Friday, November 11, 2011


I've been waiting to try this new table in a barren part of the 16th for quite some time now. What French gastro-critics might term an OVNI (UFO, i.e., strange, iconoclastic) this grey, contemporary and very 80's looking restaurant has young French/Algerian chef Akrame Benallal at its helm. Akrame has finally opened his own table after having worked at a Michelin starred establishment in Tours (and earning an "upcoming young talent" moniker) a stint at the terribly named Hotel Konfidential, and training in the kitchens of both Ferran Adria at El Bulli and with Pierre Gagnaire. The restaurant, perched in a forgotten backstreet somewhere between a Thai massage parlor and various so-to-be-out-of-business shops, offers up some of the most interesting cooking in the city. The menu, decided entirely on what the market offers up is highly personal, inventive, simple (looking?) and delicious. For lunch, there is the choice of of a two or three dish menu for 25€ or 35€ (best lunch deal in town), and for lunch or dinner a four or six dish menu (from 50€-110€ depending on wine choices). My lunch partner and I groaned when hearing the first dish was a "deconstructed taco", but were delightfully surprised by the cubed chicken with avocado purée, coriander foam and corn "dust". Other dishes of Parisian mushrooms (micro planed to look like shaved white truffle) with slow poached free range egg, and Iberico bacon bits, was a memorable dish as was the very simple shaved Granny apple on a bed of gorgonzola cheese. If anyone really cared, Michelin's been murmuring about this one, and Akrame's enthusiasm, imagination and sense of generosity can only lead him to great success. 


I Heart Paris said...

Very interesting. So the food looks good (and good value for lunch) - what's the vibe like?

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