52 Rue de Richelieu
Even though I had heard many great things about Verjus, after our slightly disappointing meal at L’Ateiler Saint-Germain de Joel Robuchon we had been keeping our expectations low for Verjus. There was no need – our experience at Verjus was impressive and we left there absolutely raving about our evening there.
Although I love a good “fancy” meal, such as a dinner at The French Laundry or Eleven Madison Park, the value still has to be there. I don’t mind dropping some serious cash on food so long as I leave the restaurant feeling as though I got value for my money. In my opinion, we definitely got value for our money at Verjus, and the service was better than what we had received the night before at the 2 Michelin-starred L’Ateiler.
Verjus’ upstairs restaurants was quaint and cozy, with a spiral staircase descending into the more casual bar of the same name (apparently the bar serves incredible fried chicken). I found the atmosphere in the restaurant to be welcoming and unhurried. The food was unexpectedly impressive. We both ordered the tasting menu, which was €60/$85CAD for 7 courses (we added on the cheese course for another €14) and the wine pairing €40/$56CAD. I highly recommend opting for the wine pairing because it gives you the opportunity to sample French wines that perhaps you wouldn’t have access to at home.
Cherrystone clams, roast sunchoke soup, garlic crouton, harissa, celery root, thyme oil. The spicy heat of the harissa was what really made this dish. It took a delicious, but fairly uninteresting soup, and pow! Made it memorable.
There was not a dish on our menu that I didn’t like. All of them were well-executed with obvious thought going into the importance of texture and flavours in each dish. The dishes were also a good size so you certainly didn’t leave hungry.
It seems pointless to say, but I highly recommend a meal at Verjus if you are in Paris. For me, it was the most memorable of the meals that we ate whilst in Europe because it hit it out of the park in every element; service, quality of food, ambience, and value for money. Make sure that you reserve ahead of time as this is a popular spot (I found them to be extremely helpful over email). If you are unable to get a reservation, you could try to drop in to the bar for a bite to eat and a drink (no reservations required).