Musing on the future of French haute cuisine, Michelin three-star chef Yannick Alléno decided he wanted to make his cooking accessible to a broader audience. “I wanted to create a restaurant that was convivial and relaxed and which broke down the barrier between the kitchen and the dining room,” he said of his stylish new restaurant, Pavyllon, which can be found at the same address – the elegant Pavillon Ledoyen on the Champs-Élysées – as Alléno Paris, his gastronomic table open for dinner only, and L’Abysse, his outstanding sushi bar.
A recent lunch at Pavyllon, a sunny room with a long stone counter and powder-blue velvet stools facing the open kitchen, was delightful. Meeting a friend, we started with a delicious oyster beignet topped with smoked pikeperch eggs, steamed Comté soufflé with foie gras and an Albufera sauce, and spicy aubergine with avocado sauce and herbs. All were brightly flavoured, light and beautifully served.
The small-plates format here allows you to sample a variety of dishes, so next we tried the deeply satisfying butternut squash-filled tortellini with butter and Parmesan, a succulent stroganoff of Wagyu beef with potato straws and matchsticks of celeriac, and red mullet with an earthy cep mushroom ragout, an interesting pairing of ocean and forest. Among the desserts, the confit grapes in Sauterne gelée with crispy rice and sudachi, showed off how vegetarian-friendly the menu is and also Alléno’s fascination with the cooking of Asia.
Pavyllon is a particularly pleasant place for solo dining, too, and the €68 lunch menu is excellent value for money. Open daily.
Pavyllon, Carré des Champs-Elysées, 8 avenue Dutuit, Tel. (33) 01-53-05-10-10, Web. yannick-alleno.com
From France Today magazine
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