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September 16, 2011

Romance/Getaway Series - Le Clarisse

About Le Clarisse:
Located in the 7th Arr., blocks from the Invalides metro station and walking distance from the Grand Palace, Pont De Invalides and Champ Elysees you will find this restaurant offering both indoor and outdoor seating. Inside you will fine black velvet benches, dark tables of wood, beautiful height under ceiling and mezzanine and friendly staff who speak French and English.
Le Clarisse believes that tasting begins with the sight of the graphic and coloured plates and finishes as an explosion in mouth.
The Japanese Chef, Sadaki Kajiwara, has been with Clarisse since the beginning of March and maintains a French menu built around fresh and seasonal produce.

Celery Banana Smoothie and a candied cherry tomato
My Thoughts: 
When traveling in Europe as a whole, if you expect to be in an out of a restaurant within 45 minutes to an hour you would be gravely mistaken, as eating is a leisure activity in Europe, especially France, so expect to be there no less than 90 minutes for a meal, and I found this to be a great thing. Instead of rushing from place to place we were forced to relax and really enjoy our dining experience, and we did!

Upon our arrival we were greeted in French and English by the staff, who were more than willing to answer any questions we had. Our server was so friendly and helpful and her English was faultless, which was great for us as our French is poor. 

Our meal started off with a palette cleanser of banana celery smoothie and a candied cherry tomato. I loved ingenuity of these items. I would never think to pair banana and celery but it was a very tasty combination, and the concept of a candied tomato was so creative and we loved it!

Chilled corn soup topped with caramel corn and roasted corn
 Our next course was chilled corn soup, which doesn't sound appetizing but it was surprisingly tasty and refreshing, especially on a warm day or evening. It was sweet and creamy, but with a kick. I loved how they topped the soup with caramel popcorn as this is not something I've seen before on soup.

Sadaki Kajiwara really knows how to think outside of the box and bring you brand new combinations and concepts!

Rabbit

Swordfish
For our meals we tried the swordfish, which seems to be a popular menu item in Europe, and rabbit, which is not something I've ever seen on a menu in the US. The swordfish was moist and full of flavor,
while the rabbit was an all-together new experience for us. It was tender, but not a meat we would order again, simply because of taste preference, but to no fault of the chef. 
  
Chocolate tartlet, black sesame ice cream
Our final course was dessert, and I've always heard that the French are master bakers and chocolatiers so I was very excited to try this course. The first item was chocolate tartlets with black sesame ice cream. It was like eating a mouthful of chocolate ganache, which I love, and the sesame ice cream was creamy and a delicious compliment to the chocolate.

The second item was a panacotta and strawberries that resembled a caprese salad. To be honest I didn't know what I was ordering, but when it arrived I thought it was too pretty to eat. Made to look like slices of mozzarella and tomato this dish played tricks with your mind, making you think you'd be biting into something cheesy and tart but experiencing sweet and creamy instead, and the basil ice cream topped it off perfectly. I have never hard basil ice cream, now would I ever thought to try it before but it was so refreshing and was the perfect addition to this dessert.

Panacotta and strawberries like a tomato-mozzarella, sorbet with the basil


For more information, visit http://www.leclarisse.fr/

Many thanks for the staff of Le Clarisse for a wonderful dining experience!

disclaimer: meals provided for review

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