Virtus, Paris, 12/1/17

building
building

Virtus is a good sized place with soft lighting and background music.  The couple that ran Clandé, Chefs Chiho Kanzaki and Marcelo Di Giacomo, changed the name to Virtus about a year ago and then moved to a new space about a month ago where they moved in many of the same decorating fixtures into this location.  You’ll find a variety of chairs and light fixtures that were stylish points at casual Clandé.  Virtus seems to be a bit more upscale, with well spaced tables and a separate bar area that also includes some seating.  They offer a 7 course tasting menu priced at a point to challenge anyone from using the a la carte ordering items.   Portion control runs on the slight side and the meal pacing started nicely and then slowed to a crawl and fell apart as the restaurant got full.  

looking in the window
looking in the window
entrance
entrance
table set up
table set up
interior
interior
interior
interior
Frankie studied the tile floor
Frankie studied the tile floor
menu cover
menu cover
menu
menu

An amuse bouche of oysters with pineapple and cream was good.  The enhancements worked well with the plump briny oyster.   Oddly the servers picked up the serving bowl but left the shells on our bread plates for several courses.

Mise en Bouche
Mise en Bouche
closer
closer
champagne
champagne

A small coil of hot bread is brought straight from the oven made by the pastry chef.  It is meant to have the shape of an artichoke, which is the Virtus logo.  It was an incredible bit of bread.  Buttery, rich and oozing with flavor and wonderful texture.  I could have made the meal on this alone but it seemed odd as a portion in a dinner.

bread
bread
another angle
another angle
Frankie meditated on the candle flame
Frankie meditated on the candle flame

Saint Jacques scallops were mixed with turnips from Émilie et Vincent with a cream of turnip leaf and a little lemon.  It all worked spectacularly.  The tender turnips had absolutely no bitterness and were delicious.

Saint Jacques, navets de Emilie et Vincent
Saint Jacques, navets de Emilie et Vincent
underneath
underneath

More bread but this time it was just regular brown bread.  A bit of a let down after the first offering.

bread
bread
Frankie checked it out
Frankie checked it out

An egg was plated with chanterelles, Jerusalem artichokes, an emulsion of chanterelle and a barley risotto.  The barely cooked barley risotto was at the bottom.  Some great flavors here that all blended nicely.  Crispy bits of garlic mixed well with the bite of the barley and then the yolk added to the creaminess of the risotto.  A fantastic dish with crispy bits of garlic and the bite of the barley to give it good textural contrast.  The egg yolk added a creaminess and richness to the risotto.  Wonderful!

Topinambour et girolles, oeuf parfait
Topinambour et girolles, oeuf parfait
closer
closer
Frankie looked out the window
Frankie looked out the window
wine
wine front
wine
wine back

Monkfish was the fish of the day, served with watercress sauce, turnips, and celery root purée.  The fish was barely cooked and really wanted a richer sauce.  The purée was slightly sweet and didn’t have as much flavor as it needed to balance the dish.  It was a okay just not on the level of the previous ones.

Poisson du jour, cresson et coco
Poisson du jour, cresson et coco
closer
closer
Frankie thought the knives for the next course were serious
Frankie thought the knives for the next course were serious

A nicely rare piece of beef rump steak was touted as something special but it was amazingly tough and tasteless.  One of the pieces was a third fat, which might indicate goodness but not so here.  It wasn’t dry; it did have a juiciness but didn’t pick up any flavor of grilling or roasting.  Served with a carrot and a dot of balsamic vinegar, it needed those flavorings if you could cut it.  The carrot was nicely sweet.

Picanha de boeuf Black Angus, viere de sésame
Picanha de boeuf Black Angus, viere de sésame
another plate
another plate
closer
closer
Frankie posed with the water
Frankie posed with the water

The cheese course included cow and goat cheeses, a comté and a blue cheese.  We split one portion.  They were all fine.

cheese course
cheese course

The first dessert was kiwi, curry ice cream and coconut cream.   The curry was a nice twist in the seasoning.  It helped bring the tastes together into a nice mixture.   It was good.

Kiwi, curry, coco
Kiwi, curry, coco
inside
inside
Frankie posed with some decorations
Frankie posed with some decorations

Apple, sorrel cream, sage powder and yellow sorbet were the second dessert.  The sage was an odd flavoring to mix in and not all together successful.  They did have some thin, crispy chips to add texture but overall it left a dry sensation in the back of your mouth and was not a good sweet fix.

Pommes rôties de chez Yannick, creme de sauge, sorbet yaourt
Pommes rôties de chez Yannick, creme de sauge, sorbet yaourt
other side
other side
closer
closer
Frankie checked for leftovers
Frankie checked for leftovers

Last treats were strawberry jelly,  coffee cream puff with caramel topping and chocolate strawberry.  They were all okay, none outstanding.  This couple is capable of better things – maybe with more time.

Digestif cover
Digestif cover
Digestif menu
Digestif menu
after dinner treats
after dinner treats
closer
closer
inside
inside
after dinner
after dinner
Frankie found some scent sticks
Frankie found some scent sticks

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