January 26, 2015

Passage 53, Paris (9th arr)

Out of all the restaurants I dined at in Paris, and there were many, Passage 53 was by far one of my favorites. From hand pulled noodles in China town to falafels in Marais, savory crepes in Montparnasse and the chef's tastings at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Frenchie and more, few meals came close to what I experienced at Passage 53. 

From the moment I stepped foot inside the restaurant, I could feel the shift. Passage 53 was all about elegance and balance. From the hand crafted ceramic pieces hanging on the walls to the well dressed wait staff and their black bow ties, to the layout of the dining room and most importantly, the dishes that came out of the kitchen, there was harmony. 

I can't praise the chef and staff at Passage 53 enough for the exquisite meal and unforgettable experience. If you find yourself in Paris, make a reservation and experience this gem.

Menu Degustation - 6 course chef's tasting menu

The aroma of the cafe au lait foam was intoxicating and the subtle coffee flavor paired beautifully with the smooth and rich parsnip velouté. 

Langoustine carpaccio with sea weed jelly from Japan, sliced radish and finger lime from Australia. The langoustine was firm, almost crunchy in texture, highlighted by the fresh flavor of the ocean from the jelly and bursts of citrus from the lime. 

Grilled calamari, freshly sliced cauliflower and cauliflower creme. The tender squid worked well with the luscious creme and fresh cauliflower. 

Scallops with porcini mushroom and chestnut bread (not pictured). These scallops were served in the most mouthwatering mushroom sauce with hazelnuts and chestnuts. The bread was cooked in an old fashioned stone oven by a baker in Paris and the perfect sponge to soak up the incredible sauce.

Before moving on to the main courses, this caramelized sweet onion stuffed with chorizo appeared. A wonderful reminder of the thoughtfulness and care that goes into preparing each dish. There was a slice of chorizo between each fold of the onion, yet it did not over power the sweetness of the onion.

Baby veal with chanterelles, pasta and Parmesan creme. This dish was sinfully delicious. Tender and succulent veal swimming in a rich Parmesan sauce with earthy chanterelles and perfectly al dente pasta filled with Rascoff onions. 

My first pigeon and it made quite the impression. The pigeon was slightly gamey, but nicely balanced by the honey flavored sauce and sweet wild flowers. The pigeon pie had a flaky crust and a savory meat filling.

Grape was the theme of this dessert. White grapes, seeded and peeled, with a light mousse and sorbet topped with fresh lime zest. Good palate cleanser after the pigeon.

The tasting concluded with this trio of desserts: rich chocolate with tonka bean caramel, banana slices topped with chestnut creme, and an elder flower creme brûlée with walnuts and coffee creme. 

The obligatory post meal espresso with macaroons. 

Grand Chef Shinichi Sato in the kitchen. 

Note: No tap water offered here. 
Evian flat or sparkling water available. 

Passage 53

53 passage des Panoramas 
75002 Paris, France

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