Our Best Meal
I am picking up the blog with arguably the best meal we have had during the trip, at a restaurant named Jadis.
Before that, we were swayed off our path by a friend of my father's who lives in Paris and suggested that a must for me and Chef, essentially both first-timers in Paris, was to meet for drinks at Cafe Flor on Boulevard St. Germain on Wednesday night. It was great, a tourist spot for sure, but still a great place to have a drink and people watch. We did not have dinner reservations that night but were planning to pick from one of our extensive list of back up bistros. But Marc, our Parisian friend insisted that we needed a break from French food and that we must go his favorite Indian restaurant. The more I protested that I really didn't like Indian food very much the more Marc insisted I had never had really good Indian food! So it was that we were dragged kicking and screaming. Suffice it to say, we had a great time and the food was OK – a slight detour to cleanse our palates and a lot of fun.
A little background on Jadis……. typical Parisian bistro decor, spare room, about 30 seats, no table cloths.
The chef is William Delage, trained by Michel Bras, Pierre Gagnaire and Frederic Anton. The place has been open around 5 years, chef is 30 years old. So as you can see – a perfect example of our target restaurant in Paris, young chef, classically trained in top-notch Parisian kitchens who strikes out his own to make his own mark on the world…..and quite a mark it is, lets get started because this was a FANTASTIC meal in every aspect.
To start, the waiter not only remembered that we were restaurateurs visiting from the states but that we were from Pelham…very impressive.
A couple of recurring themes that we saw once again at Jadis, as I mentioned before, no tablecloths but elegant linen napkins, high-end crystal and cutlery, no bread and butter in the table until the apps arrived. The bread and butter thing was intriguing so we asked the waiter about this custom and he said it was a very simple economic decision, the bread and butter is so good that diners would fill up on it and not order a first course, makes sense doesn’t it…I wonder how our customers would react if we held ou on the bread until apps arrived (cue sounds of riot starting).
So onto the food…and oh what food it was.
I started w/ the charcuterie platter, seven different types of cured meats on the plate, saucission, blood sausage, chorizo just to name a few of them, each a unique and contrasting taste…check it out.
As good as my app. was, it paled in comparison to the two others. Manny out himself in the chef’s hands (smart man), and his first course was a beef, spider crab and mackerel tartare…observe. Hard to describe the ethereal blend of textures and flavors, the fish and crab mellowing the rich flavor of the beef, the most interesting take on tartare I have ever experienced. Arthur had an equally impressive app., It was called oeuf poch’ en muerette, salade de pissenlits et lard ce cul noir what we called it was the best bacon and eggs that could ever be conceived. Egg was medium poached (perfectly, of course), the lard and sauce complemented each other perfectly…..truly amazing.
As good as the apps were, the entrees exceeded them, so without further adieu…I chose the grilled scallops w/ Jerusalem artichokes and chorizo.
The scallops perfectly cooked, light, sweet and juicy, the chokes and chrizo sat in a greaseless emulsion that complemented the ingredients w/o overwhelming any aspect of the dish…in a word…..WOW.
Manny had chicken cooked sous vide smothered in black truffles (chefs choice again) that was w/o exaggeration the most perfectly cooked fowl I have ever encountered. And although I am prone to overstatement and irrational exuberance (as our Parisian friend tactfully pointed out at dinner the other night), this is no joke – moist, tender, full of flavor w/ each ingredient discernible w/o overwhelming any of the others.
Arthur had a stuffed veal breast also cooked sous vide, and the result was the same. Perfectly cooked meat, w/ the sauce melding together w/ the stuffing to create a cohesion of flavors that was outstanding….another triumph.
Almost forgot – a wonderful wine to accompany the meal as well, a St. Aubin white burgundy – crisp and delicious.
On to desserts – check these out…visually stunning…oui?
Pot de crème au cafe for Manny
Pistachio floating island in a chocolate crème anglaise for me.
Sicilian citrus tart w/ meringues for Arthur.
I could go on and on again about how awesome they were but this time check out the pics. And use your imagination! This was very special. Chef Delage has been getting the respect he deserves and we discussed his plans for his second restaurant scheduled to open in June on the Boulevard St. Germain near Notre Dame! Keep and eye out for it, but don't wait if you are in Paris before June!!