Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Photo: © MAP
A few years ago, we considered Yannick Alléno to be the brightest star of culinary Paris, possibly the best French chef in the world of our times, no kidding. What he created at Le Meurice, the way he celebrated his ideas of a Parisian cuisine, was all in all breathtaking in its simple, precious elegance, a rare feast for people who really love food.
Then came the shockingly insensitive makeover of the restaurant’s interior by Philippe Starck – turning an ancient salon into the caricature of an ancient salon. Then came Alléno’s love affair with singer Patricia Kaas (and cover photos in Paris-Match). And now, we’ve taken yet another step further down to land on „Terroir Parisien“.
It’s a bistro „by“ Yannick Alléno, a modern structure built into an Art Déco building, the recently transformed Maison de la Mutualité in the 5th arrondissement, Rive Gauche that is, and the place feels, weirdly, like another caricature. I mean, what more do you need to know: the decoration over there is made of fresh vegetables in pseudo authentic market boxes…complete with hand-written price tags!
The menu displays paté-en-croûte, hard-boiled eggs, stews, snails, mackerels, yes, that’s nice, but so far the presentation of these dishes is way too down-to-earth. All the plates we ordered – and we were four around the table – lacked not only some garnish (say, some pickles with the paté), they lacked love which of course is the death sentence for any restaurant.
But really, what can you say? The white wine came luke warm, the cheese was ice-cold – can you excuse that with the fact that the opening took place only recently? Do they need more time to cool the wine? And why did it take ages to serve the food?
Let’s be fair and say: So far, Alleno’s bistro adventure doesn’t work – at all. The waiters seemed swamped by their task and they lived up to the bistro’s name the good old-fashioned way this city is so well used to: „Terroir Parisien“, yes, here it was in all its useless arrogance and pretentiousness. How can it be?
It is obvious that Yannick Alléno wants to mimick his great predecessors Joël Robuchon, Alain Ducasse or Antoine Westermann in building his own restauration empire. Who wouldn’t care for this kind of extra money? It just seems that Alléno’s advisors are not up to the task like those of his colleagues’. Yannick Alléno has opened a bistro? Ok, but now he must really start to run it!Terroir parisien