"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)!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

La Table D'Aligre -- Restaurant Review

La Table D'Aligre
11, Place d'Aligre
75012 Paris
Tel: 01-43-07-84-88
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...........................................................................................................................1 - Bell

This restaurant has been around awhile, and our friend read some fabulous reviews of the restaurant, so we decided to go, “pourquoi pas”?  It was an extremely warm evening. The restaurant was located in the same area as where the d’Aligre market is located.  At first glance it looks like a tiny restaurant, nicely open with a nice open kitchen. In fact, there’s a whole unknown area upstairs with comfortable cushy armchairs with low tables where you can choose to eat, or choose the two long tables they have.  They had their wines displayed nicely.  It was extremely warm upstairs since there is no airconditioning, but nice and private. However, we were all fanning ourselves vigorously with the menu cards or fans; even the people sitting in front of us who had very little breeze from the open windows did the same.

This restaurant is known for their seafood, although they do have one or two meat dishes.  So we all decided to go with the fish.


I had the gazpacho, and I have to say on a warm night it was so refreshing. I’ve had some really bad gazpacho, but I have to say this was delicious, nicely seasoned and chilled perfectly.  Cucumbers in themselves are very refreshing, so I was fortunate that the ratio of cucumber to tomatoes was higher.


One ordered the anchovies, although I like salt, I have to say these were some of the strongest anchovies I’ve ever tasted. It was too salty for my liking but he enjoyed them.

A friend had the Moules a la plancha (mussels), I had a taste and thought they were nice. The broth was not too overwhelming and cooked very well.

Another friend had the Moules gratinée, although I didn’t taste it, he said he enjoyed it a lot.


I had the homard (lobster), the small one of course. I have to say, it was a bit overcooked. So, in some respects it was a bit rubbery.  It came with small roasted potatoes, and they were delicious.

My friend had the brochette de lotte (skewered white fish), he said they were good but nothing out of the ordinary, and served with greens and potatoes.

Other friends had the turbot, which was pan roasted whole. They liked it as well, but found it a bit daunting to tackle since it was a whole fish rather than a filet.

Interestingly my description of the dishes aren’t very elaborate nor for that matter very enthusiastic as you can probably tell.  They didn’t really wow us, especially me. It was just good, just average, nothing out of the ordinary. It’s like food you could get at any average seafood place in the U.S., with the exception of being in coastal cities of the US like San Francisco, Seattle or Boston where seafood is cooked perfectly.

While I liked our wait-person, the service was so slow. Even slow by Parisian standards. It probably had to due with the fact that she had to climb the stairs constantly, and I did not see a dumb waiter, so I can’t really fault her, but fault the management staff. 

I liked the restaurant for what it is, but for me the price is a bit high for just OK seafood. In fact, some of us left hungry. We were going to order dessert, but it was already 11:45 and we came in at 9 pm and only had 2-courses?!?.  We figured if we ordered the dessert with the service being as slow as it was, we wouldn’t finish until way after 1 a.m. and, hence, miss our metro. So, some of our friends who lived in walking distance went to an ice-cream parlor afterwards.  

Net-net,  I would not go out of my way to go to this restaurant, but if I’m in the neighborhood and friends want to go, I’ll go. And, probably for lunch since they have a pre-fix priced at 22€.

Our total bill came to 52€ per person for an entrée and plat and sharing 2-bottles of white wine among 6 people.

1 comment :

  1. Awesome blog. It's helped a lot with my parisian vacation planning. Props to moving to Paris and living it up. I like the shoutout to Seattle. We do have good seafood.