About

"The reluctant Francophile..."

My husband Jack has always wanted to live in Paris and learn French. I thought it would be good for him to achieve his life time dream. Hence, we moved to Paris in 2008. My first year was difficult. I started "missives" to relieve some stress and chronicle my life so friends back in the US could read what I am experiencing. I currently write about my food and travel experiences, which is my passion.

It is definitely a challenge to live here, but each year it gets easier, and quite enjoyable, in large part because I value friendships over locale. I have a love/hate relationship with Paris as do most Parisians, mais La vie est belle (but life is good)!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Restaurant Review -- Restaurant l'Inconnu


4 Rue Pierre Leroux
75007 Paris
Tel: 01 53 69 06 03
Metro : Vaneau (line 10), Duroc (lines 10,13)
website: http://restaurant-linconnu.fr/en/

Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

3.25 - Star......................................................€€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell


A good friend organized a luncheon at this well known restaurant in the 7eme. It's a very, very staid building with little signage, but it stands out in contrast to the surrounding light colored brick buildings.

“L’inconnu” means : Someone you don’t know, Something unknown, An experience you’ve never got..." (refer to their mission statement on their website)



I have to say, the tables were nicely laid out, very spacious, very unusual in Paris.  It wasn't overly decorated, simple and staid, sort of like its exterior.


They had a very eclectic menu.  There was a "degustation" pre-fixe menu for 50€, and a lesser "degustation" for 38€ with a 5€ supplement if you wanted to add meat versus fish for one of the courses.  With the exception of JJ who selected the 50€ "degustation", we all opted for the 38€ "degustation". You could also order just an entrée and a pasta dish for 24€.



Interestingly, they served us a pan baked bread rather than a typical baguette. We all loved the bread. It was a moist white bread, but a slightly crunchy top with chunks of salt and topped with a swirl of whipped herbs. One word, delicious.


For the an amuse bouche, we had the "coulis de carotte".  Well this was a nice surprise. The carrot had 2-components, the top layer was a mousse like consistency, extremely light and airy with very subtle wisps of carrot, but not sweet, and served cold.  As you reached the bottom of the little tasting cup, you got a nice surprise, a thick creamy carrot mash, but sweet. This was definitely a big hit with the juxtaposition of the light savory of the mousse, and then the thicker carrot at the bottom. We loved this dish.




SAVORY "DEGUSTATIONS"



Seasoned bread crumbs with a potato mash, accompanied with a pancake and green leafy vegetables which the waiter said was haricot vert, which made no sense, since it was leafy. JJ had this extra course not on the menu. I tasted this dish. I actually did not like this dish at all. It tasted like you were eating seasoned bread crumbs. The bread crumbs were overwhelming. It was a poorly composed dish, almost like an after-thought, since we later saw the same crumbs used on a dish as a textural garnish. However, JJ did like the pancake with the greens.














Asperge blanche confite, sabayon de carbonare, castelfranco. (White asparagus with a cream of carbonara sauce). We all loved this. The asparagus were perfectly cooked and the same bread crumbs JJ had in his dish were properly used this time. It was added to give the dish a textural element.  Overall, it was a very well composed dish.










Cabillaud poêle, petits pois, pois gourmand, navet. (Pan cooked cod, with peas, snap peas and turnips). For those who had this dish, they thought the fish was perfectly cooked, very moist and the pureed peas was a nice accompaniment to a simple but well executed dish. Overall, a good dish.











Pintade rôtie asperge verte, civette.  (Roast guinea fowl, green asparagus and chives).  I chose this dish over the fish dish, and I'm glad I did. For whatever reason, there was a 5€ supplementary, which was well worth it. We got two nice pieces and the skin was nice and crispy. The interior was extremely moist and tender. The only minor complaint I have is that this dish was was a bit sweet. My guess is they added honey. But overall, it was a very well thought out and composed dish, and extremely colorful and beautifully presented.



