Etc ★ // 16ème // Paris

Close to the avenue Champs-Elysées but tucked away just enough to not be found by tourists is ETC. This area is bustling with business during the day and calm at night, which makes it the perfect place for a romantic diner. And with Christian Le Squer (former head chef at the three-star Ledoyen) in charge of the menu, the food is outstanding.

With fresh Asian influences, high quality products and classic technique, chef Bernard Pinaud shows just how good he is with dishes like the blue lobster from Brittany. Often over cooked and chewy, here the cooking simply reveals the lobster with its strong, sweet flavours of the sea. Accompanied by a pomelo jelly, this sweet and sour combination comes with a lightly roasted “sucrine” (romaine lettuce) in a creamy blue cheese dressing. You’ll certainly be wanting more.

Then onto the mains, with an amazing piece of cod. Pan-fried after a stint in a water bath, the exterior is crispy like a goujon, with a dollop of caviar bringing a “fatty” element which gives a luxurious, velvety contrast. But best of all is the sauce made from “lait ribot” cheese from Brittany. Creamy and rich, but light as water. While cod can be flat in taste, this morsel has been lifted to the level of turbot; rich and fulfilling.

The beef is also outstanding, cooked on smoky charcoal, topped with a mustard grain dressing and glazed in a teriyaki sauce. Charolais beef with the quality of a wagyu fillet; top notch.

To finish off, the dessert is also at a Michelin level. Even non-chocolate fans will be impressed by the trio of ganache, presented like a marquise. Three little fingers of pure chocolate are served (one of them mixed with salted caramel), finished with a simple space dust effect that pops in your mouth and accentuates the salty notes; genius and incredibly light.

There is no doubt that ETC deserves its star. Each plate is balanced, creative and sings the praises of its impressive ingredients. From Brittany  to Asia, chef Pinaud shows-off some exceptional cooking. A must try, at reasonable price for expensive Paris.