85, avenue Kleber (16)
I acknowledge some “luxury creep” in the composition of this Diary. No one should need my help with the international, starred names. This was to be about lesser known (and less ambitious), smaller places where French people actually eat. And so it remains, mostly.
But more refined (and more expensive) names have crept in, mostly at lunch where prices can be a fraction of an a la carte dinner, and always because of my awe at the preparation and cooking, reflective of labor and training virtually unknown in the U.S. Le Grande Cascade (See 16th), Frederic Simonin (See 17th) and Astrance (See 16th) are lunch-only (for us) examples of special treat restaurants which have become regular favorites.
Now, a new addition: Hexagone, a large, modern, ambitious new space open since January, 2015. Owned by Mathieu Pacaud, son of 3-star chef Bernard of L’Ambroisie in the Marais.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Elegant, refined and friendly. Exquisite a la carte menu, with a 49€ 3 course lunch, 2 choices per course.
On the basis of our first meal, it sets a new standard.
Vol-au-vent with sweetbreads or what is listed as ratatouille, but which like every plate put on the table is a multi-element work of visual art and complex cooking. (Fast forward to dessert: the poached pear on brownie includes 8 separate elements, each cooked, baked, frozen, etc.).
Main courses either duck breast of filet of merlan in light cream sauce. This is meant to be food, but meant to impress versus to startle.
Polished. Attentive. Very professional. Bilingual. Friendly.
Wines by the glass 11€ – 25€. At 49€, plus water, coffee, etc. and 3 glasses of wine, the bill became 151€, but still a bargain.
(2x) (2015 – 2016)