When in Paris, the last thing you want to do is eat in a restaurant full of Americans. But when you’re eating in a dining room as exquisitely beautiful and romantic as the one at Verjus, you’re more than willing to make the exception. Located in the backstreets of Palais Royal, Verjus is hidden from view and gated away in the back, like a secret passageway to another time. Sure, the conversations taking place are thoroughly modern, but use your imagination and replace that businessman from Chicago with a gentleman from the Island of La Grand Jatte.
The food, however, is not stuck in the past of heavy, rich bistro cooking. It has much more in common with the forward thinking, New Nordic movement, where the emphasis is on seasonal, regional ingredients and enhancing their unique qualities. The sweetness in an heirloom carrot will be preserved, and the wild, gamey flavors of roasted squab are to be embraced. Coriander flowers are thrown in whole to provide the utmost herbal spark to a dish. The pure flavors in what’s growing around us are celebrated in many forms, and the kitchen at Verjus only brings out the best in them.