About

"The evolving 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, October 25, 2022

HAPPY WINTER


 

COMME D'HAB "AS USUAL," I am in the US for the winter and will not be returning to Paris until late April 2023.

I will resume my reviews of Paris restaurants in May 2023.

I want to wish everyone a happy winter season and HAPPY HOLIDAYS.


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

LE POULPRY -- Restaurant Review

 

For contact, directions and to make reservations, click on this link https://www.restaurant-lepoulpry.com/

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+)

5 - Star.......................................€€....................................... 2 - Bell


I don't remember how I found this restaurant or who recommended it. But I'm so glad we went. Restaurant is located in the "Hotel de Poulpry," a small elegant classic french hotel. We were meeting our good friend Liz, who used to live in Paris and is in town for a few days, and one of my BFF's Keri joined us to welcome Liz back into Paris.

As you you enter the restaurant you realize this is going to be elegant just by the staircase. As we climbed the red carpeted stairs it opened up to a reception area. I could see the main dining area and a few diners. It was understated elegant, not a super large restaurant, but you'll notice right away the tables were nicely spaced. 


(Note: We closed the restaurant down, and it was already almost 4 pm. Took photos before we left; hence, looks empty)


Unbeknownst to me, they gave us a private room. And, later I found out that they had 2-other private rooms. One for a dozen people and another for 20-people. So if you want to have a private exclusive party, you know where to go now.



At first thought, oh they want to segregate the loud Americans from the French clientele. And, later I found out we were over 4 customers. Originally, we were suppose to be 5, but one had to cancel due to a conflict. And, we think they didn't want to crowd the dining area unnecessarily. I noticed the tables were set 4-4-4 etc. So, we lucked out.

This is by no means inexpensive, but I had earlier found out that they have prix-fixe lunch menu for €48. That is very reasonable in Paris for this caliber of a restaurant.

No Amuse bouche was served, but you had some really good choices on the prix-fixe menu.


ENTRÉES


SALMON. I thought it was going to be lox (smoked salmon), but it turned out it was actually fresh sliced salmon. Neither smoked nor salty. The dish was presented beautifully and simple. The flavors were all spot-on. The salmon melted in your mouth, and it encased some very, very thin julienne apples with some other root vegetable that I wasn't quite sure what it was, but definitely a radish of some sort.

EXCELLENT!  Great start.



CEPES (MUSHROOM) SOUP.  It's a french mushroom known as porcini to us. In English it's stone mushrooms.

Normally I don't like foams on dishes, it's a personal dislike, and has nothing to do with taste. I tasted this soup and it was delicious. Underneath the creamy soup were large whole cèpes. And, the foam did not distract because it was light and airy. I think it was a meringue. 

EXCELLENT!



PLATS PRINCIPAL (MAIN)



CHICKEN. There were 3-morsels of chicken. It was on a bed of foamed cream accompanied with a grilled cèpe mushroom. Served with a parmesan chip. The chicken was so tender and everything accompanied it well. Another hit for me.

It does not look like a lot, but I actually couldn't and didn't finish it. Not because of taste, but I wanted to save room for dessert. 

 EXCELLENT!



BAR DE PECHE (SEA BASS).  JJ ordered this main, but of course I tasted it.

You can't tell in the photo, but upper part of plate was one crispy fish skin sitting atop some mashed potatoes. When saw it, I immediately wanted to steal it from JJ. The skin was so crispy and flavorful. It had the texture of a potato chip and the taste of a mild fish. The cream sauce was mild and not overwhelming. And, the fish itself was so tender and perfectly cooked.

EXCELLENT!


DESSERTS

CHOCOLATE GATEAU. Lately, I've been eating sugar, not much, but I will eat it now and then. I ordered this because it was one of the offers.  OMG, it was pure heaven. The chocolate with the walnuts and figs just hit all the right taste buds. This is a first for me, I actually finished it, and that says a lot. 

EXCELLENT!




MERINGUE TARTLETTE. The meringue was brulée. Jack ordered this. I'm not a big fan of meringues. But Jack said it was absolutely delicious, a little sweet he said, but the raspberries cut back on the sweetness. 

EXCELLENT! 





SUMMARY

As you can probably see, there's a definite theme in a word I've been using, "EXCELLENT." Everything was well seasoned, and I never added any salt or pepper. As for the entrée and the mains, all the ingredients could be tasted individually, but together it became a well composed dish. The service was EXCELLENT, there I go, I used the word again. Unobtrusive, but very attentive. 

