Dinner at Le ParadouSeptember 17, 2008
The Bailliage of Greater Washington enjoyed a grand inauguration of its 2008-2009 Season under the auspices of newly inducted Bailli Paul Haar at Le Paradou Restaurant in Washington, D.C. Filled to capacity, there was great energy and conviviality as we gathered before dinner, enjoying with passed hors d’oeuvres of lobster croquettes in phyllo and salmon tartare tartlets accented with crème fraîche paired with Tattinger Brut La Francaise, as we mingled and chatted before being seated.
After we were seated, Bailli Paul Haar introduced new members, Dame de la Chaine Dixie Butler, Chevalier C.W. Gilluly and his wife, Dame de la Chaine Marnie Gilluly. Chevalier d’Honneur member Emil Skodon, former Ambassador to Brunei, and his wife Dame de la Chaine Thea Skodon, were also warmly welcomed as members, as they recently relocated from Brunei to Washington D.C.
The first course, a brandade of scallops in an egg shell with lobster flan and Imperial Osetra caviar was beautifully paired with Clos Floridene Graves 2003. The second course, a filet of turbot, steamed langoustines with squid ink ravioli stuffed with sea scallops, presented in vermouth jus, was cooked to perfection and was enhanced by the William Fevre Fourchaume Chablis Grand Cru 2002. Our next course of hot duck foie gras with plum pudding, pomegranate and Vin de Paille sauce was matched with Justin Obtuse 2007, a non-traditional but magnificent choice. The lamb noisette with eggplant accompanied with a fricassee of Royal Girolle mushrooms was tender and flavorful and accented well by the Domaine de l’Arnesque Chateauneuf du Pape 1998. Our gastronomic journey ended in grand style with the dessert course of Chocolate Saveur with thyme sauce, garnished with citron confit and hazelnut ice cream graced with two wonderful dessert wines, Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage 2001 and Chateau du Cros Loupiac 1997, selected by Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Steve Lustig, Vice Conseiller Culinaire Francois Dionot and Vice Echanson (L’Ordre Mondial) Len DePas of our Wine Committee.
Executive Chef /Proprietor Yannick Cam, who introduced “Nouvelle Cuisine” to Washington, D.C. (and perhaps to the United States), emerged from the kitchen to enthusiastic applause. He glowingly credited his Sous Chef, Vincent Arnoux, for his outstanding culinary expertise and advised us that he was a “chef to watch.” To the delight of all, Chef Cam remained in the dining room, answering questions and sharing amusing stories from his many years in Washington, D.C. We lingered well after service was concluded, reluctant to end an evening that was indeed “Perfection at Le Paradou.”