The decor is simple, the food simply delicious.
I wouldn’t say that my friend Helen is willful, but she was rather insistent about me trying Will, a restaurant she had eaten at a couple of months ago, and I thank her for it. We were graciously greeted by the waitress, who provided discreetly friendly service throughout the evening. She was backed up by an equally discreet young man. They seem to have a clever system of staggering the arrival times of diners, so that they are never overwhelmed. That means wonderfully prompt but not rushed service for customers.
The restaurant has a pretty, simple modern decor dominated by a big, spidery light fixture. Sound levels remained reasonable throughout the meal.
As we were tasting the amuse bouche, an
absolutely divine creamed corn soup with a squid ink cracker, two familiar faces walked through the door: my friends Max and Ray, true gourmets who live in the area and know all its best restaurants, another sign that we were in the right place.
From the short menu (five choices for each course), we chose starters of confit prawns
with herbs, sesame condiment and Granny Smith apple, an exquisitely light, delicately flavored preparation, and the smoked eel with fennel mousse and nashi (a type of pear), a
stunner with its combination of strong, smoky eel, flavorful foam and fragrant fruit.
The main courses were slightly less exciting but still top-notch. I had the sweetbreads with
caramelized soy sauce, beautifully paired with shiitake mushrooms. Very satisfying. Helen had the confit pork belly with artichoke hearts and teriyaki-style sauce. While she found it delicious, she thought it was just a bit too
fatty and that the crackling wasn’t up to her standards, but the bite I had seemed wonderful with its melt-in-the-mouth fat.
The desserts were up to par: one was a lime-
coconut “cloud” with ginger ice cream, meringue and bits of fresh pineapple, and the
other a light chocolate praline concoction with sesame ice cream.
The limited wine list was a bit pricey, with the least expensive red at €29. We chose and enjoyed the €42 Malacare from the Bastide du Claux in the Luberon.
When we met up after the meal with Max and Ray, they were as pleased as we were. They had taken the tasting menu – four courses, each with its own glass of wine, a pretty good deal at €65 per person, about the same as what we paid when the wine was included.
It will take a good dose of willpower to keep me away from Will for any length of time.