Restaurant eels has been receiving lots of accolades since it opened 6 months ago. It has about 15 tables and and offers 2 and 3 course lunch menus where you choose your selection or a 5 course surprise tasting menu with optional pairings at lunch. We chose the latter option and ordered our own bottle of wine. The menu changes monthly and all the food was quite flavorful but the pacing of the service was varied, although the scaled portion size was well done. The restaurant has lots of hard surfaces, including 2 walls with windows looking out on the street, as well as some background thumping music and thus noise can be a factor. It is a fairly dressy crowd in the packed room. Tables have moderate spacing and there is a copper tint to the lighting.
Our menu started with their signature dish – Anguille fumée matcha, vierge kiwi, amande – which is smoked eels with kiwi and almonds. The eels were tender, smokey and delicious and served between dollops of green creamy stuff studded with crispy bits of almonds. It was a wonderful combination of flavors and textures.
Alongside came some house bread that was crusty, moist and doughy and perfect for mopping up every bit of the lovely food.
Next was Huître Nº3 (Isigny) radis d’hiver, vinaigrette sésame – ponzu or oysters from Normandy with radish, sesame and ponzu or Asian lemon. The toasted sesame gave it an interesting texture and chew. It was tart but when all the ingredients mixed together it was a good dish and the oysters lovely.
Encornet grillé, petit épeautre, purée de cresson, sauce infusée a la graine de fenouil or grilled squid with turnip, fennel juice, spelt and cress purée. The juice was tart but the spelt was nicely nutty and the whole thing had tons of flavor and textures to enjoy. Not heavy with grease it still felt rich and flavorful. A wonderful dish.
The last savory dish was Poitrine de cochon confite (Pays Basque) poireaux grillés, noix de cajou, condiment saté which was confit of pork belly with peppers, leeks, cashew nut purée, red peppers and orange peppers. The peppers were both sweet and tasty and the nut paste was satiny. The pork was well browned with a large layer of fat. The sauce was thick and sticky and the leeks were really good. A successful dish and really tasty.
A glass of lemon verbena drink was a palate cleanser. It was not my favorite.
Dessert was Ananas rôti, kiwi, cremeux coco, condiment mangue – citron vert or pineapple with cream of cocoa, passion fruit, lime, mango and coconut cream. It did have some wonderful chunks of a buttery cake that were nice. It was cool and light and relatively sweet but wasn’t a standout.