I woke up dreaming of silky foie gras.
I was back in Paris, nestled in a cozy booth in the intimate, somewhat-hidden restaurant Verjus. The dish was one of the last tasting menu to arrive, following a series of decadent little ‘bites,’ an impossibly rich egg topped with shaved black truffle and sunchokes (my favorite of the bunch), celeriac root prepared three-ways, a carrot more complex than what meets the eye (also prepared three ways), an ‘onion ring’ full of delight and surprises, and a flakey parsnip tart.
Oh, did I mention there were two more dishes plus a bread course that arrived before the aforementioned foie gras?
Sourdough bread with salted butter presented itself as something simple, but proved, truly, everything is better in France. The bread created the most complex dilemma, is it bad to fill up on bread if it’s so good?
The most beautiful scallop shell I have ever seen arrived next. A work of craftsmanship straight from the sea.
The delicate raw scallop was served with rutabaga and a salty olive tapenade.
My least-favorite of the tasting menu was one of the dishes I had been most excited for; the potatoes, marrow and caviar dish. There was an awkward texture to the sticky caviar on top of the warm potatoes that led me to only finish a small portion of this dish.
And now, time for the main event. The foie.
Served with a bright and delightful salad, overflowing with fresh herbs and a light vinaigrette; and a roasted celeriac root topped with toasted pepitas.
The foie was presented simply in a cast-iron skillet over a bed of lentils and hazelnuts. The first bite, was silky and decadent — and quite simply put, perfect. I found myself closing my eyes as it melted in my mouth, feeling the most intimate connection to a dish (in the least weird way?).
I didn’t want this moment to end.
And oh, we are not done yet, my friend. Time for dessert.
A light, airy marshmallow of sorts floating in a creme anglaise, was the exact sweet counter-part to the silky foie. It almost mimicked that melt in your mouth texture of the savory dish that came before. What a delightful juxtaposition. The toasted sunchokes on top gave off that sweet garlicky flavor that added a somewhat savory and crunchy element to balance the sweetness.
And finally, finally, a meyer lemon sorbet with a mousse on top and a lemony cake rounded out the meal. At this point, I was ready to be rolled home. I packed up the cake to go (which served as a perfect delayed flight snack) and nibbled on the sorbet as a palate cleanser of sorts.
The whole experience, from the service to the incredible wine pairing (did I mention this whole meal was paired with wine?) was top notch.
Now back to dreaming about foie gras.
Verjus • 52 Rue de Richelieu, Paris, France