Flip for Le Dauphin

Thursday, July 28, 2011
By Pepita Diamand
LeDauphin1. The white marble + mirror decor, contrasting warm wood,
central bar and buzzy atmosphere makes this one of the super-coolest dining spots around. Pity about the accoustics;
it can be as struggle to hear each other
across the corner tables; other tables and the bar are
a are probably easier on the ear.

A dauphin's bill.

(And now for something completely different: A restaurant review from a different angle – the bill.)

1. The white marble + mirror decor, contrasting warm wood, central bar and buzzy atmosphere makes Le Dauphin one of the coolest dining spots around. The menu is sharing/tapas style and entirely ? organic. Frank’s the manager, who, despite a rather “lumberjack” look, is a patient and attentive host who has trained his staff well. Pity about the acoustics; it can be as struggle to hear across a corner table but other tables and the bar seats seem easier on the ear.

2. Interesting, up-and-coming neighbourhood that’s still a little way from coming up. Leave the mink and pearls behind and embrace real Paris.

3. Impressive selection of organic wines by the glass. Or so it seems. When a round, rich white was requested, Frank first suggested a taste of a Sauv/Chard blend, which was too mineral. He then proposed a pure Chardonnay, which was even more mineral. Deliberating red, a standard Cote du Rhone came next, and a decision was finally made on a chilled Languedoc was which, at least, was refreshing. An unfortunate start, but Frank was very kind and being able to taste first and order later gets bonus points.

4. Perfectly grilled baby squid.

5. Fresh, creamy and lovely young mozzarella, drizzled in olive oil.

6. Varied grilled and raw mushrooms was exquisitely presented and demonstrated enormous respect for the ingredients. Delicious.

7. Frank suggested this as an alternative to beef – an onglet of the same pork from which pata negra is made. It was a rich and flavourful steak like no pork you’ve ever known.

8. Densely black squid ink risotto that was so rich and flavourful, it’s a guilty pleasure. A little oily but that’s all that prevented the bowl from being licked clean, which is probably good thing, given it was a public place…

9. One giant prawn, perfectly seasoned and tempura flash-fried. Maybe not the best for sharing; the top half is mostly head, including antennae & shell.

10. Fresh and flavourful salad of yellow, green and red tomato chunks with delicate herbs and flowers. Frank’s suggestion, and a great one.

11. Made with traditional fermented milk from Brittany. So fresh and natural, not to mention unusual, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and thyme. The striking resemblance to the earlier burrata was amusing; the taste was amazing.

12. Frank suggested this to accompany our ‘frozen burrata’ and as with all his food suggestions, he was spot on. The most succulent berries on the crispiest pastry base, dolloped with uncooked meringue.

13. How often does this happen? 100€ on the nose for a dinner for 2 that was worth every penny.

14. Bientot? Absolutely! Going back soon.

Le Dauphin
131 avenue Parmentier
Paris 75011

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