This is one of the few restaurants I have rated overall excellent. Would I recommend it? ABSOLUTELY! I'd like to try it for dinner, but I'll have to save some pennies before I do. 

Our bill for the prix-fixe menu with an entrée, plats, and dessert and coffee/tea with 2-bottles of sparkling water and 2-glasses of their house sauvignon blanc all totaled = €227. Per persson it was €56.75 "PAS MAL" (not bad). 

One of my best restaurants for 2022


Saturday, September 24, 2022

MAISON - SOTA -- Restaurant Review

 

For contact, directions and to make reservations, click on this link https://www.maison-sota.com/

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+)

4.5 - Star.......................................€€€ (without wine) ....................................... 2 - Bell


We've been to this restaurant before, pre-covid, but haven't come back until today. It's quite a long distance from us from the 15eme to the 11eme, but well worth the commute. When you walk by, you notice that it's a strange building in a sea of apartment buildings. It almost like a ski lodge that's been misplaced.

This is a Japanese fusion restaurant. 



Once you enter the interior it is quite a large open space, with a large auditorium style kitchen. Both are located on the 2nd floor. You can sit at the bar, or you can sit at tables, which we opted to do.

For lunch there is a prix-fixe for €65 for 4-courses. In reality, you had an additional 4-dishes.


AMUSE BOUCHE--SARINES. 

My guess is that it was a play on nori-maki sushi. But the difference is the sardines are cooked and it covers sweet sauteed onions over brown hearty bread rather than rice. 

I would've thought that the sardines would've been salty, but they were very lightly salted and the onions were quite sweet. It was a good dish and quite inventive, a Japanese crostini. I liked it.








AMUSE BOUCHE #2 -- GRILLED BABY TOMATOES.

Simply prepared, grilled with a mild accompanying sauce of a light cream, drizzled with olive oil. In its simplicity it was a good dish, but very underseasoned. So I asked for some salt and pepper, adding the salt really brought out the flavors of the tomatoes








DORADE ET HARICOTS VERTS - SEA BREAM AND GREEN BEANS.

The fish was very, very fresh, but to be honest, it was pretty tasteless. I would've thought it'd be served with a light soy sauce or some kind of salt, because again, it was under-seasoned. 

However the green beans were out of this world delicious and seasoned perfectly. It had a nice crispiness despite it being tender. The sauce was light and not overwhelming, bringing out the flavors of the green beans.


POTIMARRON, CHAMPIGNON ET CHÂTAGINE - PUMPKIN, MUSHROOM AND CHESTNUT SOUP.

The whole pumpkin was first baked. There was a lid, I originally thought it was part of the pumpkin, however, it was actually dough. My guess it was puff pastry.

The broth inside the pumpkin was nice and mild not overwhelming with any one spice(s). The chestnut made it smooth. Overall it was a good dish, but one complaint, it was under-seasoned. But adding some salt cured that.






LOTTE ET FOIE GRAS - MONKFISH AND FOIE GRAS. 

At first glance it looks like a dull green blob. But, once you uncover it, there's a nice, meaty, piece of monkfish, otherwise known as cheap man's lobster. Monkfish is very, very meaty. The foie gras was extremely rare for my liking, but the combination seemed to work well. Not surprisingly, this dish too was a tad under-seasoned. I'm starting to believe the chef does not like salt. Adding salt made a world of difference.



PINTADE EN CROÛTE DEL SEL - SALT BAKED GUINEA FOWL.

They brought out a big clay chicken and I thought how odd, but actually it was the casement where they cooked the guinea fowl. The casement was made of flour, salt and hay.

This dish was absolutely fabulous. The meat was so tender, it was like melt in your mouth kind of meat. They also gave us the crispy portion of the leg. Moist, but crispy. My guess is that it was grilled before being served to us since the skin was crispy. 

A+ DISH! And, guess what, it was well seasoned. Afterall, one of the major ingredients of the casement was salt. 




POIRE POCHÉE ET CRÈME BRÛLÉE - POACHED PEAR AND CREAM BRÛLÉE.

I don't normally eat sugar, but after everyone was oohing and aahing I decided to eat it. One word WOW! out of this world delicious.

They took a poached pear, then topped with a the custard made of cream, lemon and eggs, and then brûlée'd it. It also had a dollop of vanilla honey ice cream and a parsley mint extract.

The pear with cream brûlée was so tender, it was melt in your mouth, even though it was cold. The parsley/mint sauce gave it a nice earthy flavor and the ice cream was just a nice added touch, both taste-wise and texturally. 








