When Trivium first started touring internationally, it was quite a concept to me that people from foreign countries and cities I’d never heard of would want to come see us play live. Now – to imagine that later in our career, our record label would be buying us plane tickets and putting us up in pretty decent hotels in foreign countries just for press outlets and people to hear us talk and not play… well, that just seems plain crazy.
France is where it all came from, my friends; the pioneers of cooking back in the day here created many, if not most of the techniques we see used in all world styles of cooking. The blueprint and archetype of both elaborate and simple methods, the pairing of ingredients, the guidelines of it all – it was all fleshed out and perfected in France.
If the classic ways of the world of cooking were set up here, what’s going on now?
The next evolutionary step.
France, being a creator of a genre and a movement in food, needs to stay on its toes, and that is something that is exemplified to its fullest at Citrus Etoile in Paris. Chef Gilles Epie is the mastermind in the kitchen; he holds the record for being the youngest starred chef in France, he has worked as chef in numerous acclaimed restaurants, and he is known for pairing the classicism of French gastronomy alongside innovative and unexpected methods and techniques. One can truly see a nod to the classics, while introducing his own creative spin.
Alongside our good pals, Karine and Manon (Roadrunner France), and Morgan (Roadrunner International), Corey and I were brought to Citrus Etoile during our lunch break on our Parisian press day. The ladies were exceptionally stoked to be bringing us to Citrus, as they (like us) have a love for the really good stuff. Gilles and his wife Elisabeth are no strangers to band folk, they recently had the Alter Bridge and Dream Theater guys in, and they are personal friends of the shred-meister himself, Slash.
Gilles and Elisabeth were beyond accommodating and are two truly wonderful people; Citrus is a very nice place – I did feel under-dressed in my sleeveless Bathory shirt, but I don’t think they minded. The food we would soon be chowing down on were masterfully crafted pieces of art.
We started with an amuse bouche and olive oil bread. Fantastic. Next was their variations of house-made breads (I’ve told you how much I love French-made bread right? Non? I love it), followed by Duck Foie Gras Raviolis served with chanterelle mushrooms, sauternes and lobster bisque. So many layers and plateaus of flavor explode from that little dish; the mushrooms, liver and lobster paired so nicely with each other, the ravioli itself the perfect texture.
My main was a steak of fish, served atop a carpaccio of fig, roasted figs accompanied. The presentation was immaculate, the taste beyond words. Some people go their entire life never eating something like the food of Citrus – and I want you all to know that I am entirely appreciative of every bite, every taste, every moment that I am able to be taken away somewhere far and enjoy something this good. Food shouldn’t get this good. But it does here. The table also found Gilles’ signature pommes puree': potatoes prepared so light and airy; one with herb and one originale’. Beautiful.
Desert was an experience: Cheesecake with exotic caramel and roasted pineapple sorbet, a Le Citrus: slices of pink grapefruit, oranges with ginger and vanilla cream, and Raspberries from Val de Loire on a bed of pistachio biscuit, marmalade and sorbet. I exaggerate not: all the ladies we were with, were sharing the deserts “oo-ing” and “ah-ing” in a way that Corey and I had to turn away out of modesty. That good.
As if we hadn’t eaten enough, next came the house-made pastries; their macaroon was frickin’ ridiculous.
If I could air one complaint: our time here was too short. We had to squeeze in this lovely afternoon of food all within an hour, but yes – better than nothing. Gilles and Elisabeth treated Corey and I like family and we can’t wait to return.
Address: 6 Rue Arsène Houssaye, 75008 Paris, France