There is no shortage of places to eat in Paris. But, our demands are high-good food, reasonable price and please, (God forbid) no tourists! The last one especially difficult to meet, since this is Paris and Montmartre. But it seems that this Neo-bistro L’Atelier Ramey had it all.
For lunch, you can order à la carte as well as the set menu, but for dinner, you have to take four courses Degustation Menu, each section of which has four choices. It changes often, depending on what is fresh on the market and on the fancy and the creativity of the chef. The menu consists of good-sized portions – not too big, but enough to feel satisfied.
The day we came for dinner, all dishes on the menu sounded so good, it was difficult to choose. First, we were amused with amuse-bouche – carpaccio with whipped pumpkin cream.It was light, fluffy like a cloud and tasty- a very promising beginning.
For the soup course, I have chosen Soupe de Poisson (fish soup) and was presented with china bowl, empty except for grated Comte cheese and golden croutons inside, over which the waiter poured the bisque from the jug. The soup had a strong, but pleasant saffron and garlic taste, the cheese has melted and became wonderfully gooey and croutons were crunchy- a lovely combination!
Next the appetizer. Oysters from Brittany with Andouille Sausage and Leek Vinaigrette. Now, I love oysters and ditto with the Andouille sausage (the smell and the taste of which will repel most Americans). But… Warning! Never order oysters with something freshly cooked being placed on top of them, unless you are fond of WARM oysters! For me, the oysters have to be either very cold, or completely cooked (as in Asian oyster omelet), but never halfway. Well, I quickly separated the two items and eat them individually, (which I am sure was not something the chef had in mind:) But this way it was good, since both, oysters and sausage, were of exceptional quality.
For the main course, I had Cheeks of a Piglet (sorry, vegetarians!) with puy lentils and Morille mushrooms in a creamy sauce. Oh My God! The meat of the cheeks (beef or other) is usually much more tender than the other cuts, and it is a dish for those who love slow cooked recipes. But this was something exceptional – soft, delicate, delicious and it was melting in the mouth. And little Morilles hidden among lentils were tiny explosions of taste.
For the dessert, I have chosen Riz au Lait. All the Rice Puddings I have encountered before in my life were a very down to earth, inexpensive, simple desserts (read: boring), but the chef managed to make a little masterpiece even out of this-it was THE best rice pudding I ever had.
I am writing this, remembering the food, looking at my own pictures and already want to go back.