Restaurant Maison (Paris)

© Maison

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Tired of working for the big names (Robuchon, Troisgros), Sota Atsumi, the talented lover of forgotten bistros (Vivant, Clown Bar), has reinvented his lovely restaurant in the center of Paris with help from architect Tsuyoshi Tane. Partitioned rooms, flame-red tomette tile floors climbing up to the mezzanine level with a long wooden communal table and a bar with views of the powerful flames and steam escaping from the kitchen. The night we went, the masterful menu featured: a series of amuse-bouches, including creamy roasted chestnut velouté with a honey-roasted chestnut and a prawn, some bucolic quince with lemon verbena, sunfish in puff pastry, fermented tomatoes and watercress; followed by Eden-esque raw apple enchanted by pistachio, quince, cilantro and fromage frais; then… scallops on the shell barely touched by the embers, plus broccoli stuffed with anchovies; a tearfully delicious trio of eel ravioli with fermented potatoes, egg yolk and porcini mushrooms: a fatally good millefeuille composed of thin crepes, caramelized onions, chard, sorrel and grilled black trumpet mushrooms; transcendental lobster with Savagnin and Comté cooked until golden in the fireplace – seared on the outside, almost raw on the inside, for a sumptuous roasted sashimi effect; also untouched and veiled only by fire, grilled red mullet with sea urchin, baby leeks, Px sauce; explosively flavorful lamb with lamb’s lettuce, radicchio, artichokes and a spellbinding reduction. Just as delicious and classy, a beautiful crème brûlée carved into a poached pear, with an apricot reduction, olive oil ice cream, honey and basil oil, before ending the meal with a heady hot chocolate infused with chestnut liqueur. // Renaud Fuego 

FEELING THIRSTY? The house cellar has deep roots in the prestigious natural wine world: a Burgundy Aligoté from the Château de Béru (€12 a glass), Entre-Deux, a Jura white from Jérôme Arnoux (€53 a bottle), a Saumur-Champigny from Sébastien Bobinet (€58)… 
PRICE: Set menu €65 (lunch), €100 (Sunday lunch), €140 (dinner). 

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