Spaghetti bolognaise, brocolis. (Spaghetti bolognese, broccoli).   It's definitely not your traditional bolognese sauce since it wasn't as "tomato-y". Overall, I thought the dish was OK. The pasta was cooked al-dente, but I found the pasta a bit on the grainy side. I would surmise that the pasta had more semolina or maybe all semolina to give it that texture. For JJ, he found the dish very salty, for the rest of us we liked the saltiness of the dish. Overall, it was a good dish.

DESSERTS


Pavlova agrumes. (Citrus pavlova). It was a very, very simple dessert of grapefruit sorbet, citrus fruit and garnished with a sugary thin creamy wafers. Nothing out of the ordinary, but simple, refreshing and good.













Tiramisu à la banane. (Banana tiramisu). This was a traditional tiramisu with a twist, it was flavored with bananas and the traditional liquor flavoring would've been marsala wine, but in this case it was a sweet liqueur, which our friend wasn't sure what type, but she loved the dessert.







Assiette de fromage. (Cheese plate). They did not have this on the menu. I told them upfront that I do not eat desserts, so they made a special plate of cheese for me. A creamy vache cheese and a blue cheese. Like I always say, you can't go wrong with cheese in France. So, I was a happy camper.




Their wine selection were mostly from Italy. Although it was a nice list, they were not inexpensive. The lowest price wine was 40€.  For our wine we selected a Champagnes vireos chardonnay vie di romans,  A nice and balanced chardonnay great with seafood and vegetables since it has bright and fresh notes,  but enough straw and earth to keep it from being too astringent.  And, JJ had a glass of valpolicella, a red wine with some fruit, medium bodied wine, which he really liked.










And, when we thought all was said and done they gave is a parting favors of sweet little tidbits. Interestingly they almost looked like little various sushi.



SUMMARY 

The restaurant setting was very simple, probably because the Chef wanted to concentrate more on the food. Typical of the Japanese Chefs, they have a great sensibility of how food is presented. He was no exception. The food was beautifully plated.

Now onto the food. The food was all over the board. There was some excellent dishes such as the "Coulis de carotte" and "pintade", good dishes as in most of the others, and one I found absurd (bread crumb course). They do have a resident sommelier who also doubled as our wait person intermittently.  What I found strange was that after everyone finished with their amuse bouche, I wasn't and was actually still holding it in my hand, and the sommelier/waiter wanted to pull it from my hand, and I told him I wasn't finished? I found this extremely odd.  Now JJ did have 2-extra courses, so I can see them removing his plate sooner than the rest of us, to keep up with their timing, which did happen. Minus the odd quirks, the service was excellent.

Their mission statement is that they will be making unusual combinations and ingredients out of ordinary dishes with an Italian foundation,  However, we found nothing out of the ordinary, unusual, Italian, or "unknown."

I thought it was a slightly above average restaurant, and I give them good marks for accommodating me since I don't eat desserts, that scores big points in my book, since most places would not have accommodated me. Would I go back, sure, pourquoi pas (why not).

With 4 prix-fixe 38€ with two 5€ supplements, and 1 prix-fixe 50€, a bottle of wine, a glass of wine, and 2-coffees and 1-tea, our total bill came to 291.50€ for 5-people.




Thursday, April 28, 2016

FLOYD’S -- Restaurant Review


11 rue d'Enghien
75010 Paris
tel: 01 44 79 05 52
website: http://www.floyds.fr/index.php?page=floyds-story
Metro: 4, 8, 9 (Bonne Nouvelle, Strasbourg St.Denis, Château d'eau

Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

4.25 - Star......................................................€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell


This restaurant was originally owned by a Bostonian Jaime Young in 2014 and was recently sold to Chris from southern California. A group of friends had gone a week earlier, and I wasn't able to go because I had a cold. But they came back and raved about the place and I made a commitment to go the following week with friends. If you are from the US, you know there is a variety of different types of BBQ from each state, especially the southern states, and each will tout their's as being the best bbq.  Floyd's is of the "Kansas City" style bbq, which is known for long smoking periods and covered with a rich tangy bbq tomato sauce typically sweetened with molasses.



