Destinations Magazine

Clover in the 7th: Jean-Francois and Elodie Piege End Our Year 2014 on a High Note!

By Johntalbott

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7.5 Clover (aka trèfle en Francais), 5, rue Perronet in the 7th,, closed Sundays and Mondays (Metros: between Rue du Bac, Mabillion & St-Germain des Pres) has been open exactly 19 days and is already fully booked.  At first you see the cliches (in the American sense of the word) - the gun-metal fascade with no name, the open kitchen and the largely Asian staff, but then there's the startling frigo full of great-looking green veggies.  Whoa!

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There are two "menus" at lunch (28 & 42 E) and dinner (58 & 73 E) but the difference between them is hardly noticeable; at least at our table, with our two famous writer-friends, the dishes seemed to roll out equally-portioned for everyone, starting with a most unusual dish of quinoa "chips" with black sesame, sate and eggplant dipping-type-sauce.

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Then we all picked at what was supposed to be a dish for three - with "non-fatty foie gras" (I swear), strips of poitrine and toasty toast on pine boughs; followed by scallops on a bed of vadouvan (I had to look it up: it's a French-"Indian curry blend with added aromatics such as shallots and garlic") and beets on Parisian paving stones (I swear); followed by pickled herring, pickled broccoli and pickled onions (I swear), with an incredibly interesting sauce.

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Then out came lieu jaune with endives, nuts and shaved green apples and Armoise chicken with a Chateau d'Arlay juice, what I thought was a cromesqui chicken organ meats and a strip of Piege's own rice cake/comte concoction made after a recipe of his grand-mother's.

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Dessert consisted of butternut squash halves (that the staff presented before serving as if they were prize slabs of beef or lobsters) with a rum-vanilla ice cream with flouve (buffalo grass) - and somewhere along here the chef came over to talk and brought with him an enormous jar of wheat-like-looking flouve stalks.  With our coffees came two larger than life chocolate chip cookies.

Our bill, with 2 bottles and a glass of wine, no bottled water and said coffees, was 230 or 115 E a couple.  dB level 79.4 dB.

Go?  If you are adventuresome and enjoy lots of ingredients on edgy food such as Pascal Barbot, David Toutain, William Ledeuil and Claude Colliot throw at you, certainly; if you want steak and potatoes - stay away.

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