Les Fables de la Fontaine

 lesfablesdelafoutaine-6The Rue Saint-Dominique in the 7th Parisian district is the craddle of Christian Constant’s empire, and it was also there that “in other life” he opened a sea dedicated restaurant, Les Fables de la Fontaine – in a pun intended between the Fontaine de Mars, where the restaurant is located, and the famous book of Jean de la Fontaine – in 2005 he put the restaurant in the hands of the director of Violon d’Ingres (see), David Bottreau, who quickly conquered a star in the famous red guide.

In 2015 it was time to change, remodel the entire decoration, creating a cozier environment, modern and informal; David made one of his biggest bets, handing the kitchen to Julia Sedefdjian, a young cook, whom at 21 years old became, probably, the youngest lider of a starred restaurant in the country.

lesfablesdelafoutaine-8More than enough reason to sharpen our curiosity about the space that nowadays intends to mix gastronomical cuisine with a Bistrò environment and inviting prices. Working with the best fishes in each season, some classic references and Mediterranean influence, more than natural, the chef being born in Nice.

Arrived and installed in the terrace, like good Parisians, we quicly realize we’re not in an “usual” michelin, there’s noise, close tables, relaxation and life, in a combination of usual guests and world citizens.

The bread and butter set the bar high right away, showing we’re not the corner café, and we start discovering the menu.

lesfablesdelafoutaineMackerel, potato, tomato, olive and mustard cream 
The first course was part of the “menu of the day” and we were conquered right away, showing us Julia’s culinary intentions. A said to be less noble fish, flawlessly cooked, accompanied by elements of freshness and texture, not forgetting comfort, in the case of the potato and the well achieved connection of the elements by the cream. Highlight also to the great crunch. A beautiful start!

lesfablesdelafoutaine-2Egg, Haddock, leek and spicy vinaigrette 
The egg yolk in a crunchy cape is a technical and visual delight, an interesting dish, in which the salty notes and the texture of the fish (cooked and raw) connected really well with the leek, the spicy notes, the delicate sauce, elevated by the yolk. Less interesting pasta, a bit dry, in which the yolk was set.

Accompanying was a Petit Chablis “Hauterivien” of Domaine Pommier 2015, an elegant and accessible wine of bio production. A very fresh wine, light, with citric and white flower notes, with contained acidity and superior minerality. A beautiful companion to the starters.

lesfablesdelafoutaine-3Fresh Cod, aioli, seasonal vegetables, La Laguna de Fuente de Piedra olive oil
One of Julia’s signature dishes, showing the deceptively simplicity of her cuisine and the flawless execution of both vegetables and the fish. Delicate cooking, tasty vegetables, good texture, interesting sauces, matching very well the vegetables and fish, giving them another dimension.

Harmonizing was a less enthusiastic Sauvignon Saint-Bris of Domaine Verret 2014, one of the rare sauvignon produced in Burgundy. It did not compromise the fish with its aromatic side, but brought little to the mouth.

lesfablesdelafoutaine-4Sablé BretonCurd and Lemon sorbet, Meringue
By condition I almost always expect less of the sweet side of a restaurant, but Julia started surprising with her interpretation of the classic lemon pie, so loved in the city. Excellent sablé, very good curd and sorbet, perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. High score also to the pepper touch of the meringue. Very good!

lesfablesdelafoutaine-5Strawberry, panna cotta, pistachio cake and whipped cream
If there are matching elements, they’re here, strawberries, cream and pistachio; nicely worked in an excellent texture and flavor game, with highight to the panna cotta without excess gelatin, the whipped cream and the strawberry sorbet. The cake could have been more intense to the dry fruit, even so, it was a delicious dessert!

The room, in this case the terrace, seemed to me the point where the restaurant still needs to tune the team a bit. For sure it intends to be more informal than usual, but there are still some small details that shouldn’t “escape throught the fingers”.

Highlight to the three Port wines available in the short wine list of the restaurant – Graham’s and Quinta da Romaneira.

Speaking of Graham’s we took advantage of the small talk we had with the young Julia Sedefdjian to offer her the Graham’s Tawny 30 years we took with us to Paris.


Final Remarks
The Les Fables de la Fontaine is nowadays one of the interesting gastronomical projects, not only of the 7th district, but of Paris, breaking protocol barriers in the light of the famous bistronomie spaces, allying a sophisticated cuisine and good ingredients, to fair prices – the lunch menu, for example stars at 25€ with starter and main course, something rare for a starred restaurant in the city. The hand of Julia Sedefdjian indicates work and talent, a clear winning bet of David, we are left to follow her evolution and her course as a cook, certainly taking her to great flights.

A space to visit and revisit!

Les Fables de La Fontaine
+33 1 44 18 37 55
Rua Saint-Dominique, 131  – Paris

Versão Portuguesa

 Text: João Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses 

We were at Les Fables de La Fontaine by invitation, whereas this not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.
Graham’s 30 anos kindly provided by Graham’s Port.

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