Restaurant L'Arpege - The finest restaurant in the world serving original and delicious food, but never intimidating. The meal here will always be memorable ... in a good way of course
The dining room - I came early for my lunch. Unlike dinner time, the modern dining room is very bright and lively during day time, the Lalique dancing figures are everywhere ...
Œuf à la coque quatre épices (A coddled egg yolk served in its shell and mixed with four spices - sour cream, maple syrup, clove and sherry vinegar) - Simple yet complex, and it's still delicious as usual. The egg is rich and smooth, probably this is the best amuse-bouche ever
Tomate naturelle à la moutarde d’Orléans onctueuse crème glacée (Natural tomato gazpacho served with Orleans’ mustard ice cream) - The combination of tomato puree (fresh & a bit sour) with mustard 'ice cream' (strong & a little spicy) may not be intuitive, yet they work amazingly well together
Homard de l’archipel de Chausey conjugaison (Chausey island’s lobster served cold with turnips, sherry vinegar and honey sauce) - The lobster here is prepared tender in texture and absolutely stunning. It shows the contrast of honey's sweetness and vinegar's sourness, yet they're balanced ... about as good as the legendary lobster cooked with vin jaune
Risotto (collection légumière) au parmigiano reggiano fleuri aux herbes (Creamy rice in granular parmesan cheese served with onion emulsion, vegetable and herb collections - leeks and green peas) - To create a great sensation, you should combine all the elements. The risotto is white, but delectable and rich. The flavor of the broth & parmesan are subtle, while the peas are sweet. Equal to the Calandre's saffron risotto as the best I've ever had
Robes des champs multicolores (Arlequin) carotte purple haze, chou rave bleu azur, radis sora, courgette black beauty … (Multicolor vegetables from the chef’s garden: carrots, kohlrabi, radish, zucchini and beetroot served with semolina, argon oil and sweet onion emulsion) - The vegetables are cooked in different length of time. They're all fresh, pure with deep flavor. The autumn veggies are rather hard and crunchy, also ... colorful and beautiful
The big Sole before served on the plate
Pêche côtière estampillée dorée sur écailles sole de l’Ĭle d’Yeu (Line caught Sole from Yeu Island served with yellow wine sauce) - A long strip of Sole in precise thickness. The fish itself is already delicious and firm plus the warm and fragrant wine sauce, even better than Ducasse's version. The smoked potatoes and herbs puree are also good. It's almost as good as Passard's famous Turbot or Monkfish
Ris de veau de Corrèze au bois de réglisse grillade (Grill veal Sweetbread from Correze region served with licorice, celery and leek) - Passard never stops to amaze me. The wonderfully cooked sweetbread is delicate and balance, crunchy and creamy at the same time. The buttery juice and peas extraction are also nice. Try to combine all elements together. I like this sweetbread better than Ledoyen's
Fromage de Bernard Antony affineur (Assorted cheeses of Bernard Antony) - I don't bother to try other cheese but the 48-month old comte. This the 1st time I have it shaved & it is insanely good. The comte is purely creamy and fresh. Hands down as the best cheese in the world!
Fruits rouges et noirs du jardin framboise (Red and black fruit from the garden - raspberries served with hibiscus syrup) - The raspberries are good as expected, but I do not particularly like the China rose syrup, it's a bit too intense. Serving the fruit with olive oil or mascarpone should be better ...
Tarte aux pommes Bouquet de Roses création Hiver 2008 (Apple tart prepared in the bouquet of roses shape) - An excellent dessert. It's just very right, neither too soft nor too crisp. The crust is flaky yet tender, and the apple is sweet yet sour. This is even much better when you add the yummy caramel, at the same time it never dominates the apple tart
Vanilla Souffle served with honey, chocolate and sugar powder - Not in the menu, but this bonus dessert is just perfect - not heavy and hardly eggy with correct sweetness, no element is too dominant. I could have a second helping actually ...
Sucrerie 3 macarons du jardin (Sweets and three different flavors of macaroons) - Petit four a la L'Arpege. The macaroons' flavors are tomato, basil and rhubarb. There's also a mini apple tart, sweet lemon grass biscuit and jelly in veggie flavor with sesame
Melon and mozzarella cheese served with sesame, olive oil and balsamic vinegar - A fresh mixture of melon's sweetness with semi-soft cheese plus the fragrance of the oil & sesame. It's simple yet sensational when you combine them all the elements
Sweet onion and peas served with the emulsion of peas and parmesan cheese - The peas, while, are sweet and good, they're a bit too dominant here. I could hardly taste the onion or parmesan flavor
Fines ravioles potagères (belle saison) consommé vegetal (Vegetables ravioli served in clear soup) - The tasty soup is a tomato and basil consomme. The 3 different raviolis are having onion, basilic and red onion inside
Yellow beetroot carpaccio served with walnuts, balsamic vinegar and olive oil - The beetroot is sweet and refreshing, work well with some acidity from the vinegar and oil, lastly the walnut gave some crisp taste and feeling. Another simple but thoughtful dish
The Brittany lobster before served on the plate
Aiguillettes de homard de Chausey savagnin (A long slice of Chausey island lobster served with savagnin grape sauce from the Jura) - A succulent and slightly firm lobster with deliciously sweet and buttery sauce are simply incredible. Previously, the side dish is sour sorrel which I like better than green beans
Oignon doux de Florence au citron de Menton mesclun de Sylvain (Florence sweet onion served with lemon and green salad) - The fragrant onion is almost as sweet as honey, mixed with parmesan cheese and some black pepper. I prefer when the onion is crispier, like my 1st visit here
Volaille de Pays (Grande Tradition) à la casserole poulet du Haut-Maine (Free range of Haut-Maine chicken cooked with hay and wine in a casserole) - Hmm, look at those juicy and scrumptious chicken ... yummy. An example of old-style and rustic preparation, the skin with thin layer of fat is not so crispy, but very tasty nevertheless. The leek does not enhance the chicken, a variation of garden vegetables should be better
Selection of fresh goat cheese at L'Arpege. This time no more comte left
My cheese: Tomme de Chevre (slightly salty), Anneau du Vic-Bilh (balance between salty and sour), Chevre de Corse (strong one). I forgot the other 2 goat cheese names
Millefeuille (caprice d’enfant) goûter croustillant (Crispy puff pastry in thousand of layers filled with sweet cream) - One of the best desserts I've ever had.The layers of pastry are extremely thin and as light as air. It is dynamic by itself: crispy, colorful and flaky in texture, at the same time the sweet cream and caramel work in harmony. Oh, the candle ... it was my birthday :-)
Moi avec Alain Passard, possibly the world's greatest chefs at this moment (if not of all time when he retires). He is a symphony conductor leading a grand performance on a table by consistently using best products and keep their purities