The restaurant is very homey and in the background we heard American old classics from the 70's, 80's and 90's which we were all humming and singing to, which brought us back to home. The tables were nicely spaced.  One room had the original brick work which added a nice earthy feel.


We were told the lunch portions were a little smaller than the dinner portions.  The price point for lunch was very, very affordable. And, we were also told they served cocktails and they had quite the selection of beers.



Chris let me take a peek in their kitchen. They actually had a BBQ grill or should I say smoker in the kitchen. It was not as large as I expected it, but then again size is not everything, it's how you use it that counts. The meats are pre-cooked and then smoked.




They do have a bar. As ex-pats in Paris we know we are picky about our cocktails and in some respects kind of prejudice since we believe that no one makes better cocktails than Americans. We had our resident cocktail expert with us who ordered margaritas.  He simply stated it was the best margarita he's had in Paris.










ENTRÉES


Poitrine de porc (pork belly). One of us ordered this dish, and he absolutely loved it. He was kind of enough to let me have one of the crackling strips which sat atop the pork.  It was nice and crunchy, but was full bodied enough that you could taste the pork.  The meat was melt in your mouth tender, and it was accompanied with some sweet pickles. Bottom line, the juxtaposition of the crunchy skin and moist tender meat and the sweet tangyness of the pickles was a hit.






BBQ meatballs.  Meatballs can be very dry if not made well. These meatballs were extremely moist. A nice sweet sauce encompassed the meatballs. Sometimes the most simple dishes can be the most difficult to execute. This was a very good simple, "down-home" style dish, done right.









Salade de Betteraves (beet salad).  Two of us ordered this for our entrées, and we loved it. Interestingly enough we kept saying, these beets taste like they were smoked, so we asked our waiter, and he confirmed that they were indeed smoked.  Smoking the beets brought the salad to a totally new level. The smokiness of the beets was congruous with the whole menu. I didn't even notice the dressing, since I was so wowed with the beets. Overall an excellent salad.




PLATS



Now onto the star of the menu. We convinced one of our friends who normally does not eat red meat to have their specialty, the BBQ ribs. So, we all had the dish. First of all, the ribs were so tender it was finger licking good. You got a nice size portion whereas in many other rib places the portions are quite small. The sauce was thick and sweet, I believed it was sweetened with maple syrup rather than molasses, but it also had a nice little after kick afterwards. We all concurred, it was one of the best ribs we've had in Paris.  We didn't even notice the accompaniments because the ribs were so good. The cornbread was characteristically dry, but had we ordered some butter that would've solved the problem.  Interestingly, they served us mac and cheese. I was told by several French restauranteurs that mac and cheese is strange for many French palates because it's too rich and thick.  It was definitely  "à ta façon" their way or their recipe, a lighter version of our mac and cheese. In other words it wasn't as cheesy and it was more "bready." Personally, I liked it because the ribs and sauce was rich enough.  And, you can't have ribs without coleslaw. The coleslaw was a simple red cabbage slaw. Nice, crispy and tangy, and it offset some of the sweetness of the ribs.

DESSERTS



Key lime pie.  I'm certainly not an expert on key lime pies, but my friend who ordered is. He loved the pie. I tasted a little bit of it, and it has a sharp tartness, but what I liked about it, it wasn't overly sweet like most American desserts. So, this pie was a hit.






S'mores pie.  The French will not know what s'mores are. Now who didn't like having s'mores as a kid.?Especially sticking those marshmallows into the fire pit and then having it melt the chocolate. This particular pie didn't exactly taste like a s'mores to me, but the interpretation was there. It was more like a creamy chocolate chiffon pie with a "sablé" crust.  Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, albeit very sweet for my taste. This would definitely be a chocolate lovers dessert.





