Monday, November 17, 2008

Hidden Kitchen

We are off to do some more eating, but what you are going to experience is like nothing else you might encounter in Paris.  It use to be under the radar in terms of things to do and places to go when you are here but with its charming hosts and creative menus offering great cuisine, paired with equally great wine, it wasn't going to stay on the QT for long.  Come join me as we make our way to Hidden Kitchen.

Talk about living the dream, Braden and Laura, the brains and brawn behind this Hidden Kitchen, decided in 2007 to make the big leap of faith and head across the ocean from their safe haven in Seattle to experience life in Paris.  A dream destination for both of them, it was a now or never decision.   Originally looked at as a sabbatical before grad school or settling into careers, they packed their bags and hit the road.  Realizing that with no school or jobs as social outlets, meeting people and making new friends was going to be tricky.  With Brandon's previous restaurant experience they decided to create weekly tasting menus, inviting 12 people over to their spacious pied-a-terre for great food and conversation.  Word spread quickly about this new 'underground' restaurant and as the saying goes, the rest in history.  Now with three weekend seatings in their dining room that are sold out in no time, I do believe grad school will have to be put on hold for these two.  
My reservation for a Sunday last February was the last one available and with good reason. Their seven course tasting menus, influenced by seasonal organic ingredients found locally are interpreted into sublime American cuisine with twists of French technique.  Items that you might find in front of you are seared scallops with chorizo and black bean hash, tri-color beans with deep fried cauliflower and spicy buttermilk dressing or butternut squash bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce.  Nothing short of amazing.  A well chosen organic wine is paired with each course, enhancing the meal and evening.  

The winds of fate put you at a table with others like you who enjoy good food and are looking for an out of the ordinary way to experience Paris.  On the particular evening that I attended,  I found myself with a lifelong Parisian, an architect from Boston who just completed a week long mosaic class in Venice, an American ex-patriot about to publish her 'chick-lit' novel of finding love in Paris, a surgeon from Los Angeles and an Irishman and his Swedish wife from London. Quite the diverse group and what an evening we had, one I would love to experience over and over again.  No one was in a hurry to leave after the final petite four was eaten, perhaps much to the chagrin of a very tired host and hostess--you know, the things that wouldn't leave.  Just  think, Brandon and Laura get to enjoy evenings like that every weekend.  What luck!!

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