Le Chateaubriand is quickly becoming one of those legendary restaurants you only speak about in hushed tones. Like a secret that everyone knows, but no one wants to let the other know they're in on it. I first happened upon the restaurant in a book I purchased five years ago called CoCo. It was a definitive collection at the time (and probably still is) of the up and coming talent in the culinary world. Chefs that were really making an impact, not just treading water. Inaki Aizpitarte was (and still is) one of those chefs. I looked at his recipes in that book often, thinking to myself "What kind of mad cooking is this? I want to experience it."
Inaki has been the embodiment the phrase "I don't care what you think. I'll do what I want." His groundbreaking restaurant still continues to live up to that philosophy. He has no cookbooks. No TV show. No documentaries. And barely a website. And yet, cooks (and regular people) the world around know his name. His restaurant is booked to capacity. Always.
We visited on a chilly January evening. A Tuesday. The place was PACKED. Every seat filled. They had to squeeze us in at the bar. So glad they could. What a magical and inspirational evening.
Pastis to start.
This was a tiny bowl of ceviche liquid you were instructed to take a quick shot of. A tiny cube of acid-cooked fish laid in wait at the bottom.
"Tiny Whole Fried Shrimp, Raspberry Powder"
"Grated Cauliflower, Crab, Anise"
"Spinach, Scallop, Truffle, Sunchoke, Sorrel"
"Monkfish, Sweet Potato, Onion, Citrus"
"Chicken, Endive, Peanut, Seeds and Spices"
"Tangerine Sorbet, Beet"
"Caramel, Egg Yolk"
What an incredible meal. Light, yet filling. Sophisticated yet so playful. Above all, undeniably delicious. One thing is for certain: if chef Aizpitarte continues to not care what other people think, he will be in business for a very very long time.
Photography: Katelyn Luce Photography