Paris: Friday night, dinner at Apicius

This is one of my favorite places in Paris. The location amazes: it's in its own private park, with parking in front of the house, behind tall hedges. There are several dining rooms, and some small and some larger private salons. We started coming to Apicius when they were where they started, an unprepossessing neighborhood restaurant, and this is quite a change, in location and in character.

I'm sure sure there's a story; there always is. Fortunately the cooking hasn't changed, only gotten better and better.

The beautiful red cocktail to the left is the house apéritif. It is called a Royal Red and it is champagne and fresh raspberry juice.

The amuse-bouche was a play on mushrooms: in the little cup were three layers, mushroom froth on top, then creamy warm mushroom soup, and then on the bottom cold mousse of mushrooms. The chef-owner, Jean-PierreVigato (actually I think the ownership might be more complicated), has always been sensitive to the seasons and likes to do more than one thing at a time with his ingredients. He's that rare professional cook who's completely self-taught; he learned to cook because he loves food.  His food is original and thoughtful without being prissy. He has two Michelin stars; we think he deserves another.

White asparagus has a very brief season; it was just about over when we were in Brussels and really who goes to Lyon for vegetables? So when we learned that there was a special asparagus entrée not on the menu, we said Yes please!

At the left of the plate, green asparagus topped with a salad of slivers of asparagus and baby fava beans, touch of coriander, the whole thing topped off with an incredibly flavorful fried basil leaf. At the right of the plate, warm white asparagus in truffle sauce, a little beef marrow in back of it.

Our main course was something we've never had anywhere else; it looks like a well-roasted duck with a generous slab of hot foie gras in a nice sauce. And it is. And the sauce is very nice, tangy, rich, a little sweet-sour, a little spicy, perfect

accompaniment to the duck. And when there's no more duck and no more foie gras, and you run your spoon across the plate for the last of that sauce, now cooler, little thicker, the sauce makes itself better known. It's bittersweet chocolate. I try not to order this every time I come here, because there are so many other good things to choose from, but every once in a while...

Dessert: symmetry. Having begun with a raspberry apéro, we finished with a raspberry soufflé with raspberry coulis.  Oh, and a scoop of raspberry sorbet. Can't wait to come back.

And not to complain, but after I got this post and a few that follow done in Paris, on my Iphone, Blogger bounced them, so I'm cleaning them up and posting from New York. Just think, all that time thumbing away when I could have been eating. Or shopping.


  1. Stop it already! Or take me with you or at least send me your doggie bag ...

  2. Hi, Tiffany Rose! this is a short trip, so we compressed all our dinner events into a few days and had tiny breakfasts and lunches. I was actually looking around to see if the doggy bag had come to France, since so many other American customs and practices are making inroads. This: so far, not.


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