Friday, May 29, 2009

600 years of Alchemy - Auberge Nicolas Flamel

One of the places that I dream to dine, is in Paris. In Rue de Montmorency in the Marais district you may eat in a house that once belonged to one of the greatest alchemists in the world - Nicolas Flamel. He was born 1330 and died 1418, or did he? He was rumored to have found the Philosopher's Stone, and he and his wife were said to live eternally. Legend or not, his house is left behind, and a colleague visited and had a great meal there.

I have written on the the house and its history as tavern before. It is only one out of many that have been (or claim to have been) serving food and drink to guests in same building for hundreds of years.

The history of Auberge Nicolas Flamel is authentic enough. It was built, according to legend, as a place where poor people in Paris could have one night's sleep and a meal to pray for the alchemist's soul.

Do you want to know where crusaders once enjoyed their ale....? Read the story here

Menu Gourmand

My colleague and his friends enjoyed the menu privilége, and the menu Gourmand.

From the Menu Gourmand you can choose one out the following dishes for 31 EUR:

  • Salmon tartare marinated in citrus fruits and fines herbs, sesame and crusty vermicelli
  • Ratafia flavoured duck foie gras and knuckle of veal paté, rhubarb chutney with pine nuts
  • Red mullet tart on a bed of grilled vegetables, tapenade à la provençale and mixed green salad, parmesan
  • Fillet of gilthead (bream) with courgette scale, coriander virgin sauce and nutmeg flavoured leek fondue
  • Supreme of guineafowl stuffed with cep and its rosemary gravy, saffron flavoured creamy risotto
  • Roasted veal medallion with its Armagnac (brandy) flambé duck foie gras sauce, baby sauteed potatoes with parsley and garlic sauce
  • Cheese plate with green mixed salad and nuts
  • Chocolate cake with melting middle and violet sorbet
  • Almond mascarpone cream verrine, red fruits marinated with basil
  • Williams’s pear and gingerbread flavoured shortbread, cinnamon light cream
Menu Prestige:

From the Menu Prestige you can choose one out the following dishes for 46 EUR:

  • Caramelised royal gala apple tart with fried duck foie gras and reduced Port sauce
  • Aubergine and roasted lobster crumble, condiment of the South, emulsion of rocket with pine nuts
  • Scallops and langoustine aumônière, crayfish gazpacho
  • Porterhouse steak with morels, pan-fried polenta and vanilla flavoured celery mousseline
  • Seven-hour lamb served with seasonal vegetables, shoot of fennel
  • Turbot with lobster cooked butter, black truffle creamy sauce, tender chicory (endive) and parmesan
  • The tasting Selection of the Chef’s favourite desserts
  • The Nicolas Flamel chocolate Lingot d’or, mousse and harelnuts and liquorice flavoured ice cream
  • Passion fruit with a cloud of coconut and marc of Champagne flavoured sorbet
Gourmet food at budget price

Referring to their bill, showing that 5 three course dinners with wine, coffee / tea, cost a little under 300 EUR. I would call this a bargain, and I cannot wait until I get the chance to eat there. For those of you traveling to Paris, it looks like the place to go. Do book, however, as places like these may be very popular.

Auberge Nicolas Flamel
51, rue de Montmorency, 75003 Paris (Metro: Rambuteau ou Arts et Métiers)
Phone: +33 (0)1 42 71 77 78
Fax: +33 (0)1 42 77 12 78

(Photo: Restaurant website)

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