Friday, January 30, 2009

Le Versance Restaurant - Paris 75002

We made a great discovery today: a restaurant called Le Versance. Before even going, I was expecting it to be good based on it's web-site. And it didn't disappoint. Le Versance has all the elements I like in a restaurant: a modern touch, elegance, a place where you can actually enjoy a private conversation, decent seating space (where you're not crammed side-by-side with your neighbors...), refined & creative dishes, and a good quality-to-price ratio. Wow, that's a lot to ask for in a restaurant! Well, not really. It's just kind of rare to find the combination all in one place.

I arrived a good 10 minutes early - it took less time to walk from our apartment than I anticipated. I was seated in the salon, a kind of waiting area with nice seats & tables. The other two "muskateers" arrived and it is here that we ordered our lunch and were offered an amuse bouche (a little something to whet the appetite):
Velouté de panais, écume d'orange (cream of parsnip soup, orange froth)

We then moved to a nicely decorated table. I had ordered the prix fixe menu, or simply menu (the proposed menu of the day at a set price, a very common thing to do in France), as opposed to 'à la carte'. The choices offered for the menu sounded good to me. I skipped dessert, knowing there was a creme brulée waiting at home, "needing" to be eaten! Here's what I tried that day:

Rouleau de poulet, salade verte (Rolled chicken, green salad with vinaigrette)

This was a really nice first course - a salad, actually, with chicken. The chicken was served just at room temperature - not hot, as I imagined. I wasn't into the skin, however. It was as opposite of crispy as it can get. The salad was perfectly stacked (I can assure you this is not a natural or easy thing to do...! You need volume, people, volume! If I heard that once at school, I heard it a million times. Now I only think of that when I see a salad. Funny, eh? BTW, the vinaigrette was excellent.

Filet du mulet, pois, risotto de parmesan (mullet, snap peas & parmesan risotto)

My main course was nicely prepared & nicely presented. I liked the idea of putting the ribbon of cucumber around the risotto and I'll have to remember that. The sauce was a little thin, but so was the sauce of my friend's dish (seared scallops), so we suspected this was done by design. It also probably means it was made with much less butter than normal. The flavor was very good & in fact, with the rich risotto, it was a nice complement. It would have been too rich otherwise. So, bravo to the chef!

All in all, I would go back. Definitely. I know my limited experience does not make this a review, but that's not what this is supposed to be anyway! I just wanted to share a new discovery. Let me know if you go there & what you think.

Le Versance
16 rue Feydeau
75002 Paris
Tél: 01 45 08 00 08

lunch menu 32 € (first course, main course and glass of wine)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Girl in Paris:

My wife and I just returned from a 5-day Paris jaunt. Versance was probably the restaurant highlight of the trip, despite a couple of 3-star dining experiences while in the city. It was our discovery of the trip and I highly recommend this fine place to anyone wishing to enjoy fine cuisine at a reasonable price while in Paris. We spoke with the very friendly chef-owner for 20 minutes or so after our meal, who as it turns out, worked at several fine restaurants in other locations where we had also dined, including a formerly great French place in the U.S. We're with you on this one--a great find indeed.

N&D, Florida, USA