Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Chez Les Anges

A classic French bastion of gastronomy gets a new chef and a new look

Chez Les Anges:
this restaurant was a bastion of classic cuisine for many years and when its owner retired, it changed hands several times. The savvy restaurateur, Jacques Lacipierre whose Au Bon Accueil has been so successful in the 7th arrondissement, finally took it over and renamed it after itself. The decor is modernized, the atmosphere warm, and the menu reflects the changes that French cuisine has undergone since classic haute cuisine days.

I thought that this place with its long history would be the perfect one to take my old high school friend, Janet and her husband David. We all enjoyed a spectacular meal and splurged on a wonderful 2002 Meursault from the Domaine de St. Evan.

We each had different appetizers. Janet took advantage of spring and ordered asperges de la Marne pochées, with a tomato émulsion. The tender white asparagus were extremely flavorful. David opted for an Escalope de foie gras de canard sautéed with white radishes in a raspberry vinaigrette. I suggested a glass of Sauternes with this, and it made for an excellent combination. I chose the Galette de Langoustines that was actually a mound of the langoustines in a galette shape served with a French green bean salad and a sauce of fresh tomatoes.

We all chose the Sole de Ligne St. Gilles Croix de Vie served meunière and it did not disappoint. It was a succulent piece of ultra-fresh line-caught fish delicately cooked and sauced.

With coffee came the wonderful mignardises and knowing that, we decided against dessert. Once again, in this restaurant, M. Lacipierre has created a winner. A restaurant to remember.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


My all time favorite Japanese restaurant in Paris: it is very simple but the food is spectacular.

Japanese people living in Paris don't go to Kunitoraya because they feel that compared to the prices for udon in Japan, this restaurant is very expensive. However, the calibre of the food is so good that I think it is worth the extra few euros. The decor leaves a lot to be desired but it is a typical Japanese udon place like those you would find in Japan: simple. The udon is made on the premises and is wonderful. I go there once a week and mostly get tenzaru udon which comes as a wooden screen covered with a swirl of udon that is topped with nori strips; on the side are wonderful just-made tempura, and a terrific dipping sauce for the udon and the tempura. You add ginger, sesame seeds and scallions to the dipping sauce and enjoy. It is a gourmet's delight and I can't get enough of it. Once you have eated everything, you can drink the dipping sauce. I give this dish an A+. The staff is wonderful and since I go very often, they know me and always welcome me with a konnichiha and smiles. At lunch time, there is a long line but it goes pretty quickly as people just go there to eat and leave. I have seen lines there in the freezing cold, so good is the udon and so worth the price of 16 euros for tenzaru udon and about 10 or 12 euros for the other soups. I also get a wonderful miso soup that is full of udon, leeks and pork and the next time I go, I want to get the curry udon.

After 7, the restaurant becomes an izakaya and they serve small tapas-type dishes such as maki with plum paste and agedashi dofu. Of course, you can always get the udon.This place is an authentic breath of Japan in central Paris.