Valentines Day in Paris France
I like fine dining the way Sherrie likes nice purses. Taking the opportunity to get away by rolling a Christmas, birthday and St. Valentine day gift all into one by taking her to two of our favorite places in the world – London and Paris France. We completed all the shopping on the trip at Vendome Chanel and to complete our special week; Valentines dinner was to be at the famous and noted Antoine.
Making a reservation as soon as the dates became available was more than necessary for this restaurant. Chef Thibault Sombardier from Lyon, France has been the head chef here since 2013. This chef is boasting a Michelin star as well as being a finalist on Top Chef 2014. So our excitement to try his cuisine was on our bucket list.
The night finally arrives
We arrived by taxi at 10, avenue de New York a little early so we decided to take a short walk across the street to the Pont d’lena to view the Eiffel Tower. After taking lots of video and photo’s of this special monument at night we headed back to Antoine. Modern interior was the design of the restaurant; neat and stylish. There was an open kitchen to be able to view the chef and staff hard at work.
Antoine features seafood and for this romantic holiday dinner along with the view of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower we were anything but disappointed. The service while neither pushy nor stuffy, it was impeccable. Our waiter answered all of our questions politely and engaged in conversation when we initiated it but never felt that he was hovering, rather allowing us to enjoy each bite of the delicious food.
Our wine was 2011 Monopole 1st Cru from Chateau Puligny-Montrachet, Appellation Nuits-Saints-Georges, or a Pinot Noir from the Bordeaux region. Scheduled menu was a six course pre fix menu as well as three other “tastes” that were not on the menu.
When the food arrived it was as beautiful as it was delicious. Our first official course was the Tartar of Mullet from the open sea with a rice emulsion and white sesame seeds. The depth of flavor was amazing and we simply stared at one another at the first taste… and mouthed OMG!
Next presented to our table was a Bread Soufflé with Lobster and a creamy bisque with lemongrass infusion. Followed by a Black Truffle and soufflé of creamed artichoke with an emulsion of parmesan. A special display of truffles was brought to our table for shaving on top of the emulsion. White gloves are a must when carrying an almost priceless amount of black truffle. Have I mentioned how much I love Black Truffles? Sherrie was in love with the Lobster, display and how delicious it was that it melted in your mouth.
You hear stories of couples that have been together for a long time and are able to communicate without speech; this was one of those nights. Sherrie doesn’t go out of her way for food the way that I do. However, this night we spent most of the evening talking to one another about the cuisine. We agreed on how amazing the tastes were as well as the depths of flavor, presentation and service. That never happens with us, normally we find plenty of other things to have a conversation about but that night the food was magical.
After receiving a little breather, the main was brought out. The main was a grilled Sole filleted at the table with Viennese walnuts, carrots and a yellow wine sauce. As you can tell from the photograph below the sole smelled so delicious we forgot to take a photo before tasting; actually we were almost done!
And the night just keeps on….For a pallet cleanser we were served a White Cheese in sorbet with meringue and finally a Grapefruit mousse with candied ginger.
We thought the meal complete at this point, silly us, we should never make an assumption at Antoine’s.
SURPRISE!!! Of course Chef can not have you leave without experiencing a true Parisian soufflé! And then one more dessert to go!
All good things must come to an end
Furthermore, the open kitchen was running like a well- oiled machine all night and Chef took time to talk to several patrons later in the evening. Service was impeccable by waiters, runners and of course the sommelier. While we waited for the bill they brought us some handmade chocolates that were heavenly. However, we did not leave empty handed as they presented us with a bottle of Champagne to be enjoyed later in the evening, it was Valentines day after all.
Therefore, if you were ever to find yourself in Paris and have a fondness for seafood done extremely well, do whatever it takes to get a table at Antoine. Antoine was definitely worth the hop over the pond, the far in advance reservation and the very special Valentines dinner!