If you are after something different in Paris, the pâté en croûte or meat pies at Arnaud Nicolas should be high on your list. The gorgeous looking artisanal pies with meat and foie gras are delicious and flavoursome. Located 7 minutes walk from Eiffel Tower, the smart & elegant restaurant with effective service is popular with tourists and local Parisians.
What is the food like?
Pâté en croûte – a meat pie in shortcrust pastry that is served at room temperature. Although presented as starters, Chef Arnaud Nicolas’ gorgeous looking artisanal pies are the main attraction. They are delicious, flavoursome and come with chicken, or pork with foie gras and seasonal produce. The rest of the menu is European with dishes like grilled beef rib steak with carrots, pork belly with potato gnocchi and rum baba or cheese platter.
How is the drinks selection?
Comprehensively French. There are over 70 choices of red wine and roughly similar number of whites from all the wine regions across France, from Vallee du Rhône, Val de Loire, Sud Quest to Savoie, Roussillon, Languedoc, Bourgogne and Jura. Prices range from €36 to €525 for a bottle of 2014 Grands Échezeaux Grand Cru from Domaine Gros Frère et Sœur.
What is the place like?
Smart & elegant. Arnaud Nicolas has an air of sophistication and precision to it. The shopfront is smart and you are greeted with meticulously arranged pies and terrines gracing the shop window. Inside, you will find neatly arranged cherrywood tables with grey and yellow velvet armchairs against manicured exposed brick walls, grey ceiling and designer lighting.
Who are the patrons?
As it is a 7 minute walk from Eiffel Tower and next to Champ de Mars, it is popular with the tourists who are looking for something different from the usual fare. Couples and families alike. There were also a couple of tables of suits in business discussions.
How was the service?
Effective. The two front of house staff were efficient, knowledgeable about the menu and attentive.
Is it child friendly?
Yes. Children menu available at €16 for a portion of pie, fish, risotto and ice cream.
Is it dog friendly?
Yes. As with most restaurants in Paris/France, furry ones are welcome at Arnaud Nicolas.
Decent. Starters are reasonable at about €15, mains at €35 and dessert at €12 for an elegant dining experience. The restaurant does not charges any discretionary service charge.
See below for what my dining companions and I indulged in for this review (prices quoted include VAT):
Pitalugue from Zulu & Domaine de Sulauze à Miramas ( Do not recommend)
Apparently one of 2,000 bottles created from the Zulu Wine Project with local wine producers in Roussillon, but couldn’t find much about what’s unique about it apart from the mentioned of it being natural. This Grenache and Cinsault grape wine is fragrant on the nose with hint of berries and wild cherries. It is a light bodied wine that is too fruity and sweet for our palate. €49
L’Incontournable Pâté en croûte de Volailles et Foie gras de Canard (Poultry pie with foie gras) (Recommend)
A well-presented smart-looking chicken pie. Succulent chunks of chicken interspersed with creamy helping of duck foie gras and sprinkle of pistachio. The shiny golden shortcrust pastry was a delight. €17
Les Asperges Vertes croquantes et le Jaune d’œuf cuit au vinaigre, Sabayon de Maïs (Fresh green asparagus and egg yolk cooked with vinegar, corn light cream) (Recommend)
An unusual dish of green asparagus served with a generous amount of custard-like French sabayon sauce, normally a dessert sauce paired with fresh strawberries or fruit. It worked decently here with a pinch of salt and a dash of vinegar to bring out the natural flavours of the perfectly cooked asparagus. Probably better without the popcorn. €16
La Tourte de Cochon, Ris de Veau et Truffe, Asperge verte cuisinées au Vin Jaune (Pork, sweetbread and truffle warm pie, green asparagus cooked with yellow wine) (Highly recommend)
A signature dish that made the visit worthwhile. Deliciously flavoured, subtle aroma of truffle, succulent and tender pieces of pork and sweetbread. Loved the shiny brown rich crust which brought the wholesome flavours together. €72 for two to share
La Poitrine de Cochon et les Gnocchis de Pomme de Terre, Légumes de saison cuisinés au jus (Pork chest and potato gnocchi with cooked vegetables) (Recommend)
Beautifully cooked towering pieces of pork belly, full of natural flavours and tender. Gnocchi was nice and chewy, but the subtle flavoured sauce and other vegetables failed to bring the dish to live. €31
Le choco banane et le Citron Vert (Black chocolate, banana and lime dessert) (Recommend)
Another unusual dish. Not the most interesting looking but the dark chocolate and banana cake was moist and packed with flavours. The mildly sharp and refreshing sauce offered an interesting combination of flavours. We would have preferred sweet on sweet. €12
La Tarte au Citron et la Meringue aux Amandes (100% Lemon dessert with meringue flavoured with almonds) (Do not recommend)
Interesting presentation idea, but poorly executed. Delicious sharp and refreshing flavours, but it didn’t have anything to work with as the almonds were not coming through from the meringue. €12