Just down the street from the Arc de Triomphe in the 17th arrondissement, we discovered a little gem of a restaurant called Le Dodin. The restaurant is on a small street in a very vibrant and very Parisian neighbourhood. The chef, Mark Singer, is American and speaks French like a native as he spent most of his childhood in France. His mother was a huge influence on his interest in cooking growing up as she diligently mastered Julia Child’s style of french cooking. The family also made constant use of their garden’s fresh vegetables and fruit. Fast food was strictly forbidden in the Singer household! For many years Singer was the only american chef in Paris. He studied under the tutelage of famed chef Auguste Escoffier.
This night we were celebrating a birthday with my husband’s french cousins. The only other patrons at the restaurant that night were an older American tourist and his dinner companion sitting at the table next to us. Singer’s wife was both hostess & waitress, and did an excellent job keeping the tables satisfied! I regard truffles as Manna of the Gods, so we could not resist choosing the special truffle tasting menu. The amuse bouche was a bite of a warm potato salad with truffle cream. Next came a beef consomme´, flavored with truffle oil and topped with puff pastry. After that was a rich truffle risotto served with a large shrimp wrapped in pieces of fried panko strips. The creaminess of the risotto tasted delightful with the sharpness of the truffle. Following was a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth Coquille St. Jacques scallop, split in half with a slice of truffle in the middle and a creamy truffle sauce. The dish was served with julienned leeks, which was a perfect complementary flavor. For the perfect cleansing of the palate, the chef sent a refreshing sorbet with fresh mint to prepare us for finale. The last dish was wild duck served with truffle sauce. To be honest, this was the most disappointing dish, as I felt the duck had the texture and harshness of liver. Not even the truffle sauce could save this dish, perhaps it was the wild duck… As for dessert, Chef Singer presented seethed cherries served with truffle flavored ice cream.
The menu had many creative uses for truffle and we were pleased with the overall experience. The dinner was expensive as we chose 3 bottles of wine to complement our meal. I will definitely return to try other tasting menus. $$$$. 42 rue des Acacias, 75017 Paris. 01.43.80.28.54