Top class French Bistro
Alain Ducasse shouldn't be a strange name to any foodies around the world, one of the most successful chefs in his generation, he now owns a global restaurant empire with multi Michlein stars across the world from London to Hong Kong. Benoit in Paris is perhaps one of his most lower profile, traditional 1 Michelin starred restaurant. It is a French bistro with more than 100 years of history, cooking is classic recipes in a proper old school, warm and comfortable atmosphere. Benoit offers a traditional al la carte menu as well as a set lunch menu which cost 39 Euro per person with 3 dishes to chose from each course, not a bad way to experience high level bistro French food.
|Comté cheese and artichoke terrine, crispy bacon|
|Duck rillettes, tangy vegetables|
The duck rillettes was an instant winner, the richness and the creamy meat texture were solid without a trace of unpleasant bitterness. The tangy picked vegetables worked like magic with the rillettes to offset the bold taste. Comté cheese and artichoke terrine was a challenge, but a fun one, it was almost like a Welsh rarebit with crispy bacon acting as the bread crust. The soft nuttiness of the cheese blend in nicely with the artichoke but the portion was seriously big for a starter. I was in love with the pan-seared black pudding, the full on savoury taste was second to none, the seasoning was top notch and it was easily as good as the same version from the 2 starred Le Gavroche in London.
|Grenobloise-style skate wing, spinach leaves|
|Traditional veal blanquette|
|Pan-seared black pudding two style apples|
|Armagnac savarin, lightly whipped cream|
The set lunch quality from Benoit was truly impressive, no gimmick or beautiful presentation, just rock solid plates of classic French cooking done at a high level. The service, as you would expect from an Alain Ducasse restaurant, was top notch, very charming with a touch of cheeky humour to make our meal a touch more special and memorable. Benoit would be one of those places I would happily revisit if I ever live nearby, London seriously lack any real high quality bistro at an affordable price so I was very thankful I have managed to find such a wonderful restaurant from my Paris trip.
What I paid:
£30 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
£30 lunch menu
£60 dinner menu
20 Rue Saint-Martin, 75004 Paris, France