Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Paris Thai and day in Lyon

A new Thai restaurant in Paris and an excursion to Lyon for some fine dining

Eric and I went to Reuen Thai restaurant in Belleville. Recommended by a Japanese friend, this restaurant serves very authentic Thai preparations with the beautiful presentations that are so ubiquitous in nice restaurants in Thailand. I had a delicious soft shell crab with crispy garlic starter. I love spicy food and so ordered a green bean concoction with squid that was served in a hot pepper sauce with sweet red peppers. To counter the heat of the dish,I chose a lovely plate of sautéed noodles and vegetables which was also very good. Eric chose a whole bass baked with ginger and vegetables. I find that the whole fish preparations are usually extremely dependable choices in the Thai restaurants.

About a week later, I took a day and went to Lyon, the city known as the Stomach of France. There are so many wonderful restaurants there, but most serve extremely heavy lyonnais food: quenelles de brochet in a cream sauce, or sausages in brioche crusts. However, there are also more contemporary restaurants which serve upscale dishes. I chose a one-star restaurant known as Les Terrasses de Lyon. It is in the old part of the city atop one of the hills. The diningroom has a gorgeous view of the city.

I decided to opt for the menu dégustation, as I had come to Lyon to eat. However, the restaurant does serve a lovely 3-course menu for lunch that costs 48 euros without beverages.

My menu dégustation began with four petites amuses bouches. There was an egg shell filled with a bit of egg, tomato gelée and baby vegetables, topped with cream; salmon sushi with raifort; an oyster on a toast topped with a balsamic vinegar gelée and a cube of foie gras with a compote of figs. A very nice opening to the meal.

My first course was a dish of two large roasted gambas served with small vegetables and squid ribbons. The squid sat atop a little toast and was very nice. Next was a whole lobster tail served with a spring roll of vegetables: a very luxurious dish. It was sauced with citronelle and galanga--straight from Asia. The main course was a delicious pigeon with a tartine of confit of onions and a little sausage made of the offal of the pigeon. I love offal and ate this part up right away. The pigeon was braised in a little clay pot and flavored with verbena and white peaches. Delicious!!

To go with each course, the restaurant proposed some excellent wines including a Puligny Montrachet with the lobster. This selection could be chosen at the beginning of the meal and was well worth it.

Unfortunately, I had no room for cheese and so went on to the dessert courses. To introduce the main dessert was an ice cream bar of passion fruit sorbet wrapped in chocolate and accompanied with a tiny cup of chocolate mousse. I chose the soufflé au chocolat for dessert. Although it was beautiful, it was the only disappointing part of the meal as no one can make a soufflé as well as I or my mother can! I am usually not happy with restaurant chocolate soufflés but since I love them, I make the mistake of ordering them. With coffee came a lavish assortment of petit fours and chocolates.
The lunch was extremely expensive but I did order the menu dégustation which is usually served at dinner. I was happy with the menu and all in all, it was a successful journey. I am sorry I forgot to bring my camera as the view was lovely and the meal was beautifully presented.