Whenever I am in Paris, food is a top priority. I try to experience the spectrum, from street markets to Michelin fine dining. On my most recent trip, I decided on Antoine to indulge the fancy end of my foodie fetish. I chose wisely.
Set along the right bank of the river Seine in the 16th arrondissement, Antoine’s chic, understated decor steers the focus to views of the Eiffel tower through large bay windows – and of course the cuisine!
Dealing with food, I suffer from a chronic case of FOMO (fear of missing out) coupled with eyes bigger than my stomach syndrome. However, practicing restraint at the dining highlight of my trip just seemed silly, I went with the Marine tasting menu. Though a little pricey at 120 euros for dinner, it is well worth the splurge. (Antoine also offers a condensed “discovery” tasting menu for 78 euros as well as a la carte.) What followed was one of the most delicious and memorable meals I have had in a long time, ranking up there with Taillevant and Alinea.
Antoine is truly a celebration of the sea. I was a little concerned I would be fished-out, but Chef Thibault Sombardier’s tasting menu was balanced and well executed, showcasing flavors I had only dreamed about. The amuse bouche pairing of a dollop of creamy avocado mousse with citrus notes, topped with a sprinkling of roe and a spring of fresh dill, along with a delicate bite of tuna, set the tone for the culinary dive ahead.
Next up was the first course, spotlighting oysters, and my favorite (non dessert) moment of the night. I challenge anyone (even those who are not keen on oysters) not to fall in love with the warm, creamy, truffle-y goodness, pictured above at left, that overwhelmed my mouth. I don’t know how to better describe it, so I won’t other than to say it was everything. The Morels stuffed with Congo, pictured below at right were another highlight. Other courses included a delicate fish carpaccio, asparagus with, sardine, marinated apples and blown Caviar Kristal, red mullet and a lamb-chop with clams accompanied by a fragrant, flavorful side of couscous.
I often find myself a little underwhelmed with the dessert course(s) at some of these high end establishments. Not the case at Antoine. Sweets are a weakness, but I am very picky when it comes to satisfying my saccharine cravings. There were three dessert courses and I ate every last crumb…and then some. The pièce de résistance being the Secret Caramel, Peanut and Chocolate “Tanariva”, a sinful masterpiece of chocolate, peanut, salted caramel ice cream and ecstasy. All previous salted caramel ice creams I had enjoyed, were merely imposters in comparison. Risking disapproving glares of fellow diners, I tossed manners aside and licked the plate. Based on that little display, the server brought me out more salted caramel ice cream. Totally worth it.
I thought I couldn’t possibly eat one more bite, but out came the petit fours. A sublime finish, I was thankful I made room. The food, service, ambiance and the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the distance, combined for an amazing meal and experience I will not soon forget. I left Antoine in a self induced food coma, sighing with content. Though I prefer to try new places any time I am in Paris, I may have to make an exception and return to Antoine…maybe next time for lunch.
10 Avenue de New York,
75116 Paris, France
Open Monday – Sunday, Lunch 12:00 pm-2:30 pm and Dinner 7:30 pm – 10:30
ph: +33 1 40 70 19 28