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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pierre Sang on Gambey - Voila, A Winner

I'll admit right from the start that this is going to be a piss-ass review, pardon mon francais.  I don't have the names of dishes, I don't have a photo of the carte - there wasn't one - I quickly forgot two or three key ingredients of each dish about ten seconds after our servers described them, and the place was dark enough to render most of my photos as illegible.  That said, I loved everything about Pierre Sang on Gambey, not to be confused with Pierre Sang on Oberkampf a few doors away on the corner (where Oberkampf, surprise, surprise, meets Gambey). PSO is also supposed to be pretty good --albeit less creative cuisine and less pricey - and it was livelier on the summer evening when Co. and I passed by.  PSO also looks more like a restaurant from the outside than the non-descript PSG, which I wouldn't have located if I didn't already know it was only a couple doors down from PSO.

We were seated at the counter, right in front of the open kitchen - a front-row seat - having passed on one of the few scattered tables.  Next time, we'll probably opt for a window seat, assuming the season calls for that.  The deal is a great one - six dishes for 49€ - and they were all excellent - unique, flavorful, fresh, compelling, and eye-opening.  The whole Gestalt traversed various ethnic cuisines, with some Asiatic permeating throughout, not surprising, given chef Pierre Sang's Korean and French roots.  The carte changes regularly, soley as a function of Monsieur Sang's whims, and the evidence suggests he throws caution to the wind when conjuring up an evening's selection of dishes.  Since I was so lame in noting the details of our meal, get a load of le Fooding's description of another selection:

...mandoo (fried dumplings) filled with poultry, anchovy cream, mussels and lemon caviar; seared chinchard mackerel, eggplant caviar with yuzu and cucumber kimchi; sliced prime rib, a chili dip, reduced jus and sweet rice with butter; magic wagyu flank steak with sweet miso, accompanied by a killer pork ragout and noodles made with sweet potato flour; beautiful cheeses with yuzu jam…

Yep, we had some of that, particularly the yuzu (an East-Asian citrus fruit, part sour mango), sweet miso, and cucumber kimchi, but with radishes, shrimp, fish, calamars, etc.  The cool part - or insipid, depending on your level of cynicism (hey, I'm cynical but even I thought it was cool) - is that you're not told what you're eating until you've already consumed the dish - only then does the server provide the details, and only after you've made your guesses.  I was pretty proud of my hits, but there were misses, and of course, there's a bit of cheating involved if you are sitting directly in front of the cooks in the kitchen, watching their every move.  I only have a couple photos that turned out, below, well, two out of the three below turned out - and I'll only tell you what they consisted of after you've eaten them:

 Throw in a superb Corbieres Ribaute (44€) and the bill for two, including one espresso (2.50€) came to 144.50€, a steal for what was maybe my best meal of the year.  With one visit under my belt - the first of many, I presume (visits, not belts), Pierre Sang on Gambey has quickly risen to the top of my list, with a bullet.

6 rue Gambey
Paris 75011
TEL: No phone number
Metro: Oberkampf, Parmentier

Graffito on the way to Pierre Sang on Gambey

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