Tucked away in a quiet street in the 10th arrondissement, Vivant Cave is serving up hearty portions of tapas with the freshest ingredients of the day. Chef Svante Forstorp surprised us with the amount of flavor in the simplicity of the dishes.
Next to Vivant Cave is Vivant Table, headed by chef Masaaki Yamamoto. I actually went there for lunch first and really liked how the dishes were prepared, simple and few ingredients.
The place has a good collection of wine, mainly natural.
This was bonite, raw tuna, served with cucumbers, ginger sauce and baked slices of zucchini to add some crunchiness to the texture. Pretty great balanced dish overall. Although this was a plat, he served it to us before everything else, which was good start to the meal since it was very light. I liked that the chef took the liberty to line up the dishes we wanted from light to heavy.
Loved the asperges! But really, just the asperges blanches. I’ve never been a fan of asparagus, but the white ones here have such a distinct veggie-sweetness to them that I really can’t resist! The dish is served with a light buttery sauce that compliments the sweetness.
I’ve never had foie gras fumé before, but I loved this one! Since we were sitting at the counter, we were able to watch the chef prepare our meal. He simple put cabbages in a pot, put the foie gras on top and closed the kettle to let it sit on the stove.
We thought he might have added white wine or some kind of alcohol to the foie gras, but he said he only mixed herbs…amazing! Again, the simplicity of this dish impressed me with the complexity of taste it was able to produce.
We actually had no intention of ordering their pasta since we were going to Italy soon. The chef for some reason (he even laughed at himself for this) cooked the pasta for some reason. I think he might’ve just been too concentrated on making the food and lost his own mind in the process. Seeing the confused look on his face as he asked himself “I don’t know why I made this…why did I make this,” I decided to help him out a little. I told him that we would take the dish, and I was so glad we did! We found out that it was the restaurant specialty later.
It really was a simple 3 ingredient dish – olive oil, lemon zest, and pecorino cheese (plus some chili pepper flakes). Can you believe that’s all it took to make a good plate of pasta?! It was the right level of creaminess (but not because he added cream, it was the pecorino cheese), and it had a great kick to the overall flavor because of the lemon zest and chili pepper flakes. Some black pepper would’ve been golden, but that’s my Asian side talking.
Not pictured: Filet de Merlu avec champignons de Paris et artichauts.
I can’t believe I forgot to take photos of this one! Although we waited a while for this, and it was our last dish, I think we enjoyed this the most. When we saw it, we were just too excited and wanted to eat it. The whole process of making this plate was so simple, and definitely something I will try at home. We watched the chef sprinkle salt on the fish, slice up really thin mushrooms and artichokes to cover the fish with, and end with more sprinkles of sea salt. He then baked it for about 6 minutes in 200C. So effortless and tasty.