I’d seen the photo creeping around Instagram. There was a refrigerator at a Paris restaurant keeping all kinds of cabbage cool – including kale. A cooler in plain view of diners with all varieties of colored cabbages. My beloved choux being celebrated at a restaurant! Where was it? When could I go?
Turns out the restaurant is Clover, the newish spot by acclaimed Chef Jean-François Piege. But of course it was Chef Piege. I remembered back to two years ago during a conversation with Joel Thiebault that Piege was one of the chefs coming to his weekly market stand and buying kale for his restaurants. This was before Clover opened but it was no surprise then that this mystery cabbage refrigerator was at one of his restaurants.
Via my friend Clotilde, I saw that they were offering a cabbage plate! Hoping to reserve and eat there in time for this dish (as the menu frequently changes), I reserved a table for two – mom and daughter – just one day before my due date.
Large and in charge and ready to eat anything in front of me 3x over, we left extremely satisfied and kept rehashing the meal throughout the day. In awe of the creation of plate after plate and me in even more awe of the warm chocolate chip cookie that came with coffee or tea (and this was after dessert!), I highly recommend Clover for a special lunch or dinner occasion.
There was no cabbage plate by this time (it was mid-March after all), we opted for the larger menu (again, 41 weeks here people, I was always starving!), to share two starters. The first an interesting quinoa cracker with eggplant and black sesame and the second a charcuterie plate with pickled petit chou romanesco.
This was followed by a chicken broth bouillon with toasted sunchokes on top. The smoky flavor of the topinambours permeated every bite.
The highlight of the meal (besides every part of it) was the coquilles Saint-Jacques that arrived raw on the shell with a blazing hot stone to cook it to preference.
Cod and paper thin mushrooms in salted butter finished the meal. Dessert was a banana pastry with parsley ice cream. If I ever make ice cream, this is one of the flavors I would most love to attempt.
By the time we left the restaurant, the cabbage cooler was the last thing on my mind.
5 rue Perronet