Creative Extras Make the Meal

April 20, 2016By Heidi EllisonRestaurants


A peek into the kitchen at Anthocyane.

The name of the restaurant Anthocyane made one of my friends think of cyanide, but luckily no one in our group was poisoned during our lengthy meal there.

This is an elegant, comfortable place with handsome, roomy gray sofas instead of banquettes and formal, hotel-school service, all signs of Michelin-star ambitions, as are the complex dishes and many extra tidbits. And the prices are in line with that.

The meal started out beautifully with several amuse-bouches: a Japanese cracker dotted with guacamole, a tiny olive cake filled with


intense olive-flavored emulsion, a “cheesecake” (really a cube of cheese) topped with black-cherry jelly, and then, separately, a wonderful


salmon mousse topped with beetroot foam.

I had the set lunch menu (three courses and a glass of wine for €39) and started with the squid with basil purée, a dish unworthy of the


restaurant’s ambitions: the squid was far too chewy and the purée barely there.

After an inexplicably long wait (the restaurant was not even full), the main courses finally arrived. I had ordered the quasi de veau (fillet of veal), which was fine, with one notable exception: the cute little potato rolls, which


had the dry, mealy texture and lack of flavor of reheated potatoes. The veal, barely cooked, was of excellent quality but nothing was done to doll it up. The most exciting thing about this dish was the melt-in-the-mouth mushrooms, cooked to perfection.

Of the other main courses, the scallops were


declared “nothing special,” but the minimalist


dish of turbot was greatly appreciated by another of my companions.

We all ordered the rich, chocolatey dessert soufflé, a major hit. The same friend who had brought up cyanide thought (rightly) that it


looked like a nuclear cooling tower.

We weren’t finished yet, however. Next up was


a plateful of bite-sized treats, including another tasty chocolate delight, a chunk of pineapple and a Madeleine.

In spite of all the delightful extras – which stood out creatively more than the dishes themselves – and the comfortable setting, I don’t think I’ll return to Anthocyane, especially considering the prices. I think I’d rather get fat at my discovery of last week, the restaurant Gros.


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