SUMMARY

Talk about a great find. We could not stop raving about it among ourselves, about how lucky we were to have found an American bbq joint where you could sit down, be served and have a proper meal. The margaritas were great, the entrées, plats and desserts were all hits. The food is not "haute-cuisine" by any means, but in it's simplicity is a "soulful down-home" cooking style. Chris and his staff are fantastic. The previous owners apparently had different work operating hours, so it's not well known that they're open for lunch. Would we go back, in a nano second.

I typically review French (or French style, or ex-French colony) restaurants but this restaurant is down-home, rib joint, Americana, and I think it rates as good as any of the American ribs and rib joints I've been to in the States, and by far is the best we've found in Paris.  If you're missing a home-town (home-country) fix- go to Floyds.

With 2-margaritas, formules: 2-full lunches with dessert, and 2-entrée + plat, a bottle of rosé and 3-coffees are meal came to 42€ each.

Mobilis in Mobili -- Restaurant Review


94 Rue St. Denis
Paris 75001
tel: 09 53 58 97 13
website: www.customseafood.fr
Metro: Line 4 (Etienne Marcel)
Note: book online at "La Fourchette"
Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

3.25 - Star......................................................€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell



This is very new restaurant, in fact, so new that there was still plywood laying around and while we were dining, restaurant equipment was being delivered.  It's a large restaurant, and it is a seafood only restaurant. We went for lunch, and they did have some great lunch specials reasonably priced. For examples "moules et frites" for 12€; that's even less expensive than the restaurant chain "Léon de Bruxelles" which is known for their "moules et frites"


The set-up was very interesting, functional to a point.  Your table has a raised shelf the width of a bookcase shelf to use for accoutrements. Unfortunately, it was set up really high so depending what you place on the raised shelf e.g., wine bottles, you couldn't see your friends seated across from you. Had they lowered it maybe 10 inches, it would been more conducive for conversation, and also there'd be less fear of knocking over a bottle of wine.


The menu is interesting, they have a few prix-fixe meals (set combinations), but they also have a section where you can order seafood individually and make your own platter. All you do is check the different items you'd like and manner of cooking. There were just too many choices for me so I selected the "Le Plaisancier du jour" (The Yachtsman of the day), while my two companions selected "Le Moussaillon du jour" (The Cabin Boy of the day).  JJ, being the adventurous eater he is, found something on the menu he had never seen (violet de mer) so he added that to his Moussaillon combination.  And J, who does not like Couteaux (razor clams) asked if they could skip that on his Moussaillon and maybe substitute another oyster or something which they said they would.


One of our companions had a crab bisque starter. We all really liked it. It wasn't thick and heavy like most bisques are. Don't get me wrong, it was rich, but didn't have that abundantly creamy heaviness associated with bisque. However, it did have a nice heaping of crème fraîche to add richness, if you wanted.  Overall, it was a really good bisque.









I have to say, we had a nice variety of seafood from oysters, shrimp, cockles, mussels, and razor clams just to name a few.  You got 3-accompanying sauces: mayonnaise mustard, mayonnaise espelette, and a vinaigrette.  I did ask for some hot sauce, and our wait person said that these were the sauces, so I guess they didn't have any hot sauces. Overall, it was a nice selection.












For dessert my two friends ordered a fruit bowl and a "cafe gourmand".  The fruit bowl, was just that, a nice bowl of fresh fruit without any adornments or sauces, fresh and simple.

The cafe gourmand included a caramel ice-cream, a chocolate macaron and a small chocolate tart, and a shot of espresso. All good, but nothing out of the ordinary.







For the wines we had a "Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie" which is a staple of white wines from the Loire Valley. And, it's a very light, fresh, and lemony wine with lots of acidity. And, we had a bottle of "Cuvee imperiale Saumur Champigny" a red also from the Loire Valley, that has a richer fuller taste. And, some describe it has having "flowery" notes.