MIGNARDISES - FINANCIER, GRAPE CREAM WITH A DOLLOP OF VANILLA HONEY ICE CREAM. 

Mignardises is an after dinner treat. Yes, sometimes they will serve this even after they've served you desert. It's like a going away treat. 

This financier was extremely moist, and it was served a little warm. The ice cream was great and the grape cream was nice way just to spread it on your financier to give it a nice fruity flavor. It was a big hit for all of us. 







WINE - MONIER PERREOL SAINT JOSEPH BLANC. 

Made from 100% Syrah, the Saint-Josephs are fine and elegant. Delicate and delicious, they develop subtle aromas of blackcurrant and raspberry, becoming nuanced with leather and liquorice with age.







SUMMARY 

The atmosphere was great. I always like seeing the kitchen at work, so it was a treat for me. The meals are prix-fixe with lunch being the most reasonable at €65 for more like 8 dishes rather than the 4 they advertise (see link for menu and prices). Our total bill was quite high at €477 for 5-people,  but that's because we ordered two €58 bottles of wine, which skewed the overall price.

As for the service it was beyond reproach. Very attentive and unobtrusive. For example, I spilt water, and they were there to clean up within a second. 

On reflection, maybe this was purposeful, but a minor complaint I have, some of the dishes were very underseasoned, but the quick cure for that was adding salt. You can always add salt, but you can't take it away, n'est-ce pas?

All the dishes were very good, but my favorite was the Pintade and surprisingly the dessert as well. 

Would we go back, ABSOLUTELY. 





Wednesday, September 21, 2022

LA PLUME RESTAURANT -- Restaurant Review

 

For contact, directions and to make reservations, click on this link https://laplumeparis.com/

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 - Bell


This restaurant is quite the looker. It occupies the top 2 floors of the building and has an excellent view of St. Eustache. 

The interior is modern with lots of windows. It's a bit dark, but I assume it's to create a sultry romantic atmosphere. 

The floor before the top floor is the restaurant. As you go one flight up, the rooftop, they have an outdoor bar with with a great atmosphere and great views of St. Eustache and Les Halles. 



Now onto the dining experience. Jack and I were about 5-minutes late, the others were already seated at the bar. They told them they were not going to seat us until we all arrived, fair enough. As we got to the entrance to the restaurant no one was showing us to our table, so I asked the guy by the front of the entrance, we're ready for our table, then he asked, do you have a reservations? He went to the front the desk and got it straightened out and we finally got to our table. 

It is a very Japanese inspired restaurant, a part of the Madame Reve hotel group.

They have quite the extensive menu. We decided we would share entrées and each of us would order our own main.


ENTRÉES

Shishito peppers--One of my favorite snacks. In the batch you'll never know if one of them can make you a fire breathing dragon. But normally they're mild in "heat". The only complaint about this dish, it was very under seasoned. It could use something as simple as salt. Some of us stuck in the available sauces they gave, to bring the flavors up  a notch.




Gyoza with beef Wagyu. -- I always think it's a sin to cook it any other way then grilled or seared. But this was made into a gyoza, a cardinal sin. But reality is, it was delicious and the accompanying sauce was spectacular. 





Avocat Croquants--Crispy avocados. I've never had fried avocados before, I'm a new believer, they were delicious. Surprisingly they had a little bit of heat. Don't know if it was just in the batter, but I think it was mostly in the sauce. Excellent entrée.






I'm only going to review the Plat principal that I had, but will mentioned what the others ordered, to give you an idea of the variety they serve, They serve poulpe (octopus), Pork ribs, Short ribs,  Poulet Karaage encroute shichimi (chicken). And, we had a fabulous side of Aubergine miso, perfumed rice, young spinach, and spicy mashed potatoes. NOTE: sides are extra and unlike other french restaurants, bread (baguettes) are not served. 




What a great dish. I had the short ribs with garnish white rice. The short rib was melt in your mouth and sweet/salt sauce was a great flavor enhancer. Definitely Japanese style of cooking. Some of the sides that I really liked was the baby spinach, which was tossed in Japanese mayo and sesame seeds and I also liked the spicy mashed potatoes. Overall, this was my favorite short ribs of all time. 


WINES




Chinon, Vieilles vignes Dom de la Mariniere 2019 

"An expressive nose of red fruits, raspberry and blackcurrant. A round and full mouth, there is fruit with a fatty texture with a nice grip in the mouth, tannic structure present, nice freshness with note of undergrowth. A tasty and full-bodied Chinon."








