Thursday, August 4, 2016

Paris -- Itinéraires: A Great Gastro-Bistro

Returning to Paris, we finally had a chance to get to a restaurant that I've had on my must-try list for several years: Itinéraires, a Michelin-starred gastro-bistro in the fifth arrondissement, near the Quai de la Tournelle. It was everything we had hoped for, only better.

The decor is simple but elegant, soothing light wood with no tablecloths or place mats but  with interesting and effective lighting, and the tables are not densely packed. We had a lovely round table for six and were completely comfortable, ready and able to relax and enjoy the six-course menu.

The food was creative, sophisticated and beautiful. Portions were small enough that you could eat everything without feeling stuffed but large enough to get a substantial experience of each course.

We started with a mini "croque-monsieur" with a layer of puréed basil . . .
Mini "croque-monsieur"
. . .  and a cauliflower salad.

Cauliflower pre-appetizer
Next up was a an absolutely spectacular beef and langoustine carpaccio,
Beef and langoustine carpaccio
(with a substitution of a gorgeous salad for those who don't or can't eat raw meat).

Mixed vegetable salad
There followed a perfectly cooked filet of rouget with a basil sauce and olives.

Filet of rouget with basil sauce and olives
We were now ready for main courses: lamb chops for those who could eat them, monkfish for the others.

Lamb chops
Finally, two desserts:

Red fruit dessert
Chocolate ganache
This excellent meal was 95 euros, a great bargain. During the week, Itinéraires has a 65-euro three-course prix fixe, which we are very eager to try next time we are in Paris.

Itinéraires, 3 rue de Pontoise, Paris 5ème (Métro Maubert Mutualité).

Bobby Jay

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