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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Louis - New Kid in Town

Only 3 months old, Breton chef Stéphane Pitré's Louis has begun to make its mark on the Paris restaurant front.  The spacially-challenged, well-appointed venue in the 9th - somber blues on the outside and elegant whites on the inside houses a whopping 10 tables, providing the possibility of feeding 27 patrons.  There were fewer than that last Friday night when Co. and I went for dinner,  with a few tables still unoccupied by evening's end, and so nice that one of those empty tables was next to ours, providing a bit of privacy to our fascinating, enlightening conversation, which had to be toned down every two minutes when one of the two attentive and informative hostesses/servers - what is the politically correct term anyway? - kept hovering over my shoulder to work on the restaurant's computer to manage reservations, l'additions, etc.  It's that kind of place.  Monsieur Pitré and two assistants worked their fine-tuned choreography in the tiny, open kitchen providing, at least for me, endless amazement at how the three weren't constantly bumping into each other, but we're talking pros here.  The meal was outstanding, need I say more?  I'll think of something.

 As I had done my homework before arrival, I knew not to expect much from the carte, and true to expectation, beyond price and number of dishes, there was ... nothing. 

 Co. and I slummed it, opting for the Louis en 6 temps formule at 48€ a pop.  Throw in an intriguing 3-part mise-en-bouche and a quartet of end-of-meal patisseries, one does not leave Louis wanting for more.

Mise en bouche - a merangue croustillant with mustard, a green brioche, and although I can't remember what was the third, it was without doubt the tastiest

Temps 1 - a foie gras and bouillon de moules concoction that belied the chef's Breton origins

Temps 2 - Co.'s boeuf tartare with wasabi (and her hands)

Shying away from beef, my alternative was an amazing haddock and caviar dish

Temps 3 - an original take on Asian noodles - its bouquet enveloping a hefty langoustine, with raspberry garnish

Temps 4 - the photo doesn't do justice to this tender vollaile dish with girolles - probably the tastiest dish of the meal

Temps 5 - not that the meal wasn't copious enough, but this 'pre-dessert,' albeit very nice, wasn't much of a dish

Temps 6 - oh yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about - just because it's summer doesn't mean we have to limit ourselves to fruit; this chocolate mi-cuit with avocado ice cream and chocolate flakes left me wanting another one, now.

 No photo for the patisseries at the end - two financiers au poire and a couple fondant chocolates.  This was a great meal, with flavors spanning various parts of the globe.  The 48€ menu -or if you want, 62€ for 8 dishes - is a bargain and there were some reasonably priced, well-selected wines on the list, including the 37€ Chinon that accompanied our meal.  This is one we'll definitely be revisiting, although I highly doubt we'll have much luck with the empty table next to us in the future - once word gets out - or at least further than it has to date - get ready to have to reserve weeks in advance.

LOUIS  -  Stéphane Pitré
23 rue de la Victoire
75009 PARIS
tel. 01 55 07 86 52
website:  http://www.louis.paris/

As an inane postcript, as a baseball fan, and even more specifically, a Baltimore Orioles fan, I couldn't help thinking of O's Mexican-born starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez every time I glanced upon M. Pitré work his kitchen.  I don't know if anyone has ever seen the two in the same room at the same time, but they are both aces in my book.

The chef

The baseball player

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