"vous connaissez notre formule?" asked the person at the other end of the line, rather brusquely, "we only have one menu and it's 'prix-fixe'", he added before quickly hanging up. and so, the tone was set for was to be, surprisingly, a fantastic dinning experience at le chateaubriand...
in fact, this "neo-bistro" is everything one can expect from a hip, up-and-coming restaurant in paris. it's cool, it's aloof, and its a real culinary treat.
the service was suitably distant but mindful and clearly understanding that i was there for a culinary experience and made sure of it the whole evening.
the menu is short (5-course), "fixe", and changes every day. each dish, carefully prepared by a team led by inaki aizpitarte (in photo), a basque native, was at every bite impactful, subtle and complex all at once. my main, simply listed as "tranche de boeuf, aubergine", was stunning. perfect "cuisson" and served on a bed of "burnt" eggplant. a stunning taste. i was told afterwards that the eggplants are baked twice until they are slightly burnt and pureed with "secret" oils to make them taste smoky, tender, and somewhat "char-grilled". with a syrah from cornas, it was a divine combination.
the wine list is organic and there is a large black board at the back of the restaurant which list the names of all wine makers listed on their wine menu. as i always do when the menu is fix, i asked the waiter to pair each dish with a different wine so that i can explore the full spectrum of taste and matching possibilities. i was not disappointed!
located in the 11th arrondissement, the decor is bistro of 30-50 years ago and the atmosphere, i can only imagine, feels the same.
listed for the 1st time on the san pellegrino list of the 50 best restaurants in the world (#40), le chateaubriand is moving fast up the list.
le chateaubriand: 129 av. parmentier, 11e, paris, tel: 01-43-57-45-95