Qui Plume la Lune, Paris, France

http://www.quiplumelalune.fr/

Qui Plume la Lune, is a one Michelin star restaurant, located on 50 Rue Amelot 75011 Paris. This romantic restaurant, is filled with artsy décor and gastronomic French cuisine, with a Japanese inspiration. On our last day in Paris, my family and I had a wonderful lunch experience here. When we first arrived though, we weren’t seated or greeted immediately, even though the hostess/server clearly acknowledged us. Which was very odd. But other than that, the food was really great. We decided to go with the menu iphigenie for 60€. This consists of two courses with either cheese or dessert. The way it works here, is that the chef surprises you with whatever is best in season at the time (he chooses what he wants to serve you).

A little bit of the restaurant…

atmosphere of plume

Crab

crabbie 1

For starters (not included in the courses), we have an amuse-bouche of delicate soft shell crab and a delicious light, bubbly, warm and tasty like soup. Scrumptious dish!

Fish

fishy wishy fish bish

Next, we have monkfish with salmon roe, shredded lime from Madagascar, and dashi-based sauce. This was very good. The fish was cooked perfectly. Everything went nicely and I especially like the thought that was put into the creation of this dish, because it takes skill to incorporate unusual ingredients (lime from Madadasckar). The lime had a very peculiar taste (bitter), luckily, the hot dashi sauce balanced it out with it’s sweetness.

Foie gras

FG fgc

This here, is a sushi inspired dish. On top, we have a juicy piece of foie gras, covered in teriyaki sauce and underneath that, we have white rice, wrapped around tightly with seaweed. Don’t let these little rolls fool you, this is a very filling dish! Really creative roll. It definitely executed the “French and Japanese” fusion critique. I loved the combination of the foie gras and teriyaki sauce, because surprisingly, they both went together so well! Really delicious.

Dessert

D DD

For dessert, we have what looks to be like a fluffy little white cloud. It’s actually sugar cotton candy and it’s the sweetener for the rhubarb tartar (with no added sugar), which is hidden underneath. What you do, is you wait for the cotton candy to dissolve into the tartar. It was a pretty cool presentation. Yummy, warm, sweet and a bit sour.

Extra

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You know how in North America they give mints at the end of a nice meal? Well this is like their “mints”, but way better. Here we have little vanilla ice cream macaroons and warm hazelnut financier. These were very yummy. The perfect touch to finishing a meal.

Rating

9/10

 

 

 

 

Serendipity, Las Vegas, Nevada

http://www.caesarspalace.com/restaurants/serendipity-3.html?

First of all, let me just say this place is overrated. Don’t go here! Unless your looking for an overpriced, bad quality sundae. The wait is so long too, so your wasting your time. We waited for about 25 minutes for ice cream. That’s ridiculous! Considering the fact that it was all processed; from the whipped cream, maraschino cherry, the overly rich chocolate fudge sauce, to the disgusting ice cream. You can definitely tell that this wasn’t freshly made. I honestly don’t know how ice cream could taste so bad. My sister and I shared it and we still couldn’t finish it, we ended up throwing it in the trash (where it belongs). It was really big! I’d rather have a small good quality delicious scoop of ice cream sundae, rather than a terrible huge one. Also, this had so many calories! Word of advice, don’t eat this, it’s down right unhealthy. McDonalds is better, even though it’s bad for you, at least it’s cheaper and tastier. Never coming back here.

Image

Rating

0.5/10

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Huitres et Saumons de Passy, Paris, France

http://www.huitres-et-saumons-de-passy.com/

On a more relaxed night in Paris, we dined at Huitres et Saumons de Passy; a local seafood restaurant which offers a variation of plates based on fresh shucked oysters and smoked salmon. Notably, the lively seafood comes from local sources such as le bassin d’Arachon on the southwest coast of France, and the Mediterranean Baltic Sea. Although this place has a cozy and home cooked feel, the food displays a more vibrant and bold attitude in taste and quality.

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To start, some interesting crème and dill layered bread – like sliced cake.

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resh shucked oysters <<creusées>>. No sauces or garnish besides lemon, which I find is a regularity here in Paris. Also, with the bread that you usually receive at the start of a meal, it is rare to have butter to which it accompanies. Strange for us, but as a regular part of the culture, it’s just something you have to otherwise get used to!

Salmon tartare

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This was very fresh and delicious! What more can I say?

