“Worth a detour,” the expression made famous by the Michelin Guides, definitely applies to the new restaurant Détour, located in Paris’s ninth arrondissement. What is really cool, however, is that the word can also be applied to a couple of the dishes we had, which seemed to make a detour while we were eating them, surprising us midway through with new flavors.
The best example was one of the starters, described on the menu as simply “watermelon, burrata and tomato.” We dived into the sweet, flavorful chunks of watermelon and fresh burrata, nicely complemented by a touch of raspberry vinegar (I didn’t notice any tomato), only to discover a layer of lumpfish roe at the bottom, which mixed beautifully with the vinegar and the creamy juice of the burrata to form a sort of cold soup.
The other starter was equally creative and surprising: tucked inside a folded leaf of pointed cabbage was a big spoonful of mascarpone with shrimp, chives and croutons. Delicious on its own, and even better when combined with the pretty sauce of pineapple and yellow peppers.
With its €32 fixed-price menu, the restaurant generously offers two starters, a main course and dessert, so we both got to enjoy these excellent first courses.
There were two main courses on the menu, and we tried them both. One was maigre (meager, a fish that seems to be popping up in every Paris restaurant these days), with a medley of squash: grilled zucchini, mashed zucchini and yellow squash purée. Successfully bringing it all together was a brilliant, rich veal jus.
The chicken breast, cut into two and nicely seared on one side, was flavorful but a tiny bit dry. All was forgiven, however, when some of that same luscious veal juice was poured over it and when we tasted the unusual dumplings filled with black pudding.
The desserts – one with fresh strawberries, strawberry ice cream, whipped cream and a tuile and the other fresh apricots with carrot ice cream and a tuile – were refreshing and beautifully prepared.
This is a tiny place (only 16 covers) with a pleasingly simple decor. The chef, Adrien Cachot, works alone in the open kitchen while the adorable waitress takes good care of her customers. What more can I say? Take the detour! You will not get lost.