Le Pre Verre is one of my all time favorite restaurants in Paris. I recommend it to anyone who will listen, and even those who won’t. Unassumingly self-characterized as a “bar au vin” or wine bar, it is much more than that. The man behind the stove is Chef Philippe Delacourcelle who spent many years cooking throughout Asia. He incorporates all their deep spices – I refuse to call it “fusion” because, like the bar au vin, it is so much more – into his traditional French cuisine with spectacular results. Cinnamon and star anise tend to play, appropriately enough, starring roles.
This bar au vin, in true French fashion, has a stellar wine list ranging from a cheap and cheerful Languedoc village wine to a bank-breaking Hermitage, star of the Rhone Valley, and everything in between. My friend Katie from St. Helena, who is a veritable encyclopedia of wine, was in town so off to Le Pre Verre we went. I let her chose the wine
Soupe d’oignons doux et chorizo emulsionne – Sweet onion soup with chorizo emulsion
Cochon de lait aux epices et chou croquant Pork in a milk-spice sauce with cabbage
Lieu jaune au bois de cassia, puree fumee – Lieu Jaune cooked in cinnamon with smoked potato puree
Riz au lait, persil et cachuetes – Tapioca with parsley jus, parsley ice cream, and peanuts
Truffade de chocolate, melasse glacee – Chocolate truffle torte, ice cream and creme anglaise
And for the wine…
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Petite Chapelle” 2000 Trapet
If you find yourself in France this summer, there is a huge food event, Grand Fooding d’Ete 2007, nicknamed “Le Fooding”, not to be confused with Le Sportsac, with a very disturbing logo of contorted tongues. Held throughout the summer in Toulouse, Vitry sur Seine, Marseille, and Lyon, Le Fooding features top chefs from all over France. Joining Chef Delacourcelle on June 10th in Vitry sur Seine is Alain Passard of L’Arpege and Frederic Anton of Le Pre Catelan. Christine Ferber, of confiture fame, will also be there serving dessert.
Le Pre Verre
Chef Philippe Delacourcelle
8 rue Thenard
+33 (0)1 43 54 59 47
Metro: Maubert Mutualite (#10)
Entree + Plat + Dessert – 25,60 euros or about $35