…were served at Le Pamphlet today, an excellent resto-bistro in the somewhat hidden Rue Debelleyme in Paris. I see the chef Alain Carrère in the streets here a lot, he’s a generous man who likes eating himself, obviously, every now and then he’s walking a silly little dog and they make a lovely couple.
Today, I offered myself lunch at his place to reward myself for a pretty heavy work shift and I was pleased, as always, by the skills of this cook. He has a real sense of what the Japanese call umami, a feeling for savoriness that quite perfectly corresponds to my own. Carrère prepares classic dishes, he’s not afraid of kidneys or quails, and quite often he adds a Southern twist to his creations. He’s playing confidently with basic recipes like salade niçoise or beef fillet Rossini, he masters the art of risotto, he’s a real sauce giant, he keeps his product standards at highest levels, and so I would say: he’s just good, and sometimes great even (and I selfishly hope that the Michelin guys will go on ignoring his talents).
Weird though that I can’t agree with many comments you can find on the web about how lovely and enchanting the service and the overall ambience were at Le Pamphlet. I can’t find this, I always feel a bit uneasy, actually, when dealing with the somewhat brittle waitresses and I don’t like the décor too much. Yet who cares, as long as the chef knows what he’s doing. For 35 Euros (42 US$) for a three-course-meal that’s the least you can expect? Well, I could show you places in Paris where you get far worse food for much higher prices.