A blog about my culinary experiences in Paris and around the world.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Goodbye blogspot, hello wordpress!

The blog's run on blogspot.com has ended unfortunately. I am very happy with the experience I had on this blog platform but I thought it was time to renew, update and develop One Spoonful At A Time. It was a nice 8 months run with more than 13,000 hits and I am thankful for everyone for having followed me on blogspot.

Don't worry all the blog posts and articles that are on blogspot will be found at the newly improved website!

But let's not dwell on the past and look into the future! Here's to a new beginning with Wordpress! Please save it, bookmark it, follow it!

Please check out my new and improved blog -http://onespoonfulatatime.wordpress.com/

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Frédéric Simonin

I have been wanting to go to Frédéric Simonin since I heard about its opening in April of last year. Gathering good marks from food critics and bloggers alike and recently winning its 1st Michelin star 3 weeks ago, I am not surprised that the menu prices have almost doubled. Damn!

The restaurant, Frédéric Simonin, is titled after the Chef himself. A former Chef at big-name restaurants like Taillevent, Le Cinq at the Four Seasons George V Hotel and notably Joel Robuchon's right-hand man who helped him win Michelin stars in London and Paris; Simonin decided to open his own restaurant. 

Despite the 1st star prices, the restaurant kept the original 38 euros lunch menu among the choices - including the 130 euros (or 180 euros with wine) tasting menu which doubled in price since its Michelin award. From the front, there is not indication of what to expect indoors. As you walk in though, it might seem a little impersonal - decor is restricted to black and white with a sitting area at the front and a long dining room separated by glass windows. 

The menu of the day...

Amuse-Bouche: Pot of mousse of foie gras, reduction of porto wine and emulsion of parmesan
2 words: Too good!


Mulet carpaccio with red peppers, citrus vinaigrette
It was very fresh and clean in taste and beautiful in color.

With warm toasted open-faced baguette

Rabbit with mustard greens, on a bed of lentils, nuts and a reduction of jus
A little bit heavier than the mullet. I liked the lentils better than the rabbit (perhaps because it's more of a white meat kind of poultry) - maybe because it did not taste like lentils as much?


Pollock with spinach leaves, garlic chips and watercress

Braised veal in its jus with roasted potato and beet leaves.
I thought the meat was a bit too stringy for the cut of the meat - the jarret; the "knuckle".

On the side, we HAD to order Joel Robuchon's famous potato purée or should I say butter purée. Its a very well-known and HEAVY dish of equal amounts of potato and butter....yes...equal amounts..but boy does it taste good! (Perhaps not afterwards when you get up from your seat)

"Oooh poor commis" repeated my good friend Maniko; who joined for lunch. And she was right. "Look the commis had to cut all these little brunoise, and weed out the bad mustard leaves"...How interesting it is that now our appreciation for food and the process of making has changed so much in the last 6 months!


Le Café Frivole with pear confite and Arabica ice-cream
Exceptionally, they let me have this instead of the dessert for the Lunch menu. The photo does not do the dessert any justice. It literally came as a ball of chocolate but before I had time to react and take a picture the waitress poured hot melted chocolate and the ball started to disappear before my eyes. A big 'oooh' and 'aaaah' moment.

Panna cotta, pistacchio sauce and pistacchio foam with oreo cookies. 
A very interesting mix and beautiful flavor and color. 

Caramelized Apple with Apple sorbet, and Lemon Mousse.
Very light and clean in presentation and taste. 

Loved the caramel candy at the end.

It might seem a little expensive, but the Chef is very precise and imaginative in his dishes which are presented with lots of color (something that contrasts with the decor of the restaurant). A restaurant to look out for in the near future. Try the Lunch menu at 38 euros. 

Frédéric Simonin
25 Rue Bayen, 75017
Tel: 01 45 74 74 74
Metro: Charles de Gaulle Etoile (Ligne 1, 2 et 6), Ternes (Ligne 2)
Closed: Sundays and Mondays

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Le 39V

Le 39V on 39 Avenue George V is sleek and chic restaurant and sits on the rooftop of a beautiful building behind a discreet front door. 

Up the elevator we go...

Walking in the restaurant (from the private elevator) you meet a spacious bar, a terrace that sits in the middle, on one side a half circle shaped dining room greeting diners (mostly business men and women and the likes of those in Fashion) who eat and on the other side of the terrace, the kitchen - all paned in floor to ceiling windows.

Frédéric Vardon heads the contemporary French kitchen with a strong culinary background with two Alains: Alain Chapel (deceased in the 1990s) and Alain Ducasse - both 2 French 3 Michelin star Chefs. 

A la Carte choices...


Tourteau, Mac
doine de l
gumes, pousses et germes d'hiver d'agrumes 

Minced crab with winter greens and citrus fruits

It was very light and refreshing; beautiful in color

Salade de l
égumes et fruits, jus acidul

Fruit and vegetable salad with a light tangy dressing

Foie gras de canard des Landes, au naturel, condiment (pommes, coings et raisins)
Foie gras of the Landes region with apple, quince and raisins

Well seasoned foie gras, I loved the little fruit molded at the top of the plate

With surprisingly sweet bread that went very well


Tartare de boeuf taill
au couteau, pommes allumettes

Beef tartare cut by hand, french fries

Veau fermier, macaroni au vieux comt
et blanquette de l
gumes, jus d'un roti

A very classic French dish 

The dishes are not pricey but the restaurant's prix-fixe menu at 39 euros (or 49 euros with dessert) is a popular deal among regulars here as it changes daily. 

Foie gras with minced chicken topped with winter greens and alphalpha leaves

Roasted pollock fish on a bed of sauteed spinach and diced baby tomatoes

Dessert? Why Not...and some free mignardises

The wine list features more than 100 references from all the regions of France.
For a classy lunch or even dinner in Paris with amazing views, come by Le 39V to rub shoulders with beautiful people. 

Le 39V
Adress: 39, avenue Georges V, 75008 
Métro : Georges V (Ligne 1) Alma Marceau (Ligne 9)
Closed: Saturday and Sunday 
Telephone: 01 56 62 39 05
Website: le39v.com