Bozar is the one star Michelin restaurant in the Palais des Beaux Arts Museum. Chef Karen Torosyan, the ‘Pie King’, is noted for his pâté en croûte and in 2015 he was named the World Champion of Pâté en Croûte. However be warned, if you want to try any of his crusts they must be order about a week ahead of time. We ordered a Pithiviers a week before and tried to order a Millefeuille that evening and were told it was not possible. They also offer 3 and 5 course tasting menus with wine pairings available. It is a large place on multiple levels with bare marble tables closely set and appointed with bare wood armless chairs. One end of the longer room is the open kitchen where there is a always a flurry of activity. Karen Torosyan was there and very busy in the kitchen, with his name etched on the end of the huge stainless steel cooktop. Lights are dimmed and the noise level is high. Service was friendly, spoke good English and reasonably attentive.
Even pre-ordering it takes 45 minutes for your crust to be made ready to come to the table. Chef did present our unbaked crust. In the meantime we enjoyed a gin and tonic and some amuse bouche.
Amuse bouche started with really thin crisps, lovage from the chef’s home town and an herb hummus dip.
Gougères were filled with smooth tasty cream with a good cheese flavor. Mackerel was in a thin wrapped tube. The mackerel was mild in flavor and well herbed up to make it nice. Ham mousse was rounded on a pickle slice and set in a thin small tart shell. The mousse was slightly grainy but the pickle added a fun twist to a fairly good bite.
Bread was a round loaf that was dense and served with softened butter.
A shrimp croquette from the North Sea was in a nice bisque like sauce. The soft fried shell was creamy inside with good flavor. The bisque was not to thick or overly rich. It had a good taste.
Then came the main event. The Pithiviers Crust contained duck of Gérard Burgaud from Challans and foie gras. It was sold for 2 people. Chef himself brought it to the table and sliced it for us. Once plated they came by with sauce which was good for the filling but I thought it was criminal to pour it over the crisp crust as they did. It was served with a tasty small side salad of greens. The complete crust contained a layer of small chopped vegetables and on top of that was the rare piece of duck with the foie gras topping that and a layer of greens making up the top of the pile under the decoratively cut crust. It was a work of art. It was tasty and beautiful but I’m not sure it was worth all the effort and show. However it was remarkable how he could get the vegetables nicely cooked and keep the meat rare and not melt the foie gras. I would have preferred a buttery crust but part of his claim to fame is making this all work with a smaller percentage of fat than usual. Each crust is issued a tag marking its numerical order of making them.
It was plenty to eat for two, so we opted not to order dessert. They did serve some sweet treats though, a gooey chocolate brownie with a raspberry center, a chocolate chip cookie with nuts that was okay, a coconut meringue that was sweet and jellies of cassis (with a nice berry flavor) and passion fruit (that was really tart with a sugar coating).