Cuisine: Modern gastronomic French
Visit: June 2013
Price: High (for a gastronomic restaurant in Paris it is not overpriced, neither great value for money though).
Atmosphere: Formerly Lucas-Carton and now Senderens, the restaurant’s Art Nouveau carved wooden walls mix up with modern glass and light features, creating a unique old-meets-new comfortable ambiance. The upstairs Bar le Passage is more casual – underlined by its lounge atmosphere and daily changing dishes inspired by the local markets. The flexibility of dining either at a two-Michelin star restaurant at the basement or at its more upbeat reincarnation two floors above is a welcome option. There are also private rooms available for hire on the first floor, so anyone seeking seclusion or a discreet meeting is accommodated.
Food: Modern French food using molecular cooking techniques not intruding with the enjoyment from the dishes. Innovative and not heavy, Senderens meets the demand of a today’s customer. Addition of a wine suggestion with each dish staves off one a headache from choosing the right wine.
Starting with Saumon à peine fumé par nos soins, rémoulade au pistou de wasabi* you will let yourself in for a longer take off before a short flight. The smoked salmon with its skin is a delicious choice though. Freshened-up with herbs, spices and shaved crisp vegetables it feels lighter despite its – for an appetizer – ample size. The basil and olive oil sauce with a spicy wasabi kick show that a marriage between Mediterranean and Japanese cuisines can be a wonderful transaction. Paired with a Premier Cru Chablis, the mineral and crisp character of which displays the chef’s and sommelier’s quest for balance. The wine further relieves the heavy fatty taste of the salmon moving the experience to a perfect equilibrium.
You can select a lighter appetizer such as Légumes d’été façon Minestrone. The Summer vegetables with basil were light, and made to taste very good thanks to the Italian twist à la Minestrone. Paired with Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2011 again the wine dis not disturb, but brought out the flavours of the dish.
One of the signature main courses is Raviole ouverte de homard à la vanille, quelques pousses d’épinard. This dish was created to honour the wonderful white wines of Burgundy. The character-full Chardonnay Mâcon Verzé 2011 with its slightly warm oaky vanilla spice goes hand in hand with the lobster and vanilla sauce, mellowed by a vegetal greenness of a spinach. You can also go very French with a crunchy skinned Pigeon.
* The only drawback of the menu is that it is only in French, but the waiters will explain you all the dishes in detail, so you will get an idea into what your taste buds are into.
To finish, go for a dessert or a Goat cheese with sweet and spicy garnishes. The Chèvre de Mr Fabre, citron confit, gingembre rose et poivre de Séchouan paired with a semi-sweet Vouvray Demi-Sec 2008 was an exquisite conclusion to our dinner. The minerality balancing the sweetness of this off-dry wine from Loire Valley also tamed the tartness of the citrus, spicy ginger and Sichuan pepper, so the liquid and the plate achieved a wonderful balance.
Drinks: As I have already hinted in the wine pairing suggestions the wines are playing an important role at Senderens. You will not find only the big “brands” of well-known Bordeaux and other wines from France, but also smaller and rather different producers. The wines we have tried were all interesting, so it is a good idea to go by-the-glass. The wine waiter was very happy to be able to advice and satisfy our vinous curiosity.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: Lunch: 12:00–2:45pm, Dinner: 7:30pm–11:00pm; Closing period: 3.August – 26.August
Address: 9 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, Francie
Contact: Tel:+(33) 1 42 65 22 90