La Grande Cascade

Paris is the city of lights and luxury, for centuries that no one negotiates in this field like the French. The fashion boutiques, the hotels, the jewelry and of course the french Haute Cuisine are a good example. Restaurants with classic decoration and formal environment are a Paris classic that deserves to be experienced, even if only in a lifetime. One of these restaurants is the La Grande Cascade, located outside the center, in the Bois de Boulogne, the green heart of the city, in a pavilion built by the order of Napoleon III to be his base to hunt and was designed by Haussmann (the father Paris like we know it nowadays). In 1900, by the time of the world exhibition, it suffered some changes and became a restaurant, passing since then by all the phases of the French cuisine and by the hands of famous chefs, like Alain Ducasse or Jean-Louis Nomicos, nowadays handed over Frédéric Robert, former chef of Lucas Carlton, at the time of its peak.

When we pass through the entrance, the decoration takes us to an environment from the Belle Époque, seems like travelling in time, Woody Allen style, in its Midnight in Paris, floral motifs, impressive Florentine marbles, crystal chandeliers and furniture with more history than we’ll ever live. The impression is that we’re not entering to have a meal, or to just have a meal, but to enjoy the moment, be involved, observe the small details and travel in time.

Already on the table, wide and carefully arranged in front of the big windows of the building, we started the meal with a little Amuse bouche, showing us that there was more in there than the decoration and the history. The egg foam with truffle puree and truffle sauce was divine.

Amuse Bouche

While waiting for the starters, bread is served, great quality and variety (I never get tired of bread in Paris), and a great butter.

Scampi À la plancha, pumpkin agnolotti, lemongrass broth, green apple, mushrooms

A refined dish, well-matched ingredients, and above all, tasty. Pasta with excellent texture, scampi on spot and a shiny broth. A great start.
Went well with a simple white Rhône’s Vale, a Château Saint-Roch 2012.

Scallops, Tupinambour, baby leek, vin jaune and butter sauce, black truffle

Another elegant presentation and a combination that works well. The topinambour and leek textures and the crunchy and delicate scallop worked. The last one being the only element less accomplished with some of the scallops overcooked. The vin jaune sauce (a type of French wine similar to Sherry, but without being fortified) and the truffles made an excellent connection between all the elements.
To go with, a Chablis 2011, Domain D’Elise.

Lozére Lamb Carré, tomato stuffed with eggplant, courgette flower stuffed with artichoke, roasted pimientos cream and pepper sauce

The Lozére lamb, from the Pyrenees region, is famous throughout France, here masterfully cooked by Frédéric Robert, in a colorful and functional combination, without overlaying flavors in a great texture game. It’s a classic of the restaurant, and it’s reinvented each season.
Went particularly well with a Syrah 2011, which house fled to my registers.

Homemade Saint-Marcellin, ginger confit, apricot, hazelnut and Sourdough toast

When in France, do as the French do, and there’s nothing like the famous and varied cheeses. I particularly like this one, Sain Marcellin, apparently simple, with a creamy texture, presenting a complex flavor of dried fruits. Excellent.
Resulted particularly well with a Des Soulanes, Maury, a sweet and very light wine.

Chestnut mousse, coconut meringue, cassis ice cream, crème anglaise, chocolate

A dessert made to highlight the chestnut, a superb mousse with small pieces of chestnut glacé, connecting with freshest elements such as the cassis ice cream and the coconut in the meringue. Excellent presentation and excellent flavor, where the weakest note went to the meringue, a little thick and therefore harder and tough to eat.

While we ended the meal and enjoyed the time left in the unique environment of the La Grande Cascade, the Petit Four were served, exotic fruits ice cream and a nice pate à choux with hazelnut.

Petit Four

The service is flawless and formal, with all the mastery of the French classicism, but without becoming invasive or embarrassing. It runs peacefully and gradually, allowing the clients to enjoy the dishes and the ambient.

Out the hands of Frédéric Robert come visually unimpeachable dishes, with every element judiciously placed in a game of colors, volumes and textures, leaving no one indifferent. Allying, of course, the refined technique and flavor, that not even the less well achieved elements were able to compromise.

Final Remarks
The La Grande Cascade is a Paris historical and is certainly one of the most romantic restaurants in town, if not the most. It can easily be what we imagine when we think of big and monumental French restaurants. It’s a space lived fondly by the Parisians that there like to celebrate important dates or enjoy Sunday lunches with their families. It is not a cheap space, as well as most of the main restaurants in the city; here luxury is a certain condition, since the choice of the ingredients, to the tableware or the decorative elements. But, the kitchen of Frédéric Robert, awarded a Michelin star, the elegance of the place and the unique memories for the future are a more that valid visit card, making it one of those places you should visit at least once in a lifetime, whether in a mood for romance or historical revivalism. In summer, the wonderful terrace promises to be a must stop.

On the way out, don’t miss visiting the waterfall that gave it its name.

La Grande Cascade
Allée de Longchamp – Bois de Boulogne, Paris
0145 2733 51



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