A Scandinavian touch for Tannat’s interior.
The first block of Avenue Parmentier, near Rue du Faubourg du Temple in the 11th arrondissement, once a no-man’s land food-wise, is turning into something of a gourmet strip now that “old-timers” Chateaubriand and Le Dauphin have been joined by a new restaurant, Tannat.
Tannat has a highly pleasing Scandinavian-design-influenced decor, all the rage these days, with blond wood tables and floor, black chairs, an asymmetric mirror on the back wall and a round one on the ceiling, and a bookshelf here and there.
The staff members, young and full of smiles, impressed us with their promptness and general professionalism.
On the menu, the limited number of choices (three starters, four main courses and three desserts) was a good indication that close attention would be paid to each one, and that turned out to be true. Without being transcendent, the food was creative, flavorful and satisfying.
The asparagus (only three miserly spears, alas) was perfectly cooked to a bright green, prettily contested with orange nasturtium flowers and
served with delicious small chunks of chorizo in a light, creamy sauce sprinkled with crunchy bits for added texture. The other starter was octopus wrapped like a big sushi in crispy
nori (seaweed) with a creamy citrus-flavored sauce, thinly sliced radishes and fresh herbs.
The bass fillet we had for one of the main courses was lovely. What really made this dish, however, were the amazing purée of artichokes
and the colorful, highly flavorful sauce. What looked like sushi accompanying it turned out to be zucchini formed into the shape of sushi. An extraneous lone piece of zucchini tempura was less successful – too greasy.
The other main course – pork cheeks with
cubes of feta cheese – came on a bed of pea purée with a meat jus and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. No complaints here, although it seemed somewhat less original than the other dishes.
Our desserts were both delectable, especially
the vacherin with luscious cherries, almond milk and lime sorbet. The other, its near equal, was strawberries with a langue de chat cookie, cream and pistachio ice cream.
A highly likable bottle of 2013 Côte de Py Morgon from Jean-Marc Burgaud (€31) accompanied the meal with grace.
I have to hand it to Tannat’s owners for creating such an attractive space and putting so much thought into the food they serve at surprisingly reasonable prices. The main courses range from €18 to €21, much more reasonable than most restaurants of its type, which these days generally charge €25-€26 or more. Good job all round!Reader Harriet Welty Rochefort writes: “I agree with your review of Tannat. The food, I found, was well-prepared and quite delicious. The staff is indeed young and eager to please. I went with a friend who has a mega-problem with gluten (like just about everybody these days, it seems), and they actually replaced his dish after it arrived on the table and he found that it wasn’t what he had thought and couldn’t eat it. In my opinion, the restaurant has only one flaw. It is way too noisy. But, alas, that seems to be a problem in the majority of Paris eateries. If you discover a good restaurant that is also quiet, do write a review!”
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