Coretta is le restaurant Paris that will forever mark an amazing change in my life, the reintroduction of dairy into my diet. For about ten years now I have nixed dairy from my intake, and at all the restaurants I visit, I must always inquire about the lactose contents of the menu and carefully select accordingly which often limits my choices to a sad one or two dishes. Often, the kitchen has to make special dishes for me, if they are in the mood. But recently, I have daringly tested out my dairy intolerance, because, they say that every ten years or so your body chemistry changes. It all started with a Pierre Hermé salted caramel cream macaron that DIDN’T make me feel sick (it was pure heaven eating that for the first time). And…I was astonished. I made a few more attempts at Pierre Hermé macarons, and a couple bites of friends’ desserts to test the theory. It seemed to have some truth to it. Coretta restaurant was the first restaurant where I dared to have a whole dish that contained a little bit of cream in the sauce… A revelation of flavor came over me and I remembered what amazing food can taste like! Butter and cream and cheese really do make a difference.
But in addition to the new found fun of eating, I still am greatly selective of restaurants concerning their ambiance and décor. I just can’t eat anywhere that has bad lighting, poor room settings or worse, if it’s dirty. Coretta is the absolute perfect example of an immaculate well thought out-out restaurant with a spacial organization that makes it comfortable and pleasant with a penchant for a slightly upscale modern setting without over-doing it. The lighting : soft, mood enhancing and creatively installed on the upstairs ceiling, is perfect. The seating : warm wooden colors with seams that eliminate any monotony that may have been possible, and plenty of surface area. They were just lacking slighting in comfort, but I didn’t really notice as I was so concentrated on the miracle of my food in front of me. 🙂 The service : wonderful. Attentive, charming, and gave us plenty of time and space to enjoy our meal and conversation. The ambiance was one of a smooth and easy flow of energy. I don’t know how else to describe it. And our seats were right smack dab in front of the open kitchen so we got a front seat to the ballet that happens among the 8 or so members of the cuisine staff that worked together in perfect ballet-like unison. It was a sight to see.
So I suppose I should now write about the food, right?!? 😉 I could just give you several lines of it was so yuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy! But then I prefer to offer more qualitative reading for you Paris visitors/dreamers/inhabitants… After all, if you have read this far…. then I owe you the effort!
We began with an apériftif of beer (we selected the Peroni because we wanted something cool and fresh, an Italian beer). Moving on… It came with a little mise en bouche of hand made toasted cheese flavored crackers and a flavored whipped cheese dip with a pepper garnish. I indulged. It was the start of an amazing meal…
My first course was what they called an “oeuf parfait“. A poached egg with a greens emulsion and a frothed cream sauce with baby spinach garnish and little crunchy cheese crack sticks. I was in absolute heaven. I could hardly believe I was eating a dish with a cream sauce. CREAM SAUCE!!! The dish was salted to perfection so that there was a slight zing, which was subdued by the smoothness of the cream froth. And they greens emulsion was a mixture of delightfully fresh vegetable flavors.
Alana, my friend who went with me to Spring a few months ago, who was with me had the foie gras and brioche to start. The foie gras was lighted salted and the brioche was just a tad warm. I did taste it. It was in a word : #WhatIWouldEatIfIKnewItWasMyLastMeal.
My main dish was the carré de cochon de lait. A milk-fed pig’s pork chop, encrusted with wasabi and crushed pistachios and accompanied with a green pea purée flavored with roasted onions and mint leaves. I ate and enjoyed every single bite with pure bliss.
For dessert I had the fraises cléry, which was a fresh and sweetened strawberry dish, that came with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a lime zested meringue cracker. Do I need to tell you that I also ate every bite with bliss?!? Because I did. I also tasted Alana’s dessert which is what I will get next time I go there. Let’s call it a sweet sticky bun hot out of the oven (you have to order it at the beginning of the meal if you want it) with a salted butter caramel sauce. I helped Alana eat that too. I didn’t eat every bite (it was her dessert after all) but I did eat those bites with ecstatic bliss. No, more like euphoric bliss. Regardless…it was pure pleasure.
We topped our meal off with a café that came with more meringue bites. My mind and taste buds were pretty much blown away by this point.
I loved the natural wood used in service dishes. It harmonized well with the leafy green setting of the restaurant on the edge of the new Martin Luther Kind park in the Batignolles quarter.
The menu (sans vin) was at 39€ for an entrée, plat, dessert, which for Paris and for what you get at Coretta, is a very good price. We had a bottle of Chinon that accompanied our dinner perfectly. And both the apéritif and the coffee topped of our bill to a price that is a bit more “occasional” rather than habitual for us. But I think the occasion (embracing dairy) was worth the splurge. Plus, the food is just so well conceptualized and prepared that an entire dinging experience was in order. And it was Alana’s last night in Paris before heading home again.
Alana needs to hurry up and come back here because now that I can have dairy, there is a whole slew of restaurants that I need to go back to and try so many dishes! The possibilities and choices are now endless. Vive la crème fouettée!!!!!
Address : 151 bis rue Cardinet 75017 Paris
Hours : Open for lunch and dinner every day of the week. Closed for Saturday lunch (but open for dinner) and closed all day Sunday. Reservations recommended.
Contact : +33 1 42 26 55 55 or firstname.lastname@example.org