Parisian gastronomy is evolving into an international scene with cuisine from around the world. While locals can now enjoy a curry or taco just as easily as coq au vin, traditionalists and tourists still desire authentic French cooking. Alain Ducasse’s Michelin-starred Benoit delivers dishes with panache that bring old world recipes into the twenty-first century.
The décor sets the tone for a delightful French encounter with flair. Brass railings and lanterns with etched glass backdrops and poster art on the mustard-colored faux-painted marble walls pays homage to the 103-year-old restaurant without being cliché. Crisp white linens on the table and flowery bone china plates with a “B” monogram add an upscale touch.
Chef Fabienne Eymard is charged with carrying on the spirit and passion of the families Matray and Petti, original chef owners since 1912. Eager to try a variety of dishes, I let chef Eymard choose the courses and the knowledgeable sommelier Olivier Gresselin pair wines accordingly. The results were outstanding.
First came mouthwatering warm cheese puffs with just the right amount of pepper. Next was a smooth foie gras pâté on homemade crostini.
Known for the asparagus dishes and since it was the right season (March), it was a treat to taste a warm version with truffle mousseline sauce that appeared heavy yet was amazingly light. It was served with a wonderful wine from Provence, Le Pigeonnier White Vision 2012, that was quite dry but sweet with apple and pear notes.