Friday, July 31, 2015

Atelier Vivanda, a Michelin Bib-Gourmand go to for great steak in Paris

When we were in Paris, we had steak almost every night. We met up with Ady's friend Kevin, who joined us for our favorite steak frites place, then the following night, he took us to his favorite steak place.
If Steak Frites is your thing, L'entrecote would still be the best for you.
Their strength is the secret sauce and perfectly cooked frites which you can
read about here.

However, if it's a good steak that you're looking for, without necessarily having to break the bank, then Atelier Vivanda is for you. Atelier Vivanda was awarded Bib Gourmand (Bib - short for Bibendum is the company's nickname for the Michelin Man Logo), the Michelin classification for exceptional good food at moderate prices.
The Original Atelier Vivanda, on Rue Lauriston is so busy,
you need to reserve a few days in advance.
They have 2 seatings for dinner.
It's across the street from restaurant Akrame, the 2 Michelin starred
restaurant also owned by the same chef Akrame Benallal. 
Kevin, Ady's friend who brought us here was translating the menu for us.
They serve a €35 3-course set menu, inclusive of entree,
main course and side, then a dessert.
Vivanda is actually a play on words of "La Vie" (life)
and "La Viande" (meat).
Their first restaurant in Rue Lauriston is a bit cramped.
In fact, we were right reside the meat slicer.
Which meant we just had to catch the flying Thinly-Sliced
Smoked Beef Aged 50 days, and we had free samples.
This guy even gave us more when he saw what we were
doing. Delicieux! Merci Beaucoup, Monsieur!
Our table by the window also gave us a very good view
of their open kitchen.
We put aside the bread, to preserve our appetite for the meat.
For starters, I had the Duck Leg Terrine, which was good.
I think Ady had some chicken and salad starter.
How can good steak, seasoned this liberally with salt,
not be good? Even the chef looks yummy.
Black Angus Steak
Now, you know what I mean, that if you want a serious steak, this is where
you should come.
They throw in the salad for free. Since there was three of us, we ordered
all forms of potatoes available mashed, fried, and gratin.
 Sides are unlimited, so you can keep asking for more.
Thanks Kevs for this great discovery.
These potatoes were cooked in duck fat, if I'm not mistaken.
Or they taste like they were!
They serve the steak with Caractere, an olive oil
flavored with pepper, to bring out the taste of the meat.
They also sell this online.
I must say, this steak is worth all the hype.
The servings were so good, I wanted to finish everything but I couldn't.
Sadly, I left 2 bites, and a good portion of the fat, though clearly, it means,
I ate the rest!
Again for dessert, we ordered three different kinds to share.
If I remember correctly, I was least impressed with this local cake and peach
sorbet, but the sorbet does it's job of cleansing the palate.
The chocolate fondue cake was a hit.
But personally I liked their version of the apple pie ala mode.
It took me so long to blog about Atelier Vivanda, that the good news is they now have two more branches, with a newly opened one in the Marais, and another one much closer to home. 

Just recently, Atelier Vivanda opened their Hong Kong branch, in the Wan Chai area. Though, I am pretty sure, this one does not have a Bib Gourmand rating, as while their menu and format is the same, the price is much heftier at HK$448 (€52) + 10% service charge. Though I must admit, it's cheaper to fly to Hong Kong, than to Paris to get your Atelier Vivanda fix. just saying.

Atelier Vivanda Paris
18 Rue Lauriston, 
75016 Paris, France
+33 1 40 67 10 00
Reservations Required

Atelier Vivanda Hong Kong
9 Ship St, 
Hong Kong
+852 2109 1768

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