Saucisson saumon orientale

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Interesting dish, and very delicious! Not literally salmon sausages, neither was the taste so oriental… All I know is that I liked this dish (just like everything else)! The breaded flakes also add a unique crunch to the texture.

White fish ceviche

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Again, very fresh and delicious. I was not expecting the food to be this good here, but it really surprised me – in a good way! I especially love raw fish, and paired with a zesty component is always a good way to go. The cilantro here especially brought out some really nice flavors that made me overall love this dish.

Saumon Fumée

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What I really enjoy is the simplicity here. There is no sauce – just dill and lemon, yet the outcome is so great!

Also very much worth mentioning are the boiled potatoes. I don’t know where they get them from, but the potatoes are amazing. How exactly can a potato really be amazing, you ask? Well in this case, it’s everything from the taste, texture… they taste real! As a generalization, you could say that Europe’s fresh produce is many times more natural and fresh than North America’s. No GMOs, preservatives, chemicals… they are classic in their ways, and hopefully it will remain that way for as long as possible.

Chocolate cake in coconut vanilla soup

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Now this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I hardly knew it was possible that a cake could be so perfectly moist - spot on texture, and have a nice balance of sweetness that is so on point. Also, it is light, and the soup was equally divine. Absolutely nothing wrong here.

 

It’s nice to be able to have such a fantastic meal at a casual restaurant like this one. Great experience, and very friendly service from – I assume – the owner.

La Salamandre, Auxerre, Burgundy, France

http://www.lasalamandre-auxerre.fr/

La Salamandre, is a nice seafood restaurant, with colorful paintings, clean white tablecloths and chic transparent green and red chairs. The service here is very good. They explained what every dish contained, as well as brought our food quickly enough, so we weren’t left hanging about for too long. As for the food, it was really tasty and thoughtful.

“The fishes arrive whole, from Rungis (largest food market in the world), and are prepared, cooked, and ready, by ourselves (not of vacuum nor of frozen food). Besides, we work with the local producers.”

You can really tell that the chef, Serge Colas, cares very much about the quality of his food. My family and I actually discovered this restaurant by just walking around hungrily around Burgundy. We noticed that the restaurant had a Michelin sticker, so we decided to try it out. After our meal  here, I was appreciative that we stumbled upon it.

To start…

Lentil soup with roe, salmon with avocado puree and smoked salmon paste on toast.

Salamandre 1

This was the amuse-bouche. Everything was good, but I liked the soup the most: it was warm, nice and creamy. The salmon was cold, and the bread underneath was very crunchy.

Tartare de Saumon

Sal sal

This was a well done dish. The uncooked salmon was freshly cut into small pieces, with a raw quail egg overtop (interesting presentation!). What I did, was I mixed all the ingredients together. By doing so, it resulted in better complex flavor. The dill was a nice touch too. The texture of the salmon was identical to the texture of salmon sashimi and this dish was also a bit water like, due to the many different sauces.

Artic Char

ombre chevalier

This was delicious. It was more on the home cooking style, rather than gastronomic. The fish was cooked perfectly and the creamy sauce was very delicious. The rice fit right in (wasn’t annoying to eat). I wasn’t too full ( fish is light), which is a good thing, because I hate the feeling of being overstuffed. Overall, this was just what I needed at the time.

Apple crumble with vanilla ice-cream

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture. My apologies, I thought I snapped a picture, but I guess not :( Anyway, this was a pretty good dessert. The warm slices of apple  were mushy and sweet and the crumble part was, well, crumbly! The scoop of cold vanilla ice-cream, was served in a fat white spoon. It went very nicely with this dish, because it balanced the hotness and dryness of the apple and the crumble. I was satisfied.

Extra

extra sal

This too, wasn’t included, but was on the house. We have here, some baby chocolate chip cookies, mini strawberry marshmallows and some type of flaky pastry. It was a small after meal snack. The perfect ending to our lunch.

Overall price

The menu au fil du temps: 31,00 € or 47.74 $

Rating

9/10

MaSa, Paris, France

http://www.masa-paris.fr/

Masa, which stands for, “Manipulateur de Saveurs” (manipulator of flavors), is a one Michelin star restaurant with clean white tablecloths, modern décor and delicious gastronomic food. The service here is friendly, and the people here are dressed nicely. I decided to go with the four course menu, which in my case, was just enough to fill my stomach (not too much, not too little). For that, it was 60€ ($92.40 Canadian). The prices are very reasonable, considering the quality, effort and creativeness of the food.

