Chamarré is located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris – Montmartre, the village within Paris as I like to call it. Our short visit to Paris last August meant the usual dilemma of where to eat, in fact, never really a dilemma as I have a list as long as my arm of restaurants and quintessential Parisian bistros I want to visit. Anyone visiting Paris must be aware that finding a restaurant that is open in August as well as on a Sunday is a real challenge. I was fortunate to come across Chamarré in Montmartre, I love this arrondissement and its quaint village-like ambience and mythical, bohemian vibe which immediately draws you in from the moment you first visit. It’s a part of Paris that’s on my list of places to stay and discover but for now at least we get to enjoy one of Montmartre’s finest restaurants.
Chamarré is owned by Mauritian born chef Antoine Heerah whose restaurant is an eclectic fusion of Mauritian and French food, inventive, unique and exciting cuisines coming together. Having spent an idyllic three-week honeymoon in Mauritius where we had all manner of cuisines from French to Mauritian and creole fusions, oriental and African, I knew we’d be in for a treat. The menu looked like a gastronomic delight when I had a look at their website and you’re able to book via their on-line facility which is handy so that’s what I did, I was really looking forward to our evening in magical Montmartre.
Chamarré is such a beautiful restaurant especially in summer where you can sit outside on the terrace among beautiful plants and flowers, when dusk descends, it’s lends the most romantic atmosphere to the restaurant.
I already knew the weather at the end of August was going to be good, but I had no idea it would be swelteringly hot, that made our visit to Paris even more perfect. We decided to stay in historic Marais this time, a place I’ve not really had the opportunity to explore apart from Place des Vosges. There was only one hotel I had in mind and that was the Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais for our one night in Paris, you can read more about our stay clicking here. It was a gloriously balmy evening in Paris as sunset descended on the city of lights, we took a cab to Rue Lamarck where Chamarré is located. It has a pretty terrace which was getting quite full soon after we arrived. It reminded me of holidays in Cyprus with beautiful flowers and greenery weaving around and hugging the terrace, it was the perfect setting for a romantic evening.
WHAT WE ATE
We decided to go for the menu Dégustation; a seven course tasting menu at 75 euros which is very reasonable in price I think. We started with a glass of champagne which was very welcome, fizzy bubbles fluttering in my mouth, it’s my favourite tipple. We chose a Loire Valley wine which is my favourite wine region in France, floral with a balanced acidity. To begin with, we had some lovely rustic bread, bread in France is just the best, it’s light in texture and crispy which accompanied the fresh, sweet gazpacho amuse bouche.
First dish to arrive was lightly cooked oysters with marmalade, horseradish shavings and yuzu dressing which were sublime, the marmalade added a delicate sweetness offset by the yuzu dressing. I adore oysters, it’s well-documented throughout my blog, I’ll have them anyway I can, these were gorgeous and a taste of things to come, this I knew, would be an outstanding tasting menu.
Throughout our evening, our wine was topped up by our attentive waiter.
The second dish to arrive was a very unusual lightly cooked egg with and emulsion of pepper and crispy shallots, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever eaten, rich and silky yet light, the bread a very welcome addition to the table to mop up anything our spoons couldn’t.
A tartare of tuna and salmon followed next with fresh roe which burst in the mouth to reveal a pleasant taste of the sea with the addition of cod our waiter described however I am not sure I understood where the cod was in this dish but somehow, it was there, perhaps this was in the roe which can be made in the kitchen with high end culinary techniques. Tartare is an iconic French dish usually made with raw beef but this was very Japanese-like, a cuisine I have a penchant for, this was another beautiful dish.
Here is the star of the whole menu, the foie gras. Mr LmP and I are absolutely obsessed with foie gras, I’m not sure how our love of this frowned-upon French delicacy began but we adore it now in all its forms and we always have it when in Paris. The way the foie gras was served at Chamarré was something we had never had before, as well as the better known cold foie gras terrine, this dish had a lightly cooked foie gras with apricot and caramelised brown sugar, a basil emulsion and balsamic vinegar reduction cutting through the richness of the dish. When I say we had “died and gone to heaven” it’s no understatement, I can’t find enough adjectives to describe and do this dish justice, the delicate, melt-in-the-mouth richness of this dish was heaven on a plate. How can anyone fail to love foie gras, I never try to justify myself when I tell people how much I love foie gras, I just do and that’s the end of it.
Our next dish was turbot and prawns with mange tout and a shrimp bisque, the turbot was perfectly cooked and the bisque rich in colour and flavour.
Our final savoury dish was Wagyu beef on a bed of mushroom duxelle (finely minced mushrooms) the beef was butter soft, the knife gliding through, rare just like Mr LmP likes it, you’ll never find the French cooking you a well done steak, it’s sacrilege. The mushrooms were the perfect accompaniment for the beef as was the creamy peppery sauce, this was a mouth-watering dish and a perfect end to the savoury courses.
We were feeling quite full by now, so the lightness of the dessert was quite welcome although I was a bit crestfallen as I expected something a bit more dramatic, but it did not take away from the flavour of this dessert in any way at all. Vibrant lightly braised red berries on a bed of aromatic basil sorbet and Chantilly cream, I decided after that it was in fact the perfect end to an ingenious, sensuous and indulgent tasting menu at a restaurant I have no doubt I will visit again.
One Michelin starred Antoine Heerah has created a restaurant with an exciting and tantalising menu which changes frequently with the seasons in a beautiful part of Paris, it was the perfect choice for our short visit and an absolute triumph. I very much look forward to coming to Chamarré once again.
52 Rue Lamarck
+33 1 84 19 50 27
Open every day for lunch and dinner.