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L'Acajou


Laidback
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Host's note So as to explain the sequence of posts here, Julot actually mentioned his meal at l'Acajou March 18th on the Les Magnolias topic. Then Laidback below responded. I thought we shoulod have an entire topic on the resto and Julot kindly responded. So let's continue our observations here. Thanks.

While we're at it, I also went to l'Acajou, in  the 16th, which I found very good. I would probably consider it excellent value for the price, with no unnecessary experiments or stunt but a focus on exceptional freshness, perfect cooking and seasoning, and clear tastes.

Julot I think yours may be the 1st mention of l'Acajou since I listed it among my favorite "new places of 2004". Glad to hear that your polished palate agreed with my less educated one. I plan on visiting it again next month.

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So I went to l'Acajou (www.l-acajou.com) and I found the place great. I had the 40 eur lunch menu, which includes coffee and a glass of wine. This is a cuisine based on what I'd call the real basics: hyper fresh ingredients, precise cooking and seasoning. As a results, tastes are perfectly clear and exciting. And at the same time that ingredients are at the forefront, recipes are genuinely original and apparently change constantly. The ones I tastes though served the ingredients, not the chef, first. Also everything is very light.

It started with a funny celeri Perrier mousse. It had the same spark as the Perrier water indeed. But mostly it was quite good, and one (I) carefully emptied the glass with the spoon. Then a brochette of scallops, on a perfectly seasoned bed of rucola. There are zucchini skins, little "Paris" mushrooms, schallots and cherry tomato and every combination works great. This is raw hyper-fresh ingredients, and tastes are distinct, exciting, identifiable, and they all have very nice matches (you can't have of everything in a bite, so you do partial combinations of course).

Then came an absolutely perfect seabass tail, boned and skinned. It had some kind of Ras El-Hanout spice mix on top, but strangely, it almost left the taste of the fish untasted. But the spice worked magic with the side of yellow carrott purée, smoother than Robuchon's potato one and with far less butter. And it was made even greater by some young leaves of beet on top, that kind of underlined the sweet-but-not-sugary character of the course.

In dessert, a great financier was crispy under, rich but not fat inside, great sorbet on top, a basil juice underneath. Some peeled quarters of grapefruit, red and yellow, are nicely put around the thing. There are too many compared to the financier, but it looks good.

The glass of wine has nothing noteworthy to be fair (Sauvignon), good though. The wine list rich on classic Bordeaux and Bourgogne (e.g. Leflaive), no big surprise, no great value. The setting is decorated by the same street artist who made the hôtel des Académies et des Arts in Montparnasse (which I highly recommend by the way), it is personal and quiet, not particularly warm. This falls indeniaby under the food nerd place category, in my opinion, so the point about the place is that it does not interfere with the good food.

I'll take some pictures next time.

Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)
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