Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chez L’Ami Jean

When you dine at Chez L’Ami Jean, it’s impossible not to develop a crush. If not on Chef Stéphane Jégo, then on the restaurant itself.

Two of the three times I’ve eaten there, I’ve been right near the kitchen, closely watching the chef in all his frenetic edgy glory.

The first time, we also dined under the shadow of several tennis ball-sized truffles. After commenting on their enormity, Chef Jégo generously shaved some onto my friend’s dish. I guess it’s just the kind of guy he is.

While this last visit didn’t include banter with the chef, it did offer some of the best soup you’ll ever have in your life.
 Poured tableside...
The tangy calamari entrée wasn’t so bad either.
 For my plat, I had beautiful pink and tender duck.
But I was really just waiting for dessert.

Our neighbors (and best friends for the night—two older couples from the Upper East Side, who were as hip and fun and funny as you could ever hope to be seated so closely with), ordered the Paris Brest. I know from past experience that it’s a sublimely decadent treat.
But if there is one reason to go to Chez L’Ami Jean—other than Chef Jégo, other than its insane menu, other than the nightly theatrics—it’s for the rice pudding.
A giant creamy bowl is served with sides of salted caramel cream, candied nuts and granola bits, and crunchy meringues, this should be a Parisian landmark.


  1. I have been meaning to try Chez L'Ami Jean . . . and now I really need to get there. Thanks Amy!

  2. That could be just the place to finally convince me of rice pudding's virtues! Mr. C has eaten it his entire life but I've never taken a liking. But how could it be bad with salted caramel cream? Could ANYTHING be bad?

  3. Excuse me, but my jaw went slack and I drooled at the end!

  4. It has been so long since I have had food like this - it seems like a dream.
    One that I should be having again ... soon !
    besitos, C

  5. What's in that soup? It looks marvelous. I have yet to try L'Ami Jean, but I can attest that the rice pudding at La Cantine du Troquet is not half-bad. Big, though - plan on sharing.

  6. We love your blog, have a nice day !!! A french family from France

  7. Amy have not been to dine here but after reading this post will have to spoil myself! I loved this post, your blog and book so have featured and linked you on my blog on Friday. Congrats on your gorgeous book :)
    Carla x

    Wonderful shots Amy..you go up close and personal shots of Jego
    merci carolg