Metro Station: Chaussée d’Antin La Fayette (Line 7), Richelieu-Drouout (Line 9)
Type of cuisine: French
Days & hours of operation: Mon to Sat 12:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Credit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express
A part of the Radisson Blu Ambassador Hotel in the 9th arrondissement, the restaurant 16 Haussmann is an ideal place for travelers who can afford the splurge to enjoy fine dining in elegant surroundings.
Tall ceilings; pewter-colored walls, benches, and chairs; heavy grey curtains; and tall, sparkling-clean windows create an atmosphere of breathtaking sophistication. It was a pleasure to sit down and relax in stylish comfort. While we dined, pop music and rhythm and blues played over the speaker system.
We forewent an apéritif, ordering a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water instead. While we were studying the menu, the waitress brought over an hors-d’œuvre consisting of purée of chick pea flavored with basal. We spread the purée on dried slices of baguette and enjoyed.
The restaurant offers a three-course menu for 50€. Supplements apply to some dishes.
For the starter, I ordered Ravioles de langoustines, velouté de crustacés au basilic. The waitress brought a wide, shallow bowl containing a frothy, peppery, orange-colored, crustacean-flavored broth upon which floated crisped basil leaves. Resting at the bottom of the bowl was a layer of flat ravioli stuffed with langoustine. The creamy broth and langoustine ravioli were neither too rich or too fishy. In other words, the dish was perfect!
For her part, my partner also selected a velouté: Velouté fin de potiron en capuccino, petits croûtons dorés. This preparation was thick and colorful – the server poured the pumpkin soup around three plump croutons made from breaded Comté cheese topped with thinly sliced basil. While the soup was fine, it was the croutons that “made” this dish. My partner declared that they were one of the most unusual taste sensations that she has ever experienced in a French restaurant.
The menu offered a choice of nine different main courses. I opted for Noix de Saint Jacques poêlées, écume d’orange et fondu d’endives. As before, the food arrived in a bowl, but a smaller one this time. It contained five tender, succulent, lightly-fried scallops swimming in a frothy orange-flavored broth, all resting on a bed of shredded, cooked endive. I very much enjoyed the delicious scallops, but did not quite care for the broth. To my taste, the flavor of orange does not go well with scallops. Nevertheless, I finished the dish entirely and felt quite satisfied.
My partner chose Suprême de volaille rôti, lait de coco et croustille d’abricot. Plump, moist slices of chicken breast rested in a very lightly-flavored, frothy coconut milk and a bed of sliced carrots and parsnips. The croustille d’abricot consisted of a roll of apricot paste wrapped in an ultra-thin layer of brick pastry and served on the broad rim of the bowl. My partner had hoped for a more pronounced coconut flavor in this dish, but she found it thoroughly satisfying none the less.
To accompany our meal we ordered a half-bottle of Pouilly Fumé Laporte — Domaine Les Duchesses — 2010, a dry, brilliant yellow wine with a rapidly-changing bouquet of aromas ranging flowers and apricot to spices. We were quite pleased with this choice.
Warm rolls were served alongside on bread dishes.
Dessert brought some nice surprises. I ordered the suggestion du pâtissier, a Tarte fine au chocolat, crème pistache, granité de litchi. The tart was made from bittersweet-chocolate shortcrust filled with pistachio cream and topped with bits of crushed pistachio dipped in chocolate. A goblet of lychee sorbet was served alongside. It was a delicious dish that was not too filling.
My partner decided on the Poire fondante au vin, cannelle, sorbet pain d’épice. The red-tinted pear sat in a shallow bowl of thin, wine-based syrup, while the spice-bread sorbet was served on a separate dish alongside. This dessert was light and refreshing, and my partner observed that it would be a good selection for spring or summer.
The service was attentive and friendly.
The bill for two, including one bottle of mineral water, two starters, two main courses, two desserts, and a half-bottle of wine, came to 149.10€.
We think that travelers whose budget can support this splurge will enjoy dining at this fine restaurant.
Tom Reeves has been a confirmed Francophile since he first traveled to France in 1975. A native of northern California, he moved to France permanently in 1992. Reeves’ love of French language and culture inspired him to create Discover Paris!, a travel planning service that caters to Americans interested in cultural travel to Paris. His book, Paris Insights – An Anthology, has been called “the kind of insider’s view of the French capital…that first or even second time visitors pine for.” He publishes a monthly newsletter entitled Paris Insights about history, culture, and contemporary life in the City of Light, and posts daily information about the French capital on Facebook.