Le Mazenay – yesterday's cooking with tomorrow's taste
Le Mazenay demonstrates a rather modern twist on traditional French, reflected both in the classic French dishes that have been updated with unusual and seasonal flavours, but also in the ambience of the place.
This is chic and deliberately curated to portray a certain “look”. From the carefully placed cheeses under a glass dome on the bar, to the pile of dried chillies that look almost like a piece of artwork in their arrangement, the décor is clean and bright.
But this is not a review of interior decoration. So let's get down to the food. I had heard good things about Le Mazenay. I was excited to delve into the menu.
Options for starters include velvet crab bisque with chicken pate and marinated fennel (€11), snail brioche with purple mustard (€9.50), foie gras terrine with apple compote (€16) or a platter of cured meats, house terrine and gherkins (€8).
The combination of traditional flavours with new ones was similarly evident in the main courses, roast duck with wild mushrooms and red kuri squash puree (€26), or cod floating on a soup like affair consisting of spinach and other autumnal vegetables (€21). I decided to opt for the velvet crab bisque and the roast duck, which were both delightful.
The bisque was light and flavourful and was rather unusually served with a slice of pate housed under a roof of flaky pastry. Though this seemed somewhat odd to me, it worked, and added more textural excitement than is normally present in a bisque.
The duck was also wonderful, cooked perfectly and served surrounded by various swishes on the plate of autumn squash purees. “Potimarron” as it is called in French, or red kuri squash in English, was not a vegetable I was familiar with, but it tastes somewhat similar to a pumpkin, albeit a nuttier one. It was thickly spiced with cinnamon and as reminiscent of the taste of pumpkin pie (perhaps unsurprisingly). However what was surprising was how well this went with the duck and wild mushrooms, the latter of which were hiding under a piece of pastry too. With a glass of house red (€4.50), it was very enjoyable.
It was all enjoyable – and the tech savvy will also be keen to note that if you book in advance on The Fork or La Fourchette (online), you can reap the benefits of a hefty discount for dining in less busy periods.
I thoroughly recommend Le Mazenay.
Open: Tuesday to Friday, 12:00- 15:00 and 19:00 – 23:00, Saturday 19:00 – 23:00 Address: 46 Rue de Montmorency, 75003 Paris Metro: M11 or 3, Arts et Metiers, M4 Etienne Marcel. Phone:06 42 83 79 52 www.lemazenay.com/