there is, in a universe populated with toqués convinced that the customer needs to bend to their tocades, heads the gentiles who know how to take you by the hand to lead you into their universe, not by a guinea pig, but as the link in the case of a string that connects their stove to your table. David Toutain is a part of it. The Norman has cast the anchor at rue Surcouf five years ago, after having learned the trade in of illustrious colleagues (Passard, Gagnaire, Pacaud elder, Veyrat). It has now reached a maturity and serenity that make each of his dishes a delight. Michelin gives him for the time being a star (only), Gault&Millau has awarded four toques and 17/20.

Here, everything is appetizing, even the finger bowl

Here, everything is appetizing, even the finger bowl. The service, without affectations pretty boring, turns round in a sober, refreshed recently. The tableware is gorgeous, the bouquets, too, the young and friendly chef sommelier, Michael Heir, reigns over a wine cellar eclectic, full of discoveries, including some at reasonable prices (less than 50 €) for a house of this standing gourmet. He pulls out both a white wine of the andalusian as a chablis premier cru, a savennières, a mondeuse, a cahors or a sake to accompany the creations of the moment. The customer is allowed to do, a picturesque mixture, this evening of early January, tourists in the dresses chic, other in croquenots hiking arrived with a folding bike, entrusted to the master of the hotel. Sitting at a corner table, a journalist chenu tells of his deeds to two commensals which is a hard place, but this is not serious because they have an impressive number of mobile phones.

Cartridge delicate

experience shows that the first thing that you taste at the restaurant sets the level of the meal. David Toutain demonstrates the way this theorem is the amuse-bouche fundamental by means of a goat disguised as a piece of wood and deposited on a bundle of firewood (non-edible), take it with the fingers and dipped into a creamy parsnip-white chocolate. The root is hot, slightly crisp on the outside and runny on the inside ; its singular palatability merges with that of the cream, which keeps the head cool. The tone is set: each dish will sail in the registry of the perfection in the balance of tastes, textures, temperatures, sensations. And some will even to the sublime, we are going to come in there.

Wood salsifi, cream of parsnip and white chocolate. The palatability of the root warm merges with that of the cream. Jean-Christophe Marmara/JC MARMARA / LE FIGARO

David Toutain is a scholar of the sweet, which is not abrupt anything or anyone, including the counter-feet greedy to give you the smile. Here is a tart beet-hibiscus-red onion, lozenge crisp 2.5 cm in diameter on which plastronne a assemblage of drawers secrets (the one containing shards of hazelnut, the other keys of smoked eel): a pure delight for the eyes and for the palate. Then a association sea urchin-coffee, spoons magic in which the animal seizes the mouth when the plant fills the nose. The crispy oyster-raspberry-shallot is in the same mold, cartridge delicate that explodes under the pressure of the teeth and releases his load exquisite.

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is now a composition of Brussels sprouts caramelized-Douglas pine. In sum, Toutain makes you eat his Christmas tree with a vegetable that he derives, as all the time the salsify, purgatory canteens. It is famous, but you haven’t seen nothing yet because it provides you with a risotto of celery, spelt crisp, black truffle. What to say about this dish? It is dazzling by its obviousness, and that the control of those who invented it gives it a unique identity.

Against the delicate feet

After this rise, the time has come for one of these delicate feet, under the guise of a cod-poached, lemon, combava, spinach and citron. At this stage, for the first time, the acidity assert themselves at the service of a fish mother-of-pearl, cooked just as it should be. Your mouth, including the nose had taken possession, and is like new, liberated, ready to continue the journey. So much the better, because the next stop was the taste of the lobster and the form of two plates. To the left, the crustacean is flanked by an escort watercress advocate that the two greens are balanced in a tango sweet-acid. To the right, the bisque rise in sabayon is acoquinée to a cream of watercress flavored with juniper. The salad of the streams is this time came without his lawyer, so that it was not the prudence of the first primer and that his custody with the bisque is otherwise identified: a beautiful combination around the lobster.

A knob of saint-jacques goes to say hello, on a juice bards strewn with eggs of pike, garnished with jerusalem artichoke – a plate the least memorable of the dinner. It is supplanted by an amazing coalition eel-black sesame-green apple. Another really great dish. The eel at the royal. With that, the sommelier proposed a glass of perry competition (house Bordelet) which will look for the apple at the heart of the darkness of the sesame sauce. Hats off to them.

risotto of celery, spelt crunchy and black truffle, a dish unique identity. Jean-Christophe Marmara/JC MARMARA / LE FIGARO

Behind a summit like this, it’s not easy to exist. The duck and his persil-root do, however, thanks to a cooking copy of the critter – presented whole before cutting them in the kitchen – and-juice-evil that results. The persil-root, if you’ve never seen it, looks like a mini-carrot albino, but it tastes good to him ; he accompanies effectively, the poultry, helped in this by touches of onion and amaranth, so that, when all is said and done, it is humanly impossible not to saucer plate.

When everything is finished, it is humanly impossible not saucer plate

desserts are also first force. The first is a caramel foam-buckwheat with, in ambush, candied lemon and a fell of algae in the japanese version. A breakaway sweet moving, without sugar, with the surprise of the citrus and the flavour of the wakame. Of course, the bravura closes the walk: a piece of chocolate with spicy ice cream and cardamom bergamot fresh. The party creamy is hidden in a sarcophagus made of leaves cacaotées thin like the wings of a dragonfly.

With the sweets, comes a cream of cauliflower, vanilla and coconut, which is the ultimate nod to a great cook with which, it is safe, it will have to rely on.

Restaurant David Toutain. 29, rue Surcouf (Paris Vii). Tel.: 01 45 50 11 10. Menu 60 € (lunch) to € 160. Agreement food and wine from 60 € to 110 €. Closed Saturday and Sunday.


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