Before I get started with this place, let me just say that it was the best wine experience we had on our entire trip. There is a very important distinction between the Michelin Star system and the Wine Spectator Award system. With Wine Spectator, there are three levels, Award of Excellence, which is like a bronze medal, Best of Award of Excellence like a silver medal, and Grand Award which is the gold medal. See below for the definition so that I won’t belabor the point. When we first came here 5 years ago it had 2 Stars, but I guess it was downgraded.
Benjamin, the sommelier, was a fucking rock star. He had me eating out the palm of his hand. I was helpless in his path of passionate enthusiasm which was quite intoxicating. He and I were like a couple of manic patients on the loose with the wine list. I think besides just trying to make a sale, he saw that we were generous in sharing pours with him on midrange gems, so I think he was as excited to open up some of his favorite bottles as we were. I even left the restaurant with bags of wine. It was fucking sick. I almost had a heart attack when I saw the $2800.00 Euro bill for Fuckin lunch! But I left with 4 bottles of some sick ass wine on top of that.
Not only did we have the best wine of the trip, but also the best dessert. Best souffle of all the places we ate, and we ate at some sick ass places. But the icing on the cake was after this amazing lunch, watching France kick Argentina’s ass and eject Messi from the World Cup. With Erika being Mexican, we have a special place in hell for Argentina in our hearts. Scenes like those below are the norm now that you have a racist President modeling hate.
I digress, back to Paris. Though the restaurant is nice, you can tell it hasn’t had a facelift since the 90’s, and their menu contains Xerox’ed pages. Is Xerox’ed even a word anymore? There I go showing my age. For you Millenials out there, this means photo-copied.
I can’t put my finger exactly on why I felt it was dated, maybe the cheesy vinyl chairs? and spotlights hanging on a metal wire. Is this why it was downgraded to 1 Star? I otherwise liked the cave look of the counter, and it’s old Abbey look on the ground floor.
Though I was completely under-dressed for even a 1-star place, it was hot that day and we were having lunch afterall, but the number one get out jail pass was that I had my World Cup France jersey on.
Before jumping into this meal, I happened to find archived footage from our first meal here 5 years ago, so there is some bonus food porn in this blog post.
OMG, look at that soft boiled egg on top of ash and organic greens from their garden. I still vividly remember this dish.
With this house bread, they cooked fresh daily, the perfect sponge to sop this plate with. Look at the air bubbles in this bread. They cut it with a saw over this slatted breadboard that they still have to this day.
We opted for the wine pairing on this initial trip, which still had stellar wine, but at a lower price point.
I think we skipped the cheese cart on our most recent trip, but the first visit 5 years ago, was a legit cheese binge. Look at that stinky runny one dripping off the spoon, Fuck!
Wow, we were actually at the same table 5 years ago upon looking at this photo.
My life was about to change in this photo. Best macaron I have ever had in my life, black truffle.
Now its time for the real shit show. Our latest visit this past June.
Let the games begin. Look at that golden color, Holy Fuck!
Look at the mischievous look on Benjamin’s face. He’s thinking, “they don’t know what they are in for….”
Damn, this wine was perfection. Even at $300/bottle, it was well worth it. It’s not even that the price is prohibitive, it is just out of stock everywhere. Got the lunch off to a good start.
It’s almost a nuclear orange color here. There was one review I found online that pretty much sums it up.
“Loved this thick creamy, buttery chard. So many different layers, textures – butterscotch, fat, cream, caramel, oaky, toasty. Very full-bodied delicious wine.”
A nice palate cleanser of cucumber and salmon roe with a green sauce I cannot remember the origin of.
A lobe of foie gras, half-cooked with black truffles with some nasturtium leaves, which have a pungent oystery taste. It was paired amazingly with rosemary and apricot chutney. The wine pairing with this dish was heavenly. Knocked the ball out of the park, and we are just on the first course.
We got the 6-course tasting menu with 3 bottles of wine between the two of us throughout lunch, and surprisingly the food itself was a total steal at $180 euros per person for the truffle surprise menu, which gave me the freedom to go apeshit on the wine purchasing. They even have a basic menu here for $99 euros per person, which is not bad at all for Paris.
OMG, I was having a moment here with the cuttlefish ink and fishbone juice.
This was so fucking bomb!! Cappellacci stuffed with sea bass and black truffle with thick sliced of black truffle on top.
They don’t call this place La Truffiere for nothing. Probably the apex of the day, but I was riding this emotional high the entire rest of the day. Not that the food got bad after this, it just got progressively heavier.
This was the Risotto made not only with black truffle but also with had thick slices of black truffle on top, with the truffle infused foam. Pure truffle orgy here.
