How the hell do you decide where to eat in Paris? Pardon my French (pun very much intended). When Jonah and I decided to spend a quick 36 hours in the city of light between Christmas with his family in Germany and landing in Lisbon, I immediately felt overwhelmed. In my opinion, Paris is not the kind of place you can do in that short amount of time! But Jonah and I had both been to the city before, so we decided to just spend the day walking and eating.
As a holiday gift, my mom sent me some money for a nice dinner out in Paris. The research commenced, and after much reading, we ended up settling on a place I found fairly early on in my hunt: Restaurant Alliance from chef Toshitaka Omiya and Shawn Joyeux, two men with lots of Paris kitchen experience. It seemed beautiful, small, and interesting – and that’s exactly what it was. The space was long and narrow, seating maybe 30 people in total in comfy chairs under beautiful round chandeliers. The space was very calm and quiet without being uncomfortably so; everything felt very relaxed. In the back of the dining room, a huge window allowed a peek into the kitchen where the chef works.
After being greeted at our table by the champagne cart, Jonah and I picked the 6 course tasting menu and were off. The service was smooth and friendly, the wine suggested to us was perfect, and the ambiance was adventurous and relaxing at the same time. While we opted for the 6 course tasting menu, we ended up getting closer to 12 dishes, from amuse bouches to desserts. Some standout savory dishes were the cream of potato soup with cumin and breadcrumbs, sea urchin with grapefruit and Campari foam, and scallop with cauliflower and curcumin. Of the many desserts we were served, my favorite was the vanilla mousse with black olive powder. It was sweet and simple, but the saltiness of the olive harmonized so well with the almost overwhelming vanilla flavor. Even when we thought we were finished eating (we were very very full) we were brought a bowl filled with chocolates, jellies, and a small plate with two miniature financiers – still warm. It’s this attention to detail and luxury that makes each person who walks in the door feel like a VIP.