French treasures await you in the sceney Meatpacking District, at the restaurant Paradou. A restaurant I have walked by for years and never walked inside, last week I made the genius move of dining there with my younger sister, and was delighted and enlightened by the great French fare we were served!
We took our seats in the back garden, enclosed by a tent, and were transported to Provencal France. A starter of tuna tartar ($14) filled with avocado mousseline, accented with salmon roe on mache lettuce was absolutely fabulous! The avocado mousseline was ingenious!
If you are a fan of foie gras, then Paradou is the place to have it. Chef Kfir Ben-Ari has created some out of this world creations of foie gras, and we ordered all 5 of these ($49). Foie "Gravlax", cured with sugarcane, sea salt, ricard fennel leaves and spices, and served with candied fennel & red wine reduction. Foie Gras en Torchon, cooked mi-cuit with pistachio at the center. Blanched in red wine, air dried overnight and rolled in pistachio dust. Served with cherry tomato & coriander confiture. Foie Gras "Brulee", Fresh Hudson Valley Foie Gras sprinkled with light brown sugar & caraway seeds, then bruleed. Served with warm roasted macadamia nuts soaked in Lillet. Terrine de foie gras, marinated in port wine & cognac, accented with alea Hawaiian red salt. Served with onion & chestnut marmalade. Foie Gras Flan, a foie gras custard topped with red wine caramel. Served with lavender honey-glazed almonds and fennel pollen.
Eating these five creations reminded me of drinking fine wine, they were all unique, and each had a different character to them. What each was served with was perfectly paired too. I would call Chef Kfri Ben-Ari the "King of Foie Gras"!
When I think of French food, I usually don't think of ribs, but the pork ribs Facon "Grand Pere" ($25) are great! Grilled and beer-braised pork ribs with root vegetable ragout and truffled mashed potatoes, these ribs were succulent and it was a well-done dish!
My sister's pan roasted duck ($29) with organic yams, wild mushrooms, and honey truffle was fantastic! I loved this dish! The duck was perfectly cooked and heavenly!
We were both stuffed at this point but we were somehow able to do an amazing magic trick and make a dessert of hazelnut crunch and vanilla creme anglaise ($9) disappear. It was awesome!
So forget about the "scene" for a while in the Meatpacking District, take a table in the garden, and get whisked away to the Provencal paradise that is Paradou.
8 Little West 12th Street (and 9th ave)
New York, NY 10014