La Table D’Eugène

Montmartre is a mandatory neighbourhood to visit when in Paris! Besides the hills, the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, the unique view over the rooftops of Paris, the overflow of artists at Place du Tetre, the historical constructions and of course, the bohemian vibe from the 20s or 30s that is still possible to feel in its narrow and sloping streets.

As in any other touristy place, the best option is to flee from spaces with tons of people, feel the atmosphere of the area and its architecture, wandering around its streets while picturing yourselves in the company of Hemingway, Picasso, Monet and many others.

And there is located the La Table D’Eugène, considered by many the best restaurant in this area. Open since 2008, by the hands of Geoffroy Maillard, it started has a classic bistro, but Geoffroy’s schooling –  Le Nôtre, Plaza Athénée with Éric Briffard, and the Epicure at Hotel Le Bristol with Éric Frechon – took him to fine dining, and in 2015 he won his first Michelin start, that he keeps ’till today.

Arriving at the restaurant and after the long curtain, we are surprised by a small, well decorated, and cosy dining room, without the apparent ceremony of a classic Michelin. Warmly welcomed and quickly accompanied to our table, we soon get a small explanation about the concept and menus.

In good French manners, the initial toast is made with Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils 1er Cru, while the first snacks arrived at the table.

Dashi, foie gras and horseradish ravioli
Corn tartelete with salmon roe
Vegetable tempura with veggie charcoal and spices

We didn’t come with pre-conceived ideas or expectations, but right here we knew we were in for something good in this lunch. Excellent Dashi and tempura!

Scallop Ceviche, radish, meringue and roe 
“Leche” served in a shaker like a cocktail, a dish full of fresh elements and textures, demonstrating the great technical skills of the team. A light and fresh start, with a noteworthy elegance.

Mackerel Gravlax, beetroot aguachile, dashi and hibiscus  
A dish worked from a colour, and from the combination of the interesting mackerel gravlax with more earthy flavours. Technically perfect, with an excellent combination of flavours, I could only acknowledge the gravlax that ends up losing a bit of protagonism, among so many and good elements, textures and flavours.

By the hand of the charming Catherine, at our glasses arrived a Pouilly-Fumé Les Cris 2018 from Domaine A. Cailbourdin, a pure Sauvignon Blanc, fruity and mineral. Went well the cure of the fish and the earthy notes of the dish.

Celery root, pecorino cheese, and smoked butter
The vegetarian dish of the menu was also the most challenging in terms of flavours and textures. The cooking of the root moulded its intensity while giving it a pleasant texture and a flavour that worked perfectly with the smoked notes of the butter and the greasiness of the cheese foam.

To go with, an Arbois Cuvée d’Automne do Domaine de la Pinte, a classic from Jura, in which the complex notes of the Savagnin, moulded by the Chardonnay, resulted in a complex and fresh wine, with the confit and dried fruits notes working very well with the dish.

Monkfish, cabbage, kale and beetroot
Looking at the plate it was beautiful, and the tasting was amazing! Perfectly cooked monkfish – very rare – well paired with earthy flavours and spicy notes of the pepper used on the fish. A great, great dish!

Pintades, vegetable puree, leek, peanut and mole
Beautiful, full of textures and flavours elevating the pintades to a great level. Another dish where the high level of cuisine practised here was noticeable. And yes, that sauce you see in the picture forced me to keep eating bread (good bread, by the way).

Well paired with a red Languedoc full of red fruits and good structure, a Corbières Rozeta 2017 by Maxime Magnon.

Goats cheese, olives and whisky caramel – a pre-dessert that was also a challenge to taste by the flavours combined. Great!

Pear, lemon, white chocolate, ginger, lychees and geranium
The dessert was at the same high level of the previous dishes, with the chef once again working well with textures, in a light and fresh ending, as I love.

Chocolate Sphere
When we thought it was over, at our table arrives a classic of the restaurant. The chocolate sphere, covered in chocolate sauce, chocolate ice cream, tonka bean and dentelle crêpes. A piece of sin to those who can’t resist a chocolate dessert. We can’t, at all!

We ended with a Gaillac DouxLoin de L’Oeil du Domaine Plageoles 2016, with its sweetness and aromas working very well with the pear.

The service was flawless throughout lunch, with the dishes well-explained, without rush or pretentiousness.

Final Remarks 
A neighbourhood restaurant, that is much more than that! In a few years, Geoffroy Maillard transformed his small bistro in what he does best, fine dining! Without palatial decorations, or pompous tables like in many other great restaurants in town. The chef accomplished a nice balance between the informal and the refinement, allied to the haute cuisine. The dishes have technical knowledge above average, as well as a surprising capacity for matching flavours.

It was for sure one of the tables that surprised me the most in our last trips to Paris, I’ll gladly return!

Prices from 38€ – lunch menu (without wines)
18 rue Eugène Sue – Paris
+33 1 42 55 61 64

Photos: Flavors & Senses
Text: João Oliveira
Versão Português
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