Agapé Substance – Paris
Agapé Substance – “A table d’hôte gastronomique”
Chef: David Toutain
When preparing in December our last minute trip to Paris I found an interesting article from Gault Millau: Grands de demain 2012 with David Toutain as the reference for Paris. How could we better start 2012 than with a visit to Agapé Substance in January and after checking their great website, we were convinced!
The Normandy Chef, David Toutain, gained experience in Mugaritz, Arpège and after New York, finished creating his own style to open together with Laurent Lapaire “Agapé Substance”. Laurent Lapaire with a long service experience in Arpège too, opened first in 2008 his first restaurant Agapé (1*) with Olivier Le Franc. In 2010 he opened Agapé Bistrot and in 2011 the Agapé Substance.
When we entered the restaurant or should I mention bar, we had quite some mixed feelings. Is this the new restaurant concept of Paris? A table d’hôte chic where you all sit very close to each other, squeezed up and touching shoulder to shoulder. BUT we can tell you now already that this table with only around 24 covers maximum will be the most wanted table in Paris!
The kitchen style that David Toutain expresses is one with refined techniques and love for vegetables, plants, herbs, perfumes and purity of products. The concept is great, you get an ingredient list of 12 products and just name any allergies or not likes. The chef will create for your group a discovery trip around them. Don’t think your neighbor gets exactly the same, no the chef wants and needs to be creative and changes dishes in the flow of the moment. Per group off course you get the same. This carte blanche menu can be tuned with truffles to the carte noir.
At the end I counted 18 amazing dishes, miniatures created with passion and joy! I will not describe them all in detail but list them below and give some impressions on the gastronomical walk that blew me away!
Cardamine, wild watercress snow with a shellfish broth;
Coquille Saint-Jacques & truffles;
Crab, grapefruit & bouillon of Jerusalem artichoke;
Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut, rilette & champagne:
Soft cooked egg with cumin & sweetcorn;
Vélouté of salsify, speck ham & Chantilly;
Sea urchin & coffee;
Quail & trout egg, spring onions;
Risotto, celery & chestnut;
Coquille Saint-Jacques, Brussels sprouts & curry Madras;
Banka trout, rice & avocado;
Foie gras & potatoes;
Pied Bleu, hazelnut emulsion & pesto;
Les abats & foie gras sauce ;
Duck d’Auge, wheat, red beets & hibiscus;
Potatoes, truffles & vanilla;
Campari orange ice, mandarin, Gianduja & verbena;
In addition to all these great food discoveries, we have to admire the wine choices. The different selected wines per dish are also a real joy. Amazing fun with typical tastes and character wines, some little oxidized touches and very much teroir oriented.
I love this concept, it builds up a crescendo and has everything in becoming the new hotspot in foodie Paris. A dinner here is definitely worth booking a trip to Paris!Agapé Substance Rue Mazarine 66, 75006 Paris, FR TEl: +33 1 188.8.131.52 www.agapesubstance.com Sunday & Monday closed Be-Gusto score: 18/20