Churros with tomato paste

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This was not one of the four courses, but a little starter. The thin sticks of churros were warm and very much reminded me of the ones I ate in Spain (churros are originally from Spain). The tomato paste went well with them, and so did the sprinkles of thin zesty tomato cheese.

Amuse-bouche

Amuse bouche green

An amuse bouche means to amuse the mouth. Usually used in French cooking to clean your pallet and give you an idea of what’s yet to come (prepare you for the next course). In the bigger bowl there were fresh scallops, and in the smaller bowl there was a warm puree soup, with cheddar cheese. The soup was smooth and the scallops were divine. Very delicious amuse-bouche.

Asparagus with mini strawberries

Asparagus and straw

As you can probably tell in this photo, the asparagus was huge! It nearly took up the whole plate. The strawberries on the other hand, were very petite and cute.  Anthony Bourdain said something along the lines of this, in one of his episodes, “You haven’t tried real vegetables, until you’ve tried them in Europe.” I most definitely agree with him. In North America, I’ve never really noticed that the vegetables were unsatisfactory, but ever since I tried this dish, I’m apalled at the poor quality we have. Seriously, if you ever go to Europe, eat a lot of vegetables! I was really impressed by the asparagus. It was so juicy, soft and flavorful. By far, the best asparagus I’ve ever had. The strawberries were also very tasty. Really enjoyed indulging this.

Squab

squab

The squab was pretty good,  but I’ve yet to discover a squab that’ll beat the one at Sun Sui Wah. This was cooked to perfection (really tender). It was interesting because the sauce they used was a bit sour, whereas the traditional Chinese way is prepared with a more salty taste. Personally, I like the classic squab better; it’s just something about the way the Chinese preparation that makes it so incredibly mouthwatering.

Sea bass

seabass

When you take a bite of the sea bass, it’s very tender (cooked perfectly). The pickled carrots are different from what I normally have - actually it was my first time trying a pickled carrot and there was also a puree of carrot underneath.  The presentation was great. It was very vibrant, colorful and fun. This dish was very good and I’m glad, because even though it was a big piece of fish, it wasn’t too filling!

Dessert: aloe cucumbers, green apples, arugula

dessert 1 

This dessert was very refreshing. The aloe Vera and cucumber were an interesting combination. It was light and sweet, but the aftertaste was very particular, a pretty weird taste. The green apples added a nice texture. A creative plate full of many green foods:)

Extras

cute after  cute medium

We have here, some extra little desserts that were on the house. There were pink cubes of raspberry marshmallows, cute little peanut butter macaroons, sugary squares of grape jelly and miniature white chocolate balls covered in coconut. The white chocolate balls were so good! It had a nice liquidly chocolate filling, with a surprise burst of truffle. I also really liked the peanut butter macaroon, it had the exact same texture as peanut butter from a jar.

Rating

9/10

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Etoile, Paris, France

http://atelier-robuchon-etoile.com/fr/accueil.php

We’re back for a second round at l’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. This time in Paris on the scenic Champs Elysees, the restaurant is located in the basement of a classy drugstore. The colors are exactly the same chic red and black as in Las Vegas. It is elegant and sleek, yet modern - something that should be appreciated as this makes for a very nice atmosphere. The spiral staircase leading to the front desk is complimented with a series of mirrors, and as you enter you see a classy glass foosball table and an interesting dry ice (I assume) fireplace.

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Again, we had the Menu <<Decouverte de Saison>>, a 9 course tasting menu meal which was very pricey at €175, which equates to about $271 CAD. We were seated at the bar; this time we could observe the creation of our dishes.

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Amuse-bouche to start:

Pour Commencer (royale cremeuse voile d’une emulsion parmesane au Maury Vieilles Vignes)

… To Start (Royal veil of creamy Maury Vieilles Vignes parmesan emulsion)

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Wonderful combination of smooth and creamy perfection in a glass. Great way to start the meal.

Le caviar imperial de Sologne (en symphonie de tartare de saumon aux pousses de shiso)

… Imperial caviar from Sologne (in symphony with salmon tartare with shiso sprouts)

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Intriguing presentation with the red spiral and a lovely gold accent. I loved the tartare and caviar, which is always a personal favorite. You can taste - and see – the quality here. Highly refined flavors accompanied with thin slices of toast which bring a light crunchy contrast.

