L’Astrance

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L'Astrance (3*) (4 Rue Beethoven 75016 Paris,tel. 01 40 50 84 40 )

Chef : Pascal Barbot

Have i been there before? Twice. First time when it already had one Michelin star and once when it just got it's second star.

Ambiance and service: Friendly,professional, yet less ceremonial than at some other high end restaurants in Paris.

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Food? Some dishes were impressive, some-  ok. I took L'Astrance winter menu.

Approximate translations of the dishes.

The lunch started with a glass of champagne and amuse-bouches that came with it.

Cream with white truffles, brioche and apple and caramel crunchy "biscuit".Simple, correct, but maybe too simple?

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Une devinnette  that turned out to be cream of burnt bread,bacon, mustard and foie gras. Interesting mixture, but hard to guess.

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Foie gras and mushroom galette with hazelnut oil and preserved lemon sauce.The most famous dish by Pascal Barbot. I remember having it both times i went to L'Astrance. When you think of it, it's years they are serving the same dish for every single menu. Sometimes chefs are like singers,who create one hit (that makes them famous) and play it over and over again… Not saying that it's a bad thing, already inventing something that people speak about for years needs a certain talent…

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Scallops from Bretagne,shrimps from Mozambique,oysters soup, seaweed sauce,preserved lemon,turnip. I hope i mentioned all the ingredients- I liked a lot the seaweed sauce that tasted like liquorice and went well with iodine feeling of the oysters soup. I wish the seafood was less overcooked, i would have even preferred it half raw that would absorb the heat of the soup while eating.

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Sea bass with pomelo, coconut,red peppers and razor clams on the side.The texture of the fish was perfect and pomelo taste was very mild. I didn't see the point of razor clams though which were not even good.

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Concassé of black truffles,artichoke,pomelo,jus de cuisson, black truffles shavings and treviso salad. Warm, crushed black truffles in truffle cooking juice,flesh of pomelo,bitter treviso salad.Amazing, can you imagine the aromas?

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Spare ribs, black curry ( coffee,black olives, liquorice) on a bed of leeks(?). Crispy skin, soft meat. Delicious.

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36 months Comté cheese with a slice of black truffle. A three stars dish by itself because of the extraordinary products.

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Ginger,mint,coriander,lemongrass sorbet.

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Gianduia chocolate sabayon with dried fruit soaked in alcohol.

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Pâte d'amande with stewed seasonal fruit under it.

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Tiramisu

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Honey madeleines, eggnog and fresh fruit

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Any flaws? As i've mentioned above, some dishes were just ok, but as a Chinese proverb says , "better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one".  L'Astrance is one of those diamonds decorating the French gastronomy crown. My lunch there was a very pleasant experience. 

Will I return? One day.

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View comments (21)
  • A lovely review of a lovely meal. Your photo of the foie gras, mushroom galette seems to show thin slices of green apple, which I think were a nice addition last year.
    One aspect of Astrance we have appreciated is the good conversational interaction of the diners with the waiters and the sommelier. Did you have that experience? We take the wine pairings at Astrance just to encourage that.

  • I like the fact that you have lunch on your own at a 3 star – nearly like the restaurant critic in “Ratatouille” already ;=P
    Interesting menu – the fact that one course is a Comté with truffle almost seems too simple for a 3 star although it must taste great. Well I’d have nothing against it actually but I wonder how the Michelin critics have thought about the restaurant which has a few dishes that live from a simple composition of high quality products.
    greets!

  • Hi Michael,thank you! You are right, i forgot to mention the green apple slices. I did enjoy a conversation with the waiters, especially that just recently i went to Passage 53, whose chef used to work at L’Astrance.
    Alex, i went there more for enjoyment than judging,but your comparison is funny 😉 I think the cheese course was like an extra as the winter menu included 5 courses,plus all those extras.

  • Andrea

    Great review as usual. Unfortunately is closed on Saturday 🙁
    I need a suggestion from your side as you are a great Paris expert…I have to decide between Guy Savoy, L’Ambroisie, Ledoyen, Le Pre Catalan and Le Bristol, as they are the only 3 stars michelin open on Saturday night…which one you suggest ? many thanks in advanced.

  • Thanks Andrea. Guy Savoy- haven’t been there recently, but not very keen on going back because i found it quite classical and not worth the money. L’Ambroisie- some people love it,but i had quite a bad experience there. Ledoyen-have never been. Would choose between Le Pre Catalan and Le Bristol. I think you would enjoy either of them 😉

  • Thinking about the Foie gras and mushroom galette. Looks very nice:-) But I’m sure they can’t take it off the menu.
    I liked your comparison with a singer singing those songs over and over again…
    But imagine a Stones concert with all new material?? People would go nuts!!
    Anyway, loooks great 🙂 The pork looks like heaven 🙂
    Take care. M

  • “But imagine a Stones concert with all new material?? People would go nuts!!”
    True, Magnus 😉

  • Great review. I always book L’Astrance, Helene Darroze, Pic and Gagnaire when I am in France and they all, on their own ways, provide some satisfying gastronomic experiences.

  • Alex, L’Arpege serves the comte w/ truffles, and while i doubt L’Astrance gets the *really* magical L’Arpege stuff, the combination of two quality products could only be found at a three-star ($$$$$$$) Aiste, i really like this review, love the language.

  • Thanks!

  • Beautiful pictures, beautiful food, beautiful reviews this is how food is supposed to look and be written about, I love it !! look forward to reading more Xx

  • Thanks Dmanburger. I’ve just discovered your blog and I love it!

  • andrea

    many thanks !!!

  • Hey Luxeat,
    cool new style of your reports! 🙂 And thanks for sharing L’Astrnce. Know what? I’ll be in Paris for lunch on 9th Feb. would you like to join me? If not, where would you recommend I go, I was in fact considering L’Astrance. Meurice, Bristol…

  • Thanks Trine 😉 Regarding Paris, i will answer your email.

  • We’re going tonight! I am so looking forward to it!!!!!

  • Have a great dinner, Oanese!!

  • A lovely review of a Yummy meal….. Your photo of the foie gras, mushroom galette seems to show thin slices of green apple r superb….
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Viva-Magazine-Your-Premium-Womens-Natural-Health-Magazine/262734921452?ref=ts

  • Rukawa

    Thank you for your review.
    I have to choose between 3 restaurants but I cannot decide between Gagnaire, Astrance and le Meurice which are the 3 best in Paris isn’t it? Which one would you advice for a degustation menu? I heard that some old 3* chef are not often in the Kitchen anymore so I was wondring if this matter change th quality of their restaurant…
    Thank you for your advice.

  • Hi Rukawa,i think these three restaurants are all wonderful in their ways, but there are other great 3 Michelin restaurants in Paris like Le Bristol or Le Pré Catelan.It depends what kind of experience you are looking for.
    I have reviewed some of them
    http://www.luxeat.com/my_weblog/2007/05/the_ingenuity_o.html?cid=6a00df351eb58e883400e551c502668834#comment-6a00df351eb58e883400e551c502668834 ( 3 years old review )
    http://www.luxeat.com/my_weblog/2010/02/le-meurice-.html
    I hope that helps!

  • Rukawa

    Thank you for the advices.