By Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
The windows featured a view of the chefs at work
While staying in the fifteenth arrondisement in Paris we had lunch at Le Quinzième Cyril Lignac (14, rue Cauchy, 75015 Paris, France +331 45 54 43 43, www.restaurantlequinzieme.com, email@example.com), named for Cyril Lignac, an ambitious up and coming young chef from the Aveyron region in southwestern France. When he first arrived in Paris in 2000, he worked at L’Arpège, one of the most celebrated restaurants in the city. Only five years later he opened Le Quinzième on the French series Oui Chef! By 2012, he had expanded his culinary company to include bistros, a bakery and a cooking school and received his first Michelin star at the fifteenth arrondissement restaurant.
Our bite size starters
To work up an appetite we walked part of the way to lunch. From the street we could see the kitchen staff at work through large glass windows before entering the restaurant from a side street. To reach the entrance we passed through an awning covered terrace devoid of guests on a rainy and gray winter day. Inside, the dining room was beginning to fill up. Brown carpeting, black tiled walls and recessed lights set a cozy tone. Pretty table settings, comfortable built-in sofas and armchairs invited us to linger over our meal. From our back corner table we could glance through oversize glass windows onto the terrace.
Scallop from Brittany with Tandoori spices
A glass of rose Veuve Cliquot accompanied quince jelly and cheese, crispy goat cheese and chorizo roll, foie gras and white beet root warm cream bite size morsels to start. Smoked salted butter and several types of bread were on offer: crunchy cereal (a favorite), olive, baguette, and thyme and lemon.
Christophe Tran, manager, Le Quinzieme
Sole de Petit Bateau slowly baked in herbs Viennoise
Our multi-course meal with four wines was outstanding. We had Scallop fished in Brittany roasted in salted butter with Tandoori spices, fine puree of parsnip and sesame cream; a light and flavorful Sole de Petit Bateau slowly baked in herbs Viennoise, shrimps, yellow wine sauce, Ratte potato puree with vanilla zest; Breton Lobster cooked in nut-flavored butter, green Sechuan berries, flavored potato gnocchi, lobster cream and Parmesan cheese, a winning blend of ingredients that highlighted the lobster without overwhelming it; Tangerine sorbet with fresh mint juice; Beef Simmenthal roasted in semi-salted butter brioche bread-crumbed with foie gras and black truffle that had well balanced flavors served with memorable mashed potatoes; and Roquefort with a poached pear.
Beef Simmenthal roasted in semi-salted butter brioche bread-crumbed with foie gras and black truffle
For pre-dessert there was Muscovado sugar crumble with lemongrass emulsion, mango sorbet and Bhaba (au Rhum) gelee. Our first dessert, reminiscent of key lime pie, was Lemon from Nice cream and preserved lemon, thin shortbread, and Bourbon flavored vanilla ice cream. Next we had Madagascar light chocolate cream with Tanariva milk chocolate, crisp praline flake and lime ice cream. The staff served chocolates with the espresso at the end.
Lemon from Nice cream
Lunch was accompanied by a slightly sweet honey colored Alsatian 2007 Gruenspiel Marcel Deiss, 2010 Chassange-Montrachet Domaine Fontaine-Gaganard, 2006 Saint-Foy Bordeaux Reserve de la Famille Chateau Martet, and 2010 Vouvrey Petillant Vincent Careme.
Madagascar light chocolate cream with Tanariva milk chocolate, crisp praline flake and lime ice cream
A well presented and prepared meal that focused on the flavors of the ingredients, attentive service, and a pleasant setting will bring us back to Le Quinzieme the next time we are in the neighborhood.