Restaurant: Little Green Hands

The TV showed her laughing, joyful and lively, but the opportunity had never yet arisen to taste the cuisine of Justine Piluso, seen in the eleventh season of “Top Chef”. Franco-Italian, the 30-year-old breathes the sun of Mediterranean dishes. To see if the cliché becomes reality.

The summer heat is already hitting the marble on the 600 square meter terrace at midday. In front of the Palais Galliera, set back from the very beautiful garden that surrounds it, a range of people are set up around metal tables: well-informed tourists who have come to admire the Eiffel Tower from an original angle, old friends out shopping, couples of lovers and mother-daughter duos consult the menu on their smartphones, tempted to order on the app, before waitresses and waiters slowed down by the ambient torpor show up at the right time.

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The dishes change every day according to the arrival of the products, announced “English as soon as possible”. The octopus and the risotto confirm a cuisine from the South. The desserts of Jeffrey Cagnes, pillar of Parisian pastry (who worked for Stohrer, the oldest pastry shop in the capital), make you salivate in advance. Behind the kitchen counter, no sunny smile. Surrounded by a small team of white aprons, the chef is concentrated on the start of her service. Orders received and some customers came for the show. But Justine Piluso seems determined not to give the change only in the plate.

The magic of the Palais Galliera

A variation of beetroot is presented on a white ceramic background with a dark edge. The puree from the root forms purple spots that encircle the two ravioli composed of thin slices of translucent beetroot placed on a mousse and topped with red and yellow beetroot julienned. A mesclun of aromatic herbs completes the palette of colors and flavors: a welcome explosion of freshness in these almost scorching times.

Beet ravioli marinated in Colombo spices, fresh herb cream (chervil, tarragon, mint, parsley, dill, coriander, basil), sliced ​​vinaigrette, lemon beet cream.

The second dish is less readable. A golden galette is topped with a burrata, itself crowned with a tumble of peas, asparagus, strawberries and mizuna (a spicy Japanese salad). Seen from afar, it’s an ode to the end of spring, a declaration of love for chlorophyll. Seen up close, it is a globi-boulga of indistinct tastes and textures. The vinaigrette masks the sugar of the peas, the softness of the asparagus saddens and the pronounced acidity of the strawberries spoils the overly sweetness of the salad.

When the dessert arrives, the disappointment is consumed. Jeffrey Cagnes, known for having given pavlova its letters of nobility, has revisited Paris-Brest in meringue. Without much interest… Despite these flops, we get up from the table with the impression of having had a pleasant lunch. The magic of the Palais Galliera is not for nothing.

The address Les Petites Mains by Justine Piluso, 14, avenue du President-Wilson, Paris 16e. Such. : 01-86-95-10-60. Open Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 8 p.m., weather permitting.

The essential dish Beet ravioli.

The detail that is not one The beauty of the Palais Galliera garden.

The bill Around €45, menu at €33 per week.

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