The Italian eatery by Pierre Gagnaire is not one of his starred establishments but a casual Italian bistro on Rue du Bac. A double-sided menu, simple offerings of which seven starters, four raw choices, pasta and risotto, from the sea, meat, vegetables, and desserts.
I first got introduced to Pierre Gagnaire in Moscow. I was staying at the Lotte hôtel and offered myself a 250€ dinner. I still remember to date. Pierre Gagnaire is one of France's prominent chefs and tasting his Italian creations was a sure excitement.
It looks like a French bistro, and I mean by that a restaurant without flags of Italy and green colors. Wood, metal, mirrors, and colored floor, under a ceiling decorated with green petals and neon lights. The ground floor hosts the bar and a round table, while more intimate seating welcomes you on the first floor.
Lunch starts with a beautiful plate made of marble serving crunchy grissini and flatbread biscuits. With that a richly acidic green olive tapenade and dried black olives. I loved the details: thin and light-weight Zafferano wine glasses, silver cutlery, handmade water glasses, soothing music, marble tables, and relaxing chairs with armrests. I adored the table napkin, large-sized table napkin embroidered with the Piero logo.
We ordered risotto with Boutarga, fried seafood, two salads, pasta, and chicken. All the food is awesome! The fried seafood I had, served with a side of Cremona mustard and lemon quarters, is the definition of turning simplicity into amazement. Non-oily seafood, beautifully salted, a sweet chutney, and crunchy mini shrimp. My wife’s burrata with artichoke is so milky I felt like having breakfast at home. Sipping my glass of red wine, I enjoyed the first part of lunch.
And I shouted in French; “c’est incroyablement bon” -it’s incredibly tasty!. Bottarga risotto is beyond words can describe. The flavor of the sea, risotto cooked al dente, shaved “Batrakh,” giving it an iodized taste of seawater. Fusilli with buffalo from Genova, fresh tagliatelle Bolognese... all exceptional. The way meat is shredded and pulled; the way tagliatelle is cooked, the risotto cooking temperature, and tenderness of the chicken. Pierre Gagnaire took Italian cuisine to another level giving it a touch of finesse and innovation.
Two thumbs up for such a fine cuisine! A different Italian restaurant not like any Italian, I will recommend to all my friends.