Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Photo: © MAP
We’ve already told you about the many obligations of the honorable chef Christian Constant but we haven’t introduced you to his flagship restaurant yet. Le Violon d’Ingres holds one Michelin star and has been called a „brasserie de luxe“ by the Lebey guide. Above all, it’s an old-school restaurant and we wouldn’t blame you if you called it a bit frumpish.
The guests are alike, let’s be frank. We particularly admired the skinny old lady who, on her late arrival, planted a huge Hermès croc Kelly bag worth half a Maserati with much ado on her table. Or the couple next to us, thirty-somethings, who still had the aura of celebrating their golden, 50th wedding anniversary.
A chef can’t choose his guests. Or can he? The food at Violon d’Ingres is an invitation to all diners who are looking for the heavy, classic stuff – served in overly generous portions. One of our desserts, the crêpes suzettes, contained alone enough calories to feed two hungry boys in puberty. And on the pigeon, served with lentils mixed with foie gras, a coal miner could have run for a full working day.
That said, the food was excellent. I’ve hardly ever eaten a pigeon cooked to that perfection. The foie-gras-lentils made a charming, reassuring companion and the overall composition worked quite brillantly.
One of our starters, a kind of scallop carpaccio, raw coquilles Saint-Jacques marinated and sprinkled with leaves and herbs – was a culinary sensation, really, a dish showing true mastery.
Not everything we ate was that good. Another scallop dish, a salad starter, was more on the bland side, the sea-food stuffed raviolis were good but nothing more. Still, Le Violon d’Ingres is a restaurant to be highly recommended. Christian Constant is a generous, talented chef – and he knows how to run several restaurants without betraying his quality standards.
So when you’re close to the Eiffel tower one day and you’re looking for really classic, rustic, say: bucolic French food, this is the place to go. Don’t forget to bring your croc leather bag and enough money. Count 200 Euros for two people. And consider to stop eating one or two days before you go.Violon d’Ingres