Alleudium is one of those restaurants that had the bad luck to open just before Covid struck and Paris went into lockdown, but it has managed to survive in what may actually be a propitious location: the unprepossessing Rue de Rodier, which is home to a couple of great restaurants: across the street is Condesa, now the proud possessor of one Michelin star, and two doors down is Hotaru, a topnotch Japanese restaurant. Two other Michelin-starred restaurants can be found around the corner: L’Innocence and Aspic.
All that to say that chef Keiichi Shinohara, an alumnus of Le Violon Dingue and Maxim’s, is in good company in his attractive restaurant decorated in shades of blue and gray.
The chef may be Japanese, but his menu is predominantly French. Service is provided by a motherly woman who took good care to see that all our needs were met.
We chose the six-course tasting menu (€39) available at lunchtime, starting with a double appetizer: a savory interpretation of a canelé (normally a rum-flavored dessert), with a fishy base and bits of chorizo, and a brandade (a mixture of fish and mashed potatoes) croquette. I found them both delightful but my lunch companion was not overly impressed.
Next up was a plate with a rather random collection of bitty ingredients on it – beets, squid (too chewy), pickled lotus root (tasty) and figs – but nothing to really bring them all together.
The fish course was a small piece of cod with a lovely stew of tiny Japanese mushrooms whose delicate flavor was a bit overwhelmed by the pickled red onions that had been added to the mix of vegetables.
The next dish was our favorite: a supremely tender piece of grilled paleron de bœuf (chuck steak) with a rich gravy, accompanied by a colorful and delicious medley of carrots prepared in different ways and an emulsion of carrot greens.
There were two desserts, beginning with a light dish of apricot with apricot coulis, almond cream and almond-milk emulsion. It was followed by a perfect pavlova with both soft and crispy meringues and blueberries.
Shinohara is obviously a talented chef who puts his heart (and good ingredients) into his work, but on the day we ate there, the magical combinations of flavors one always hopes for were absent. My friend, who lives in the neighborhood, doesn’t plan to go back, but perhaps I will give it another try.Favorite