L’Arpege (Paris) – More Extreme Veggies at Extreme Cost
The previous night’s meal was so remarkable that I had to plead w/ L’Arpege for an encore. Fortunately, someone canceled and a second meal became a certainty.
This meal was not as sublime as last night’s but it was a solid 3*** meal that easily eclipsed my previous meal in May.
1. The Egg
2. Langostine Carpaccio w/ Osetra Caviar in Cream
A delicate dish – salty upfront followed by a sweet ocean brine with a smooth creamy follow-through that balanced the saltiness. Excellent.
3. Carrots in Chocolate w/ Sweet Onion Foam
3 different carrots covered w/ a mole-like sauce. The carrots were all excellent but the small white carrot was incredibly intense. The “mole’s” slight bitterness changed to sweet over the course of a bite (perhaps the carrots’ influence?) Very Good.
4. Leeks Fried w/ Muscadet Oil
I asked them to “cook up some vegetables” – nice leeks simply done. This turned out to be a bonus dish – the precursor to my request. Very Good.
5. White Salad
A medley of veggies that included cauliflower, squash, beet, radish, white carrot and probably a few more, all covered w/ a vinegar-based dressing. Supposedly “unveiled for the 1st time.” Sweet at first with the necessary acid and then the radish “burn” kicked in at the end for a nice kick. Only nitpick – probably too much dressing. Very Good.
6. Turbot of Mustard Sauce, Smoked Potato, Spinach & Broccoli
The mustard sauce was sublime – it effortlessly blended into the gelatinous fish and cut it. The spinach was also sublime. Excellent.
7. Salt-Encrusted Cow-Milk Fed Chicken
The chicken was of high quality – good flavor, nice bite – but they should have crisped the skin ala Bras. Some thyme and potato crisps were on the side – if eaten w/ the chicken, it replicated some of the texture of a crisped skin. It sounded so good on paper but this was the most disappointing of the night. Good.
8. Sweet Onion Gratin
Compliments of the chef, salty and sweet, nice charred taste with a tang of onion at the end. Good, but worth the 30-40 euros they charge? Good.
9. Some Cheeses
I’m no cheese expert nor did I take notes. They do serve their own commissioned Comte that is extremely good – lots of crystals.
10. Avocado Souffle w/ Pistachio
Hoping to get away from the “fruit-cake” desserts – ok, but desserts are not a great value @ L’Arpege.
Overall, not as good as the previous night’s meal but it still surpassed my meal in May. L’Arpege will be a necessary stop for any trip to Paris.