La Table d'Akihiro

  
  

This is not a vegan restaurant by any means, but if your parents are visiting Paris, it's your anniversary, or you just really want to impress someone, La Table d'Akihiro is the place to go. No meats, only veggies, fish, and sauces, all made right in front of you by Akihiro Horikoshi. The classical French chef spent two decades at three-starred Michelin restaurant L'Ambroisie- which, curiously, does not garner the near-perfect reviews characteristic of La Table d'Aki- before opening this tiny, unassuming restaurant across the street from Emmanuelle Alt's favorite cordonnerie. Blink and you might miss it; I walked past it everyday for almost a year before my husband said this was the New York Times' recommended restaurant everybody's still talking about. There are only sixteen seats in the whole place, filled by happy customers (many regulars) every night.

On arrival, we passed through red velvet curtains and were greeted by Horikoshi's pretty wife. Both husband and wife are the picture of glowing health, slim and young looking. Despite having a fixed menu, they adapted to accommodate my diet readily. I immediately had the feeling of being back in Japan in my friends' kitchens- the cleanliness, the white tablecloths, the simple decor and open shelving. 

La Table d'Akihiro's menu isn't the juxtaposition of discordant flavors so popular in restaurants today, yet somehow manages to excite with unfussy, perfectly executed dishes: carrot fondant in cumin, crispy potatoes with fresh dill, celeriac in red wine gravy, truffle and watercress velouté. Dessert consisted of a rich chocolate sauce tasting almost like molé layered with chestnut cream dusted in cocoa. It didn't look like a lot of food, but we were stuffed like Olivia Newton-John in those pants from the end of Grease. My husband hates fish and desserts and he loved everything. My father-in-law said dinner was "Divine," and the service is the best we've ever had in Paris.

After dinner, Akihiro asked my husband if I was Japanese and walked us outside, wishing everyone a bonne fin d'année. Then he said 안녕하세요! I was fangirling already, but this just put it over the top! The whole evening was perfect. La Table d'Akihiro is a beautiful example of intimate minimalist dining in Paris, which I swear isn't douchey like it sounds. Go for dinner, and you're surrounded by loving couples, including the kind of well-dressed elderly locals who inform my fashion choices. They also serve lunch, which I hear is equally convivial and good for solo diners.

Dress code: I wore my fake Isabel Marant shirt, leggings, and sneakers with my trench coat and finally felt like I fit in for once

La Table d'Akihiro

49 Rue Vaneau 75007
01 45 44 43 48
Make sure to call for a reservation, because tonight we saw people being turned away!
Paris to Go

4 comments:

  1. Looks fantastic! If you're looking for a fancy vegan place to impress guests, Le Potager du Marais is a must visit. Service is spectacular and it's in the cutest little spot near the Pompidou. Highly recommend!

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    1. Hi Danielle! That is a nice place. Have you been to 42 Degrés? It is a departure from Le Potager du Marais but a really beautiful raw vegan restaurant. Very impressive! Thanks for commenting :)

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  2. Intimate minimalist dining is just my cup of (semi-douche-y) tea! I'm salivating over the description of the food and that all white decor. One random question, what's a cordonnerie?

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    1. Hi Alyssa! It's mine too haha. A cordonnerie is a cobbler, but they also work with keys and locks for some reason.

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