Photo of the Week

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The view from the Théâtre de l"Odéon at dusk. Photo: Françoise Deberdt-Meunier

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Left Bank gallery crawl
> Open house at 50 galleries for Art Saint Germain des Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Gold in galleries

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“Passage” ((2017), by Aude Herlédan. At 1831 Art Gallery during Carré Rive Gauche.

> The Carré Rive Gauche, an association of Left Bank galleries, celebrates its 40th anniversary with an event called ExtrORdinaire, featuring gold in works of art. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Literary evening
> The Nuit de la Littérature in Belleville and Ménilmontant presents 20 foreign authors reading their work in French. Various venues, Paris, May 27.

 English-language theater festival
> Paris Fringe returns for its second year of English-language theater and comedy. Various venues, Paris, May 18-28.

Hollywood glam
> Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and more in classic films from Hollywood's Golden Age for the Glamour cycle. Forum des Images, Paris, May 3-31.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Etienne Comar’s Django, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, May 26.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, through May 28.

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Restaurants - Contemporary

 

Fulgurances

Lightning Strikes
A Second Time

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Tamir Nahmias at work in the open kitchen at Fulgurances.

Three young food-loving entrepreneurs recently opened a new kind of restaurant in Paris as a springboard for talented new chefs. Its name, Fulgurances, is a reference to lightning: they hope to strike their customers with a lightning bolt of joy every time they encounter a new chef.

Mission accomplished. We were completely knocked out by the meal we had there last week, cooked by Tamir Nahmias, the second young chef to be offered a six-month platform for his talents. By all reports, the first, Chloe Charles, was also a smash hit; she is now looking for a location for her own restaurant.

Since the service is provided by the owners themselves – Rebecca Asthalter, Hugo Hivernat and Sophie Coribert – customers at Fulgurances are assured good, friendly, well-informed but not always prompt service in the rather plain dining room with the usual Scandinavian-style furniture. The main draw for the eye here, with carefully positioned

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mirrors allowing all diners to see it, is the action in the open kitchen, where Nahmias, Gregory Marchand’s former sous-chef at Frenchie, works with amazing concentration and speed.

The two fixed-price menus, the only options, are a bit confusing, but what it boils down to is €44 for a generous assortment of starters (called mezze here), followed by a choice between two main courses and two desserts. For €58, you get all the starters, both main courses and both desserts (in smaller versions). The wine list offered far too few inexpensive choices, but we were extremely happy with the bottle of Corbières suggested by Hivernat: Maxime Magnon’s 2015 Rozeta (€48).

Now for the best part: the food. The first three starters were stunners: creamed beets with za’atar (a Middle Eastern mix of thyme,

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oregano and marjoram) and toasted hazelnuts; sliced duck breast with super-fresh green beans, oxalis (wood sorrel), sweet red onions, sesame seeds and anchovy vinaigrette; and smoked eggplant with yogurt, sesame and pine nuts. Impossible to pick out the one I liked best since each was so delicious and satisfying in its own unique way.

We thought our main courses would arrive

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next, but the starters just kept coming: a lone grilled octopus tentacle grilled to perfection and served with a roasted lemon and a dab of

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harissa; crispy samosas filled with duck confit;

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and squid stuffed with lamb confit (a surprising but wonderful combination).

Those six entrées, shared among the three of us, would have made an outstanding meal on their own, but the main courses were still to

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come. For me, the lamb dish stood out over the other choice, red mullet, but the latter was also excellent. The lamb, with crispy skin and tender meat, came with a magnificent accompaniment of spelt, lentils, lemon confit and raisins. The fish was served with white asparagus, cooked al dente, and roasted onions

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that reached new heights of divinity for the humble vegetable.

Could Nahmias keep it at the same high level for the desserts? He could and he did. The poached apricots with jasmine ice cream,

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almonds and thyme was a luscious delight, and the deconstructed millefeuille with Medjool dates, fromage blanc and almonds was scrumptious.

This was a meal without a single false note. Each dish was perfect on its own and contributed to the fine balance of a meal with a strong but not exclusively Middle Eastern identity (the chef is from Israel).

Nahmias has a great future ahead of him. Let’s hope that this experience will indeed lead to him opening his own restaurant. I will be one of his first customers. And I look forward to discovering the next lightning bolt Fulgurance’s owners will bring in when Nahmias moves on.

Heidi Ellison

Fulgurances: 10, rue Alexandre Dumas, 75011 Paris. Métro: Rue des Boulets. Tel.: 09 81 09 33 32. Open Wednesday- Saturday for lunch and dinner. Fixed-price menus €58 and €44 (dinner and Saturday lunch); €19 and 22 (weekday lunch). www.fulgurances.com

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