Frenchie is a tiny bistro style restaurant which is all about seasonal menu that changes frequently according to the fresh products on the market. Chef an owner Gregory Marchand invited me for a dinner at his prize-winning restaurant just before I get to start working there as a stagier. This is why I was very excited and a bit nervous when I got there. If you missed my previous post about the restaurant service we had at Ferrandi with Marchand as a guest chef, you should take a look here. Our table was booked for 7pm, and we were the first to arrive and be seated , admiring the cozy feeling of the place, looking at the menu. Laura introduced herself as our waitress and sommelier and said that the chef has planned a tasting menu for us and she’ll match the wine to taste with each of the courses. Ou-la-la! What an honor!
The menu is short and consists of two options for entrée, two for plate, two desserts and a cheese. Perfect to go as a couple, try everything and come back again when the menu changes. The wine menu is longer but I would recommend taking Laura’s advice as her matching was done professionally and all the wines she chose for us were excellent. I can honestly say it was the one single time I enjoyed tasting the food as much as I enjoyed the matching of the wine. This is no doubt another specialty of the place, the recently opened Frenchie Wine Bar across the street has already won some prizes for the best wine bar in Paris (no need for reservations!).
Didn’t take a lot of time before the tasting begun. The first course wasn’t an Amuse Bouche but a pre-starter called “Pour débuter”
It was creamy with the artichoke surprises inside and had a film of jellied consomé, then the very fragrant black truffles on top. Unlike many of the foie gras dishes I tried, it was all savory but the wine matched had a sweetness to balance the dish but not to overpower it.
Mackerel smoked à la minute on a citrus soup with fennel and dill. Was an excellent dish with smokeness versus tart-sweetness coming from the juice. The wine to accompany this dish was dry white I wish I remembered which exactly.
Scallop and pork belly with jerusalem artichoke and purpule cabbage. Both Shane and I hearing about the purée of topinambours (Jerusalem artichoke) had raised an eyebrow because it’s something we cooked several times in school and kinda had a joke about everything has to be served with it. But it was delicious and tasted so different. We guessed it was cooked inside a stock before puréed. Our question was passed to the kitchen and indeed it was cooked in chicken stock. It was a “surf & turf” dish but felt very meaty due to the jus.
Veal sweetbread, cocoa nibs and turnip. My favorite dish of the meal. The sweetbreads were cooked then fried in corn flour to add crunchiness. We discovered turnip 4 (!) ways: pureed, cooked, pickled and raw. The sauce had the cocoa nibs in it and was very rich. Excellent.
Lamb, kalamata olives, grapes and lemon confit. The lamb was cooked sous-vide so it was very tender and soft, the kalamata paste underneath slightly cooked green leaves. The finishing fresh leaves on top of each course were all thoughtfully seasoned.
The cheese course was actually an english cheese but a very good one, stilton, served with speculoose butter which is something French love for a good reason, it’s this caramel cookie often served with coffee turned into a spread like peanut butter. Together with poached pear seasoned with black pepper made a very nice plate.
I loved that dessert. It’s not easy to serve a good dessert in a small chef restaurant without a pastry chef but I think they nailed it with this one. It wasn’t over sweet, but light and interesting dish that had so much flavor and a bit of texture but mostly smooth and sooo gooood Panna cotta matched with the unthinkable butternut squash. Bravo!
For those who prefer the chocolaty ending to a meal we also had this croissant and pain au chocolate bread pudding with sweet and salty butter ice-cream, caramel sauce and smoked lard on top. Yes.