"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)!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jeanne B -- Restaurant Review

Address:  61, Rue Lepic

Tel: 01 42 51 17 53

Metro: Line 12 Abbess
Open:  (9:30 am to 10:30 pm)

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 (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)

  3.5 - Star............................................................................................................................3 - Bell

This restaurant is located in the heart of the tourist area we know as Montmartre.  It's located on Rue Lepic, in fact not too far from where we used to live.  As you enter the restaurant you'll notice a traiteur (take-out) section and chicken roasting. The smells are intoxicating.

They also have a wonderful selections of desserts. So, if you're not in the mood to cook, here's a great alternative for take out.

There are tables at the front of the restaurant with a large window if you want to people watch.  They also had a wonderfully fabulous room in the back that had a large sun-roof which allowed alot of natural light in.  I loved the back room until it filled up and it became almost impossible to hear anyone.

For the entrée + Plat it was 19 Euro, for the entrée, plat and dessert it was 23 Euros. Very, very reasonable prices.  They also had a cute wine list right on the bottle which we found very amusing.

I had the artichoke, only because I really love artichokes. You can't really mess up an artichoke that's been steamed. It was what I expected and what I wanted.  The accompanying sauce was a mayonnaise type of sauce. Simple but good.

One ordered the hummus.  It was interesting since it was topped with chicken and mushrooms. I liked it, but then I'm a sucker for anything hummus. Whereas our friend thought it was just OK.

Another friend order the lobster bisque, wow this was the best of all three.  It was delicious.  I could've just had that alone. Lots of flavor and just plain delicious without being too rich, the balance was just right.

Now onto our plats (main dishes). One friend ordered the lamb, pink. The lamb was perfectly cooked. It was pink, but not raw and it was delicious and it was accompanied with a small salad and a potato gratin.  We all loved this dish.

One ordered the vegetable pie. Actually, it was just "so-so", nothing extraordinary. It fact very plain. Also accompanied with a salad. Our friend had to ask for tobasco because it was very, very bland.

I had the lobster over a toasted bread with cheese on it. I thought the lobster was good. There wasn't a whole lot of it, but it was good none-the-less and the accompanying salad was a nice accompaniment. I did not like the bread though, it tasted too much like a gateau or a brioche. For me I think that kind of bread should be reserved for French toast, oh well.

For dessert we shared a "cafe gourmand."  It was interesting, cause I've never had a cafe gourmand that was basically 3-different types of chocolate candies: white, dark, and a milk chocolate with some nuts it

Summary:  A great find in the 18eme for a good meal or for take-out. The quality of food was excellent, and the prices unbelievably good. Here's my biggest fear. It's only been open for a month, already tourists are starting to pour in. There's nothing wrong with that, but I find once tourists take over, these types of places become complacent. I just hope they remain true to their charter of having good food at affordable prices.

The other problem I had, once it got crowded in the back, it was unbearably loud. I couldn't wait to leave cause the noise level was intolerable. Our friend had a decibel reader and it reached as high as 75 db.  So, if you go ask to be seated up front.

So, for the 3 of us our bill came to 112 Euros with a bottle of wine, an half a bottle of sparkling water and coffee. If you're in the neighborhood and looking for good simple food, this is the place. And, believe it or not they are open EVERY day, yes, including Sundays and Mondays. 

1 comment :

  1. Yes - I worked for some time in Paris, and I can vouch for the fact that there are many, many restaurants of good value - Unfortunately, there are also many, many who either close their doors relatively quickly, become as you say complacent and sloppy with higher prices because - as you say again, there are many, many tourists! I think many tourists only look for the fastfood now, or go to one of the world renowned named places just to say "Oh yes - we've been there........!"