.

Dessert #1 [19]

The desserts arrive for those with a prix fixe (not me)… I believe this was a play on an amandine tarte.

Dessert #2 [20]

Death by Chocolate, the French version

Dessert #3 [21]

Showing his Wisconsin roots, my brother described this as “caramel cream puffs.”

Pictured at top: Sorbets and two types of chocolate mousse

Waiter and Oliver [22]

Finis! and getting some shelter from the rain outside as we wait for the taxi

Other Paris restaurant reviews:

Joël Robuchon’s 3-week-old L’Atelier Etoile [23]
Nomiya: Art Installation or Lunch?

Christmas Eve dinner at Taillevent

Christmas dinner at Le Cinq

Casual Paris: Le 404 (Moroccan) and Café de l’Alma [24]
Passage 53: We’re going out with a bang [25]
Bonus Paris post: Le Chateaubriand, Darling or Dud? [26]

Related posts:

The Top 10 Things I Learned About Paris [27]
Paris Food Tour: Baguettes, Cheese & Chocolate [28]
Paris: The Last Bits (Photos) [29]