Le Clos Morillons
50 Rue des Morillons
Rating Standards: 4-Stars = Extraordinary; 3-Stars = Excellent; 2-Stars = Good; 1-Star = Fair; NO stars = 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 (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)
This restaurant is about 2-blocks from our apartment. We walk by it all the time and every time we walk by, we're always saying we need to try this restaurant. So, a few days ago friends Bill and Dan said, "let's get together for dinner," and I thought why don't we try this restaurant, we can all be guinea pigs. Bill and Dan had lived in Paris for several years, and are planning to return and retire here as we have. So, they are very versed on French cuisine, and because they have either lived or traveled extensively around the world, are very versed on "world" cuisine. Net-net, they are fellow "foodies."
So, on July 15, we went there for dinner. It's really cute inside. The first thing you think of, well anyway, what I think of is Barbara Streisand. Babs has a fascination with the color violet/purple. This restaurant's theme color was exactly that, violet. It was very cute, and then I noticed something really exciting, a huge built-in air conditioner. Since that evening wasn't particularly hot, it was not on, but they had the ceiling fans which kept a nice cool breeze circulating, but then I thought, I know where we're going to eat in a heat-wave.
We started with a bottle of Roche ville, chilled. It was lovely. Dan told us something interesting. He lived in Chile and he said that there they cool red wines in summer and warm them in winter, who knew?
We analyzed the menu and for 28€ you can get an entrée, plat and dessert. Or you can get an entree+plat, or Plat+dessert for 23€. At these prices, we decided we're going all out and having all three.
Although my picture looks like the cod was burnt, it was actually nicely seared. Dan thought the dish was OK. The fish was fresh and cooked in a pretty standard manner, pan seared. But he noticed some herbs and asked me to taste it. I thought it had some "garam masala" a sprinkling of an Indian spice, but it wasn't overwhelming, it was just a hint.
This is a first for me in France, the dishes the plats were served on came out on very, very hot plates. I do not mean warm. We were warned not to touch them, but I never take these warnings seriously, so I checked for myself and damn if the plates had been empty, I could have cooked a sunny side up egg on it easily. Surprisingly, it did not alter the food e.g., overcooking.
All-in-all it is a good neighborhood restaurant. I found it interesting that they used turmeric as well as garam masala. Than I remembered that the cafe next door, which we've eaten at, are owned by Indians and in addition to ordering e.g., confit de canard, you could also order curry dishes, hmm. I wonder if they also own this restaurant.
So, would I go out of my way to go back? probably not, since there are so many other good choices in our neighborhood. But I'd be very tempted to go there during a heat-wave and have a gigantic bowl of the gazpacho, yum!, sitting in the air-conditioned room. The waiters were extremely hospitable, friendly and nice. In fact, I was taken aback when they asked us if we liked our meal 2 or 3 times. Typically, the French could care less if you liked the meal, because they have this arrogant attitude, "the chef knows best" and if you didn't like it, there must something wrong with you. I'm glad we went!