A few months ago, I have written about the world’s 50 best restaurants. Well today, I can say that I have officially visited on of the best restaurants of the world (even though this concept might be criticizable, but that’s another story) namely the restaurant Le Chateaubriand in Paris, currently on number 18 of this list.
The official list qualifies the restaurant as “inventive bistronomie”. This term is quite well chosen as the restaurant really gives the appearance of a simple bistrot, but obviously with a trendy, inventive twist.
The booking process is already quite meticulous. As the restaurant is really hyped up, you can imagine you won’t be the only guest, so advance booking is absolutely necessary, if coming before 21.30. Booking opens by telephone exactly 2 weeks in advance, so no need to try beforehand. However, it is also possible to come after 21.30 and wait in the queue to get a table for second service.
The atmosphere is intelligently understated: you won’t find any table cloth or waiter that will adjust you chair each time you move. The toilet has the size of one square meter (there is actually only one, but then again it carries Aesop products, which is what I meant by “intelligently” understated). The restaurant is buzzing, so do not expect a calm and romantic dinner. It is all about the food and the special atmosphere, rather than about classical elegance which you would expect from a top-notch restaurant.
As soon as you come in, the waiter will ask you about any allergies you might have or food you don’t eat, as the menu consists of a single tasting menu, changed everyday, and consisting of 4 amuses bouches, 2 starters, 1 main and 2 desserts (or alternatively one cheese platter). The tasting menu comes at 60€, very reasonable for the quality you get. You then can choose an accord mets-vins, also at 60€, which will give you a small glass of wine to accompany every dish. Alternatively you can pick from the vast wine menu, that carries wine from all around the world.
The food was excellent, presenting surprising flavors that will still please most palates. The sequence of the different dishes was very good as well, and at the end you will probably feel satisfied, neither overwhelmed nor hungry. Each time you get a new dish, the waiter will give you a little description, that unfortunately comes across as a bit too rehearsed and hectic as the waiter already has to rush to the next table.
All the different dishes were equally good in quality, so consistency definitively is there. The flavors are different enough to give you a little surprise for every plate, but at the same time marry well together so that the sequence of the dishes follows a logical path. One negative comment I have to make is the wine pairing. All the wines were of the same register i.e. very strong flavors, concentrated grapes, almost giving the impression of fortified wines. This was rather disappointing, not only because it’s not my preferred type of wine, but because you had the feeling that the sommelier has a very distinct taste and that he stayed in the very same register throughout the dinner.
Would I recommend this restaurant for your next visit to Paris? Yes ,definitively yes. Not only is the fact to have been eating in one of the supposedly best restaurants in the world enchanting, but the food is also really good (and not that expensive for the quality you get). As the menu changes everyday, I will not give detailed facts about the composition for each dish, but here are some visual impressions.
Fried shrimps with passion food powder
Fish (don’t remember which one) with figs and peanut butter
Tuna with green tomato and purslane
Fish (don’t remember which one) with celery foam and ceps
Veal with white cabbage
Restaurant Le Chateaubriand
129, avenue Parmentier
Tel: +33 1 43 57 45 95