What was initially supposed to be a single visit to introduce ourselves to the cuisine of David Toutain turned out to be two when an email a month before our visit to Paris stated that our reservation was booked on the same day as a four-hands dinner with two-Michelin starred chef Alexandre Bourdas of SaQuaNa. Intrigued by the collaboration we opted to keep our initial reservation and book another meal there the night before in order to try the work of the man at the helm of his eponymous restaurant.
Being one of the first meals of our first time in Paris, it is here we were introduced to the new age of young French chefs who have been superbly trained under the tutelage of the French greats and others around the world. The similarities to their mentors are obvious – exquisite ingredients, perfect execution, seasonality and more. But the characteristic opulent atmosphere, heavy tasting menus and rich price tags associated with their predecessors are few and far between with this generation. Instead their approach is modernistic yielding relatively lighter menus and more affordable experiences.
In Restaurant David Toutain the modernistic approach began once we stepped into the restaurant. Looking at the aesthetics composed of oak floors, an open space and wooden dining tables without any tablecloths felt reminiscent of the interiors characteristic of scandinavia. But this is Paris after all, and though much seemed different from generalizations of haute cuisine, this restaurant still delivered on the grandiose flavours of autumn.