We arrived by ‘miniboos’ (emphasis on the ‘boos’) to Meudon, a small town just minutes outside of Paris and only four train stops from Montparnasse station. Upon entering L’Escarbille, with one Michelin star to its name, our party was warmly greeted by the chef’s German wife, Annet Douysset, and escorted upstairs to one of the small dining rooms. The interior of L’Escarbille is understated: no remarkable decor or spectacular views. Tables are elegantly dressed and waiters appear equally dignified, exemplifying classic training beneath their sharp attire.
It might be considered cheating to say that we discovered L’Escarbille on our own. Although it is widely recognized as a gastronomic success, and every Parisian has heard of it, credit is due to Corinne Preteur, the ultimate bon vivant. Corinne, owner of Lifestyle Vacations France, is one of the country’s most knowledgeable epicures, and it is she who guided us on the six course journey, one leg by pigeon, at L’Escarbille.
Each dish is accompanied by a carefully selected wine. The sommelier presents an explanation for why the wine was chosen for the particular dish and how the flavors will compliment the ingredients. The portions are petit but many, so unlike my strategy with the Parisian pastries (full speed ahead, leave no croissant aux amandes unturned), I paced myself and approached the meal as a tasting. Petit, oui, but cream and butter pack a punch.
I admit that I was praying for the lamb. Each course was a surprise, however, and I held my composure when a pigeon was placed before me. Corinne, who lives by the expression crème de la crème, was kissing her fingers and in gastronomic heaven as she picked up her carving knife. I found my pigeon to be a little on the rare side, so I tasted the breaded mushrooms and held steady for the next course.
The meal is excellent value for a Michelin restaurant, and judging by the completely booked establishment, it is a local favorite. Plates are artfully composed, the service is attentive, friendly, and loyal, and the food is ever so thoughtfully crafted and prepared. Do not expect a light dinner, but rather an evening of impressively enhanced flavors. Très bon!