On our last trip to Paris; I made only two dinner reservations. One of them was for Arnaud Nicolas. First off, it was in the 7th Arrondissement, the Missus's favorite area in the city.....She is still in love with that Paris dream. You know, the one with Eiffel Tower in the background, with the oh-so-Parisian food street Rue Cler at your doorstep.
Finding a place in the area, reasonably priced, that served charcuterie from a young chef who achieved the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) at the age of 24. Well, I was quite curious. And being that we love charcuterie.... we just had to check it out.
Located on busy Avenue de la Bourdonnais, I believe this place wasn't even here on our previous visit to Paris in 2016.
Part deli part restaurant; we loved the casual, yet refined atmosphere, and the service was excellent.
I had walked past the counter with the fabulous looking pate en croute and other charcuterie that I was just ready to order everything off the menu.
Luckily, our Server calmed me down with a nice glass of white wine (free as you're seated). We decided to order a nice variety from the "Entrées de Charcuterie". What arrived was so beautiful looking, especially the two pate en croute.
Both the "Volailles et Foie gras de Canard", basically foie gras, duck, chicken and the "Caille, Poire et Pistache", quail and foie gras with pear and pistachio were excellent. The pastry, was delicate, I'm used to doughy and rather hard pastry, this was delicate, light, and still held some texture. It also nicely "hugged" the pate.
While we loved both, our favorite of the two was the beautiful quail and foie gras Caille.
The interplay of earthy-offal tones and mild sweetness just went together so well.
The Missus laughed as instead of digging right into these....I took some time....to enjoy how lovely they looked.
Easily the best pate en croute I've ever had.
The Terrine de Gibier had a wonderful gameiness.
It looked lean and tough, but had a perfect toothsomeness. Not overly salty, but with a nice assertive flavor, this was quite nice and dense.
The Foie Gras mi-cuit (in the foreground) was everything you could ever want. Wonderfully balanced offal-sweet flavors, smooth, decadent richness, with just the right amount of "heft". It just seemed so perfect.
The only "clunker" of the night was the Foie Gras - Truffle (in the rear), two of the Missus's favorite food groups, which just fell flat. Perhaps the foie gras and pate en croute had soiled our tastebuds, but it seemed like, at least with this, that the two main ingredients cancelled each other out. We could really not taste any truffle and the foie gras flavor was faint....we expected the texture to be the same as the mi-cuit, but it was strangely waxy.
We decided to split our main course, which the kitchen graciously did for us. After all the charcuterie, I wanted to try the Boudin Blanc with Truffle. This dish just blew us away.
The black trumpet mushrooms and Jerusalem artichokes were just perfect.....but it was that traditionally finely textured, mildly flavored, white sausage that blew us away. It was nicely seared, which added just the perfect amount of crispness, the restrained amount of truffle was perfect....just a hint, a tease, just enough. The sausage had a mild porkiness to it. But it was the texture that was amazing as it just melted away in your mouth.
As you can tell, we loved Arnaud Nicolas. It was the type of place that suited us well. "Real" and traditional food, executed masterfully. We enjoyed our meal and the staff so much......we made dinner reservations for the following evening!
46 Avenue de la Bourdonnais
75007 Paris, France
I gotta say. Maybe the Missus has a point about staying in the 7th...….