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L'Absinthe, the beautiful address on the Place du Marché Saint Honoré

What are the specialties of this unusual restaurant?
A few years ago, we tested this restaurant run by the Rostand family (Michel Rostand, a starred chef who bought the Train bleu). The time has come today to make a new visit. This restaurant is located 250 meters from the Relais Saint Honoré in the charming Place du Marché Saint Honoré.
On sunny days, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful restaurant terraces in the city. It is beautiful, it is good, it is calm. Today, in the middle of winter, we are going to stay in the room, well warm.

The decor does not seem to have changed. An atmosphere both industrial and bistro. We are installed on benches or upholstered cabriolets. Fabric napkins and crystal glasses. All this looks good but it is a pity that the tablecloth of the bistrot tables (here square) was abandoned.

Since last summer, the chef is Adrien Bernier. This self-taught chef particularly likes to cook seafood, but also meat grilled over a wood fire. That's why my choice is going to be a starter based on shellfish followed by a grill. We start with roasted langoustines, crispy vegetables and langoustine broth with Asian lemon.

The langoustines are very fresh, which is the condition for this crustacean to have taste. The broth is truly exquisite. Good products for a simple and authentic dish with a real flavor. We accompanied it with a Quincy Domaine Grand Rosières. The Quincy is still a Sauvignon grape. It is a beautiful agreement with these scampi with Asian lemon by the fruity notes and even of exotic citrus fruits that this wine brings.
We follow with a Black Angus beef flank steak from Creekstone Farm.
The Angus or Aberdeen Angus is a Scottish cattle breed. The Angus are raised in the open air and feed on pastures. This meat is distinguished by its marbling with grassy notes and contrary to appearances, this breed is characterized by very docile and calm animals. Black Angus is one of the most exceptional meats. The breed has been exported to America and Australia.
By visiting the website of the Creekstone farm I learn that it is located in Kansas. If the quality of the Scottish Black Angus is equivalent to that of its American cousin, why didn't they choose a shorter route?
Let's try to relieve our guilt and taste this little meaty treasure that is served with mashed potatoes.

You can immediately feel the tenderness of the meat when you cut it, but you are really overwhelmed by the taste. The flank steak is already one of the tastiest parts, but this preparation is particularly successful. Asking the waiter, I learn that the kitchen is equipped with a Josper oven, a legend in the world of charcoal gastronomy. It is grilled, lightly smoked while respecting the natural taste of the food. The best meat I've ever had was at Clover Grill, owned by Jean François Piège, also in Paris.
It is also copious and one could almost share this dish with a Côtes du Rhône "Le temps est venu", which gives off woody notes. Beautiful agreement again.
We then continue with an apple pie "Grandma" topped with vanilla ice cream. The pie is mounted on a shortbread and toasted, which caramelizes its topping. The texture of the pastry lacks a bit of firmness and is slightly moistened, probably not because of its lack of freshness but more because of the particularly humid weather we endure. A set-up that could also have gained in hold but the taste is nevertheless particularly appealing.

Then came the moment of the small attraction. The absinthe does not steal its name since it proposes a card of about sixty absinthes coming from about fifteen distilleries.
This alcohol which is between 45° and 90° and whose origin is uncertain was promoted by Henri Louis Pernod, whose name is now popular for the anisette Pernod Ricard. Absinthe was consumed by the French soldiers who colonized Algeria, in particular to get over the inconvenience of malaria and dysentery. Relatively expensive at the beginning of its production, it became so popular that very poor quality absinthes were developed so much so that a glass of absinthe was worth less than a glass of wine in 1910, which encouraged the development of a sometimes devastating alcoholism as described in L'Assommoir, and contributed to finally voting its prohibition in 1915 after having been the vector of vivid campaigns with repulsive objectives. "Absinthe makes you crazy", they said. It was reinstated in 1988 and then produced again in 1999.
Let's try this absinthe. It is poured into a special glass on which is placed an absinthe spoon containing a sugar. A fountain pours an iced water drop by drop on this sugar. The alcohol is more bitter than anisette, less sweet, more vegetal and like anisette, long in the mouth. It finishes this exceptional meal pleasantly.
We are served diligently, well received by Mr. Philippe, who we will listen to on the subject of absinthe with interest. We only regret that the restaurant is closed on weekends.

24, place du Marché Saint-Honoré - Paris 1er
De 12h00 à 14h15 et de 19h à 22h15du lundi au vendredi
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