Resto Review: L’Alivi, Paris 4th
Paris. Apparently a weekend of eating and drinking in Corsica wasn’t enough, so upon returning to Paris my friend Nana and I met for lunch at the Coriscan restaurant L’Alivi in 4th arrondissement. I have always wanted to eat here, tempted by the alluring window display that features Pietra beer, Corsica’s finest and most delicious beer in my opinion. The two of us sat outside and had a leisurely meal sipping rosé and digging into artfully presented Mediterranean dishes.
As a starter, we both ordered the chilled tomato soup with green apple. The crunchy chunks of apple added an interesting tartness to the refreshing concoction. It was so lovely in fact that I thought maybe I would be so uncouth as to pick up the glass and sip the last drops sans spoon. To my horror, the glass was somehow welded to the serving plank so if I wanted to drink straight from the glass I would have to lift the whole board to my face. I’m greedy, but not that greedy.
As a main, I ordered the risotto with basil and shellfish while Nana ordered the Souris d’Agneau braisée or braised lamb shank. I was very pleased with how photogenic my dish was, so when the first bite revealed a flavorless lump of rice I thought perhaps my taste buds were mistaken. After consuming half of the dish my suspicions were confirmed: the risotto was indeed utterly lacking in flavor. Copious amounts of salt helped a little, but then I really only tasted salty mush. The lamb on the other hand was cooked and seasoned to perfection, so that the meat fell of the bone, oozing delicious juices. As if the meat wasn’t flavorful enough, the dish was served with a rich accompanying jus. I sulked in serious food envy.
For dessert we split the tiramisu. I didn’t have very high hopes. Usually when I eat tiramisu I spend so much time coughing on the excessively piled powdered cocoa that I don’t have any time to actually enjoy the lower layers. The tiramisu at L’Alivi was exceptional though. All the ingredients and flavors were perfectly proportioned. Well if I were being truthful I would have preferred something the size of deep dish lasagna because that’s just how good it was. Sweet but not too sweet, creamy but light, chocolaty but with plenty of coffee. It almost made me forget about how terrible the risotto was!
The verdict? This place serves amazing Corsican fare but choose your dishes wisely. The risotto was truly terrible, but the chilled tomato soup, the braised lamb shank, and the tiramisu were sublime. If the weather is nice, sit outside on the quaint terrace and watch a youthful mix of tourists and locals stream by.
Practical Info: This place isn’t cheap, but you’re paying for quality and location. A set three course menu will set you back 34€, not including wine. For the full menu and prices consult the Restaurant L’Alivi’s website.
Address: 27 Rue du Roi de Sicile Paris 4th. Telephone: 01 48 87 90 20.