Le Doyenné

Restaurant Le Doyenné (Saint Vrain)

© James Patisson

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Out in the countryside and against all odds, the brilliant Aussie chefs James Edward Henry and Shaun Kelly (who used to work at Au Passage, Bones and Yard in Paris) are finally reaping the fruits of several years of labor at the vegetable patches of the Le Doyenné farm. These days, in the heart of agriculture-heavy Essonne department, they pamper their phenomenal fruit and vegetable production under a monumental glass-ceilinged space, in what was previously Niki de Saint Phalle’s atelier – it has since been redesigned by Ciguë studio, centering around farm tables, a solid wood bar, and vintage half-moon banquette seating… The day we went for lunch, all of the following graced our plates: sliced raw, smoked mackerel with pickled yellow tomatoes served over plump focaccia, briny Oléron oysters with chili pepper granita and garden-fresh trumpet zucchini, carrot and cornichon masterfully dotted with fresh herbs, for the classy amuse-bouche; an exceptional medallion of raw, line-caught Albacore tuna with pistou, plus a veil of raw yellow zucchini; a umami-esque Bigorre pork chop raised on the Le Doyenné farm, served perfectly pink with plenty of jus, an onion cooked over the wood fire and berries; before an amaretto-style hazelnut cookie topped with Gwell fermented milk, plus a rhubarb and peach leaf granita, all of which was placed atop a bed of pistachio ice cream. In short, a restaurant where the grass is definitely greener! // James Patisson

FEELING THIRSTY? The master of wines Thibault Chauvet (ex-108 in Copenhagen) has you covered: a Loire pet’ nat’ from Philippe Tessier (€10 a glass), a Gamay from Yann Bertrand (€14, an Arbois Chardonnay from Les Bottes Rouges (€65 a bottle)… and for a (nearly) ethanol-free drink, there’s kefir made with figs from the garden (€6).
PRICE: Set menus €45 (lunch) and €80 (dinner).

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