Saturday, August 1, 2015

David Toutain (Paris)

View from outside my hotel and around the corner from David Toutain

One night in Paris. Solo. What to do? The last time I was in Paris I spent my days studying European Community Law and nights partying with models (truth) at Les Bains Douches. There was an inexplicable visit to Euro Disney mixed in too (unfortunately sans Naomi Campbell).

Times have changed.

For my one night I was looking to enjoy a fantastic meal. I wanted something modern and exciting. And something I couldn't find in Miami. There were a lot of contenders initially but my list narrowed quickly and my decision was made easily after reading about chef David Toutain and his creative and experimental style of cooking. I knew it would be a unique treat for me and I was right.

Prior to opening Restaurant David Toutain in 2013, he spent time in the Paris kitchens of Bernard Loiseau, Marc Veyrat, and Alain Passard at Arpege. He also spent time working with Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz and Paul Liebrandt at Corton. He returned to Paris to be head chef at the now closed Agape Substance.

Restaurant David Toutain is tasting menu only and offers two options along with a wine pairing. Of course, I opted for the longest tasting they offered along with the pairing. It should be noted that diners are not provided with a menu. This added to the intrigue and excitement of the night. After finishing one amazing dish you had no idea what was going to fly out of the kitchen next. And I was pleasantly surprised with each dish. This is the way I really enjoy experiencing a meal.  It should be noted that pacing was perfect all night and service was fantastic and friendly to this solo diner.

The seventeen courses ranged from great to excellent to flawless. There were no misses and some real standouts.

He's using quality ingredients and pairs them with interesting and unusual flavor combinations that work because of his finesse, flawless execution and attention to detail. He doesn't rely on luxurious ingredients as a crutch. He uses his creative flavor pairings and subtle enhancements to amplify everything on the plate. His dishes are creative, experimental and wonderful.

I was genuinely sad to see my seventeenth course cleared away. I did not want my meal to end. I wanted more. I was craving more. Not because I was hungry but because I was inspired by an amazingly talented chef doing his own special thing in the kitchen. I could have sat there all night eating dish after dish.

David earned a Michelin Star this year and I'm certain he will earn additional stars in the near future and be in the discussion for The Worlds 50 Best restaurant list.

David Toutain is a game changer and a name to remember. He is a future superstar.

I hope I can lure him to Miami to participate in an experimental and underground Cobaya Dinner.

No menu and I don't speak French but I think my notes and memory helped to properly describe the seventeen dishes pictured below.

**I missed a shot of the flavorful and crispy beetroot amuse.

Beef Carpaccio with hazelnut crumble, wild sorrel and a hint of raspberry mixed in.

Wild Garlic Sponge.

Chicken Wing, white licorice and wild licorice.

Housemade Brioche, buckwheat and rice bread and Normandy Salt Butter.

Poached Egg, green beans, white peach.

Trout, red miso, cherries.

Carrots, lardo and oxtail consommé.

Asparagus, parmesan chips, parmesan sauce, smoked egg yolk, yuzu foam.

Cod (melt in your mouth) zucchini, basil mayo, crispy quinoa.

Dish of the Night - Smoked eel, black sesame and green apple.

Poussin (white and dark) fava beans, vichyssoise.

Pigeon, green beans, spinach.

Cauliflower, white chocolate, coconut. A delicious dessert.

Milk and Honey.

Strawberries and rhubarb.

Foraging for one last sweet treat.

Good night! Paris.

Restaurant David Toutain
29, rue Surcouf
TEL: +33 1 45 50 11 10
SUBWAY: Invalides, La Tour-Maubourg