Cézembre is a small restaurant of about 10 tables that serves only a 5 course set menu at dinner. For lunch they serve a 3 course menu. There is no a la carte menu. The small varnished wood tables are set closely and with paper napkins. Painted beams in the ceiling, lowered lighting and pop music in the background set the tone. Mirrored walls make it feel larger than it is. The staff was super friendly and spoke good English. This is a very nice place with good food in a cozy setting in the heart of the tourist district.
First was an asparagus soup with ham, onion and shrimp that was served warm. It was creamy and smooth, except for the ham which tore apart easily. It was buttery good and an excellent start.
Bread service was a basket of pre-cut slices of baguette bread. It was fine with a good chew to the bread.
Langoustine was plated with mashed potatoes, snow peas, and a white butter sauce. It was very good with buttery potatoes and a sweet, perfectly cooked langoustine. A very good dish.
Duck foie gras was paired with sweet potato purée and Jerusalem artichokes. There were a few strips of artichoke that were fried and placed on top. The dish had hints of ginger and a perfectly cooked piece of foie gras. The artichokes were tasty and although this was a very good dish it didn’t wow me like the previous ones.
Cod was plated with codfish risotto, asparagus, yellow carrots and shiitake mushrooms. The fish was nicely cooked, seared on one side. The mushrooms were very flavorful and the risotto thick but still al dente in the rice. The asparagus was overcooked but that would be the only ding on this nice dish.
Duck breast was served with parsley root purée, English peas, spring onion, bacon and braised lettuce. Here the peas were overcooked and the duck a little meeley even though it was nicely rare. Some of the sauces on the dish didn’t work for me and seemed to fight each other rather than meld into a harmonious blend. The duck was tender and had been cooked to render most of the fat, which was nice. It was okay but the fish was a better plate.
Dessert was a vanilla custard with raspberry sorbet, pineapple, mango, kiwi and passionfruit mousse topped with lemon caramel. On the bottom part was a very thin crisp wrapper. It had lots of textures and tastes, but not too sweet.
Final treats were madeleines and little chocolate cakes. Both were really good. I chose a glass of Poire William to finish with.