On a quiet street in the 15th arrondissement, Chef Hideki Nishi is bringing all the skills honed by his fourteen years in the kitchen at the two-Michelin-star restaurant Le V (of Hotel George V) to Neige d’été.
Quixotically translated to “Summer Snow”, this discreet space is beautifully decorated by Shinku Noda of Paris-based Atelier ES. Muted wooden tones are contrasted by occasional bursts of gorgeous floral colors.
This minimalist decor contrasts very nicely to the very bright cooking coming out of Chef Hideki’s kitchen.
Service is exemplary and accommodating. We were guided to our table, complete with a wonderful view of the open kitchen for this evening’s meal…
Apéritif: André et Michel Drappier ‘Zero Dosage’, Brut Nature Champagne… Made from 100% Pinot noir grapes, this was a toasty, well-rounded Champagne.
Amuse-bouches: Canape au saumon sur gorgonzola millefeuille, anguille ‘foie gras’ avec fleur de sel & jambon ibérique une tranche de Kouglof au riz et aux pignons de pain… What a wonderful trio of bites to start our adventure!
Le pain… Baked in-house and served with beurre de Bretagne (which was awesome), we ate way more of the dreamy bread & butter here than we should have!
Soupe de coquillages à la châtaigne… Shellfish potage with chestnut & egg foam on top - Seasonal and delicious.
Tartare de Saint-Jacques, citron caviar, radis ‘red meat’… Wow! Fresh scallops, with yuzu rind, caviar and radish - All in one superb bite!
Ris de veau panné, tartare d’huîtres Gillardeau, salade de sucrine… Lightly fried sweetbread, with oyster tartare, served with a crisp lettuce salad - Excellent.
Chef Hideki has several young chefs staging with him in the kitchen. Some come from as far away as Tokyo to learn from his French techniques.
Bar de ligne poêles aux beurre d’algue… Stove-cooked line-caught sea bass, served with seaweed butter - Marvelous.
Next, we are shown the winter truffle supply at the restaurant, with their incredible earthy aroma!
Pintade grillée, truffe noire… Grilled Guinea fowl, with black winter truffle… Served on a bed of pureed truffled potatoes with Guinea fowl yolk, this presentation was just incredible - Quite possibly the perfect hearty winter dish.
Next up: Chef Hideki’s signature dish: Tourte de gibier! This is what it looks like before cooking…
Tourte de gibier (canard colvert, perdreau grise et foie gras)… Served with concentrated stock from the game fowl (mallard duck, gray partridge), this was truly a unique culinary experience - Definitely on the heavier side, but so, so rewarding on each bite.
Ormeaux poêles, avec consommé de crustacés… Oven-baked abalone, with crustacean bisque - Oishi!
Next, an imposing hunk of wagyu from Poland, aged for about four weeks, is brought out for us to see…
Faux-filet de boeuf polonaise grillée au charbon de bois… Terrific sear on the outside - An optimal mixture of marbled fat, meat, smoke and salt - Stupendous! From the taste, it is likely that Japanese ‘binchotan’ charcoal was used.
Sélection de fromages affinés…
Dessert time!!! Pomme, poire, mousse de calvados… Truly a magnificent dessert. The apple brandy mousse really tied everything together here.
Mont Blanc, gelée de pamplemousse, café… The crew at Neige d’été are masters with their use of chestnuts.
Here is a nice cross-section of the Mont Blanc…
Mignardises: Merigue de pamplemousse et coco, choux caramel, et truffes chocolats avec matcha ‘nougat’ sur amandes grillées… Delicate and fantastically sweet creations!
Macchiato… A splendid finish to a most memorable meal!
Gochisosama deshita!!! Et “Bravo!!!”