La Dame de Pic★ // 1er // Paris

Madame Anne-Sophie Pic is France’s most decorated female chef. With her ***3 restaurant in Valence, just south of Lyon, Pic has ventured north to set-up her second restaurant in Paris. Known for her exceptional talent of choosing products, Pic uses twists of elegance, in feminine combinations to create beautiful dishes.

Case in point – three phenomenally large “Gillardeau” oysters, beautifully placed on a light and smooth verbena infused jelly (very British), and wonderfully accompanied by some slightly pickled cucumber cubes. The full, fresh experience doesn’t stop there either, as the whole dish is accented with a simple yet inventive basil yoghurt velouté. The combination is just a pure tour de force. Even people who don’t like oysters will appreciate and love this dish. It’s fresh and herbal; a real journey into a seaside garden.

But where Pic’s fusion style really plays its part is with the second starter. A generous fillet of high-quality red mullet, steamed with some fragrant essences and served with a poultry stock foam and reduced cream, infused with pink peppercorns. The fish is delicately laid on a bed of celery batons that have been pickled in kabosu juice. This dish is memorable because of its simplicity and because of its shocking flavour. It will make you think, “why has no one thought of that before”? Red mullet with citrus and a light seasoning; sublime and exceptional.

The melting slow-cooked pork roulade is also cooking perfection. Without forgetting the sweet roasted fig and the tangy but also bitter aubergine caviar with tonka beans; this dish is completely succulent. The sweetness of the pork goes well with the fig while the tonka bean brings-out a bit of acidity and contrast on the palate.

Dessert wise, expect the true level of French patisserie, with a lightness of touch and magnificent flavour. Figs again, in a ganache composition of exclusive Manjari chocolate, served on a saffron sweet jelly. Light in the end with an autumnal flavour, the presentation is prefect and its a wonderful way to finish your meal.

Without any doubt Madame Pic has started her Paris venture at a very high level, certainly approaching the top of the *1 star pool. We won’t be surprised if it reach **2 stars by the end of 2014. Bravo.