Just like Le Timbre, I had my eye on Le Chateaubriand months before I left. But of course, after my my experience at Le Timbre, I was very very worried my high hopes would leave me high and dry. Luckily, this was not the case.
Le Chateaubriand is making quite the name for itself. Self-taught chef Iñaki Aizpitarte was just rewarded a debut place on San Pellegrino’s Top 50 Restaurants in the World (no. 40) and the fantastic reviews keep pouring in. That was good enough for me, but really sold me as mentioned previously was value – the 5-course dinner prix fixe is 45 euro. You can get lunch for 14, but it’s simpler. Dinner, I hear, is much more worth it.
The restaurant itself is small, but not too crowded. I didn’t feel out of place dining alone. For dinner, no matter if you’re 1 person or 10, you absolutely must book a table. I’ve been told that trying to do so is hell as they rarely answer the phone, but I didn’t have a problem.
My first reaction: W00t! Pigeon. I heart pigeon. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Amuse Bouche – Salad with large (raw?) prawns
I love ordering food in France when you’re not fluent in the language. I get by well enough, but my vocab is definitely not up to speed, especially with more obscure ingredients or fancy names for different types of crustaceans. When I tried this, it ‘looked’ like raw shrimp, and it kind of tasted like shrimp, but I wasn’t quite sure it was. Whatever, though – you just kind of have to go with it. It was delicious. Very light, almost minty. It was the perfect palette cleanser to start my amazing meal. 8/10
Starter – Cow’s milk mozzarella with fennel and salmon roe
It’s odd – I wasn’t sure what to expect with this. I assumed it would be pleasant ( I mean, just look at it!), but I had no idea how well it could work together. On the plate, there was a lot of fennel, which can often be overpowering, but the subtle creaminess of the cheese and the saltiness of the roe (I love it when those little things explode in your mouth) balanced it all out. It was light and refreshing and perfect in every way imaginable. 10/10
Fish course – Monkfish with carrot
After my high from the starter I was ready for things to go downhill, which it did with the fish course (picked back up again after, don’t worry). Monkfish is ok, but it’s certainly not my favourite fish. Carrots are ok, but they’re certainly not my favourite vegetable. So when you put the two together, well… you see where it’s going. What I did like though was the nice sprinkling of fresh sea salt on the fish, the light foam with a hint of carrot and the fact that it was so perfectly portioned, there was ne’er a bite where I didn’t have a little piece of carrot, a little piece of fish and dollop of foam all together. 6/10
Meat course – Pigeon with beetroot
Pigeon makes me feel bad for vegetarians. Every single time I eat it, I make audible noises and lament in disbelief how one could willingly give up such a fantastic bird. This pigeon was amongst the best I’ve ever had. It was perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked and perfectly accompanied by slightly sweet beetroot slices and slightly bitter radicchio. I dream about this bird. 10/10
Dessert – Strawberry Chantilly
Well, it’s not much to look at, that’s for sure… Underneath the giant layer of foam (which looks curiously thick and heavy in that picture, but in reality was very cloud-like) are fresh strawberries and chunks of macaroons. Yum! After the pigeon, I was looking for something very light, and this was perfect. It wasn’t the most inventive or the best dessert I’ve ever had, but it was definitely good. 7/10
Le Chateubriand was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. Service was great (and great to look at too I might add). Classically French, but brimming with ingenuity. Quite simply, anyone visiting Paris should eat here.
129 Avenue Parmentier, 11th 75011 Paris
+33 1 43 57 45 95