ASPIC– Paris, France
A restaurant review.
Our final dinner in Paris and ending the way we started with a tasting menu. The place gave a similar vibe to Frenchie’s (see review HERE) – 11 tables, 1 server, 1 cook, 1 sous chef, two seatings, distressed wood tables, casual fair as a fine dining establishment. We picked this place because it was #1 on Tripadvisor for all of Paris at the time, opened just under a year, and if I translated the website properly, it was going to be 49 euro a person for this tasting menu. The restaurant offers wine by the bottle but does not have a somm or wine pairing for the dishes, but I have a feeling that may be an expansion in the not to distant future as the place continues its high praise and popularity. We grabbed a bottle wine and were ready to start our tasting adventure.
- A bottle of Macon-Cruzille Chardonnay middle left
- A plate of cured pork cheek sliced with french bread top left
- Butternut puree, soup like, with melted cheese and nuts, which was tasty and light top middle
- Octopus, fresh and tender, with a beet puree to freshen the dish top right
- Fish entree, which I believe is the only time I have ever finished a fish entree myself, with a crispy outside topped with a fish foam and a side of cauliflower puree that was out of this world- oh and some shaved fish eggs on top middle center
- Putting all the flavors together- it was insanely tasty and unlike anything we have had in the past- a creative plate that worked so well. Out encounter with cauliflower puree was once again such a delight and when asked what made it so good, the chef responded “Butter, lots of butter”, as such is french cooking!
- Roasted sweet onion with hazelnuts and a veggie reduction, and while it was a quarter of an onion, it was really flavorful! middle right
- Meat entree, seared pork shoulder, but what made this special was it was pork from the best pigs in the world- the iberico pig that the sliced meat from the leg on display at plays is from. bottom left
- We could tell we were in for a treat as the chef described the dish as if he was bragging about the accomplishments of his child. It was prepared quite rare but that was even more cooked then traditional preparations as we learned. Accompaniments on this plate were sauteed greens and a potato puree. The meat was another level of tender and the flavors burst in your mouth- unlike any pork we have had before. It was almost too rich to finish but we were not dare leave any plate with such a delicacy!
- A walnut crisp with ricotta cheese moussed on top- one of the one bite dishes served on a spoon! bottom middle
- Deconstructed apple pie with layers of thinly sliced apples onto of a puff pastry with a double cream whip- amazing. bottom right
We were the last table at the restaurant as we took our time enjoying every dish. We were stunned that this meal (minus the wine) was 49 euros a person. It didn’t make sense- this meal rivaled Frenchie’s and was significantly less money without losing any quality. When speaking to the chef, Quentin, at the end of the night- his goal is to provide a fine dining experience, share is creativity, at a affordable price so everyone can enjoy. He could charge double but won’t do so. He apparently raised the price 5 euro recently and that was a hard sell for him! A genuine passion for providing an exceptional experience and product. We were able to sit and chat with him and the other servers about the start of the restaurant, the future of the restaurant and other random topics that flowed into our conversation. This was truly the best way to have ended our trip in Paris.