7.4 Neige d'ete, 12, rue de l'amiral-Roussin in the 15th, 01.42.73.66.66, closed Sundays and Mondays (Metro: Cambronne) opened a bit back and got some buzz on CH and other sites but I hesitated to go. Why? Because it sounded like another resto with hard-working Japanese chefs (4) in an open-kitchen, a gun-metal exterior and a whiff of pretension. (But we'll come to that soon.)
Actually, we'll come to it now. I made the reservation and the person taking the rez asked several times if I knew it was a fixed menu and if we had any food allergies or pseudo-allergies (I made that last part up, sorry). I said "No, no, no, no, no." On entering, our friends from this part of Indian country were already indulging, so I asked for the wine list. "Oh" one said, you're going to love it, "it's on an iPad." So I thought I'd see a list of wines and prices - unh unh - an opening page of all sorts of colored wines - white, red, rose and for all I know violet. And I click on the red or white or whatever and get 12 regions and countries, each with one wine at 370 E or some other outrageous price and I ask the waitlady - "isn't there a printed list I can look at and see it all at once?" "No!"
Meanwhile, my friend, who got into UC Berkeley which I didn't, says "Madame, I need to find the cheapest white wine, how do I do that?" Stunned, she says "I'll call the sommelier." Across from him, I'm working my way through the 78 pages and after 30 minutes of clicking, I've arrived at the Portuguese red wine at 37 E. At the same time, miraculously, across from me, the sommelier says to my friend "the Portuguese white is what you desire." Jeez!
So to the food:
- foie gras with pear or quince (depending on whose deaf ears heard it) confiture and raison bread
- a potimarron soup (when will the chefs here realize this is so yesterday?) on top of diced chestnuts
- squid with rice topped with smoky chorizo and tiny zucchini flowers
- chicken with a terrific sauce, foie gras and purple potatoes with mushrooms (pix TBP: courtesy Passive Missives)
- cheese for one of us and
- pannacotta with raspberry sauce; a rosemary and verbeine sorbet; and a chocolate tart (ditto)
All were perfect, not a missed step, but they lacked what an Internet friend of mine calls "the chef's soul on the plate."
I did a search of Parisian restos where I've used the same terminology ("Perfect - too perfect") and found it included: Jeremie, the Ferme St Simon, Es, L'Agape and Blue Valentine (40% with Japanese chefs). Now when I was a kid I was told all Hong Kong toys broke soon after Christmas and Japanese skis were all imitations of Heads and Rossignols and while I don't really want to believe the national stereotypes that the Germans are, as a nation, all obsessive-compulsive, the Italians loosey-goosey and the French all great lovers, who knows?
Anyway, our bill with 3 bottles of wine, their filtered water and 2 coffees was 258 E or 129 E a couple.
Go? Sure if you want a "perfect" meal.