A few years ago, with my friend A*, we found a nice way to reconcile tiny Parisian flat, love of good food and nice presents: we offer each other a meal in a fancy restaurant. With this, we also spend some quality time and we can update each other about all the friends and work gossips. So when I received a text instructing me “book your evening of the 23rd and let’s meet at 19h50 near métro Gaîté” I thought we were going to the theater.
No? Well a little though as the service was nicely synchronised it was almost a ballet. I think the waiters played a bit with that following a little joke from us. Anyway here we are, in the Cobéa restaurant, just enough aside the noisy avenue du Maine.
While we were getting familiar with the menu, a glass with just a little bit of water arrives with something which looks like a giant tablet. Weird. It’s not for eating. That’s a relief. In fact, tossing the tablet into the water it becomes a napkin. Convenient.
On the menu, 8 lines with generic terms (Pepper… chocolate…), four lines showing also a circle and six lines a filled dot. Actually we can order an eight course menu, a six course menu and a four course menu, each dish being worked arount the ingredient mentioned in the menu. Still wondering what to chose, small bites appear on the table. I taste the fried tuna ball and it’s amasing, then the satay cashew bite which is also surprising. We decide to be reasonable and to eat the four course meal for 79€.
But the actual dinner is still not starting. We are served the appetiser : a variation around tomato, with a light mousse with tomato water on a delicious tomato tartare. Don’t think because it’s light pink that it’s not tasty, the mousse has a strong tomato taste and this dish is exactly what you want in a warm summer day (to the first one mentioning summer in Paris is not that warm, watch out !).
Then it’s time for the starter. The actual starter. Yellow zucchini cannellonis stuffed with a sweet pepper mousse, topped with a zucchini flower tempura and sprinkles with grilled olives and parmesan cheese crumbles.
The fish dish is a plate of pollock cooked in low temperature with a nutmeg potato cream, a seafood emulsion, crusty grey shrimps, a chard raviolo and a lemon condiment.
Meat dish is a tender squab, served as an arrangement on half a plate for the design. It’s served together with a carrot sugar coated with orange juice, a candied turnip, houmous, … and a date condiment.
Then comes the dish which I preferred in the whole meal: a lemon/lemongrass/gigner sorbet served with a bit of lemongrass vodka. These tastes can easily be too much and here the balance is just perfect. It’s delicate and has very little sugar. I wonder what happens if I come back and ask just for that little sorbet.
Anyway this also prepare us for the desserts.
Usually whey we don’t know what to chose for dessert, there’s an animated discussion to decide who chose what and who will taste what in the dish of the different people. Here, no need for discussion, the cook brings two desserts: one around strawberries (a mascarpone strawberry mousse, a strawberry sorbet, meringues), and the other around chocolate (a light cream in a crunchy cacao tube). Sorry if I don’t know all the specialist vocabulary.
To finish: small bites with almonds and peanuts, and the last cherry of this season or almost. Then it’s time to leave after this great dinner, but there’s still a surprise for us as we are given lemon and vanilla muffins to take home. To be honest, it was eaten before I remembered to take the picture.
Here’s one which did deserve its Michelin star.
Tuesday to Saturday, lunch and dinner