SUMMARY

As I mentioned, the restaurant is very, very new. They have not ironed out all the kinks. The menu is very confusing. Our first wait-person knew the menu quite extensively, so I imagine that he was probably the manager and/or owner. Our second wait person didn't have any clue about the menu. She really needs to bone up because she couldn't answer any of our questions. When our original dish arrived, I asked if it was everything we ordered or just one of the orders. She said it was all our orders, which turned out not to be the case, cause another waiter came with 2-other orders.

The quality of the seafood was excellent, and the price point was also excellent. In fact, in retrospect, I should've ordered the smaller dish. The "Le Plaisancier du jour" was a lot of food. You can pick and choose as well. The table seatings would've been more functional had they just lowered the shelf by about 10-inches. The restaurant has a funky pleasant vibe.  Many of the tables, like ours, are in what might be considered a mini 'stateroom' or booth, giving a sense of privacy.  The location of the restaurant however, is right in the middle of the section of the rue St Denis in the Les Halles area of Paris.  The menu and the final 'invoice' are quite confusing; even the staff admitted that.

The menu, while confusing, is really quite a feat.  All individual seafood items to make your customized platter are a base price of 2.50€ times a minimum sized order; obviously the number of items (eg oysters) or weight (eg mussles) in an individual order vary.  Examples: Huitre special Utah #2 (you get 1 oyster) = 5.00€ (2 times the base price), Huitre fine claire #4 (you get 2 oysters) = 2.50€ (1 times the base price), Moules 500g = 5.00€ (2 times the base price), violet de mer 200g = 15.00 (6 times the base price), etc.

Bottom line, for the amount of food and the quality of the seafood it was half the price that you'd pay at e.g., "Le Dome" which is known for their seafood.  The service, although pleasant, their timing was really off, and one of the wait staff was clueless about the menu.  I would go back, but I'd wait until the dust settled. I would've given it an average rating, but what bumped it up was the quality and price of the seafood.

For 1-entree, 2-plats (14€), 1-plat (32€), the addition of the violet de mer, 2-desserts, and 2-bottles of wine the bill came to 146€ which was then reduced to 117€ to include a 20% discount since we booked online on "La Fourchette."  It was not obvious on the invoice about the reduction because the bottom of the bill showed the detailed regular price and somewhere in the middle of the bill was the reduced price.  It would have been easy to pay the amount on the bottom of the bill.






Sunday, April 24, 2016

Carette Place de Vosges -- Restaurant Review


25 Places des Vosges
 tel: 01 48 87 94 07
Hours: 7:am to midnight 7/7
website: http://www.carette-paris.fr/?lang=en
Metro: Saint Paul (1), Chemin Vert (8), Bastille (1,5,8)


Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

3.25 - Star......................................................€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell



Never say never. The last time I ate at a restaurant at "Place des Vosges"  it was so awful and expensive, I  swore I would never eat in such a touristy area again. Well, all I have to say is "never say, never."  At the recommendation of a friend, he suggested we go to this restaurant for brunch.  We didn't have reservations, but because it is a tourist area, they do turn tables, so it would be a matter of waiting, if it was crowded. Although we could've immediately gotten a table when we arrived to the most exterior part of the restaurant, it was cold and damp and that area did not have any lamp heaters, so I requested a table inside. The maitre'd said it would be about 5or 10-minutes.  The interior was lovely, large and spacious.


I was quite surprised, as you can see on the left side of the photo, there were seats available and there were no signs that they were reserved, but in Paris, you never question the maitre'd's motives, so we waited. As you enter, you're taken aback by the beautiful pastries which the restaurant is known for, especially for brunch or afternoon coffee/tea.


Standing next to the pastries while waiting for our table I was so close to taking one and just eating it. But a table under the heating lamps outside became available and the maitre'd asked if we wanted it, and we unanimously responded yes, especially since we had already been waiting more than 15 minutes.