Crozes-hermitage "les Terres Blanches" Domaine Belle 2019

"This Crozes Hermitage is ample and light, it gives the impression of a delicacy. There are notes of Mirabelle plums and apricots, then in a second step, we can feel powdery aromas of marshmallow and sandalwood. Some floral notes (lily of the valley and broom). The whole gives a harmonious whole around the gluttony." ~ Croze Hermitage.







SUMMARY 

Our reservations were for 7:30 pm. I realized later into the night this is a late start restaurant. It was practically empty at 7:30pm when we arrived and there were more staff than customers. But just before 10 it got packed. They literally asked us to leave, cause you're only allowed to have your table for 2-hours and we were at 2;20 minutes, and another group was waiting.

I think you all know how I feel about turning tables. But this was particularly painful since it's a such an expensive restaurant. 

We had cocktails at the bar, so we settled that bill before dinner.

We had 3-entrées shared. 6-plats, 1-bottle of Badoit, 6-sides, 2-bottlers of wine (champagne was paid separately), 3-additional glasses of wine, our bill came to €560 or €93/person. Reality it should be more like €150 per person with champagne and cocktails 

I thought the food was great, service was great, price point was horrible. Also note, wines are very expensive, averaging €22 per glass.

What I hated most of all is that they turn tables. Because of that I probably won't return, unless friends insist on going.  I like having leisurely unhurried meals. 



Tuesday, September 20, 2022

TEKÉS -- Restaurant Review

 


Check Website for directions, menu and reservations. Click on this link https://www.tekesrestaurant.com/ 


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+)

4.5 - Star.......................................€€....................................... 3.5 - Bell


This is a relatively new restaurant. From my understanding they've only been opened approximately 6 months. It's in a great, easily accessible area. It's quite popular with the young and it was surprisingly packed for a Monday night, when Mondays are typically known as "dead" days for dining in Paris, in fact many are closed. 

If you are a lacto-vegetarian, this restaurant is for you.  They do have vegan choices, but the majority are lacto-vegetarian with creams, butters, and even eggs being used. It is 100% vegetarian..there are no meat dishes.

Honestly, my first impression was, I'm not going to like this. Only because I've had very few good vegetarian restaurants experiences. Mostly ethnic (Indian, Mexican). 

But I came with an open mind..

The interior is quite large. Middle-eastern music is playing in the background, you oftentimes have to share long tables with strangers, I like it, you make new friends, n'est-ce pas. But it was a bit hard to hear, so we just smiled and nodded mostly with our seat-mates.



As I mentioned the interior is quite large. You can actually sit in part of the kitchen. It was comfortable and felt very homey. 

You order dishes to share, sort of like tapas. I thought all the dishes were excellent, full of flavor, perfect amount of spices to make vegetables tastier rather than overwhelm them. On the menu, they used play on words like liver, or beefsteak, but in reality the meals were all vegetarian.

We had a lot of dishes. I'll list the dishes that we had and give a short description. I did manage to taste all the dishes except for the raw tomatoes, which I can't do because of acid reflux.

Interestingly, the menu was divided into 3-sections: Raw & Cold (literally), Wood & Sand (not sure what it refers to), flames (hot dishes), and Motek (desserts).

Our wait-person David spent an extraordinary amount of time with us to describe the philosophy behind the menu and dishes, the philosophy of the restaurant and the chef's vision of what she wants the restaurant to be. It was information overload, but very much appreciated. Sadly, I forgot most of it, so can only describe the dishes. 




Broccoli. I know this dish as a middle-eastern dish called "cigar", because of the shape of the phyllo dough. For lack of a better description, they're like middle eastern "egg rolls". Overall, this was a very good dish. It had hummus on the side and the poached egg, which was used for dipping the cigars, it was great. A good start.
















Laffa druze dish, a flat bread almost like a gigantic roti served with interesting sauces of butter and sage and "srough". The srough had a nice kick to it, but not overwhelming. A good dish










Beef carpaccio.  I did not taste this dish but the folks that did loved it. The beefsteak tomatoes were juicy and very tasty, with a topping of fresh cheese and spices it made it a good substitute for the real capaccio. 






Fatayer. A spinach dish with Tomme Cheese, and added black sesame cream. Although this was a good dish, this was my least favorite dish. 











