The restaurant of the
Maison de l’Amérique Latine

After 40 years more or less hidden inside the Maison de l’Amérique Latine (literally, House of Latin America), the building’s restaurant was given a makeover last summer, thanks to designer Pablo Reinoso and chef Thierry Vaissière has remained in charge of the food.

The new look changes everything, finally giving the wonderful food suitable surroundings. Here’s our review.

Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
photos: JasonW

The Maison de l’Amérique Latine is a huge and discreet complex, despite its prime setting on boulevard Saint-Germain, not far from our hotels. We’ve been here before for exhibitions, but had no idea that there is also a restaurant, bar, auditorium and no fewer than 19 salons for private functions.

The entrance to the 18th century building – also known as the Hôtel de Varengevillle – is almost hidden, and there’s no mention of the restaurant out front…
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
Some of the rooms haven’t been redone yet, and they give an idea of how the restaurant must have looked less than a year ago…
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
You could call it charming, of course, but the contrast with the new interior design is radical.

Franco-Argentinian artist-designer Pablo Reinoso has cleverly juggled brown and beige, played with the original wood cladding, added a sculpted elements and accentuated the cosy atmosphere of the place, added to by the fact that there are actually not very many tables.

The two rooms of the restaurant overlook the garden, which must be nice in summer (even if personally, we prefer the sweet little garden at la Belle Juliette!)
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
The restaurant has a fixed price menu for lunch, a ‘signature’ menu in the evening (59€ for three courses), and a short à la carte selection.

We booked using the website The Fork which offers up to 30% off the à la carte menu as long as each diner orders at least two courses (drinks are not included, and the offer does not extend to the fixed price menus). The reduction can bring the top prices down to those of the fixed price menus, so it’s worth checking out.

Wine isn’t too dear – we chose a bottle of red côtes-du-rhône village at 38€ which is not bad at all, and two small pieces of vegetable cake were served to occupy us as we waited.
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
We skipped the first course and went straight for a couple of main dishes. The first was a vegetarian special that we resquested (and they were happy to oblige).

Presented angularly with snow peas, carrots, courgettes and lots of woodland mushroom – all deliciously crunchy – the star of the dish was the homemade mashed potato which was buttery and salted to perfection.

We thought it would have been better if a little more copiously served, but for 17€ it wasn’t a bad deal.
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
The bream à la plancha is served with a Vénéré risotto (a type of black rice) and whipped butter mixed with preserved lemon. Incredibly good!

The fish melted in the mouth, as did the rice, and while the idea of a citrus butter sauce left us sceptical, it turned out to be pretty spectacular, with a well-balanced, surprising contrast of tastes.

Although the portion looked a little petite, it turned out to be quite sufficient.
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
Next, a sudden urge for cheese came over us, so we shared so goat’s cheese, reblochon and matured comté, all of which went brilliantly with the crusty brown bread.
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
Even with this intermediary course, we had room left for dessert (one of the advantages of not having a starter!). The caramelised mango tatin came with passion fruit ice cream (a perfect match), the mango was deliciously sugary and the biscuit base thin and lovely.

As for the ‘déclinaison grand cru chocolat’ (selection of fine raw chocolates), the presentation was pretty spectacular, but the multiple pieces of brownie left us underwhelmed. Thankfully, the stuffed chou pastry, macaron and ice cream (white chocolate flavour?) helped us get to move on and forget.
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, ParisLe restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
And to finish up, what better than a little expresso accompaied by seom adorable home made mini-cakes? Perfect!
Le restaurant de la Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Paris
With the mood lighting and cosy atmosphere, we were perfectly relaxed to enjoy our meal. There are very few tables per room, giving you plenty of private space, and the chairs are very comfortable indeed!

For a special moment and an exceptional meal, we recommend the Maison d’Amérique Latine, and imagine its ‘secret’ restaurant won’t be a secret for much longer.

The restaurant at the Maison de l’Amérique Latine (here) is open weekday only for lunch and dinner

Closed weekends and public holidays

Tel.+33 (0)1 49 54 75 10

Online bookings here

Website: mal217.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Maison-de-lAmérique-latine

Twitter: twitter.com/MAL_217

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