Paris, A Moveable Feast, Part 1: Verjus

As part of a ten-day jaunt at the end of the year in 2013, Myra and I ate our way across Paris, my favorite city in the whole wide world.

We had great cause for celebration than any other time that I had been in the City of Lights, as we’d just gotten engaged.  So each meal started with a nice glass of bubbly.

Verjus was our first stop, and for the first meal post-engagement, it was as near perfect as I can remember.  Maybe because we were famished and a burger would have been the best burger in the world.  But where I could remember through the haze of joy and jetlag and hunger, each dish was soulful, a creative departure from the next, building intricately course on course, the timing and the service were warm and attentive and unrushed despite the late hour, and the joyful murmur of the dining room a serendipitous cocoon of sound for our happiness.

House of Haos Verjus Paris France ChampagneBurlap bread baskets: House of Haos Verjus Paris France Bread BasketScallops two-ways – seared and tartare, with watermelon radish, fennel, and citrus.  It was the perfect first course, the intensified savoriness of seared scallop in balance with the tart cross-sections of fruit and the chopped pieces of raw, briny scallop, tender and buttery against the radish’s earthy crunch. House of Haos Verjus Paris France Watermelon Radish Orange Scallops Seared Tartare House of Haos Verjus Paris France Watermelon Radish Orange Scallops Seared Tartare 2Ricotta agnolotti with crushed nuts and cantaloupe:House of Haos Verjus Paris France Ricotta Agnolotti Clams with artichoke puree:House of Haos Verjus Paris France Clams Artichoke PureeWild boar confit, slow-poached egg, flower petals, hearts of palm, mustard seeds.  Not since Maui had I had wild boar, and that had been slow-cooked underground for a whole day, supercharged with an intensely smoky gaminess.  This version was slightly more understated, but still wonderfully rich with that feral pork flavor, tempered by the mildness of egg yolk and mustard seeds.House of Haos Verjus Paris France Wild Boar Confit Slow-poached Egg Mustard Seeds Pan-seared duck with pineapple:House of Haos Verjus Paris France Pan-seared duck PineappleHouse-aged cheese plate with quince paste, capers, and olives:House of Haos Verjus Paris France Cheese Plate Lemon sorbet in champagne:House of Haos Verjus Paris France Lemon Sorbet ChampagneClementine sponge cake with chocolate dust, ice cream, and flower petals:House of Haos Verjus Paris France Sponge Cake House of Haos Verjus Paris Last CourseSend-off candies:House of Haos Verjus Paris France CandiesThe restaurant has a tiny bar downstairs that even as we were leaving was still populated with the pre-holiday rush.  Verjus’ story is also a unique one, having evolved from a supper club held by Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian, an American couple, in their apartment.  That home concept seems to inform the restaurant’s decor, with pleasant bare wooden tables and a tall copper pipe and slender windowpanes like a petite apartment along some unnamed Haussman street.

Verjus
52 rue de Richelieu
75001
Reservations : 01.42.97.54.40
e-mail: verjusparis@gmail.com
(Paris by Mouth)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s