Tante Louise, Paris
July 3, 2012
Tante Louise was founded in 1929 by Louise Lefeuvre, a chef who brought traditional French cuisine from the Franche-Comté to Paris. In August 1998 it was taken over by the late Bernard Loiseau, then owner of the legendary Côte-d’Or in Saulieu in Burgundy, which still has the three Michelin stars it has held most of the time since 1935. The Bernard Loiseau Group still owns Tante Louise. As it was just up the street from our hotel, Le Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg, Linda and I went for lunch on June 14, 2012.
Warm gougères, reflecting the Burgundian theme of Tante Louise, were put on the table.
We ordered a carafe of 2008 Saint Aubin.
Linda’s first course was
Cassolette d’escargots de “la fontaine de bernn”, girolles-clous au beurre persillé
These snails from a well-known “snail farm” had a good Burgundian parsley sauce, made sweet by onions and girolles. The toast added some crunch.
My starter was
Rouleaux de celery à la chair de crabe, gelée de crustacés et purée de citron
Good crabmeat was inside cylinders made from thinly sliced celery root. Dabs of caviar were on top; a shellfish gelée and lemon purée were alongside. This was excellent with clear, good flavors.
Linda’s main course was
Asperges vertes, sauce Maltaise, condiments Riviera, et feuilleté d’olives
The seasonal asparagus were in puff pastry topped with black olive. They were enhanced by an orange flavored Hollandaise sauce. A very satisfying combination.
Turbot rôti sur arrête, en écaille de vitelotte, fines asperges et jus d’ortie
This was excellent. A wedge of turbot, with its bone in the middle, had been baked with faux scales made of blue potato on top. The turbot had the gelatanous characteristic of a good piece and delicious flavor. The nettle sauce was unusual and just right.
We did not have dessert.
The lunch was top quality all around. It made us want to return for dinner some time. The service, pace and ambience were fine, even though the restaurant was full with many business lunches, for which it seems to be a neighborhood hub.