By Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
The entrance of Le Clarisse
The first thing we noticed about Restaurant Le Clarisse was the wall window that allowed us to see the interior of the dining room from the seventh arrondisement street as we walked toward the entrance. Once inside, the contemporary decor with wood floors, high ceiling, light filled room, wallpaper, metal chandeliers, cushioned built-in seats and armless chairs and unadorned black wood tables with gray runners in lieu of tablecloths drew our attention. When we reached our narrow dining space we appreciated that a staff person had taken our winter coats.
The place settings were simple but elegant
While we perused the menu and sipped on aperitif drinks accompanied by Baby Scallops and Gamba Carpaccio bites we observed the pretty silverware and dinnerware, central red bar, recessed lights, street view that mirrored the one we had seen from the outside, and a partial loft space with additional guests upstairs. The wine list concentrated mainly on French selections ranging from 36 to 700 euros. There was also a sake list with twelve choices available chilled by the glass and by the bottle.
There was a dried ham by the window
A young woman offered us crusty bread with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or country bread. She refilled our bread plates often although no butter or oil were on offer.
Following the amuse-bouche, we had Carpaccio de langoustines, gelee de ponzu (Carpaccio of Dublin Bay prawns, ponzu sauce); Ravioles legumieres, carottes, curcuma, coriandre, celeri rave, curry, romarin et agrumes (Small ravioli with vegetables, carrots, curcuma, celeriac, curry and citrus fruit). Served in a light bouillon they were buttery and light. One was spicy.
Carpaccio de langoustines, gelee de ponzu
Ravioles legumieres, carottes, curcuma, coriandre, celeri rave, curry, romarin et agrumes
Noix de Saint Jacques, eclats de noix, taboule de quinoa rouge, couteaux, blettes rouges, reduction de cidre et pousses de shizo (Scallops with walnuts, red quinoa tabbouleh with razor clams, Swiss chard, cider sauce and shizo leaves) were mildly crunchy, toasted with a rich flavor and served on a white plate. La joue de boeuf, marinade bourgogne et lavande, shiro-miso en neige (Ox cheek braised in pinot noir and lavender, beaten shiro-miso) was prepared with a satisfying hearty sauce and a chestnut puree we enjoyed.
Noix de Saint Jacques, eclats de noix, taboule de quinoa rouge, couteaux, blettes rouges, reduction de cidre et pousses de shizo
La joue de boeuf, marinade bourgogne et lavande, shiro-miso en neige
The exotic fruit crumble with whipped cream was crispy, lightly sweet and barely tart. The Souffle au chocolate (Chocolate souffle) had brown sugar on the rim, cassis ice cream and white chocolate coulis.
The exotic fruit crumble
Chef Sadaki Kajiwara
We liked the restaurant’s modern decor, attentive service, English speaking staff and well prepared and presented French meal. What surprised and will draw us back were the Japanese ingredients Chef Sadaki Kajiwara added to the dishes to make them distinctive. In addition, we found the seven-course menu for 79 euros good value for money. Le Clarisse (29, rue Surcouf, 75007 Paris, France, + 33 1 45 50 11 10, www.leclarisse.fr, firstname.lastname@example.org) will be on our short list anytime we are in the neighborhood.