Le Casse Noix
56 rue de la Fédération – 75015 Paris
French Bistrot (Classic French with a twist)
Le Casse Noix is the bistrot of Chef Pierre Olivier Lenormand who has spent years alongside legendary 3 star Michelin Chef Christian Constant at l’Hôtel de Crillon (Chef Constant is no more active as a Chef, but now owns several restaurants in Paris such as les Cocottes de Christian Constant, Café Constant, Le violon d’Ingres ) , then alongside another legend, Chef Alain Solivérès (who has now 2 stars with restaurant Tailevent). He also worked at the very popular La Régalade.
My wife’s lamb was full of delicious meat flavor, the cooking, doneness (medium rare) and seasoning spot on. Exciting on the palate, the quality of the lamb surprisingly high given the low prices (3 courses for eur 33) 8/10
Beef, which was my choice, was ordinary. I’d prefer my beef either grilled or braised since the ‘éffiloché’ technique (which would have worked better with pork) seemed, in this case, to have muted the full beef flavorful character of the meat. The effect, in mouth, was reminiscent of corned beef, an effect that I do not dislike but that I definitely find inferior to what’s expressed by braised/grilled meats 5/10
Desserts were of top range, and we are in France, Imagine! A long time ago, at any great cooking school as well as on the great tables of France, this is this kind of perfected joyous and fresh rich riz au lait and ile flottante that they were looking for. Only, here they avoided the boring old fashion textures making those greats classics vibrant in texture, eternally divine in taste:
So, Riz au lait, done the classical way, had amazing beautiful milky texture while tasting divine. Among the finest riz au lait in Paris (I also like the one at Chez L’Ami Jean). 10/10
Ile flottante, also done the traditional way, had fabulous deep rich flavor, the execution flawless. Ironically, even at some tables widely known by French people for their Ile flottante, few came close to this one. An excellent Ile Flottante that I’ll remember for a long time. 9/10
Service was a charm (we were served by a young woman and gentleman), with the right amount of warmth and professionalism. Very efficient (no exaggerated slowness). If you hear anyone complaining about poor service in Paris, send them to Le Casse Noix so that they can enjoy the other type of service they can also get in Paris
Overall score for the food performance on this lunch: 7/10 As with any great bistrot, you’ll eventually stumble upon one or two dishes you might perceive as weaker than others, but in general the level of cooking here is high for a bistrot, the technique reliable, the work of taste excellent. They take some classical French dishes and revisit them with pep.
All in all, a great charming bistrot with nice warm decor, great service, delicious food at reasonable prices (they have an affordable menu at 33 euros for starter/main/dessert) and it is located near the Eiffel tower.