Sugared & Spiced

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[Paris] Il Vino by Enrico Bernardo

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Il Vino by Enrico Bernardo

Add: 13 Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg 75007 Paris
Tel: 01 44 11 72 00
Hours: [Tue-Fri] 12~2:30pm, 7pm~12am [Mon, Sat] 7pm~12am (Closed on Sun)
Price: [lunch] tasting menu €70 [dinner] tasting menu €98~150
Website: www.enricobernardo.com
Visited on: Oct 2012

When dining at Il Vino, you will be presented with nothing more than a wine list. You choose the wines, which will each be matched with a surprise dish designed as the complement for whatever that has been chosen. The pairings are overseen by restaurant owner Enrico Bernardo, the youngest-ever winner of the World’s Best Sommelier award, who has the fascinating ability to bring about perfect marriages between wine and food. If you have an appreciation for wine and an adventurous willingness to eat whatever arrives the table, then sit back, and let this enchanting experience unfold on its own.

For apertif, a glass of Duval Leroy Fleur de Champagne 1er Cru Brut (forgot to note the €).

Lovely focaccia, served with parmesan.

Amuse bouche, steamed octopus with beetroot and black olive sauce.

By choosing the 5-course blind tasting menu (€150), I leave my dinner entirely in the hands of the sommelier and chef – I would not know what dishes are on the agenda, and I would not be told what wine is in my glass until after each course is finished. I should confess here that I’m horrible at describing wine so will just give you the names, but I do want to say upfront that each pairing we had that evening worked brilliantly regardless of the bottle price, and that though the focus in on the wine, the dishes were also more than enough to stand on their own. Ok, c’est parti! First, a glass of white.

Glasses by Schott Zwiesel.

Paired with foie gras with fresh fig and figs confiture and later revealed to be 2010 Schloss Lieser Thomas Haag Riesling Kabinett,

My friend chose the 4-course tasting menu (€98), which allows diners to see at the very beginning what wine would be presented, but not the dishes. The first glass, 2009 Josmeyer Riesling Le Kottabe from Alsace.

Paired with whiting tartar, zucchini, caviar, pesto olive sauce.

My second glass, another white.

Revealed to be 2010 Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume, paired with blue lobster from Brittany, chard, and leek.

My friend’s second glass, 2008 Gayda Figure Libre Maccabeo Pays d’Oc Languedoc.

Paired with sea bream, lentils, and four carrots.

My third glass, moving on to a red.

Which turned out to be 2009 Ormes de Pez Saint-Estephe, paired with lamb rack, egg plant caviar, yellow pepper sauce, grilled red peppers.

My friend’s third glass, moving from France to Italy with 2010 Carlo Giacosa Barbera d’Alba Mucin.

Paired with duck breast, mushrooms, Japanese spinach and tomato.

Ravioli with duck, cinnamon and saffron, bathing in a duck consommé.

My fourth glass, to be paired with a cheese course, came in a rather mysterious opaque wine glass.

We guessed Merlot from the smell and taste of it, but the glass turned out to be 2011 Gayda Figure Libre Cabernet Franc. We didn’t even think of Cabernet Franc as it’s not usually made into a mono-cépage wine, but anyway it worked nicely with the two cheese that were served – Saint Nectaire and Reblochon.

The last glass.

Paired with vanilla mille feuille, pear sorbet, orange citrus sauce.

My friend’s last glass, 2010 Walter Bera Moscato d’Asti, a lightly bubbly semi-sweet wine. Loved!

Paired with a white cheese souffle with fig sorbet.

Espresso (€5) to finish.

A few more sweet bites – chocolate macarons, and white chocolate with apricot and pistachio.

And a bowl of delicious chocolate-covered hazelnuts.

Dining at Il Vino was a thoroughly fun and sensorial experience. Even an amateur wine drinker like myself could enjoy teasing out the interaction between the wine and the food, and become truly fascinated by how the two elements can work so marvelously together. A la carte choices are available, but for first-time visitors, I recommend the tasting menu or the blind tasting menu for a more thorough experience. ‘Tis the place to eat, drink, and be merry!

(A three-course tasting menu is available during lunch time for €70.)

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 3rd, 2012 at 4:34 am