We’re not in the habit of talking about individual chefs in our reviews, mostly because much like all of you, we find it very hard to give a sh*t. But Ludo’s on TV! You all cheered against his team on The Taste! And if you want to find Ludo himself on a random weeknight? Well, he’s shuffling around the open kitchen of Trois Mec, running his restaurant like so many celebrity chefs most definitely do not.
And while Ludo may deflect some of his fame by, you know, actually working, you can’t escape it in the restaurant. Hell, you can’t escape it a month before you even show up, as you find yourself logging onto the restaurant website to fight for tickets as they go on sale like it’s a Phish concert. Ludo also flexes his muscles by only offering a prix-fixe menu, so you’ll be eating as he sees fit, and that’s that. And if that all somehow fails to announce his fame, the patrons demanding pictures and autographs during service will do the trick.
And the food? Well, it’s eclectic. And sometimes weird. And sometimes, it hits you with a bite that changes your mind about not just HIS food, but maybe even food in general. Every course brings something totally unexpected to the meal. Soon, that large open kitchen starts to look a lot more like a laboratory, leaving you nervously eyeing every plate as it makes its way towards your table. While some can be thrilling in their strangeness, some fall short, leaving you with just…well, weird. We certainly acknowledge that experimentation lives and dies by trial and error, and it would be absolutely terrifying in lesser hands than Ludo’s. So while sometimes inconsistent, the ones that hit are a revolution.
The waitstaff, by contrast, maintain a steady level of greatness, which is especially impressive given the Herculean task of describing what the hell it is you’re eating for every course. The room feels formal, both in its set up and simply based on how nice everyone is dressed, but the steady thump of hip-hop and French music over the speakers reminds you that they’re not taking themselves too seriously. Trois Mec is supposed to be fun, but the kind of fun you have in your nice clothes and with a bottle of wine instead of a keg.
In any case, a meal is at Trois Mec is a thrill; an Event with a capital “E.” And even if you don’t walk away craving another helping of that crazy new concoction Chef Ludo escorted to your table that night, we can guarantee that at the very least, you will never forget the experience. So if that triple digit price tag doesn’t leave you breathing heavily into a bag and you can fight your way into a ticket online, Trois Mec is a bucket list item that you won’t regret checking.
We knew we were in for a treat when we finished our salad only to be told that what we thought was a bowl was actually a tart (and a delicious tart at that). This isn’t a McDonald’s around the corner. This meal is meant to entertain.
Once again announcing the strangeness of the meal, a traditional dessert food as an appetizer. However, the salmon egg gave the crème brûlée a nice earthiness to balance the sweet.
Another sweet and savory dish, the creamy mashed potatoes and crisp bite of the apple mixed with the deep richness of the smoked eel make this a perfect symphony of flavors.
This was a tender cut and overall a decent main course, but the star was the syrah wine pairing. If you’re not looking to shell out for the full pairings menu, ordering a glass or four of this is the way to go.
If we started the meal with desserts for appetizers, we’re going to end the meal with appetizers for dessert. Egg with a crispy, sweetened top mixed with a lightly sweetened rice pudding, this dish completes the circle. This would have been a lovely bite, but may have been a bit much as a full bowl. Though we have to give credit where credit is due: they weren’t going to let you leave their tables without feeling full to the brim.