Stépane, Rose, and Zach When my friend Ariane Daguin of D’Artagnon (who introduced foie gras from her native Gascony to America) invited me to be the judge at a fun contest during the James Beard Awards in May I wrote back telling her how much I would love to have participated but that I would be in Paris at the time and asked her instead for a restaurant recommendation. She suggested her friend Hélène Darroze’s restaurant (of the same name). It was only my second night in Paris but despite jet lag and fatigue I enjoyed every moment of it and did not for a moment fall asleep at the table ( I have been know to do so when really tired). Zach invited his Parisian friend Stépane and the three of us were all in agreement to order the eight course dégustation dinner with accompanying wines (Vouvray Clos du Bourg 2007, Meursault Les Tillets 2006, Château Brown Pessac-Léognan 2003 and Jurançon Uroulat 2007. To sum it up, we walked out of the restaurant best friends forever! Here are some of the details of our delight (I was far too smitten with everything to remember to photographs some of the courses): Foie gras de canard des Landes with rhubarb chutney, fraises des bois (wild strawberries), and beet juice (what an exquisite dish)
Large langoustine roasted with Tandoori spices and the most amazing mousseline of baby carrots with coriander Sea bass with poached white asparagus, clam juice, seaweed butter and sturgeon caviar from the Aquitaine (No photo) Pigeon breast rubbed with cacao, with bulgar and preserved lemon and wild fennel, with a Mexican mollé sauce Selection of cheeses You can tell by the absence of dessert photos that I was beyond the ability to focus with a camera but I can report that they were on par with the rest of the dinner.