l’Astrance, Paris, 3/2/16

Exterior
Exterior

We re-visited this small wonderful 3 Michelin starred restaurant after a several year hiatus. It has been open 16 years and I believe it’s better than it was before!  Service was stellar and they offer a huge yet reasonable wine list. They have several different tasting menus and on our visit they had fresh truffles that were available as a supplement to any of the options. You could get them for one course, a few more or on everything for adjusted pricing.We chose the longer of the menus and opted for a small amount of truffle addition.  

interior
interior
interior
interior
table set up
table set up
menu
menu
menu
menu
start with champagne
start with champagne
truffles
truffles
Frankie checked out the table flowers
Frankie checked out the table flowers

 

Everyone starts with a couple of amuse bouche and they were both marvelous. The ham and cheese biscuit was almost sweet and had a heavenly crust. The parmesan cream was accented with truffle and you actually tasted it! The house bread is slightly toasted and has a good denseness with a fantastic crusty exterior and is served with a tasty artisanal butter.

Ham and cheese biscuit
Ham and cheese biscuit
Amuse: parmesan cream with truffle
Amuse: parmesan cream with truffle
bread
bread
butter
butter

 

The first course was the mushroom tart – a classic – and such a beautiful presentation. Accented with hazelnut oil and lemon it is a wonderfully clean taste that is well blended.

Mushroom, green apple and foie gras with hazelnut oil and lemon dots
Mushroom, green apple and foie gras with hazelnut oil and lemon dots
another view
another view

 

For the scallop and bone marrow dish was it was suggested to mix all the ingredients and that worked very well. Served with perfectly crisp rolls of ginger and apple that had really strong delightful tastes and an incredibly thin crispy wrapper. This dish gets a huge YUM from me!

Scallop with bone marrow, oyster and sauce of kombu butter
Scallop with bone marrow, oyster and sauce of kombu butter
fried roll to go with mushroom
fried roll to go with mushroom

 

The asparagus were so fresh that the huge stems didn’t need to be peeled to be eaten. It was cooked perfectly and left me wishing for a huge plate of these gems.

Second day of the season asparagus with avocado paste and orange zest.
Second day of the season asparagus with avocado paste and orange zest.

 

Next was the pollock which was cooked perfectly and all the goodies hidden below the fish made it really fun to eat. A lot of tastes to explore and all excellent.

IMG_0927
Caramelized pollock with leeks and smoked eel, applesauce, lettuce and caper berries. Really tasty!
another view
another view
gettting ready to serve
gettting ready to serve

 

Hold on though cause the celeriac velouté came next. A ring of truffle juice, made from the juice combined with butter overnight and then blended the next day, surrounded the buttery parmesan cream. It was so full of flavor, as the waiter said “it should be illegal””.

Celeriac veloute with truffles and Parmesan cream.
Celeriac velouté with truffles and Parmesan cream.
wine
wine
Frankie views the world through rose colored glass
Frankie views the world through rose colored glass

 

The lamb was exceptionally tender and when mixed with all the components on the plate offered tons of flavor.

IMG_0966
Milk fed lamb with Chinese cabbage, sage, nisturcium, black truffle and chorizo.
as plated
as plated

 

The pigeon was tender, juicy and the bowl of smaller components was a real treat to nibble on. A seasoning paste is served with the dish and this is varied depending on what wine is being served at your table – talk about being pampered!

Pigeon with white garlic, turnip and red currant paste
Pigeon with white garlic, turnip and red currant paste
pigeon liver and smaller pieces
pigeon liver and smaller pieces
Frankie checked out the lemon water to wash off after eating pigeon
Frankie checked out the lemon water to wash off after eating pigeon

 

The citrus tartlet with light, rich and highlighted with bits of amaretti biscuits – a neat contrast of textures and flavors.

Citrus tartlet with orange and meraingue
Citrus tartlet with orange and meringue
inside
inside

 

Next came a selection of sweets and none went back to the kitchen. The madeleines with chestnut honey were a particular favorite – sweet and crispy and rich.

Madeline with chestnut honey
Madelines with chestnut honey
Jasmine egg
Jasmine egg
Exotic fruits- apple, passion fruit, mango and pineapple
Exotic fruits- apple, passion fruit, mango and pineapple
Frankie hoped there was a little egg left for her
Frankie hoped there was a little egg left for her

 

We finished with chili pepper sorbet which was a nice change, a little spicy but cold and bowl licking good! This place has hit found it’s sweet spot and continues to turn out beautiful presentations of fabulously tasty food.

Chili pepper sorbet with lemongrass
Chili pepper sorbet with lemongrass
Americano coffee
Americano coffee
Espresso
Espresso
Our wonderful server, Alejandro Chávarro
Our wonderful server and wine advisor, Alejandro Chávarro
Frankie found the flowers in the bathroom
Frankie found the flowers in the bathroom

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