I have visited Paris countless times, and it seems that I find a good restaurant that I really like, only to learn it’s closed when I next visit. So today I searched on tripadvisor.com, looking for new ideas of where to dine during my brief stay here, and I stumbled upon reviews for a place called, Le Soufflé. I love soufflés, but they are a rare find and when they are on a menu, they are not always that great. But I had a feeling this place would be different, and I was right.
I decided to make this my lunch expedition, and my first big decision once I was confronted by the menu was whether to get the three course soufflé meal… an appetizer, main, and dessert, all souffles… or whether to order their special lunch menu which had a salad, two soufflés, water and coffee. I decided on the latter, and ordered a Henry IV Dinner Soufflé (chicken, mushrooms vegetables and a cream gravy inside), followed by a chocolate soufflé with a raspberry center.
This restaurant already had me at the green salad and bread course. A tasty salad and some of the crustiest, freshest French bread ever got my attention before the main course arrived, but when it did, my mouth was on the floor. What a beautiful creation a soufflé really is. As it was being served, the waiter made a small hole in the top and ladled the chicken and gravy into the souffle itself, so it was like a really fancy, gourmet version of chicken pot pie. The first bite and I was in Heaven. This had to be one of the most beautiful dishes I have ever eaten.
While waiting for my dessert, I struck up a conversation with two delightful ladies at the adjacent table, Elizabeth and Janine, who were visiting Paris from London. They were both born in Poland, but only met one another at an opera in London two years ago and they are as serious about food as I am. We had a great chat about travel and food as we dined, and I giggled as I watched Janine, who’d ordered a Grand Marnier dessert soufflé, pouring generous amounts of the liqueur that the waiter left on the table into her dessert as Elizabeth teased her about over-doing it. Meanwhile, I was savoring my chocolate and raspberry creation and feeling a bit sad and empty as my spoon hit the bottom of the dish…
I had a cappuccino. I thought about paying the bill. I watched Janine and Elizabeth savoring the last of their desserts. I watched as other tables received their soufflés, and I wanted to know how other flavors tasted. The restaurant offers a gorgonzola cheese and pear soufflé on the menu… how amazing must that one be? A lemon soufflé… how light and fluffy and citrusy would that be? I wanted another one. I wanted another one badly! Heck, I could have ordered the 3 course lunch, so I had to ask myself, “Would it be so wrong to just add on another soufflé to my check?” Elizabeth and Janine urged me to follow my heart… or my stomach and dismissed me feelings of embarrassment by assuring me that the waiter would be flattered that I was enjoying their food so much. I liked these women! And so I asked my waiter to please bring me a “Soufflé Citron, si vous plais” – a lemon soufflé. And I have no regrets; it may have been even better than the chocolate one!
As I paid my bill and prepared to go I shared with Elizabeth and Janine that if I am lucky enough to get to Heaven and they do not have soufflés there, I will have to file a formal complaint. Bottom line… if you are ever in Paris, do not even think about missing out on this amazing restaurant! The service was friendly and professional, the ambiance was charming, and the food… oh the food… oh my gravy!
Le Soufflé is located near the Louvre Museum at 36 rue Mont Thabor 75001 Paris.