May 4, 2009

Wedding in Reims day 7: victory!

Pin It

It's the last full day of my trip, and I received a call in the morning advising me of the presence of two Birkin bags at the Hermès store on Avenue George V. I was on my way out the door anyway, and I rushed over immediately.

I was met by my very helpful friend who knew one of the salespeople at the store. He had arranged to "hold" two bags for me, and I pretended that I was keen to buy one for the gf. Gf played along, looked over the two bags, and eventually settled on the one in "ciel", the new color for this season. Thanks to my kind friend who has gone the extra mile for me, my dear cousin would now have her very first Birkin.

Victory having achieved, we moved on to the Hermès flagship store on Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where we spent time exchanging the 28cm Kelly purchased on Saturday for a model in 32cm. Here we were making another friend happy.

I took my friend out to lunch at Hotel Le Bristol. We wanted something quick and casual, so we dined at in the lobby instead of the 3-star restaurant. I grabbed a simple steak tartare, which was OK. While I cannot imagine it to be otherwise, I wondered about whether the beef was really fresh...

We had another mission to complete after lunch, so we strolled down Avenue Montaigne for a tour of the boutiques. At Chanel, we finish our final mission of purchasing yet another handbag for a friend. Then it's back to the Left Bank around Saint Germain. We are back at Madeleine Gély to pick up the tassle we ordered for the umbrella. It wasn't ready, unfortunately. But we end up chatting with the saleslady who offered us a glass of Champagne, and before you know it, I was shelling out some more Euros for another pretty umbrella.

We booked the first seating at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and stepped in soon after the restaurant opened. We were seated at the counter with our backs to the window, true to the L'Atelier style, and I chose to go with the menu découverte to see what the chef could offer.

I ordered a bottle of the 2007 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er cru La Forest. The wine was a little disappointing. Lots of oak and very ripe, with some lemon citrus. A little acidic on the palate.

The amuse bouche was an eggshell filled with foie gras mousse at the bottom and parmesan foam at the top. It was pretty tasty, but may have benefitted from the paprika on the side.

Le crabe royal aux fines lamelles de raves épicées - this is a good crab meat salad, topped with slices and strips of turnips. Pretty Japanese in terms of both taste and presentation.

L'asperge verte en cappuccino et ses jeunes pousses d'oseille - the asparagus cappuccino was pretty good, with young sorrel shoots and some cream on top. Pretty easy to pick up the cup and just drink it down...

Le foie gras de canard chaud, griottes, lamelles de rhubarbe rose et jus acidulé à l'hibiscus - perfect execution, still soft and juicy inside. The oily taste was delicious. Perfectly balanced with some rhubarb and arugula on top, added with some black pepper to give it some kick.

L'œuf cocotte et sa crème légère de morilles - pretty yummy stuff. Parsley cream at the bottom of the glass topped with a steamed egg foam with morel mushrooms. Very nice and just what I'd expect from Robuchon.

Le bar cuit sur sa peau aux jeunes asperges vertes avec un jus d'écrevisses - seabass is always popular, because the texture is just so nice. Here it's served with some green asparagus and crayfish foam. I'm beginning to notice the popularity of crayfish on this trip, as I've had so many meals involving one form or another of this shellfish.

Le ris de veau clouté de laurier frais à la feuille de romaine farcie - I normally love veal sweetbread for the creaminess, but in this case I think it may have just been a liiiittle too creamy. But taste-wise there was nothing to complain about.

Les herbes parfumées en saveur de printemps, sabayon à la Chartreuse - a very yummy melange of basil sorbet, raspberries with some sabayon cream.

Le dôme glace à la vanille de Tahiti, crème gianduja, coque au cœur de guanaja - these days chefs seem to think it's amusing to put out chocolate shells and then pour hot chocolate on top to melt them. I guess it's visually amusing...

We walked out feeling satiated without being stuffed or drunk, which is a nice change. I do have to say, though, that while every meal at L'Atelier (including Hong Kong) has been pretty good, there was never any WOW factor. I guess Joël just wanted to create something casual and good, without trying to blow you away. Hence the casual counter seating and pricing.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map