Le Dauphin Paris

Posted on Tuesday, 18th October 2011

Le Dauphin Paris is from Basque-born self-taught chef Inaki Aizpitarte who set the bistronomy (bistro-gastronomy) scene in Paris alight when he opened Le Chateaubriand. Famed for its accomplished and affordable cooking, it currently holds 9th place in the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurant in the World Awards. Le Dauphin is the baby sister of Le Chateaubriand and is located next door to its elder sibling. The menu at Le Chateaubriand is a no choice set menu, but at Le Dauphin, the menu offers more variety by way of a tapas-style menu with starter size portions.

The restaurant is modern with lots of marble and simply furnished. A number of tables are allocated for bookings, but there is also a central bar area for walk-in diners.

We started with corn velouté with gouda (€9) which was sublime with its lovely sweet corn flavour and beautiful creamy texture. The dashes of gouda cheese running through the velouté provided a robust contrast, and the sprinkling of fresh dill added a lovely aroma to the dish.

Corn velouté

Corn velouté

Pan-seared scallops finished with beurre noisette (€13) were nicely looked. Accompanying the scallops was a parsnip pureé which was creamy and sweet, and some parsnip crisps which could have been crispier.

Pan-seared scallops

Pan-seared scallops

Pan-fried cod (€12) was cooked to a moist perfection. Accompanying the cod was some flavoursome chorizo and earthy bok choy.

Pan-fried cod

Pan-fried cod

Roast suckling pig (€14) yielded lots of flavour. The crackling was superbly done. Also enjoyable was a dish of medium rare slices of tasty wagyu beef (€15) served with a fantastic smoked aubergine pureé.

Wagyu beef

Wagyu beef

Crunchy fresh green vegetables (€10) had been dressed with a fabulous pesto. The dashes of trout caviar on the vegetables were a tasty touch.

Green vegetables with pesto

Green vegetables with pesto

A dessert of ricotta, honey and almonds (€6) was to-die-for. The ricotta was creamy, light and airy, and the delicately sweet honey and crunchy almonds matched wonderfully with the cheese.

Ricotta, honey and almonds

Ricotta, honey and almonds

The service was efficient although there was a slight inconsistency in the timing of the presentation of some of our dishes.

It is recommended that each diner order between 2-3 dishes per person. But with food this good, it was extraordinarily difficult to stop at just two choices each. All the dishes were highly enjoyable with a few that amazed the taste buds. Prices were also very reasonable for this level of quality and cooking. Le Dauphin is a winning restaurant. I just wish there was one in London too.


Summary information

Food rating: 4.5/5
Service rating: 3.5/5

Prices: Other than the caviar, savoury plates ranged from €6 to €15 each. Desserts and cheeses ranged from €5 to €9.

We shared 6 savoury plates and one dessert which came to about €40 each excluding drinks and service.

Le Dauphin restaurant details:
131 Avenue Parmentier,
75011 Paris
Métro: Goncourt
Tel.: +33 (0)1 55 28 78 88