La noix de Saint-Jacques (ravigotee de poivre noir de Malabar aux herbes en civet et epinards petites feuilles)

… Scallop (ravigote of black pepper from Malabar with herb stew and small spinach leaves)

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This dish seems rather gastronomic… Here, the ravigote (a mixture of chopped chervil, chives, tarragon, and shallots, used in cookery to give piquancy to a sauce or as a base for a herb butter – https://www.google.fr/search?q=what+is+a+ravigote&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&ie=&oe=&rlz=&gfe_rd=cr&ei=vkYsU6GVL7DY8gf4joDIBw) seems to be in a crunchy form rather than the typical liquid state as it is topped off with black peppery seasoning from India. Also, the “herb stew” is presented through foamy bubbles which appear nicely with the consistently cooked sea scallop.

La Truffle (sur un oeuf de poule miroir au plat, riz nacre dore aux copeaux de parmesan)

… The Truffle (fried hen egg mirrored to the plate, golden pearl rice with parmesan)

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Does the name of this dish seem familiar? If so, you may be correct as this happens to be the same concept as La Truffle in Las Vegas - at first I thought it would be the exact same! However, just as a picture says a thousand words, I guess one main ingredient may allow for countless recipe variations! This dish does not disappoint: the rice is slightly crispy, and black truffle always adds a touch of importance. Also involved in this dish is the delicacy Iberico ham (black footed Spanish pig).

Le Homard (en tsukune dans son bouillon epice au gingembre)

… The lobster (in tsukune in its spicy ginger broth)

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Another brilliant dish robust in flavors. A take on a more complex wonton soup, all the components of this dish (mushrooms, micro-greens) make for a great finishing product. So tasty, and the little “crevettes” wontons add a clever touch.

Le black cod (sous une mousseline de daikon au yuzu)

… The black cod (in a daikon yuzu mousseline)

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The presentation here was beautiful with the purple flower which adds a vibrant pop of color. In all honesty, the black cod was perfectly cooked – it slid apart like butter – giving it a wonderful texture, plus it tasted magnificent. The mousseline did not include yuzu, but more resembled a mild potato puree. Perhaps it was only meant to be a splash of flavor to accompany the violet blossom.

For the main dish, there was a choice of:

La Caille (caramelisee avec une pomme puree et salade d’herbes)

… Quail (with a carmelised apple puree and herb salad)

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and my choice of ↓ (contrary to everyone else, I decided on this because we previously had quail the other night. I’m glad I did!)

l’agneau de lait (en cotelettes dorees a la fleur de thym)

… Suckling lamb (golden chops and thyme)

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Not usually a huge fan of lamb, this was super delicious! The meat was perfect: tender, juicy, and very appetizing. However, it seemed to be missing mashed potatoes as seen in the quail dish… Either way, we all got more than enough in a bowl on the side. Regardless, I really enjoyed this dish, and it seemed the taste of lamb was almost concealed - either in the sauce or in the cooking technique.

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Even in the picture, you can see the creamy consistency of these world-famous mashed potatoes. Literally resembling velvet, I can’t understand how Robuchon gets these down to such a smooth, flawless, flowing texture while keeping it’s structure. It seems to be a puree, but it can’t be as it is not that fluid, and as I just said, it maintains a more solid form. Amazing!

Le Pralinas (cremeux praline noisette au yaourt, biscuit aux amandes, legerete a l’ananas)

… The Pralinas (creamy hazelnut praline yoghurt, almond cookie, light pineapple)

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This royal looking dessert was very refreshing and light, something different that I really appreciated. What stood out to me was the pineapple shaved ice! :) Not too sweet but everything complimented each other well and made for a very enjoyable dish.

Le Cara – Poire (fleur de caramel sur une gelee de poire parfumee a la vanille de Tahiti)

… The Cara Pear (caramel flower on a pear jelly perfumed à la Tahitian vanilla)

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A more simplistic dish, also light, but this time a bit sweeter. The caramel flower was interesting and almost like buttercream, but not so seemingly fattening and somehow seemed to have the consistency of a cookie as well. I liked the texture of the jelly puree although some might say that overall it is not as creative as you’d expect, and perhaps not such a memorable way to end the evening. The gold flakes were interestingly thicker than usual, like shaved chocolate.

Complimentary madeleines were given to finish the exciting meal.

Another unbelievable experience, fantastic flavors, we are extremely lucky. The service was friendly, and I got to practice a little bit of French! It’s no doubt that this place deserves it’s one Michelin star.

Rating:

9/10

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