This led us to the next bottle for consumption. We just decided to stick to white Burg today. The same producer, in fact, vertical tasting.
I was in wine heaven, and here was the Bible. Standing next to me was John the Baptist, about to Baptize my ass.
This was the part where he was Geeking out about his favorite Jesus Juice in the Bible.
Hence the eating out of his hands statement earlier.
Erika can tell that look that I get when my eyebrows go up. That means the bank is being broken.
We definitely bought some shit to take home.
Oh Jess…I took these 3 and another of the 2001 Merseault shown earlier. I would have got the ’98 as well, but we got the last bottle they had for lunch. I think Benjamin was waiting for the right person to recommend that bottle to. We were very appreciative.
Thankfully this was the last course as we had more wine than food, and we still have the rest of the day to drink while watching the World Cup game.
Oxtail stew, mashed potatoes, and black truffle.
Look at the au jus. I don’t even have to explain. It really tasted as good as it looked.
Before dessert, we got a quick tour of the wine cellar.
One of my favorite regions, Condrieu, which Benjamin also had a niche interest in. In fact, he picked out two very special ones for me to take home.
Fuck, 1978 Petrus. Had I gotten this bottle it would have doubled my current tab. On second thought, I should have gone for it since it was my 40th birthday afterall. I needed to pace myself though as we still had a lot of restaurants in Paris left.
One of my favorite Rhone producers, Guigal.
I thought this was uni.
It was actually roasted apricot with black truffle honey and ricotta ice cream. Fuckety fuck!
Talk about the perfect pair. Drum roll, please.
Boo ya, half bottle of a Chateau Yquem 1999 Sautern. This, my friends, is the cream of the crop. For a whisky lover, you know what to expect when you get a Yquem cask whisky, which was the added bonus for me. So fucking sick!! Honeysuckle, apricot, exactly what we ate it with.
You, my friend, are an evil genius!
But wait, here is the real dessert I have waited for 5 years for. I remember the first time we ate here 5 years ago, Macaroons were a like a fad buzzword item, and to have a black truffle macaron was like being on cloud 9, and the memory had always stayed in my head. Well, good things come to those in wait. They also had black truffle caramels in one of those jars that were to die for.
A private moment, please.
As if that was not enough, my life was about to change for a second time at this restaurant.
Hot souffle with black truffle honey and ricotta ice cream. It does not get better than this. Best souffle we had all trip.
What better pairing that some Armagnac. 1950. Probably the oldest I have ever had. This was only a few years after WW2 ended.
Look at his presentation, like he’s about to perform a magic trick with his jazz fingers. Talk about pure satisfaction. I was in such a good mood at the end of this lunch. This was the second time here and it did not disappoint at all.
What an amazing meal!! The first lunch we had the entire trip, where the meals were all dinners so far. It was nice to be able to still be able to walk around and sightsee after eating, allowed us to get a second wind. We just wandered upon this totally happening square a stone’s throw from the restaurant.
People just spilling out onto the sidewalks, it was wonderful.
This town had World Cup fever.
Talk about convenient location, didn’t even miss the start of the game, just walked across the street.
The frustration of missing the penalty kick that would have completely put the game away. It’s ok, they still won 4-3.
This was such a cozy bar. They had the tally of winners and losers thus far scrawled across the wall.
It was great walking around Paris after France beat Argentina. Sorry, it feels so good to keep typing that, I can’t resist. I always dreamed of coming to Europe to watch a World Cup soccer game, because, in the US, no one gives a fuck about soccer, except Mexicans, who are soccer nuts.
I have vivid memories of complete jealousy of my best friend Mego in college, going to live in Italy for a few months and I remember him with his Beckham hairstyle tied back with a bandana back in the early 2000’s sitting in the stadium wearing a team Italy jersey. He would email me pictures of his adventures at that time, and I was in such awe of his life and imagined how dope that would be to be in Europe at the source. It was like I was finally walking in his shoes. He tragically died in a motorcycle accident, so I think a part of me does these things to retrace my footsteps and keep his memory alive in my head and heart.
I can’t believe I took such a good picture while I was drunk as fuck.
Total Mardi Gras vibe after this victory. Basically, Argentina was the toughest team, so once they were knocked out of the tournament, it was almost a guarantee that France was going to win the World Cup that year, which they did.
Look at this Where’s Waldo shot. Here I am walking along with my birthday gifts.
Endless beauty around every corner. Just getting lost walking around was worth it.
When in doubt, just follow the Senne, and you will eventually find your way back to wherever you started. Utterly mind blowing beauty here. We were so lucky with the weather and cumulus clouds this trip. I couldn’t have asked for more.