Pouliche (Paris)

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Once a hired blade for the great chefs (Ducasse, Piège, Frechon) and a MasterChef jury member, Amandine Chaignot has now mounted the saddle of her Pouliche (which means “filly” in French) all on her own. Although she’s still working out the kinks during this opening week, to experience her solo venture, head through the somewhat depressing cocktail antechamber to reach the cozier dining room (exposed rafters, midnight blue banquettes, single-stem vases). The night we went, despite a few misses from the five imposed appetizers, the €55 set menu (eight plates in total) was already something to boast about: a seed soup that was a little too experimental for us – a sort of liquid porridge; a beautiful combo of corn and grey shrimp tempura; a rustic tartine topped with mushrooms and chicken liver mousse; romanesco broccoli salad that was a little dry; parsley ice cream, coco de Paimpol beans and blackberries; before a superb plancha-grilled rockfish fillet with calamari, clams and roasted red kuri squash, followed by a red berry and juniper ice cream for a touch of freshness, plus a comforting hazelnut/olive oil cookie. At lunch, expect the same model but with fewer courses, for example: mussel and Brussels sprout salad, cauliflower cream and mushroom consommé; slow-roasted pork loin with onions and black radishes; and chocolate tart. FYI: the Wednesday menus are 100% vegetarian. // J.-N.M.

FEELING THIRSTY? There’s something for every taste: a Chiroubles from the Domaine de la Grosse Pierre (€6 a glass), a Côtes-de-Provence rosé from the Château Saint-Maur (€8), a Côtes-du-Roussillon red from Le Mas Amiel (€35 a bottle), a Collines-Rhodaniennes white from Julien Pilon (€67)…

PRICE: Menus €28 (weekday lunch), €32 (Sunday and Saturday lunch), €55 (dinner).

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