Fattoush. Crouton, fennel, and brown butter salad. Because one of us has celiac disease they actually put the croutons on the side. That was very thoughtful. I really liked dish, the spices on the salad made it. Although it is a common salad made in the middle east and has many variations, I loved this combination most. I wish I could tell you what the spices were, but they'd probably kill me if I leaked their secret. 





Girolle Pasta.  Girolles are in season and can easily be found in Paris. They are narrow tiny mushrooms and have a very earthy, woody flavor. In this dish they also added Chanterelle mushrooms kirsk and sage. I really liked this dish a lot, very tasty. If I just have one minor complaint, it was a little heavy handed with the salt. 












Aboukir. An eggplant meloukhia, known as "Jews Mallo" a deep green vegetable served with sumac butter. At first we couldn't find the eggplant, but later they brought the eggplant on the side. It was good, but we don't know if this was intentional or they forgot to incorporate the eggplant in the dish. Either way it was a very good, delicious  dish.












We did not ask for dessert, but they comped us for the dessert because of a few service errors. I thought this was commendable, since this has rarely or probably never happened to us in the 14 years we've lived here in Paris. I give them points for this.

All the desserts were delicious. We had a lemon cake, a mirabelle cake and a chocolate mousse. The mouse was my favorite. They drizzled olive oil and sprinkled sea salt on top. It truly enhanced the flavor of the chocolate. A HIT


SUMMARY 

If you are a vegetarian, go. Finally Paris is getting some really good vegetarian restaurants. When I think of vegetarian in Paris, I always think of it being very limited, and Indian would be the direction to go.


I have a lot of vegetarian friends and all I have to say is you have a lot more choices today than you had just even 10-years ago.


This restaurant is relatively new and has been opened approximately 6-months. They have some growing pains and service can be a little sporadic, but the good part is that they know that. The supervisor could tell, so she came up to our table to ask us for our feedback and what they can do to improve. WOW, this type of solicitation is unheard of in Paris. I give them points for this.  


I thought the food was excellent, and the staff are FABULOUS. Friendly and so hospitable. With time, I have no doubt that their timing will improve.

Overall, it is an excellent, tasty, vegetarian restaurant. They do have vegan alternatives. If I have any feedback, I would say order some pita bread, because a lot of the dishes have thick sauces, you need bread to sop them up. Would we go again, ABSOLUTELY.


Another wonderful thing the restaurant did, they comped us for some of the dishes because of some of their minor errors. Again, more points. We bumped up the total rating because of how accommodating they were and willingness to make up for their errors.

They sincerely want to improve and accommodate their customer (one at our table was gluten free, and one did not eat vinegar nor mustard), and they did. KUDOS TO THEM.  Also, they gave us an after dinner drink, a shot of gin and fruit.

With that said, our total bill came to €216 for all the dishes listed above. In addition to 6-glasses of wine, 2-gin and tonics and 1-vodka tonic. NOTE: not the true price because we were comped several items. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

LE LOUIS PHILIPPE -- Restaurant Review

 

66 Quai de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris

CONDESCENDING WAIT STAFF WINS RUDE AWARD FOR 2022

I'm not doing a normal review on this restaurant, because I don't want to waste a lot of time on this shameful restaurant. This is a first for me!

I’ve lived in Paris for 14-years, fortunately, I’ve only had a handful of bad experiences with wait-staff and food being inedible. This is one, if not the worst experience I’ve ever had.

It was storming that evening, so we were getting wet and decided to go to the closest restaurant to us and get a bite to eat, what a mistake. So soaking wet, we went into Le Louis Phillippe. After getting our table, we waited a half an hour, finally, I got the waiter’s attention and told him we were ready to order in a calm manner. He responded by telling me to calm down and not be so hysterical, WTF? Our table was surprised, he was so nasty and rude.

Then as I was ordering, keep in mind I speak French, he started poking fun of items that I was ordering. I spoke to our table next to us, he was Parisian, and told me they had the same bad attitude, so it wasn’t just me. 

As for the food, the onion soup was lukewarm, at best and inedible. The frog legs were tiny just nothing. My friend had the Boeuf Bourguignon, she said the meat was nasty. 

This is a tourist trap, the food is horrible. If you look at online reviews, eg Tripadvisor, reviews are consistent, bad service and mediocre food seems to be the theme. 

FYI.  I've been there before, but it was pleasant and food was OK. I heard they have new management and has truly gone down hill. I'll say they have!

WARNING, STAY AWAY!




