Fulgurances, Paris

October 23, 2018

On September 29, 2018, Luc and Laetitia invited Linda and me to dinner at Fulgurances.  I had often heard of it, but never been before. The website of the restaurant says that it “acts as an incubator, welcoming young chefs to take over the kitchen in order to find and refine their identity, test their ideas, and learn how to manage a team, before setting off to open their own restaurant.”

Our evening was during the six-months stay of chef Mariana Villegas, born in Monterrey, Mexico. At a young age, she moved to New York to study at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Her internship was at Blackbird in Chicago. After graduating, she joined Danny Meyers’ team at the Union Square Café, before returning to Mexico to work for chef Enrique Olvera at his Pujol. He asked her to join the opening team at Cosme, his New York restaurant.

Fulgurances has an open kitchen and we could watch her working with its young multinational team. The language of the kitchen was English.

A single menu is served, with a choice of only meat or fish for the main course. We ordered a bottle of 2015 “Bad Guy” Saint Joseph.

Our starter was a clam with mignonette sauce.


A toasted brioche round, corn purée, mussels escabeche, tomato, coriander leaf.

A nice combination.

Plum soup, watermelon salad, cucumber granità, smoked paprika.

Refreshing. The paprika gave character to what otherwise might have been a nice, but bland dish.

Bread was served.


Chunks of a variety of just ripe tomatoes were on top of spicy smoked eggplant purée. Onion powder and basil were sprinkled on top.


Smoked trout tartare, hibiscus powder, hibiscus cream, mango.


Laetitia’s main course was a piece of mullet, grilled bok choy and sliced potatoes with a tomato bouillon.

The other three of us had herb-marinated hanger steak, charro beans and avocado. Salsa borracha, made from tomatoes and jalapeños cooked in beer, was served alongside.

This was a substantial, hearty dish with good flavors.

Plum sorbet, guava.

An interpretation of a tres leches cake: a sponge cake soaked in milk, was on the bottom. On top of it were mascarpone and crème Chantilly.

We enjoyed our meal and the evening very much. The Mexican influences were well matched and integrated with a French base. The ingredients were top quality without being fancy. The chef has trained her team well in a short time. The service was friendly, but a bit haphazard in the crowded, informal dining room. The noise level rose when boisterous Scandinavians sat down next to us. I look forward to dining at Mariana Villegas’ restaurant when she succeeds in opening one.


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