Vegetables were scarce at a recent lunch at Chez l’Ami Jean, another marathon meal at this favorite address.
The rosy crawfish soup that kicked things off was straightforward enough, with sweet green peas and tiny croutons floating around in the current. After that, though, came a dish of cod with foie gras, the white fish turned green by a bright parsley sauce and taking us into Dr. Seuss territory. A few favas played around the plate, and a strip of chorizo laid across everything, a colorful garnish, but not superfluous. Its salty heat actually seasoned the other elements.
The surf ‘n’ turf continued: Next was a flat black plate with sheet of wild salmon, pounded paper thin, topped with a tender slab of milk-fed veal, more of that chorizo, and some anchovies. Having eaten it, I know it worked, but reading the description now I wonder how it possibly could have.
What followed was more surprising. A plump lobster claw sat next to a plumper piece of boudin noir, one sweet and briny, the other thick and ferrous, both rich in their own ways. Crisp garlands of lard lay like streamers thrown at this unexpected marriage. That little something croustillante made the dish.
Every meal I’ve had at l’Ami Jean has included sweetbreads. Today, they sat atop a seafood salad and girolles. Mushrooms are the meat of the vegetable world, so I’ll call this one “turf ‘n’ surf ‘n’ turf”.
Then, as always, that bowl of rice pudding, not at all necessary but certainly appreciated, at least by me.
“This is the best food for you. The walls at Lascaux are not covered with pictures of broccoli, after all,” said the guy sitting next to us .
Maybe, but I doubt that our paleolithic ancestors had someone like Stephane Jego around to do the cooking.
Chez l’Ami Jean 27 Rue Malar, Paris 75007, +33 (0)1 47 05 86 89 website