Friday, August 12, 2022

LE PETIT MARCHE -- Restaurant review

 



Check Website for directions, menu and reservations. https://www.lepetitmarche.eu/

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+)


2.5 - Star.......................................€€....................................... 3.5 - Bell

This restaurant has been around as long as we've lived in Paris (14-years) the theme has never changed, but the menu has. Their food has always been billed as Asian fusion. The first time I came was in 2008. Back then the idea of asian fusion was using soy-sauce, sesame oil, and sprinkling sesame seeds. Paris has come a long way.

We went 2-more times between 2014-2018, menu changed, food improved a little, and I particularly liked the Chinese chicken salad, which I thought was the best dish on their menu. 

Fast forward to August 11, 2022. One glaring difference that I noticed, there were a lot of tourist, mostly from Asia, in particular China. Hmm, I'm thinking it must be tour groups or their tour book guides include this restaurant since it billed as Asian Fusion. 

Last night was an extraordinary warm humid night. Sadly the restaurant did not have air conditioning. It was packed, and tables turned faster than you can imagine, thankfully, they did not rush us, or I would've been pissed.


ENTRÉE


GAZPACHO OF PEAS WITH SLICES OF CHORIZO. 

Since it was a warm evening I wanted something cold. So, I ordered the gazpacho The gazpacho was extremely under seasoned, had a bitter after-taste as well. The chorizo was thinly sliced out of package, I would assume. I would've crisped it up to give the dish some texture, because like eating any oily cold cut slice of eg salami or coppa it can be stringy and rubbery. On a charcuterie plate, it would've been fine as is. 

They had a small bottle of olive oil and salt and pepper on the table. So, guess what I did. The olive oil really saved the dish and made it more appetizing. But I really had a problem with the texture of the chorizo. Net-net, it wasn't bad, but poorly, poorly executed and very one dimensional. 




CEVICHE DE BAR WITH SLICED CUCUMBERS. 

JJ ordered this dish and I decided to taste it. One thing it had going for it, the fish was fresh. However, just like my dish it was EXTREMELY under seasoned. JJ doesn't typically add seasoning to his dishes, but last night, he added a ton of pepper, which gave it much more flavor. Again, the ingredients were nice and fresh, just so under-seasoned. 







PLATS PRINCIPAL. 



FOIS DE VEAU (LIVER) WITH GINGER SAUCE. 

It was accompanied with mashed potatoes and haricot vert.  Now this dish had some flavor. So it needed no salt nor pepper.

However, the liver was unevenly sliced, one half was thick and the other half was very thin. This created unevenness of doneness. One chewy side (thin) and one tender, perfectly cooked (thick side). Keep in mind I ordered it a "point" medium rare. 

There are many solutions to an uneven slice. The thick portion could have been sliced and "butterflied" to make it even with the thin side. Or, they could have cooked it pieces, even in strips preventing uneven doneness, this is cooking 101. But flavor wise was spot on.





CAPPELLETTI OF ROYANS, SPINACH, RICOTTA, & GARLIC CREAM.

JJ ordered this pasta dish. It was good, but not a wow moment. It's nice and hearty and the flavors were not overwhelming, eg no fishy flavors.  Net-net, It was a good pasta dish. Italians would have balked since the pasta was topped with cheese, a no-no.  


For the wines we had our standard of Sancerre a dry white wine. And a bottle Brouilly, one of the few red wines drunk cool bordering on cold. Both delicious wines.


SUMMARY

As you can see I've been a few times over the 14-years that we've lived here. In all honesty, I was never ever wowed. They do a few dishes really well like the Chicken salad.

Fast forward August 11, 2022, what has changed?

  • It's become a major tourist destination place. 
  • They turn tables, but in their defense, they in no way rush you, people just have to wait. 
  • They're trying new combinations. My friend had a magret de canard, and I must say it was cooked very well. However, they paired it with "lady finger" bananas. It was slightly grilled on one side and served with half the peel. It was way too sweet with the combination for my taste, so a miss. If they had used plantains, it may have worked. 
  • Sadly, the one thing that hasn't changed is their hits and misses. They're still looking for their groove. Or maybe not, since they get a lot of tourists
With 1-bottle of Sancerre, 1-bottle of Brouilly, 4-entrées, 4-plats our bill came to 189€ or 47.25€. Service was erratic, but nice. 

Would we (JJ/me) go back? probably not on our own, I'll leave it for the tourists. In concept the asian/fusion sounds great, but they lack inspiration and delivery. But if we have friends who want to go and live in the area, we wouldn't say no. But definitely not go out of our way.