14 September 2010

gamay au grand palais: mini palais opening, 75008

Image swiped from bc.edu.

Last night on a surprise invitation from my visiting friend J I attended the re-opening night of the newly refurbished restaurant in the Grand Palais, titled Mini Palais.

Not the name I would have chosen, either. For one thing, the place is huge.But what can you do. I imagine the board of investors for a deep-pocket place like this would probably fill both dining halls.

Really working the antiquity angle with the decor.

The very contemorary French menu, designed by Gilles Choukroun, contains the expected concessions to museum dining (fried cod; a duck burger) alongside a few ambitious spotlighted darlings that will invariably be shuffled off within the first few weeks of no one ever ordering them. (Pasta with octopus bolognese, for instance. Octopus is just not advisable as an ingredient in a large establishment's token pasta.) There was also a section of menu entitled "ENCAS" that contained small plates and not-quite-meals that will apparently be served from lunch to midnight. This, along with several pre-opening write-ups saying the bar will remain open till 2am, tell me that Mini Palais is making a play for the Champs-Elysées nightclub crowd, of which I am emphatically not a part and with whom I would usually rather die than be seen.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that the slim wine list at Mini Palais is unusually heavy on cru-Beaujolais! It does contain upper-echelon (ahem) Duboeuf, but I feel this is excused by the presence of Marcel Lapierre's 2009 Morgon, which we duly ordered. I was a little surprised that it showed a little bit overripe, without the chewiness and firm fruit I'd expect from 2009 Morgon right now. This is something I'll do a little research on. For now I'll just chalk it up to the first night; perhaps the wine was nervous too.

Image swiped from media.paperblog.fr.


  1. Only thing I've tasted of the '09s is J.P. Brun Terres Dorées Fleurie which is juicy as hell, but the structure/concentration is also pretty massive for Gamay. Really quite good. Impressive. The Lapierres I've tasted generally tend to have a little more delicacy.

    I'm considering picking up a mag of Coudert/Roillette (SP?) '09 that they've got at Union Square. I'll let you know if I pull the trigger on that.

    It's Morgan Harris, by the way. I've really been enjoying your blog since Dunja sent it to me a few weeks ago.

  2. hi morgan! thanks for reading!
    most of the 2009 cru stuff is by now available over here and i've tasted through some of breton, metras, vionnet, etc. but this was the first lapierre. with the exception of the lapierre, everything has been remarkably dense and lively, v athletic wines. a quality that i began perceiving even when the nouveau nonsense was first released. so i have the feeling i got a wonky bottle of lapierre.



    oh, also: pull the trigger!