Thursday, December 26, 2013

L'Epicure/Le Bristol

L’Epicure, Paris, 9/21/2013

L’Epicure is located inside Le Bristol Hotel on the ritzy rue du Forbourg St. Honore. It is a swanky hotel. Restaurant’s dining room is a rectangular shape with one of the long side facing the garden. Decoration is elaborate. It is a pleasant place to have afternoon tea or dinner.

It started with 2 course of Amuse Bouche:

I. The 1st course of Amuse Bouche was comprised of 4 items:
1). Lemoncello foam with tomato jelly at the bottom and flavored with Campari and cedrat (type of citrus).
2). Frog leg, thandori, ginger and thin mayo.
3). Foie gras with smoked eel, honey and nori seaweed and smoked walnut in a lollypop.
4). Brioche with smoked ham, olive and red pepper. Lemoncello really was appetite enhance to open you taste bud and stomach. Frog leg was the meaty part of frog on a bed of mayo. Frog leg was so tender that you wouldn’t mind to have another one. Foie gras was superb that the fusion combination created a delicate taste. The brioche was flaky, not greasy but delicious.

II. The 2nd course of Amuse Bouche was “Vegetables jelly with potato crisp”. Veg jelly tasted almost like mousse and potato crisp was light and crunchy.

1st Course – “Shellfishes: clams, razor-shells and whelks, olive oil and oxalis, smoked eggplant sprinkled with a powder of caramelized onions." It was the 1st time that I tasted “whelks clam”. It has a softer texture and sweeter taste than the large clams. This plate is full of flavor. Smoked eggplant was a perfection of flavor and texture. Clams were tender and flavored without losing their own character.
2nd Course - Large Langoustine: broad beans in a langoustine heads broth perfumed with lemongrass, ginger, coriander and shiitake mushrooms." This large langoustine taste almost like lobster. It was half cooked, with a texture more close to being raw than cooked. It was closed to the taste and texture that I had last year at “Fratzen and Lindeberg of Stockholm”. These two were definitely my two favorite lobster dishes that I have ever had. The broth perfumed by other ingredients yielding a light and luscious taste that I did not waste any broth in the bowl.
3rd Course – Saddle of lamb from Aveyron, nori crust roasted, fresh herbs gnocchi, cabbage puree." I have found out this dish is L’Epicure signature dish. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat a whole order. I, therefore, requested for half of an order. The chef used 5-month old baby lamb like the lamb dish at L’Astrance. Here, the style was fusion and creative. The sauce was the best lamb sauce that I have ever had. It was made of lamb juice from baking and chopped candied lemon peel. The manager left the small pot of sauce on the table and suggested to me to use the bread piece dip into the sauce. I wouldn’t deny the fact that I love baby lamb. They are so.. good. But, I felt guilty about eating them. I have stayed as a vegetarian for a week after I came back from the trip. Heirloom cabbage puree was so smooth it taste almost like cream. Fresh herbs gnocchi was the right texture and flavor.
Palate Cleanser – Current jelly with orange sorbet and lavender stick. The lavender stick, tasty and fragrant, was unbelievable. I wouldn’t mind to have a dozen of them.
Cheese Platter - I was too dedicated to enjoy the food that I forgot to take the photo of the cheese platter. I remembered that I had some real good goat cheese and 36-month aged Comte again.


1). Guanaja chocolate, crunchy of puffed rice, iced meringue of farm milk infused with Tonka beans. It was vanilla ice cream covered by warm chocolate biscuit with Tanka bean sauce. When the server asked how I like the dish, I responded with my honest opinion that the bitterness in Tanka bean sauce was a bit too strong. They were eager to make it up with an additional course of desert.
2). Fig covered by strawberry jelly with cinnamon cracker ice cream. I thought I had the best fig desert when I was at Le Meurice. But, the fig desert at L’Epicure was even more elaborate and tasty.

3). Lemon-lime Balls with lemoncello liquor. They are semi-transparent and looked adorable. Of course, they are very delicious. I was so full and satisfied that I asked the server to pack the petit-four for me. When I opened the box I found out varieties of chocolate and some currant macaroons. I enjoyed them on my journey to visit the wine producing regions in the following week. L’Epicure was nearly another perfect dining experience. Although the dining room was not a snapshot of Versailles, it was magnificent. It offered impeccable services as well as timeless creative fine cuisines. I would like to go back anytime when I revisit Paris.

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