Coming from Haute-Loire in Auvergne, chef François Gagnaire has learned the ropes with Alain Chapel and Pierre Gagnaire – both of them are not related. Then, the chef opened his first gourmet restaurant on the first floor of the Hotel du Parc, where, in 2006, he was awarded a Michelin star.
After a remarkable return in Paris, running the kitchen of Hôtel du Collectionneur, in 2015, Gagnaire opened his first restaurant, in Paris 6th arrondissement. And since Auvergne is always close in his heart and his taste buds, there was only one name to give: Anicia, a reference to the famous variety of green lentil from Puy-en-Velay.
In a natural and relaxed atmosphere, the decoration shines a light on Auvergne, its landscapes and artisans as well. Works about the region are piled up in corners, while animated paintings reveal the Auvergne fauna and flora. From the chairs – made by a local artisan – to the very knives – coming from a cutlery factory there – everything reminds us of Auvergne, Haute-Loire and Puy-en-Velay.
Up to the very menu, of course, giving pride of place to Auvergne and Haute-Loire produces. Especially since the chef is part of a seasonal and short system approach, closely working with small producers he trusts. Therefore, wines, spirits, and herbal teas come from Puy-en-Velay, meats and games come from France, while fishes come from sustainable fishing, or a natural farm.
Star of the menu, the green lentil from Puy finds at Anicia its former glory and is served in a caviar tin, as it to stand as a luxury product. Topping crab and mascarpone whipped cream with yuzu, ginger, and twisted with crustacean jelly, this Caviar from Velay (€18), is to be spread on lentil flour blinis.
In the dinning room, on the terrace and even in the kitchen, seated at one of the secret tables facing the stoves, let us keep discovering the terroir with two fresh and delicious starters: the cantaloupe tartare, avocado and chorizo by Laurent Montagné (€13), and the surprising barigoule artichoke panna cotta, smoked eel, and fresh almonds (€14).
Then come main courses with a piece of grilled Vedelou (€27), the famous veal from Monts du Velay, of an exceptional tenderness. It is served with revisited ratatouille with raw and cooked vegetables, and beautiful basil leaves. For fish fans, the chef’s recipe of marinated mackerels (€25) celebrates the sea and the land, with eggplant caviar, potato chips, and light Parmentier espuma.
Like chef Kei Kobayashi’s famous vegetable garden, François Gagnaire serves a pastoral of vegetables (€24), including about thirty vegetables and fruits prepared several ways.
Really generous, chef Gagnaire then takes the time to show us more about maturing cheeses coming straight from Haute-Loire and rather… original. In facts, tiny spiders called “artisous” are placed on the cheese to develop and sculpt the rind. A technique giving cheeses a special flavor. Some farm raw milk cheeses (€10) available on Anicia menu are matured with this process, like a strong fourme de Valciviere.
As for dessert, do not miss the meules de foin du Mézenc (€10), thin wafers filled with hay-infused cream, and slightly salted dulce de leche, and baked angel hair pasta. What a delight. And for sweet-toothed, Anicia turns every afternoon into a tearoom serving a small offer of cakes and cookies made on site.
In love with his region, Gagnaire is the best ambassador of this Auvergne and Puy-en-Velay origins. A wonderful discovery.
Dates and Opening Time
Starts 3 August 2021
97 Rue du Cherche-Midi
75006 Paris 6
Saint-Placide (ligne 4)
entrées: €12 - €14
plats: €24 - €27
Menus déjeuner: €30 - €39
Fermeture estivale du 15 au 21 aout 2021.