|44 Rue Vielle du Temple|
Metro: Line 1 Hôtel de Ville
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+)
4.5 - Star..............................................................€€................................................................. 2 - Bell
I have to be honest, I normally do not like eating in "Le Marais" (3eme & 4eme), since I find it geared towards the tourist and oftentimes the food is pre-made and not good. But in celebration of our friend's return to Paris, I searched for a restaurant in the Marais since it was a Sunday and a fun day just to window shop. This area is the only shopping area open in Paris on a Sunday. I came across this restaurant and the menu looked good so I made reservations through "La Fourchette" .
The restaurant is small, although there are also seats upstairs. Originally we were given a table by the stairs, so I asked if we could transfer by the window and they accommodated us. There is a huge black-board with the menu listed. It was quite extensive.
First order of the day were apéros. They had these house apéros made with a specially fermented white wine and mint. It looked like "mojitos", but we were pleasantly surprised how refreshing they were and not overly sweet as most mojitos are in Paris. So, this was a good start.
As we were perusing the wine, the waiter took his time to describe wine we were interested in. In fact, he asked what range we would like to pay, and even had us taste different wines and gave us a quick lessons on the nuances of the different wines. We got the sancerre blanc at 35€. Our wait person also spent alot of time describing the menu to us, and gave us his recommendations.
Two of us ordered an entrée. I ordered the "Morilles a la crème" (Morel mushrooms in cream). It was served in a small cooper pot. This was a very, very tasty first course. Our waiter told us that the morels were sourced locally. They were covered with a lot of cream. Although extremely tasty with all the cream, I found it a tad too rich for my taste, but I did enjoy it none-the-less. Not recommended for those who are lactose-intolerant.
One ordered the "Tartare Imperial de Mers et son duo d’argumes" (tartare of fish served with two types of citrus). This was a beautifully presented dish. It was also quite delicious, very fresh and had the perfect balance of the fattiness of the salmon and the citrus. It was a hit and I can see it being a summer staple.
I ordered the "Cuisse de lapin farcie aux pleurottes foie gras, lard" (Rabbit leg stuffed with foie gras oyster mushrooms, bacon). I found this interesting as I don't normally like to eat rabbit because I find them very "boney", and usually masked with lots of cream. This intrigued me because it was roasted and boneless. The stuffed legs were delicious and quite tender. The oyster mushrooms with the bacon brought it to a whole new level. And, it wasn't full of cream, the sauce was light and delicious. The salad had a nice citrus touch to cut down on some of the fattiness. The accompanied mashed potatoes were nothing special, but overall the rabbit was delicious and I certainly would order it again.
Our friend ordered the "Filet de boeuf façon Rossini" (Fillet of beef Rossini). He ordered it "à point", medium rare. It was topped with a few bits of foie gras and the dish was absolutely delicious. It was accompanied by a pan roasted scalloped potatoes with almonds that were absolutely delicious. It was crispy on the exterior and tender sweet on the inside. Overall, this whole dish with the potato dish was very good.
Lastly our friend ordered the "Filet de Bar et sauce aux deux agrumes" (Sea bass with two citrus sauces). This was actually the simplest of the 3-dishes we ordered. The fish was very moist and the citrus sauce was very mild. The accompanying carrots with haricot vert was extremely sweet and tasty. Another winner.
We opted not to have dessert since we were all so full. We did, however, order some coffee.
Although it's in a very busy tourist area in the Marais, what a great find. I was prepared to dislike the food, since I've never had a good dining experience until now in that area and go there primarily for salads, felafel or pizzas. The service is beyond excellent. They like speaking English, especially our wait person who wanted to practice, which was fine with us. He took time to describe the dishes as well as the different wine options.
I would highly recommend this restaurant. We gave the food an overall 4, but with the outstanding service we gave it an additional 0.5, one of my highest ratings. For 3 people, a bottle of wine and coffees, our bill came to 47€ per person!