Located in the heart of Paris, just north of the Louvre Museum, this brilliant restaurant is run by the young, Chicago born Daniel Rose. Specializing in French cuisine, there is no menu and they simply serve you a prix fixe menu. I was dining alone so opted to sit at the bar and both the food and atmosphere could not have been any better. The meal started off with an assortment of appetizers, including a light, yet perfectly seasoned hazelnut soup and barely cooked Salmon cubes. A Lobster Salad with Avocado and root vegetables was spectacular, as was the second fish course, which was a white fish in a light cream sauce covered with mushrooms and grated horseradish. The main course was also fantastic and consisted of perfectly cooked duck breast paired with an assortment of wild mushrooms.
As to the wine, I started with a number of by the glass offerings and then ordered a bottle to pair with the main course. Starting off, the 2011 Domaine Guillot-Broux Macon Cruzilles les Genevrieres was serviceable, with a mineral-driven, straightforward profile. A big step up and one gorgeous wine, the 2005 Maison Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru Hengst was off the hook and classic Riesling all the way. Still youthful and vibrant, with only subtle petrol notes, it was light and elegant on the palate, yet carried gorgeous richness and length, with clean, integrated acidity. I couldn't get enough of it. Served blind, the 2011 Domaine Vaccelli Ajaccio Roger Courreges tasted like a blend of Pinot Noir and Grenache. Coming from Corsica and, I believe, a blend of mostly Sciacarello (and possibly some Grenache and Nielluccio, all of which are commonly planted in the region), it was translucent ruby in color and offered up a beautiful cherry, kirsch, leather and exotic herb-like aromatic profile to go with a silky, elegant and seamless texture on the palate. Paired with the main course, the 2000 Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de la Reine des Bois, which was quickly decanted, was firing on all cylinders. A borderline perfect wine, it offered up a smorgasbord of southern Rhône aromas and flavors (garrigue, roasted herbs, licorice), as well a full-bodied richness and depth on the palate, without ever seeming cumbersome or over the top. Drinking at point, well stored bottles should continue to shine for another decade (although for my palate, I'd drink them over the coming couple of years.) It is an incredible wine that I wish all Rhône lovers could taste. A quick glass of 1996 Vins Parce Frères Rivesaltes capped a terrific meal and I can't recommend this restaurant enough. If you have a free evening in Paris, don't miss it.
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