Le Gabriel, Paris
July 12, 2016
La Réserve Paris Hôtel was opened in January 2015 by Michel Reybier, who made his fortune in packaged charcuterie and is now expanding his luxury hotel company. It is in a newly renovated 1854 mansion on the Avenue Gabriel, just north of the Champs-Elysées between the Avenue Matignon and the Elysée Palace gardens. La Réserve’s restaurant, Le Gabriel, received two Michelin stars a year after its opening. Linda and I went for dinner on May 15, 2016.
The dining room is decorated in a Second Empire style.
We started with glasses of Reybier’s Champagne. He is collecting vineyards as well as luxury hotels.
The amuse-gueules were tomato with buratta; foie gras with mushroom; and crab with matcha.
We selected the Tasting Menu. The dishes were not disclosed, but it turned out that all except the rouget were on the à la carte menu so I have taken the course titles below from it, with some modifications.
We ordered a bottle of 2013 Henri Boillot 1er Cru Les Genevrières Meursault.
We were told that the tasting menu would be almost all fish, so we selected this white Burgundy wine which lets some of the terroir show through. Excellent.
The bread basket arrived.
The first course was
Saumon de Norvège, raviole d’aubergine fumée, pâte de citron
A piece of Norwegian salmon was topped with a “raviolo” formed by a thin turnip slice and filled with smoked eggplant. Alongside was a dab of lemon mousse. Nice.
Asperges vertes, sabayon huile d’olive, caviar
Two green asparagus stalks were dressed with a thin mayonnaise enhanced with caviar.
Langoustine, radis croquant, sauce thai
A langoustine was served in its shell and dressed with a peanut sauce. On top of one end were crisp radish shards and a tempura spring onion which added freshness.
Saint-pierre rôti, artichauts, gel de sakura et jus d’une Barigoule
Two pieces of Saint-Pierre (John-Dory fish) were served with the crispy skin on top. They were topped with artichoke chips and dressed with a sauce that is traditional in Provence for braising artichokes.
A large rouget (red mullet fish) filet was served with variations on carrots and tomatoes.
This was a delicious piece of fish that did not need much adornment.
Cabillaud de ligne, curry et riz japonais, avocat bio
Line-caught cod was served on a homemade curry sauce. Alongside was a sort of avocado sushi. Even good cod has an unassertive flavor, so this needed the nicely aromatic sauce.
Since our Meursault was gone and pigeon was coming up, the sommelier served us glasses of 2012 Piedlong Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine.
Pigeon de Vendée, cacao, tagliatelle de sarrasin
A roast pigeon thigh was dressed with cocoa powder and served on a bed of buckwheat tagliatelli. This was a rich finish to the savory courses.
The predessert was
aloé vera, mentholée, sorbet citron vert
Cylinders of lime sorbet were topped with a mint gel and chocolate shards.
Linda’s dessert was a picturesque strawberry and rhubarb concoction.
My dessert was
Craquant de Chocolat Sura, mousse légère de calament bio
A crunchy, oval cake of Javanese chocolate had a light minty mousse in the middle.
The mignardises were little puff pastry cakes and a long thin chocolate bar.
We enjoyed our evening at Le Gabriel. The series of five pieces of top quality fish was excellent. The varied sauces and garnishes were imaginative and well matched to the fish. They were executed with restraint, letting their own flavors, and that of the fish, shine through. The service was always good.