19, av. de la Motte-Picquet
Fermé Samedi et Lundi midi, dimanche et les 1er et 3e samedis du mois
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+)
2.5 - Star...............................................................€€.............................................................3 - Bell
We wanted to take our good friend out to dinner for her birthday. Because she works, and had to get up early the next day she requested that we stay in her neighborhood. We’re not familiar with the 6eme or 7eme otherwise known as “Little America” since the majority of the people there are either American/English speaking expats or visitors staying there. JJ researched and found “Le Florimond”; it had great reviews from several sources and even had the endorsement of Rick Steves, which to me is not always good, I’ll explain later.
The restaurant is really cute, small but quaint. And, the staff couldn’t be nicer. We got seated while we waited for our friend and I noticed that 90% of the patrons were foreign and mostly American. I suppose not unusual for the 7eme arrondissement.
They had a board with today's suggestions and they have a prefix menu of 35€, which included an entrée, plat, and dessert.
Once our friend arrived, we both ordered a coupe de champagne to hit off the celebration and JJ ordered a pastis for our apéros.
We all started with the “salad d'épinards, pickles d' asperges et radis au vinaigre de pommes” loosely translated, a spinach salad with pickled asparagus and radishes with apple vinegar. It looked fine when it was served, but there was literally no taste. It was bland, plus extremely oily. I noticed our birthday celebrant kept sprinkling salt on her salad and so did I. For me, it was primarily to cut back on the oiliness and blandness. So not a good start.
For our plat, our birthday celebrant ordered the “Confit de cuisse de canard et Corrèze, pommes de terre miettes” loosely translated, confit of duck with potatoes. The first thing that caught my eye was the presentation, or lack of. The potatoes looked like hash browns and the confit looked dry and overcooked and the salad just seemed misplaced. They really could’ve plated it much better. And, according to our birthday celebrant, the looks matched the taste.
I had the fish of the day, which was the “turbot”. I have to say the fish was cooked perfectly and tasted really good, after I salted it with sel de mer; the chantrelle mushrooms were good as well. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it was passable!
JJ had the “Chou Farci” translated to stuffed cabbage. It was cooked in a clay pot as would a boeuf bourginon. I had a taste of it, and I liked it. It was nothing to scream about but it was a good, wholesome dish, just like they said, as Grandmother would make.
I had the cheeses, nice selection so really nothing to add there. You can never really go wrong with cheeses in France, unless they serve it to you spoiled.
Our birthday celebrant had the “Millefeuille à la vanille bourbon” loosely translated, puff pastry with a vanilla bourbon cream. Well this gave a new meaning to size isn’t everything. Our celebrant said that it was very bland and had absolutely no flavor. As the restaurant knew it was her birthday, they added a candle; a nice touch!
JJ had the “Molelleux au chocolat noir, coeur fondant au Gianduja, coulis de litchis” loosely translated, chocolate fondant cake with coulis of litchis. It wasn’t anything special, and it was somewhat overcooked. It was more cake than fondant, so not a big hit with JJ.
Summary: It is a small restaurant, so the noise level got really high once it filled up. It was very difficult to follow a conversation. The tourists seem very happy with the service and food. One thing I have to say, the service was impeccable. They’re friendly, observant and couldn’t be nicer; unfortunately, the food, not so.
Going back to my Rick Steve’s comment we jokingly said that once Rick Steve put his stamp of approval on a restaurant it’s as good as the “kiss of death” as the restaurant becomes filled with American tourists and the quality seems to fall.
For 3-people, we had 2-coupes de champagne, a pastis, a glass of chardonnay, a bottle of Malbec, and coffee our bill came to 173€.