Many people on Jim’s SBH online (a St.Barth’s website) were kind enough to offer suggestions for places to dine in Paris. Thanks to Lyn Juliano, we had the great pleasure tonight of eating at Le Violon d’Ingres, where the chef is the deservedly well-known Christian Constant.
We started by ordering a bottle of 2009 Jean-Luc Colombo’s syrah, called Les Fees Brunes/ Cruzez Hermitage. This wine started out well, but after a half an hour it breathed into perfection. Meantime, we nibbled on amuses bouches of Cavendish and puff pastry. For an appetizer Jim ordered the spider crab jelly with creamy rock crab & a fresh herb infusion; this marvelous dish also contained two different types of caviar. It was a creamy delight and (please judge by the photo) served in a spectacular presentation, complete with the crab’s shell and claws. I enjoyed the poached blue lobster with new season vegetables, a salad prepared in a delicate horseradish dressing.
For the main course Jim enjoyed another red color spectacular: fillet of red mullet served with a tomato, mozzarella and basil tarte, which lay atop phyllo pastry. Both the side dish and the fish were light and yet full-textured. My langoustine raviolis were topped by a frothy shellfish bisque and covered a light and soupy tomato concasse, which perfectly complemented the langoustine flavor.
Desserts followed. Jim’s Millefeuille Christian Constant was a delicate version of a Napoleon, while my Grand Marnier soufflé with its caramel sauce came out piping hot from the kitchen. Complementary madeleines (immortalized by Proust in his monumental A la Recherchez du Temps Perdus) caramel candies finished off an amazing meal. -Dan