La Bigarrade- Magnifique!

I woke up day two in Paris and bolted out of bed. I couldn’t believe I had just run across Pierre Hermes yesterday no problem and today we were going to Bigarrade! It seemed like a dream! And if anything seems like a dream it’s walking into Bigarrade.

The tiny space was so inviting. White walls, yellow flowers on each table with corresponding colors at the bottom of each water glass…what’s not to love. We decided this was a special occasion so we each ordered a glass of fabulous champagne.

There are two menus for lunch an eight course tasting or twelve, all done by the chef with allergies as the only restriction. I thought twelve would be too much food for lunch so we went with eight and set off on our journey of food.

** Please note I did the best I possibly could with the descriptions but with no menu and a language barrier it was very difficult to translate this entire meal**

We began with an amuse bouche of salty Focaccia Bread with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This was such a perfect and cleansing way to begin the meal. The bread was warm and buttery and the olive oil was nice and light. I also loved, loved, loved the small black slates for the food- so simple but perfect.

Our first course of the night was crispy head on shrimp with grilled lime. It was amazing how light and grease free it was and the lime really brought out a fantastic salty pop from the shrimp.

The next course Octopus with Kaffir Leaf. This small bite had a wonderful barbecue flavor and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve eaten a straight Kaffir Leaf. The combination was spot on.

Next up Foie Gras with Nori and Prune. I would never put these flavors together but my goodness it was perfect! This is the most I have ever enjoyed Foie Gras in my life (until the next night that is). So simple and subtle- yet so perfect. I was positive that was going to be my favorite course of the night until this next one came out.

Squid with Pea Puree and Anchovy. This dish just blew me away. I've never had anything with these textures and flavors put together. Mr. T and I did that silent eye lock, nod appreciatively across the table look upon first bite. Some things are just too good for words.

I have no idea what kind of fish this next dish was since I fazed out from listening when I saw the big mushroom. The dish that made me so sick on the start of the trip was fish with mushroom and my stomach started to churn just looking at this. Luckily Mr. T was a fan so I happily passed it our to him. Those two ingredients do not work together for me.

Luckily the next piece of fish I loved- John Dory with Pumpkin Seed. This fish was simply seared and the crunchy pumpkin seed added a surprisingly satisfying and earthy flavor. I cleaned the plate on this one.

A cheese plate signaled that our meal was starting to wind down. Both were absolutely fabulous but I enjoyed the hard cheese more as the flavor kept changing with each bite until finally reaching the rind where it was pungent and almost pine like in flavor.

A trio of desserts came out next and each one had a strange component whether it be cucumber or cheese. I couldn't tell you what each one was but we managed to eat all three without a problem.

More dessert was to come and this Coconut with Quince was amazing! It really woke up my palette with a combination of cool and tart.

Next up a delicious Poached Pear with Coffee.

Not enough dessert yet- how about some chocolate cake? This cake was so intense if the piece was any bigger I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. The buttery spot of caramel and sprinkle of salt on top were a perfect complement and even though I was about to burst I finished every last bite.

The final taste of this amazing meal was two perfectly fluffy and delicious vanilla macarons. What’s more Parisian than that?

After 3 ½ hours of amazing food and wine we were both just blown away. I thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful flavor combinations, exemplary service and serene atmosphere. This is firmly in my top five meals of all time and definitely deserves its two Michelin stars, if not more.

One of the best parts was being able to watch Christophe Pele and his crew in the open kitchen. It was amazing to watch the care and creativity that went into each dish. At 45 Euro a piece this place is an absolute steal. I would have happily paid double that but don’t worry- remember those two glasses of champagne I showed to begin? Well…they were 27 euro and 30 euro respectively. Whoopsie Daisy! Now the bill’s about right. Oh well- it was fabulous champagne and we enjoyed every last drop. We had been in Paris less than 24 hours and already had two great meals…what else could top this over the next four days?

La Bigarrade


There are three public holidays scattered in the first half so the French try to make long weekends around those dates and the city feels quieter than usual.