It's never too late to start a new career.
Knowing Chef Bruno Verjus's story is inspiring, and it gives people like me hope knowing that you can start late in life at something, and you can still very quickly excel, "catch up", and maybe even zoom past your competitors.
Chef Bruno Verjus started Table at the age of 50, with no formal culinary training. Before that, he had studied medicine in France, worked as an entrepreneur in China, wrote frequently as a food blogger and food critic.
Just last year, 2022, Restaurant Table by Bruno Verjus attained its second Michelin star. In 2023, it entered World's 50Best at an impressive 10th place, earning the "Highest New Entry" award.
I personally resonate with his story because I used to struggle with feeling "behind" in school because I was slightly older than all my classmates in primary and secondary school. Later on, I switched careers in my late 20's, yet again "starting over" in a new field. Sometimes it is tough to see others succeed when they are so young. But Bruno Verjus has certainly demonstrated to us that age alone is no barrier, and Table has quickly shot up in its "fame" and recognition, despite the fact that Chef Verjus is 63 this year.
I must give Bryan all the credit, since he was the one who researched restaurants in Paris once we knew that we'd be spending my birthday there. He found a reservation at Table exactly on my birthday.
At Table you can choose countertop seating or normal table seating. We had an especially unusual seat. We were sitting inside the kitchen on the other side of the counter! It was fascinating to get a true close up view of the kitchen in action.
Being so close to the kitchen gave us front row seats to a lot of the kitchen's intricate preparations.
Bryan chose this restaurant because if its focus on fresh, local vegetables and seafood, my favorite ingredients.
The first shellfish dish caught me off guard: La Belle Meunière involved grilled clams with veal brain (!) and Grenoble sauce (browned butter, lemon, capers). I've had brains before when it was very mashed up and stuffed inside ravioli. I refused to eat it recently when we were in China and they were selling spicy stewed whole brains at the street market. Here, you could clearly see the folds in the brain. I tried to not think about what I was eating, and ate the clams. They were actually very nice, and the brain only had a slight offal taste, not super strong. Brain is still not my favorite food, but it was OK here.
Next up, a beautifully executed "semi-raw, semi-cooked" piece of lobster over salad greens and topped with a plum sauce.
Scallops with a gorgeous caramelized sauce.
The next course, titled "Sunset", consisted of salt-grilled carabineros tail served with its head juice and a ginger remoulade.
"à la ligne" (line-caught fish) was a sole from the Ile d'Yeu served with a rich sauce made of shellfish and a generous amount of fresh Attilus caviar.
Yet another "à la ligne" fish from the island of Yeu cooked with a crispy skin that included the scales (!) in a rich veloute of sea urchin, celeriac, and verjuice.
"Le Mans" - aged poultry roasted in linden and carrots.
They brought over this huge cylinder of blue cheese, which was delicious.
We also tried a few different cheese, including a special sheep's milk cheese called Régalis. On the side: a sweet red pepper jam infused with vanilla.
I believe this is pink peppercorn ice cream?
A signature dish, the Peruvian Chocolate Tart was a fantastic fusion of sweet and salty.
The chocolate was infused with Linosa capers and the tart was topped with Oscietra caviar. It was excellent.
Table by Verjus Bruno - Concluding Thoughts
Thank you, Chef Bruno, for creating such a unique place in which to enjoy special celebrations. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting inside the kitchen and experiencing our meal from a different angle. The food was delicious, and Chef himself was very warm, gregarious, and friendly. I certainly recommend coming here!