The menu, served as a surprise tasting, changes daily based on the markets and the season. The food is inventive, interesting and on the whole excellent. After some brilliant and quite clever amuse bouches, the meal was opened with a delightful, natural and earthy serving of cepes, with bilberries and lovage. The best serving of the meal was next, ling with white corn cooked in butter – it's simple and austere appearance hiding a very moreish, perfectly balanced combination. A dish of salted lamb with cauliflower and olives with a light curry was sharp, astringent and one of those dishes that grows on you the more you eat it, but did not deliver the same deliciousness as the rest of the menu.
Desserts were also delicious and quite good fun. A cassis sorbet with Angelique cream was delicious with some grated goats cheese adding a bitter and almost umami note. But even better was a serving based on the Spanish dessert of tocino de cielo; a delightful caramelized egg yolk served on a little piece of pastry - you could easily and quite happily eat a lot of these.
The service has the fast paced hustle that you find in any French bistro, but the servers were knowledgeable, engaging, funny and seemed to take a real pleasure in their work. €70 for this tasting menus felt like great value, but the matching wines are definitely worth paying an extra €65. The wine flight, which also included cider and gin, contained some unusual choices that worked brilliantly with the food.
After a meal in Le Chateaubriand it is easy to see that Chef Inaki Aizpitarte is extremely talented and why he has earned himself such a reputation in Paris. His food is contemporary, at times a little bit challenging, with some interesting and unusual combinations that could only be pulled off by someone with vision and an amazing palette.
Besides this, and what is maybe the best thing about Le Chateaubriand, is that it still feels rooted in a traditional French bistro. Despite serving modern and sometimes daring food, it has kept that bistro essence and this is a fantastic combination which makes for a wonderful evening. It would be hard for us to return to Paris, even with the plethora of top class restaurants that grace the city, and not stop by Le Chateaubriand.
See Le Chateaubriand on our world ratings list.