They have an extensive menu and even cocktails,  and surprisingly American mimosas, not common in Paris. The brunch menu for 30€ consisted of fresh squeezed juice of your choice (e.g., grapefruit or orange) coffee/tea/chocolate of your choice, a croissant (plain or chocolate), scrambled eggs with toast and jam. Three chose this menu, and I got the chicken sandwich with fries, whereas a friend got the chicken salad. The hot chocolate was similar, although not quite as thick, to Angelina's but is their own version and was delicious.


The croissants were amazing, they were enormous. Extremely flaky, buttery, light and overall delicious.

The eggs; all three liked the eggs.  I personally found them a bit odd. I think of scrambled eggs as being fluffy and soft. It was almost as if they took a plain omelette, cut it into cubes and folded it into the scrambled eggs, which made it appear and almost taste like cubes of tofu were mixed with the eggs. Mais, pas mal (but not bad).  Even JJ, who hates eggs, enjoyed his omelette.
















I had the chicken sandwich, you can have it on whatever bread they have available, I selected a baguette. The baguette was nice and crunchy, the way I like it. Although you don't get a lot of chicken, what I did have was good. There was a nice helping of tomatoes and lettuce and some dijon flavored mayonnaise.  The fries were out of this world crispy and delicious.








A friend got the Chicken salad. And, she loved it. There was a nice variety of fresh vegetables, cheese, olives, and a boiled egg.  And, although it only had a few slices of chicken, what was there was moist and went well with the salad.  So, overall a very composed salad.











SUMMARY

I've walked by this restaurant innumerable times, but have never even considered eating there. Brunches are becoming very popular in Paris, so if you're looking for a place for brunch, this is the place for you. Forewarning, it is in a very touristy area, but you are in a beautiful setting. The service was excellent, and many of the wait-staff spoke other languages besides French and English. In fact, I noticed a few were Spanish and/or Italian.  It's not the fanciest or most sophisticated food, but it's simple, basic, and unpretentious. Although, for brunch (actually breakfast) it's not inexpensive. For three prix-fixe brunch menus, 1-chicken salad, 1-chicken sandwich, 1-order of fries and 2-large glasses of rosé, the bill came to 154€, or about 31€ a person, but you're paying for the location and atmosphere.  Speaking of location, they do have another location at Trocadero.  In fact, that was the original location and has been well regarded for many years.  Would I go back, for brunch, YES!  It is a pastry shop (and the pastries are to die for) so you can come and get the pastries to go without sitting at the tables.







Thursday, March 24, 2016

L'Entredgeu -- Restaurant Review


 83 rue Laugier, 75017
Metro: line 3 (Porte Champerret)
Telephone: 01 40 54 97 24
Closed Sunday and Monday
Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

4 - Star......................................................€€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell


A friend from my Wednesday luncheon group had a meeting in the 17eme and her time was limited, so I suggested we eat somewhere close to where she needs to be, and voila we wound up in the 17eme at a restaurant she found from a popular blog.  It's sort of "off-of-the-beaten-path", and not normally where tourists would venture out to.

The restaurant is a very, very typical French bistrot. In fact, it's an old school Basque style restaurant and has been around for ages.  I was curious what the almost impossible to pronounce name of the restaurant meant, but simply it's the namesake of the restaurant owner, Philip Tredgeu.


As I mentioned it's a very typical French bistrot, with tight squeezed in tables, but that was the charm of the restaurant. We were a bit early arriving at noon,  but the restaurant started filling up quickly after about 12:30.

We perused the menu on a blackboard, and it appeared to offer a diverse range of choices with a prix-fixe lunch offered at 26€ for 2-courses and 36€ for 3-courses, which was very reasonable.



ENTRÉES

Velouté de panais, parmesan et petits croutons, (Cream of parsnip, Parmesan and small croutons).  Two of my friends had this entrée. They both liked the dish, it was creamy and the added croutons gave the dish a nice textural element. At first I thought the thickness may have been by adding bread, but I read it wrong, and actually the parsnips added the bulk and thickness and the cream rounded it off. I personally found this dish too sweet. But all around it was a good dish.









