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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Alain Milliat - It's In the Juice

It's a juice bar, it's a tea shop, it's an elegant restaurant, it's a boutique, it's a human being.  A person could go crazy, hypnotized by the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in the upwardly mobile 7th and coming across the  corner establishment on rue de Grenelle, Alain Milliat.  Yes, it is all these things, including a Telerama recommended stop for Saturday brunch with the 'mamies et papys.'

Four of us met up for dinner (on reservation, of course) a couple of rainy (aren't they all?) Friday evenings ago in our handsome attire, not really knowing what to expect.  What we found was a place that looked like this, and those are indeed Alain Milliat juices lining the walls (actually, I 'found' the photos as well, online):

As Co. and I awaited our dinner companions, we were chatted up, and chatted up, and chatted up, by the server who apparently was really lonely until we arrived.  Part of the chatting involved convincing Co. that she simply must try an Alain Milliat mandarine juice.  I would have joined her, but with so much alcohol in the world, who has time for juice, except on top of whatever I'm eating for dinner.  When I asked Co. earlier today for her assessment of said juice, she said, "It was good," then she said, "It was high quality," and then she said, "It was excellent."  The moral of this story, I guess, is that the AM juices really grow on you.  Fortunately, our dinner companions arrived just in the nick of time.  After some confusion about the 'menu degustation' vs. the ala carte selections, Co. and I opted for the menu and our companions ended up with half the selections we took, only twice as big, so I guess it evens out, except on the bill which turned out to be twice as expensive for us.  As my elegantly-scarved cohort later moralized, "It all evens out in the end."

The food was very good, which is all you really want to know anyway, am I right or am I right?  Well, in my humble opinion, you will probably not be disappointed, and may, depending on your whims, well be quite delighted.  First, the offerings:

And now, what some of the offerings looked like, decoded:

This colorful entree was the marinated lotte and it was terrific, so good that it's worth looking at a second time, with different lighting:

This all-natural mushroom dish was a creative preparation, although rather skimpy on the mushrooms, especially relative to the non-menu degustation plate.

  This delicate salmon filet was light and vaporized.

For my money, this canette and yams dish was the pinnacle.

A humble, yet satisfying, bonus cheese dish for the menu degustation, with a well-appointed confecture - bread, cheese, confecture, wine - could anything so simple be so French?

 More evidence that the young, creative neo-bistrot chefs of Paris (in this case, the Brit Jon Irwin) forego the traditional cake and tarte dessert offerings for more oddball glace, fromage, praline, etc. concoctions, and this one, with its - do I remember this correctly? - cucumber/cumin ice cream was very, very nice.

As mentioned, you get more dishes, but less quantity, with the menu degustation (65€), so if there are a couple things that really, really tempt you on the blackboard, go ala carte (34€).  One of our companions was quite impressed by the cauliflower risotto, which is not pictured here, mainly because I didn't want to embarrass her by leaning over her plate with my tablet camera.  We ripped through a couple bottles of a very fine Morellino di scansano, one of several reasonably priced reds on the wine menu (34€).  

159 rue de Grenelle
75007 Paris
tel: 01 45 55 63 86

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