Very lovely Italian restaurant hidden in a courtyard in Clichy. Excellent service. Loved the shrimp appetizer. Excellent Italian wine selection. The fish was cooked perfectly, and it was fun to watch them do the table side preparation of a house special pasta dish with cheese as others ordered it.
The food was very good, and the service was attentive.
Excellent meal, but as others have noted was quite expensive, even for Paris.
This place had been recommended to us by quite a few of our friends, independently of each other, and we had been waiting for an occasion to try it out. I reserved with the fear that the restaurant would not live up to the great reviews as so often happens with restaurants, movies and books.
We arrived on the evening of July 4th and the wonderful early summer weather helped. I had been worried about finding parking and was pleasantly surprised to find a car parking valet at the front of the restaurant (8 euros). We had reserved for the 4 of us (family) and had a large table on the outdoor terrace which was calm and pleasant.
We started with an apéritif (Champagne or Kir Royal). The Champagne (Lallier) was average to above average with fine bubbles and a good fruit start. It was served with a few tiny petits fours of a sort of fishy paté (anchovy or tuna) on tiny pieces of toast.
The amuse bouche arrived which was a beautifully presented fish mousse (bar) on a thin slice of courgette.
We spent quite some time preparing our order as the menu was several pages of numerous choices almost all of which looked delicious. Appetizers, pasta dishes, meat, fish, cheese and desserts
The wine list was quite simply the greatest Italian wine list I have ever seen anywhere (including in Italy). Pages and pages of fine Italian wines ranging in price from reasonably expensive up to ridiculously expensive. I settled for a relatively expensive Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 1997. I could have spent hours going through the wine list and I am looking forward to coming back and trying some of the others in the future! The Brunello was absolutely delicious with an amazingly complex and concentrated aroma; a long, round and full-bodied taste of fruit and earth (relatively little earth) which lasted forever and with a delicate finish and very little acidity.
I started with the carpaccio and black truffles which was delicious with just a touch of olive oil and very little parmesan. I should/could have asked for a bit more olive oil. But the combination of the black truffles and the juicy and flavourful raw beef was wonderful. One of my daughters had the regular carpaccio which is served with walnuts (which she scraped off) and parmesan. The waiter adds the olive oil and ground pepper to your preference. My wife had the gazpacho made from tomato, red peppers and bit of piment topped by a few fish cannelloni which was deliciously flavourful and just a touch spicy. My other daughter had the Parma ham served tissue thin accompanied by a cool fresh melon sauce (drinkable) and a sort of tempura-fried melon. A nice combination.
For the main course my daughter and I both went for the Romantica taglioni which is prepared at the table in an enormous Parmesan cheese wheel (about 2 metres in diameter) which is flambéed with a bit of cream and makes the sauce for the fresh pasta. It was rich, cheesy, creamy and along with the fresh pasta just too much to finish. All of the fresh pasta plates looked tiny. But in fact they were quite heavy and I don't think any of us finished our plates. My wife had what I actually probably would have preferred: the rigatoni with olive oil, piment with sautéed courgettes and dried tomatoes. We swapped our plates about half-way in and I adored the combination of strong and fresh flavours in her pasta especially the touch of piment at the end.
For dessert my wife had a chocolate pie with raspberries accompanied by an ice cream made from basil. The basil/chocolate combination was just plain amazing along with the hot and cold between the pie and ice cream. I had the panna cotta which although delicious was simply average in both texture and flavour. My daughter had a seemingly delicious, and very light and airy, strawberry sherbert (sorbet).
We ended with a couple of coffees which I have to admit were nothing special.
Overall the meal was just plain wonderful from all points of view: a calm and beautiful environment, great service (a bit young and new and sometimes difficult to find but generally attentive), delicious food with copious servings and beautiful presentation and an amazing wine list.
It was a celebratory meal so I had not been looking at the prices. By the end of the evening I had a good idea as to the overall cost and, as usual for me, half the price was wine. Our total bill was 500 euros for the 4 of us and 250 euros of that was wine (190 euros for the Brunello). I felt that although we could easily have eaten just as well for less it was well worth the experience and we will certainly be back.
Very nice restaurant with a romantic atomspher (as you would expect)
Food is good (without being extraordinary) but it is well presented an the menu has some unexpected dishes.
A little pricey though.
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