This restaurant wrapped up our week of trying restaurants that we had always been meaning to. Anne Sophie Pic made headlines in 2007 when she became the fourth woman chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars, for her family restaurant, Maison Pic. It truly is a man’s world in the restaurant world. We made a reservation for a Saturday lunch.
The decor: I only ever mention the decor of restaurants in passing in my reviews – I have to have been quite struck by something, or at least hoping that its mention will give readers a sense of the ambience to expect. I could wax lyrical about the decor at La Dame Pic. Modern, clean, uncluttered, pretty – yes pretty. Stark white walls, with wall decorations that were cuttings of flowers, done from leather. The first thing I had also noticed was that the waiters’ aprons – worn over their blue jeans and chambray shirts – were made of leather, with an ever-so-subtle ‘P’ , for Pic I assume, emblazoned on their fronts. It was this mix of casual, in what I had expected to be a somewhat stuffy place, that probably added to my enjoyment.
The food: On offer was a choice of the season’s three menus: Aromatic, Floral Discovery, and Summer’s Tale, all with varying options in their four courses. Amuse Bouche of a cucumber, aniseed and yoghurt soup, which although refreshing, had quite a bland taste. While we waited for our starter, we could not resist trying the butter, which was infused with garlic and tarragon. The marshmallows which acompanied our wine, were made of peanuts.
I went with the Summer’s Tale menu, which had a creamy beetroot salad with a barberry, lemon and dill dressing; Mackerel with a coriander and rocket emulsion, and Duck breast with spinach, sorrel, red berries and pepper. My husband went for the Aromatic menu which was: smoked goat’s cheese with marinated tomatoes in a tomato broth with rum and smoked vanilla; John Dory with rhubarb and celery, and Lamb marinated in vodka served with a piece of grilled sucrose lettuce in a grilled Colonnata bacon consommé. Desserts were a Pistachio crème brûlée in a matcha tea and raspberry soup , and a chocolate tart with cherries, rosemary and amaretto. Of which the brûlée was my favourite – although I would have loved it more without the matcha tea and raspberry soup.
Overall verdict: There were some dishes I enjoyed, particularly the beetroot salad and the goat’s cheese dumplings. The Mackerel was delightful and savoury, but the John Dory I could have gladly passed on. My duck was lovely, but its tiny portion had me wanting just a bit more. The experience was a great one, despite the hint of foam here and there (a personal peeve of mine in starred restaurants). From the incredible service – the sommelier, waiters, and waitresses, were all engaging and spoke knowledgeably about the items on the menu; the ambiance, although warm was not entirely cosy – just that feeling that everyone was on their best behaviour and waiting with high expectations for something exceptional, but the decor was something to admire in between the courses – to the friendly chefs, posing for pictures from their corner. We had a great time, and I would recommend if you’re a true gastronome looking for that meal which offers mélange of flavours you would not find in an everyday restaurant. La Dame de Pic, 20 rue du Louvre, 75001 Paris