Hidden away on a sub level street off of the boulevard Beaumarchais is the latest gastronomic OVNI that has the Parisian food world's panties all in a bunch. Formerly Christian Constant's C'Amelot, perhaps the city's first bistronomique (long before the term became a bobo catchphrase) , the tiny table has been taken over by an interesting chef who dropped off of the face of the culinary scene years back. Jacky Ribault, one of the first to bring the japanesy/French fusion cooking to the French Capital at Shozan (his foie gras sushi and salmon tataki are still on the menu, partly for sentimental reasons), creates a menu with all French produce, hand selected by himself (Annie Bertin veggies, organic meat from the Pas de Calais' Monsieur Boucher) and cooked with a Nippon eye, with a few unusual tastes thrown in from the Land of the Rising Sun. That Ribault worked with Gagnaire, Legendre, Passard and Ladurée-epoque Hermé is pretty evident in the technique, but it's his own poetic generosity that shines through, and the chef promised some interesting things (think market suprise menu) as soon as they are able to maintain cruising speed. The fact that this is the first time he is his own master seemed to please him. His maitre d' (something of a French/Asian fusion himself) worked variously at Rostang, Closerie des Lilas and the Pavillon Montsouris before teaming up with Jacky. The beefsteak with St. Jean de Luz sardine tartar facon béarnaise and the scallops with vanilla'd artichoke (although the apple sorbet seemed out of place) were two standouts. For the moment, thanks to the local foodie blogosphere and press, expect a two to three week wait for dinner and two or three days for lunch. I want to go back and try the rest of the menu.
**Plates tasted (see above):
Shrimp with pea purée
Scallops with vanilla flavored artichoke, green apple sorbet
Turbot with mashed vitélotte (a blue/violet heirloom spud), Thai spring onions and mango
Lamb with matcha tea, quince, ginger and legumes anciens
Just sautéed organic beef with sardine tartar façon béarnaise and potatoes
Rhubarb sable tart with cotton candy**
Menus at 43€ with two dishes or one dish and cheese or dessert, 53€ with two dishes and cheese or dessert and 63€ with two dishes cheese and dessert. The 29€ three course lunch menu (Mon-Fri) looks like a bargain.