Retaurant H is a small place of about 8 well spaced tables. Soft music plays in the background, one wall has windows to the un-busy street and the back wall has a window into the kitchen. The bare topped tables are set with lovely large napkins. The modern room has wallpaper on some walls and others are decorated with arty photographs. Decorations are minimal. The menu is tiles in a box where you can pick how many courses you want. They offer tastings of 3, 5 or 7 courses with wine pairings available. We chose the 5 course omnivore menu and ordered our wine. Service was exceptionally friendly and servers spoke great English and were helpful. The chef, Hubert Duchenne came out to visit with diners. The restaurant currently has a one Michelin star rating.
As you pondered how many courses to have they brought out a selection of amuse bouche for snacking. Ultra thin potato chips, beet root dip, salmon roe on biscuits with citrus and smoked eel on a thin cracker. The chips were cut in long thin rectangles and were good alone as well as with the sweet beet dip. The smoked eel was very nice with only a mild smokiness. All good snacks.
Bread service was a slice of doughy bread with a good crisp crust. It was really nice and great to go with the food.
A green asparagus was grilled and topped with popcorn, grapefruit, kumquat, bread crumble and citrus sabayon. It was served warm and the strong flavor of the perfectly cooked asparagus held up well against the other intensely flavored toppings. The asparagus was tender yet firm and all blended well. It was very tasty.
Cockles were combined with sea bream, fish eggs and vegetables in the next dish. There was lots of popping going on with the eggs and the citrusy flavors blended nicely with the briny cockles. It was another lovely warm dish filled with textures and flavors.
The first morels of the season were served in morel cream with bread and shallots. The buttery sauce was amazing and the lightly toasted bread cubes perfectly absorbed the wonderful flavors. The bread had been lightly cooked on a griddle on all sides but the middle was still nicely soft. It was the simplest of combinations but being made with first rate ingredients turned it into something fantastic.
Haddock was in a bowl of pea velouté. The fish was barely cooked and enhanced with a bit of seasoning powder. The peas were sweet and ultra fresh and tender. The sauce was added at the table and every bit as good as the fish it covered. A real winner here.
A palate cleanser was tonic and lemon. The sorbet and foam combination was to be dipped in a powder of dried grapefruit salt. It worked nicely.
The main course was a duck breast that had been slowly cooked but still remained fairly rare. It was served with white asparagus, French raspberries and black crumbles. The duck was tender and nice. The raspberries almost tasted like tomatoes and the dark crumbles added mostly texture to the plate. It was good but not as strong as the previous dishes.
Dessert was chocolate with buckwheat and sweet potato ice cream with tarragon. The ice cream was more color than flavor. The chocolate had a hard outside but inside was sweeter, creamy chocolate. A bit of struesel from Alsace made the bottom of this one nicely sweet. This one rates a yum.
Puffed rice pudding was with corn ice cream in the second dessert. White puffed rice was mixed with corn crisps and caramelized rice. This one had tons of textures and felt nicely light. It was not overly sweet but the perfect melding of flavors made it really fun to eat and combine different parts of it for great tastes.
Final treats were a chocolate macaron and a lemon madeleine. The macaron looked like pistachio but it wasn’t. It was sweet and chewy and very nice. The madeleine had a very strong dot on lemon curd on the top of the buttery cake. Delicious. A cup of coffee was the perfect pairing with these two.