Hello from EL The Cook! Alleno Paris- Ledoyen in Paris is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris, situated on the eastern side of the Champs-Élysées. Its where Napoleon and Josephine met for the first time and Monet got many an inspiration for his work!
Beginning in 1779, the two-storey pavilion started as an inn with the cows grazing on the lush fields outside the inn. In 1791, Monsieur Pierre Ledoyen converted it to a formal restaurant.
Entry into Pavillion Ledoyen is a spectacular sight, a large book displays Chef Alleno’s masterwork and his true achievements in gastronomy. The winding staircase takes you up into the main dining room.
The dining room overlooks the garden and has an ultra-elegant feel. Ushering you into a 3 Michelin Star fine dining setting are the fine staff dressed in tuxedos, doing a seemingly effortless job in flitting from French to English, explaining complex dishes, simply. They are super attentive and very discreet about dining etiquette
Le principal menu for lunch is sculpted by Chef Alleno to center around a core dish chosen by you. Yannick Alleno is renowned for his flavor extraction of sauces, which earned him 3 Michelin Stars in 2007 for his patented process.
It starts with a wine selection and a presentation of some amuses which in french wass “guimauve topinambour aux saveurs de cerise et champignon extraction de saucisson en gelée” which is a tender cherry flavored marshmallow with truffle powder, an extraction mushroom and sausage jelly. Flavors intertwine to create a amuse masterpiece!
Things start to get really interesting when these fruits are bought to the table! The staff mentions to us that we have to guess what the Chef has served. We were absolutely clueless.
More amuses came next with the fuseau croustillant d’anguille fumée which are crunchy smoked eel tuiles. We hadn’t tasted eel yet, nervousness was subsumed by the crunch of the perfect tuile. The eel was creamy and slightly fishy in taste. Brilliant!
Next, quignon de pain beurre condimenté, freshly prepared bread with 2 varieties of condiment butter only leave you in envy of the French and their beautiful bread.
The entree is served. “Avocats restés sur l’abre 18 mois en millefeuile de céleri, extraction coco aux éclats de chia” Chef Alleno tempts us with slices of an 18 month old ripened avocado on the tree, interlaced with celery to create an illusion of a millefeuile. Accompanied with a coconut extraction, and shards of chia seeds. The earthy flavors and textures of the dish are impeccable.
Next came a pain charcutier vinaigrette au gingembre et a la truffe noire which simply means freshly baked bread stuffed with wagyu grade 4 beef mince with a ginger dressing and poached black truffles.
The wait staff prepare the dish in front of you, with the bread sliced and stuffed by hand. The taste is delicate with the utmost respect given to the truffles!
Mains served next titled “Volaille du golfe de Gascogne” or Poultry from the Bay of Biscay, the western region of France famous for Basque cuisine. Alleno focuses on getting the core of the cuisine on the plate!
He serves us blanc poché et cime de rapa, porridge de celeri et oeuf conserve a la chaux which is beautiful corn extraction and rapa crown with light celery porridge and whitewashed egg and mustard. The layers of flavors are complex, which ties together as a brilliant dish.
For our next dish, we tried the a la carte menu with the “corps de homard bleu en melba de concombre floral; pinces au bouillon d’algues et vinaigre de riz” .Blue lobster tail in a melba of floral cucumber, which is a delight to look at and fresh meld with the sea.
Accompanied with plums in algae broth and rice vinegar. The broth is delicious, conceptually so well complimented with thee sweetness of the plums and earthy acidity of the vinegar!
The mystery of the unknown fruit is finally unveiled. Alleno terms it as Touches Sucrees – or a touch of sweetness. The fruits known as maracujas are a close relative to passion fruits native to South America. The staff skilfully cut them open and to our surprise they have been filled with a custard.
Brown sugar is then sprinkled on the custard which is them flambeed! To delight the senses futher, Alleno adds nitrogen frozen fruit with a roasted pineapple tuille!
Our tastebuds are simply overwhelmed with the sheer beauty of flavor!
Our a la carte dessert pranced in next, “meringue au charbon de bois et cardamom” – A Meringue cooked over the charcoal fire seasoned with cardamom which is topped over a rich cream brullee!
And.. “glace à la fleur d’oranger texture et asperges confites, salad de mangue et pices de safran cristalise” — Which is an orange blossom ice cream and candied asparagus, mango topped with crystallised saffron.
Gorgeous. Earthy, Fruity and Fragrant tones resonate with the flavors. Simply Delightful.
The Menu Le Principal dessert was a “Charlotte Norvégienne a l’ananas et au poivre de Tasmanie flambee au vieux rhum” which is a Norwegian Charlotte (a Scandanavian dessert where generally spiced biscuits are topped with cream) with Charred Pineapple and Tasmanian Peppers Flambeed with Old Rum
The flavors of this dessert surprise the palette. The spicy notes of the Tasmanian peppers are contradictory to the sweet pinapple and charlotte. The rum adds depth to the now piercing spice, mellowing the peppery tones. A roller-coaster of a dessert!
As a parting gift, Alleno surprises with a Guinness Beer tart! Although to be honest with such a filling meal, its a triumph to finish this one!
The tart is brilliantly made, with a crust of brown sugar and a filling which is creamy and not too boozy.
Ledoyen. An enchanting restaurant which earns its place in the Worlds Top 50 Restaurants by quite a margin. Three Stars worthy, Chef Alleno brings art to the plate accompanied by flavors and aromas which are truly unforgettable.
Paris would be incomplete without an experience at Pavillion Ledoyen.