Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

TANNAT - Another Winner on Parmentier

I like the idea of naming one's restaurant after something related to food and not, say, the street address of the establishment.  The former is the case for Tannat, whose brave owners Ariane Stern and Simon Auscher had the tenacity to open about a half block from Chateaubriand, one of the top eating venues in all of Paris.  Tannat doesn't reach the heights of Chateaubriand, but it has its merits and is definitely worth its place on the map.  Getting back to names, as I digress, according to Wikipedia:

Tannat is a red wine grape, historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC, and is now one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay, where it is considered the "national grape".

Okay, I admit I didn't know what tannat meant until I looked it up, so maybe it's not such a great thing to name your restaurant after a food item that one has to google, but if you want to be a culinary snob, you have to do some work.  And as part of my work, I also learned that Tannat's home on 119 avenue Parmentier was for 20 years the site of "the fiery and gourmet cabaret evenings at Chez Raymonde," according to the Le Fooding website.  And just to clarify, Tannat is not a Uruguayan restaurant, but a place to find - oh, what the hell, Le Fooding was on a roll, "colorful neo-bistronomic creations from Olivier Le Corre (Tour d’Argent, Bristol, 52 Faubourg)."

Co. and I checked out Tannat on a Friday evening in mid-May and found an airy, brightly-lit, mirrored room centered by a bar where one can perhaps find a seat without a reservation.  Already this is pretty unique, because when I think of the typical Parisian neobistrot, the words 'airy' and 'brightly-lit' rarely come to mind.  Those adjectives are also appropriate to describe the colorful, elegantly prepared dishes, some of which were more successful than others, but what else is new?

One of my few gripes about Tannat is that everything is ala carte.  I can't remember the last time I ate in Paris without some sort of 'menu' deal offered.  In fact, more and more I am drawn to establishments with fixed menus - the tyranny of the carte as some critics claim.  But from my vantage point, I'd prefer to let the chef decide what is best, but you are free to differ.  To each one's own.  But if you like choice - albeit limited - you'll like Tannat.  So let's get down to business - the business of food.  Here's what the carte looked like during our visit:

What's on the menu?  Click on it to find out.

Another something you don't see very often in Parisian neobistrots is a selection of dishes to share at the start.  Be forewarned, though, the plates at Tannat are copious enough without taking one of the 'partager' dishes - I was pretty much stuffed early into my main plate - but as a reviewer, I felt obliged, with Co's hesitant blessing, to go with the radis et tandoori butter.  This was just okay - the butters were blander than I expected - something I probably would have enjoyed more to embellish some cocktails.  The thinly sliced bettrave was an interesting ingredient, however.

Radishes, beet, and tandoori butter for sharing

And the very satisfying entrees:

Pain perdu, asperge vert, moelle, gremolata for Co. - what is gremolata you ask? I'll tell you.  It's a chopped herb condiment with lemon zest, garlic, and parsley

Although tempted by the beets and herring dish, I selected this one - artichokes, coques, and sable parmesan

The main plates:

For Co., the beef, gambas, and navet unique melange.  Hard to see the thinly sliced beef, but its there. 

No idea I was ordering fish and chips, even though that's what the menu says, and that's what I got.  And when I say chips, I mean chips - not the British kind (fries), but the potato chips kind, even though this dish would make any obese Brit diner (which I am happily not) proud.  Not fantastic, but I rather enjoyed this very rich dish - and I just said rather with a British accent, so as not to offend anyone, I think.

Dessert time:

Killer presentation for the strawberry, rhubarb, and white chocolate dish

A chocolate dessert fit for a Marquise - not as rich as it looks, which made it even better

We accompanied our meal with a rapidly disappearing Coteaux du Languedoc Argentier (27 euros), bringing our bill, sans cafe, to 114 euros.  I liked Tannat a lot more than I thought I would, especially in retrospect.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the carte varies in the future, which isn't the wittiest way to end this post, but it will have to do.

119 avenue Parmentier
75011 Paris
tel. 09 53 86 38 61
useless website

Note:  Apparently you can overcome my fixed-price formula nit pick at lunch with a 15 euro two-dish meal, which sounds like a pretty good deal.  You can also take a nice little walk to the Canal St Martin after your dinner, which Co and I did - on this particular evening the streets were packed, the canal lined on both sides with YOUTH, and the intersection of Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon was happily animated, six months after tragedy struck.

The canal - a short walk from Tannat

No comments:

Real Time Web Analytics