Bubbly is a great start to any meal, especially a meal served in a restaurant that bears the nickname of one of the world’s first known master chefs. Way back in fourteenth century France, Guillaume Tirel (who often went by Taillevent) was said to have written the quintessential haute cuisine cookbook, Le Viandier .
We may never know who the true author of Le Viandier really was (since plagiarism was quite rampant back in the Middle Ages). Whether or not Tirel was the true author of the tome is still up for debate, but one thing is for sure. If you find yourself in need of a medieval recipe featuring peacock or swan as an ingredient, Le Viandier apparently has you covered.
At Le Taillevent in Paris you will find neither peacock nor swan on the menu. Instead Chef Alain Solivérès and his team stir up dishes like oursins violet en coque oeufs de poule brouillés (purple sea urchins served in their shell with scrambled eggs). The giant menu (seriously, the massive menu may put you in danger of taking out a wine glass or two) is chock full of sophisticated cuisine options, but Le Taillevent is also equally well known for its massive catalog of 2,800 wines and spirits.
We kicked our meal off with some delightful cheesy nuggets before serious eye candy arrived at our table. The cresson de fontaine et caviar osciètre (watercress and ossetra caviar) dish was almost to pretty to eat.
In addition to Le Taillevent, here’s a list of other neat little local spots we love across France.
The emerald green dish was so visually stunning it looked like a beautiful glass paperweight (check out the pretty picture at the top of our post). We also had one of Le Taillevent’s signature dishes, boudin de homard bleu (a sausage made out of blue lobster).
One of our favorite dishes of the evening was the epeautre du pays de sault cuisiné comme un risotto avec cuisses de grenouilles dorées (a delicious spelt from the Pays de Sault that is cooked like a risotto and served with frogs’ legs).
One of the more creative items we tasted at Le Taillevent was a Challans duck dish. Challans duck is a bit like the duck equivalent of what jamón ibérico de bellota is to ham in Spain. Whereas the free range pigs in Spain feast like pig kings on acorns, the Challans duck is said to live a life in the apparent duck paradise in the Vendée area of France before it ends up on gourmet menus. What made the dish so interesting wasn’t just how tender the meat was, but the caramel flavoring of the crust and the surprising pops of taste from the veggies. (The only thing that we’ve ever had that was even remotely similar to Le Taillevent’s sweet and sour vegetables was a crazy strawberry we had during a dinner at Tapas Molecular Bar in Tokyo that ended up being a beet.)
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about visiting France, it’s that you must always save room for the cheese cart because it never fails to impress your eyes and your stomach. After a few hops across the pond, we’ve also learned that Cuisse de Grenouille (frogs’ legs) is a super hip local French fashion brand, that white truffles always taste amazing (yes, even in macarons) and that it is in fact possible to legally sleep in a French bakery.
Le Taillevent is by no means a typical night out in France, but if you’re looking for an excuse to splurge (or an opportunity to try really good frogs legs), hitting up this multi Michelin starred spot is sure to be a night you won’t soon forget.
Address: 15 Rue Lamennais
75008 Paris, France
Hours: Monday Through Friday 10:30am to 7:30pm, Saturday 11:00am to 8:00pm
Phone: +33 1 44 95 15 01
Pricing (All in Euros): Set Tasting Menu €88 Per Person for Lunch and €198 for Dinner