Laurent, Paris

January 24, 2017

On January 16, 2017, Luc joined Linda and me for dinner at Laurent. Once a hunting lodge, Laurent was restored in 1842 as part of the embellishment of the Champs-Elysées. Under Napoléon III it was an officers’ mess. It continues as a venerable Parisian institution and sports a Michelin star.

Linda and I started with glasses of Pommery Champagne.

We went on to a bottle of 2005 Beaune-Grèves “Cuvée Pierre Floquet.”  This was excellent, with strong, but elegant, Pinot Noir flavors.

The hors d’œuvres were a little sardine filled pastry, a goat cheese log and beet topping herring tartare.

We ordered the Menu de Saison. The first course was
Araignée de mer dans ses sucs en gelée, crème de fenouil.
This is a long-time house specialty. It was not easy to photograph. Pieces of Breton spider crab were in a gel made with their own juices. On top was a fennel cream. The crab flavor was strong and good.
Saint-Jacques truffées cuites à la vapeur,
pleurotes, épinards et nage onctueuse au chardonnay.
Scallop pieces interleaved with black truffle slices were wrapped in spinach leaves and steamed. They were garnished with spinach and pleurote mushrooms. Underneath was a delicious shellfish foam with a chardonnay wine. Excellent.
Agneau de lait des Pyrénées grilloté aux pignes de pin,
pomme de terre à la cendre.

Two rectangular pieces of very young lamb from the Pyrénée mountains had been grilled over pine cones. They had a smoky crust and a pink interior. Between them was a small baked potato stuffed with julienned potato and horseradish cream. A veal glaze and mustard dabs were underneath.

A plate of «palmiers», made from caramelized puff pastry, was put on the table.
Dessert was
Soufflé chaud au pamplemousse et thé Matcha.
A fresh, warm soufflé was flavored with grapefruit and green matcha tea. Its unctuous texture was well matched with the flaky dryness of the palmiers.

There was nice plate of mignardises to finish.

Our meal was very enjoyable. While many of the ingredients were modern or global, the underlying concepts were traditional French, appropriate for this old Parisian establishment.  The service and pace were just right and the noise level low.

Linda and Luc as we left. Luc is carrying a bag of the “Palmiers” which they gave us to take home for the next morning. Linda and I were staying in La Réserve de Paris just across the street from Laurent; Luc shares an apartment near the Sorbonne, where he is a hard-working masters student.

This is the view of Laurent from our hotel room. The Champs-Elysées is beyond it and the Grand Palais beyond that. On the left is the Théâtre Marigny, built in 1883 and now under renovation.


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