I consider myself to be quite a lucky lady. I've made many chef friends, so whenever I need dining recommendations, I simply ask them. After all, who better than a chef would know where to eat. I had met Chef Jean-Christian Dumonet at the Maitres Cuisiniers de France event in Lyon. He's incredibly funny, cool to hang out with, and an MCF. Of course I had to try his restaurant in Paris.
The restaurant is located in Saint Germain on the left bank of Paris. It is a small, unassuming bistro, and has an old school charm. it personifies what I imagine French bistros to be. We arrived at opening time and were the first guests to arrive. Within 10 minutes, the restaurant was bustling with jovial voices and smiles. Chef Dumonet walked to each table, you could simply see the love he has for his craft and lifestyle. We even recognized other Master Chefs of France sitting close by.
Our lunch began with a lovely amuse bouche and a glass of Champagne. I felt this was a classy touch by Chef Dumonet. It was not just for us, or because we had met him. Each table received a special touch, and the Chef's personal attention. The room was vibrant and happy...I kept thinking "shouldn't every meal be this way?"
The soup was followed by an appetizer of home made foie gras. Again, gorgeous, sweet, creamy foie gras that would convert even the most staunch vegetarian (and may I say, it was quite a generous portion).
I chose the pigeon millefeuille at 36€. The plating on the dish was beautiful, I almost felt bad eating it. The sauce on this dish was outstanding. It was flavorful, most certainly French, and rich without being overbearing. The bird, layered between the leaves was cooked to perfection. I'd easily order this dish again.
I got in trouble with Antonio's choice. He opted for the cassoulet (36€) and proceeded to tell me that I was no longer allowed to make a cassoulet unless it tasted like Chef Jean-Christian's. Again, the dish was classic French, elegant and delicious. I must warn that the portion was not small, but Antonio was able to eat the entire thing. This rarely ever happens.
Since I had the millefeuille, we decided to have the same for dessert (15€). What can I say, it was delicious, I would recommend it to someone who is not normally a dessert fan. It was balanced, and had great mouth feel. By this time, we were full and the portion was huge. The dish won and the two of us were sadly unable to finish it.
If you go to Paris and want a true Parisian experience, this is your spot. It has ambience, amazing food...and I forgot to mention, a great wine list.
Jean Christian DumonetThe restaurant is closed on weekends, and reservations are recommended.
Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" is located at 117 Rue du Cherche-Midi 75006 Paris France (+33 1 45 48 52 40)
**The restaurant is not cheap, but definitely worth the money. This is as French as French gets.
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