David Toutain

Sophisticated, refined and elegant. It’s French with a strong Japanese accent. An Asian aesthetic carries through to a minimalist décor inspired by nature. Service is polished and professional, and with lots of space between tables, nothing will distract you from the food which demands your attention. Let them start you off with a glass of champagne, it is a gorgeous rose, and will set the mood for the meal to come.

The menu changes constantly, based on peak produce and the chef’s whim, but many dishes carry over from day to day with small seasonal variations. Squid Tagliatelle is just the squid itself, cut gossamer thin and served in fragrant lemongrass broth, it is as tender as the silken pasta it resembles. Tomatoes in Tomato Water is a distillation of tomato flavor perfected with both basil oil and basil powder; while Eel with Sesame is its antithesis, layering smoky, bacon-like unagi with a rich creamy black sesame sauce. Instead of the typical sweet fruit accompaniment, Seared Foie Gras is paired with almonds, olives, cherries and pickled onions, for layer upon layer of flavor: nutty, rich, salty, briny, sweet and acidic. Even an entrée of Normandy chicken wows, served almost pink with crispy skin and tender flesh still full of its natural jus, it is a revelation. This is food that will surprise, delight and astound.

29 Rue Surcouf, Paris. http://www.davidtoutain.com; tel: +33 1 45 50 11 10

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