Carpaccio de boeuf mariné, crémeux de brebis et emulsion de poireaux (Carpaccio marinated beef, sheep cheese and creamy leek emulsion).  This was a very attractive dish I must say, but it wasn't at all what I was expecting.  First of all, the beef was very marbled. The first thought that came to mind, "wagyu beef"which is now locally produced in France, I should have asked, but I'm pretty certain it was. And, the beef slices were not paper thin as characteristic of "Italian carpaccio", none-the-less the dish was very innovative with thin slices of radishes and zucchini. It was definitely thinking outside of the box, and I really enjoyed it.


PLATS

Fricassée de poulet jaune fermier et petits légumes de saison, (Yellow farmed chicken fricassee and seasonal vegetables).  At first glance when I saw the menu, I thought they meant "jeune", which is "young", but no, it was not a typo, it referred to a yellow chicken.  This was our least favorite dish. Although the chicken was moist, it was just very ordinary. In other words, it did not wow us.  However, my friend did love the potatoes.







Pigeon roti entier et foie foie gras poêlé (Whole roasted pigeon with foie gras).  I was asked whether I wanted this dish pink or a little more cooked. I asked for pink. I loved this dish, the pigeon was perfectly cooked and the accompanying demi-glace sauce was a great accompaniment. It's rich, but not in the sense of creamy rich, but more developed richness.  I was worried that the foie gas might've been tough or overcooked, but it was perfect. Overall, a truly flavorful delicious dish. In fact, this was my favorite of the three plats we had.


Quasi de veau fermier, gratin de macaroni, condiments charcutière, (Range veal, gratin of macaroni, butcher condiments).   It was a very whimsically plated dish.  The veal sat atop a very neatly arranged grouping of macaroni. Sometimes beef/veal can be served a bit too rare for my liking, but this veal was cooked perfectly, moist and perfectly pink. Who knew a mac & cheese could be served so constructed and taste good. Overall, a very good, well composed dish.







DESSERTS


Soufflé au grand marnier, (Grand marnier soufflé).  If you order this dish, you have to order it at the beginning of the meal, since as we well know, it takes some time and has to be served immediately or the soufflé will deflate.  I had a little taste of it. The soufflé was perfectly cooked. Extremely light and airy and with the distinctive grand marnier flavor. A hit with the group.








Brebis cheese, (Sheep cheese).  I literally had a big thin slice of sheep cheese. This is one of my all time favorite cheeses, since it's aged and as a result can have bits of saltiness, which I like.  It was served with a "confiture", but I ate as is. Like I always say, you really can't go wrong with cheese in France.










WINES

We had a bottle of Sancere Paul Prieur et fils 2015 white.  Sancere from the Loire valley white or rosé are probably my all time favorite wines in France.  It's a drier wine with acidity. In fact, it might be too dry for some people. It goes great with seafood, salads and vegetables. Personally, I like it with everything.














SUMMARY

This restaurant has been around a long time, and it appears to be a favorite among Parisians. Technically, I did not find any fault in any of the dishes other than personal preferences. Platings were simple, but cohesive and tight.  In fact, my criticisms are based on my personal taste. I do not like sweet in any savory dish, which I found in the soup. And, although the chicken dish was perfectly cooked, it was missing an "ompf" factor, it was underwhelming.  The veal was whimsically plated and perfectly cooked. My favorite was the roast pigeon. The dark meat of the pigeon was extremely flavorful on its own, but the added sauce and foie gras brought it to a whole new level.  As for the soufflé, what can I say, they cooked it perfectly, no complaints. And, let's not forget about the service, it was excellent.  The wait staff were perfectly attentive to our needs.  Would I go back? absolutely, even though it's off-the-beaten-path and clear across town for me.

With 3-entrées, 3-plats, 3-desserts, 1-bottle of Sancerre, and 1-tea our bill came to 167€, or 55.66€ each. A bit high for lunch, but we did have a nice bottle of wine, which bumped up our overall price.