Pierre Gagnaire, Paris 6

October 16, 2018

On September 28, 2018, Linda and I returned to Pierre Gagnaire for dinner. Even though it is perhaps our favorite restaurant anywhere, we had not been back for four years.

We were seated at a table in the back of the little elevated area with a good view of the dining room and the entrance. The light there was yellow, which affected my photos.

We started with glasses of Champagne and ordered the Autumn Esprit Pierre Gagnaire Menu. The décor was already in the autumn mood.

We were then served many little hors d’œuvres.

They are shown below, but I am not sure which was which. All were good, but somewhat frustrating for being so small.

The faux cherries on this pretty last one were filled with foie gras.

The menu proper had five seafood dishes, followed by a duck dish before the Grand Dessert, so we ordered a bottle of 2016 “Côteau de Vernon” Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu. Excellent.

The sommelier suggested a glass of 2015 Prémices Châteauneuf-du-Pape to go with the duck.

Pierre Gagnaire has recently invested in this vineyard. The wine was very good.

Bread was served. Butter was already on the table.

There was piment d’Espelette in the butter cylinders and hazelnut in the scoop. The dark piece was seaweed bread. A brioche was on the bottom.

The first course was
Gelée de rouget de roche au poivre Timut, coulis de poivrons
au piment fumé béarnais, poivrades et guernicas.
Pascaline gratinée, navet kabu au sel.

Red mullet filets were in a gel of their broth flavored with aromatic pepper and smoked paprika. Underneath was a purée of sweet red peppers. Alongside was a little round topped with cooked Japanese turnips, I think. It was very good.

Huître Legris, amandes coquillages, moules de bouchot;
sommités de chou-fleur rôties.
Bouillon Kerloups.

A large oyster from the northwest tip of Brittany was on top of clams, mussels and cauliflower in a creamy mussel broth. This dish really sang of the sea without being too salty.

Crevettes impériales David Hervé, girolles aux noisettes.
Suc de carcasse à la manzanilla.
Cuir de tête de veau, brandade de morue;
herbes sauvages des côtes du Croisic.

Big shrimp were on top of girolle mushrooms cooked in a sherried reduction of the shrimp shells and hazelnuts. Alongside was a little brandade with various toppings.

Pavé de bar de ligne poché au beurre clarifié,
laqué d’un caramel de cidre fermier au ponzu;
gouda | speck | maïs | mûres | arroche rouge.
Déclinaison de cèpes.

A poached piece of seabass was on top of a mixture of speck, corn and black raspberries. They were dressed with a cider vinegar sauce. Alongside was a bowl with braised seasonal cèpes (porcini.) The unusual black raspberries were a typical Gagnaire stroke of genius as they added elegant quick bursts of acidity to the mild sweetness of the main ingredients.

Spaghettini Noir à l’huile d’olive du domaine de Trévallon.
Bresaola de thon rouge | graines de fenouil sauvage.
Anneaux d’encornet à l’ail noir Aomori, poireaux.

Squid ink spaghetti was dressed with olive oil from a maverick provençal vineyard. On top were tuna chunks. Alongside were squid rings in a black garlic sauce.

Canard col vert rôti aux aromatiques d’automne –
l’aiguillette parfumée de genièvre est enrobée de lard blanc de Bigorre ;
céleri-rave, potimarron, foie gras de canard gras.
Farce à gratin au tamarin, trévise, poire williams, feuille d’ortie.

Slices of mallard duck breast were heavily sauced, served on top of a crèpe sprinkled with diced pumpkin. Alongside were two little plates, one with a duck foie gras ball. Excellent.

Le grand dessert then followed. It included many small plates. They were described to us, but I was not taking notes; taking photos was hard enough.

A selection of chocolate mignardises was passed.

The meal was really excellent and enjoyable. This blogpost does not do it justice.  I really did not know what many of the ingredients were. They were described to us by the servers, but each dish was too complicated to understand or remember. Many of the origins were not something one would know until Googling to write the blogpost. And I think that the day’s market caused variations from the menu of the season; sometimes we could not relate the poetic descriptions to the dishes or their photos. But that is the kind of thing one expects from Maestro Gagnaire.


To see all our Pierre Gagnaire blogposts click here.


2 Responses to “Pierre Gagnaire, Paris 6”

  1. Blair Says:

    This post brings back a flood of memories from my visit with you and Linda many moons ago.

    When I saw the notice and post title in my email box I was actually afraid I would read a review about a crestfallen Mike who was disappointed by a chef that is resting on his laurels or over complicating things.

    I love that Pierre is still going strong. My meal there stands to this day as the best culinary experience of my life.

    Karyn and I will need to find an excuse to make our way there!

  2. Sam Spektor Says:

    A 2015 Chateauneuf. Come on Michael.

    And bass with black raspberries. What is this restaurant world
    coming to.

    And “olive oil from a maverick provençal vineyard.” A maverick vineyard; what is that exactly.

    Sounds like a weird dinner.

    Go back to Priocca.

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