Pottoka // 7ème // Paris

Following hot on the heels of restaurants from Aveyron, Basque has become the new hit cuisine in Paris. Restaurants like L’Ami Jean and l’Entredgeu are great, and now, Pottoka has been added to our list. Chef Sébastien Gravé is certainly trying to reach another level, with his avant garde food in a cosy setting.

The minute that you walk in to Pottoka, you’ll have your eyes on the plates – and they look great. Sumptuous dressing, which is very Michelin in style. But this isn’t just about looks, it’s about taste too. Wonderful products are pulled together in simple, powerful combinations that will get you really excited.

Dishes like the butternut velouté, which is light and creamy. Finished, just as it says on the menu – like an airy cappuccino foam. A pungent truffle mousse, strong and intense, balances the sweetness of the butternut. Taking the dish to another level, Gravé adds delicate smoked eel, as well as a crispy black pudding cracker. A zingy vinaigrette brings a little touch of acidity. Luxurious ingredients with an earthy taste. A very accomplished dish overall, easily at a 1* star level.

Or how about the shoulder of suckling pig (yes your read that correctly). Confit to perfection, melting like butter. It’s served on a bed of chestnut cream purée, velvety and sweet, with a side of roasted pumpkin. These sweet elements are then lifted by a thick, vinegary jus. Its tanginess makes the whole dish lighter.

For dessert, the Basque country classic “gateau Basque”, is on offer. Like a light, shortbread brioche-cum-cake, which is filled with vanilla and rum crème pâtissière. It may look like a heavy lump, but don’t be fooled. Try it, and you’ll definitely order it the next time you see it on a menu.

Overall, Pottoka is a great addition to the Paris restaurant scene. Bold, creative use of flavours, blowing away any idea of this just being a Basque bistro. It’s so good that we wouldn’t be surprise if chef Sébastien gains his first star soon.