Le Larousse is formal. Pride is the exaggerated feeling of one’s own worth. So, when Eloi Spinnler chooses to baptize this restaurant (with his partners Youssef Chraibi and Martin Pellet) with this qualifier, we say to ourselves that the young 27-year-old chef is bordering on excessive self-esteem.
Especially since this hat trained at the Ferrandi school, sharpened at the Tour d’Argent and at the Plaza, chose rue Popincourt right in 11e arrondissement, Parisian temple of food par excellence. Pride is his, prejudice is ours.
Beautiful white asparagus
Everything is quickly swept away by the arrival of the first plates on our table. Quick, a knife and fork! The young chef triturates the vegetable with a magician’s who-knows-what. The proof is this amazing white asparagus, clementine and parmesan (14 euros). A controlled cooking and this little boost of citrus coming to upset the creaminess of the most famous of Italian cheeses. It’s a big yes and, perhaps, the confirmation of a feeling of legitimate pride that emanates from the kitchen.
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To make sure it’s not a simple stunt, we bite greedily into this smoked potato, marinated egg yolk and elderberry (8 euros). Here again, the magic works, the smoothness of the egg yolk, the freshness of the elderberry blending perfectly with this slight taste of smoke. “Vegetables are at the heart of current ecological debates, they are noble products, which deserve the same work as proteins! Our vegetable dishes are not considered as garnishes but as complete plates”, explains Eloi Spinnler. The rest of the menu alternates between classicism and astonishment. A few sure values like this half-pithiviers of pigeon (18 euros) work in symbiosis with this can on the chest, juice with sweet spices, celery on the flame (16 euros) or these gourmet croquetas of duck, sesame to dip in its cream cheese (11 euros), so regressive that we hesitate to order them twice. Two disappointments are still on the menu. The chef’s a little too pronounced pride on this lobster ravioli, snow peas, lemongrass, disappointing on the palate (though we really believed in it). Finally, our own pride in not being tempted by the last vegetable touch on the menu, which takes the form of a tarot deck: broccoli, soy, grapefruit (9 euros).
Mysterious table in the background
The bar was set high, considering all that has already been said earlier and, on arrival, the result is more than positive. The boxes are all ticked: intimate or festive tables, lots of music (one of the blemishes of the moment: why is it absolutely necessary to feast in the din?) and a surprise behind the one-way mirror at the back of the room. Ten place settings out of sight, facing the large open kitchen, which is bringing the speakeasy up to date in Paris after an overdose of the concept four or five years ago. “Orgueil is the first restaurant in a group around the seven deadly sins, it is also the sin of cooks, most chefs having a nice ego, details chef Spinnler. At Orgueil, on the contrary, our pride is our employees, our suppliers and their products as well as the vision and the project that we want to share. A table of legitimate pride, a table of pride.
Pride. 6, rue Popincourt (11e). 01 83 97 34 80. Every day, only at dinner.