Last year for our anniversary, we vacationed in Europe in late March and early April. We were there just as spring arrived, and it was quite an amazing experience. We actually spent our anniversary day in Paris, which was quite lovely.
While researching the Paris portion of the trip, we discovered a small but intriguing restaurant called Abri. The article we read raved about it so, of course, we had to try it for ourselves. Evidently, it was already quite popular because even a month ahead of time, when we booked, we were only able to snag a lunch reservation for that day. However, we were thrilled to score that. We thought the chances of us getting in here were slim to start with. Thankfully, our AirBnB host was able to get the reservation for us. The people at Abri are extremely hard to get in touch with, otherwise.
This place is owned and operated by Japanese immigrants. The menu was sparsely worded so we aren’t sure what exactly we had in most cases, which is why you’ll see quite a bit of qualifying language here (“tasted like,” “appeared to be,” etc.) Between our poor French and their fairly decent French, spoken with a Japanese accent, we counted ourselves fortunate to get through the meal. Of course, they were kind and helpful. We just had very little way of communicating. Regardless, the meal was a great experience all around.
Also, this meal was a four course lunch tasting menu. All in all, it was priced very reasonably at 25 Euro per person. We spent another 30 Euro total on wine and espresso, and it was worth every penny. I’ll also note that I wrote this analysis of the meal the morning after our meal, which is how I’m able to recall things in such detail over a year later. I can still taste most things just by reading the descriptions here. It truly was a memorable meal.
We started our lunch with a delicious roasted asparagus salad. It was topped with a Pecorino-like cheese and hazelnuts plus a fresh, tasty green sauce. The course was accompanied by freshly baked bread. It was dark and crusty on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. Jeremy adored it. I really liked it, too. All in all, it was a great way to start the meal.
Also, to note our wines: we each had two glasses of wine to accompany our tasting menu. Jeremy had a red Bourgnone, and I had a Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines were fantastic and suited our tastes well.
Our second course was a creamy white soup with a light white foam on top. We think it might have been parsnip soup, but it’s really hard to say. It tasted like carrots, but it was stark white, which is why I suspect parsnips. There could possibly have been some apple in there as well. It had a hint of sweetness but wasn’t sweet. It’s really hard to say what it was, but it was delicious, I know that. Situations like this are where our lack of being able to communicate with the wait staff impaired us most greatly.
For our main course, we had a choice of poisson (fish) or viande (meat) for our main course. Jeremy chose the poisson, and it was a flaky but firm fish. We’re not sure what fish it was, of course, but he loved it. I had some of it, too, and enjoyed it. The fish still had its skin on, and that was flavorful and crispy. Really, the whole dish was just wonderful.
I had a small lamb chop cut into medallions. Of course, that dish was also quite tasty. It was cooked to a perfect medium-rare and was lightly sauced with a jus-based sauce. I also had baby fennel and perhaps some radishes on my plate. The whole dish had a slight fennel-y / anise flavor to it. The meat was a little fatty with sinew, but they masterfully cooked that to where it was tender and palatable. I was impressed.
Dessert was perfect. It was this wonderful little apple galette, a crispy phyllo dough stuffed with what seemed like a vanilla-apple gelato. Thinly sliced, crispy apple chips topped the galette. We each also had an espresso shot to accompany our dessert. What a great way to finish a meal!
All in all, it was a fantastic meal. We were so pleased. You can find Abri in Paris at 92 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75010. However, it has apparently gotten so busy that they aren’t even taking reservations any more. It’s quite hard to get in to dine there these days. But keep this one on your list. If you’re fortunate enough to get it, it will be so worth it.