Saturday, June 27, 2015

Paris - Restaurant Jean: Still a Favorite

Last week, J and I returned to one of our favorite Paris restaurants, Jean, with our friend R, who was visiting from New York. We had a really brilliant meal, well-conceived and nearly perfectly executed, definitely worthy of the restaurant's Michelin star.

We all had the four-course meal, a terrific buy at 85 euros for a meal of this quality.

R and I stuck with the menu as written, while J substituted asparagus for eggs and lamb for beef.

The first course was soft-boiled eggs with peas, morels, parsley purée, veal jus and an[cancoillotte] emulsion of cancoillotte, a runny cheese from Comté. It was sublime, with the tastes and textures of the components coming together in a smooth and complex mixture. J substituted green asparagus from the Luberon, steamed and then sauteed with crispy shrimp, shrimp-stuffed dumplings and "saveurs asiatiques," another great success.

Oeuf mollet, petits pois, fèves, morilles, purée de persil, jus de veau, émulsion cancoillotte
Asperges vertes du Luberon, gambas rouges croquantes, gyozas farcis de gambas aux saveurs asiatiques
Next was an Italian influenced presentation of red mullet stuffed with oil-cured black olives and arroche rouge (an herb we don't have), tiny potatoes sauteed in butter, a peppered artichoke "surprise," with an arugula pesto and grated grana padano.

Rouget barbet, farci olives noires confites et arroche rouge, pommes de terre poêlées au beurre, artichaut poivrade "surprise", pesto de roquette et grana padano
The meat course consisted of perfectly medium-rare (by French standards) slices of wagyu beef crusted with Espelette pepper, [tortello de paleron] of braised beef, turnips lacquered with orange and honey, fried pimentos and beef jus. J suffered along with baby lamb in three styles (chop, confit and leg), with a "taboulé" of vegetables and ratatouille jus.

Boeuf wagyu paleron à griller, en croûte de piment d'Espelette, tortello de paleron de boeuf braisé, navet laqué orange et miel, pimientos del Padron frits, jus de boeuf
Dessert was a spectacular array of chocolate creams and mousses, with a sugar cover and dots of fruit sauces. A beautiful dish, but another example of perfectly merged tastes and textures.

Chocolate mousses and cream with sugar cover and fruit sauces
I have recommended this place to a number of friends, and none have come away disappointed.

Jean, 8, rue St-Lazare, 75009 Paris.

Bobby Jay

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