Par Margaret Kemp
La transformation de Le Poulpry
There are countless ways to eat in Paris depending on mood and budget, if you want to capture the spirit of authentic French 17th century luxury, Le Poulpry is the perfect address.
Located in the handsome Hotel Particulier of the Maison des Polytechniciens once owned by the Marquis de Poulpry, the last proprietor before the revolution in 1789.
After extensive and expensive restoration the beautiful building, run by Sodexo Prestige, consists of 14 rooms spread over three floors with terrace and tented garden ideal for weddings, parties, cocktails and team building events. And below stairs The Styx, with three vaulted cellars is now a soundproofed nightclub.
Maison des Polytechniciens is one of the most prestigious schools in France, founded in 1794 by Monge and Carnot to train scientists and engineers for the senior branches of the civil service. To-day it's still under the authority of the Ministry of National Defence, students obey the military discipline and wear uniform, although the school transferred, in 1976, to larger quarters in Paliseau 20kms south of Paris.
The Poulpry restaurant is open to the public and is a popular meeting place for former Poly students (who can take advantage of a special price menu) as well as artists, politicians and businessmen. There are four communicating dining room spaces, the main restaurant, Salon Bibliotheque, Salon Cour and Salon Diane, open depending on how many guests are expected. Each has an exclusive club atmosphere, with book lined walls and floor to ceiling silk curtains framing the French windows. Tables are dressed with starched white cloths and fresh flowers; porcelain plates are hand-painted with the Polytechniciens's signature tricorne hat, the silver shines and cut crystal glasses sparkle.
The menu created by chef Nicolas Pastot, is offset with an excellent wine list composed by Les Caves Taillevent featuring a crisp white Burgundy 2008 Saint Veran Domaine Joubert at 36€ or a delicious red 2004 Chateau Rozier Terre-Rouge Saint Emilion with notes of cherry and blackberry at 39€, glasses from 6€.
Five starters include a plump gleaming Croustillant de boudin noir aux aromates, huile pimentée. Light Velouté de lentilles verte en capuccino, gnocchis de pomme de terre et lard fumé. Ravioli de crabe, consomme de homard or Rouget farcis, chips de topinambour, vinaigrette de cresson.
Dishes are classics with a light modern spin, served by young enthusiastic staff. "Is everything to your liking?
" they enquire discreetly. Three fish and three meat and poultry mains include Noix de Saint-Jacques poelées, spaghettis en legumes. Homard rôtie or Carré de veau, cocotte de legumes et trompettes de la mort. The menu changes all the time, there's always fromage frais et affinés and interesting desserts include an excellent Café Gourmand, but do try the Tartelette a l'orange, confit de fenouil, a perfect sweet-sour finalé to a delicious meal.
Photos : 1 : La tenue des Polytechniciennes - 2 : Ravioli de crabe - 3 : Noix de Saint-Jacques - 4 : Homard cuit à l'étouffée - 5 : Tartelette à l'orange et confit de fenouil.
12 rue de Poitiers 7
T: 01 49 54 74 54
Lunch:12h00 to 14h00
Dinner:19.30 to 23h00
Average Spend 43€ + wine
Parking: rue Montalembert & Quai Anatole France
Disabled Access - Air-Conditioning
Voir le site du restaurant Le Poulpry de la Maison des X.