79 Rue Saint-Dominique (7)
This is a small, 2 Michelin star restaurant above and part of Thoumieux, what used to be the breakfast room for the adjacent hotel. Until six months ago, it was called Jean-Francois Piege. That chef left (see Le Grand Restaurant, 8th), to be replaced by Sylvestre Wahid, an established star from Ducasse, who cooks for Sylvestre’s 24 seats and oversees the much larger Thoumieux downstairs. This is elegant, inventive, hand-crafted food, with wine choices to match.
Small, elegant, intimate space, but still relaxed. Several formality notches down from Astrance or Le Grand Restaurant, but otherwise comparable, and every bit as worthy.
Three menus or very high priced a la carte, or select choices from the menus. A meat and vegetable menu, a seafood menu and a larger tasting menu.
We tried the first: Four exquisite hors d’oeuvres, a taste of asparagus bouillon, asparagus with morilles in an appropriately modest pastry, fresh peas and early spring vegetables in a pea flavored foam, a tasting of tiny baby roast lamb with eggplant and potatoes, cheese selected from a “cheese bar” with jellies and breads, a yuzu sherbet to prepare for the multi-course dessert and green tea. The dessert – strawberries in five versions – was irresistible, leaving (almost) no room for the coulis with warm chocolate sauce which concludes the meal. The individual preparations surely number twenty or so, but not twenty courses.
Hardworking. Gracious. Helpful. Bilingual.
Menus 155€ (ours), 175€ or 295€. Not cheap, but a bargain. A range of wines, many under 100€. Ours 110€.