About

"The reluctant 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)!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Les Poulettes-Batignolles -- Restaurant review


10, Rue de Chéroy
75017 Paris
Tel: 01-42-93-10-11
Website:  wwwlespoulettes-batignolles.fr
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+)

  3.75 - Star...............................................................€€........................................................... 4 - Bell

Friends of ours recently discovered this restaurant that's only been open since March, and insisted we go with them "a tout de suite" before it becomes popular and booking will become impossible. As you can see from the photo, in the right section of the restaurant the doors are nice and open to the bar, which would've been the area we would've preferred to dine; unfortunately, they were booked. So we sat on the left side where the window was closed and only the top portion open for ventilation. Needless to say I was thankful I brought my fan, because it was a bit stuffy especially on a warm muggy night!

The interior




We were early so we perused the menus. Oddly enough, no one came to ask us if we'd like something to drink while we were waiting, not even water. In fact, as our friends showed up, they still didn't ask us if we wanted something to drink and I was very thirsty, so after a few minutes I had to finally flag them down. Once the wait person came, she could've been more pleasant.  We started with the most fabulous sauvignon blanc that I've ever had. It had a nice light fruity flavor, but not sweet, and had a nice roundness that really quenched your thirst and want you coming back for more. Ok, so this wine was a hit with all of us!  Even JJ, who never drinks white wine, thought it was very good.






ENTRÉES

For our first course one of us had the "Tarte sablé asperges vertes, confit de tomates au lard et vieux parmesan" (Shortbread tart green asparagus, tomato confit with bacon and aged parmesan). This was a very well composed dish. The asparagus with the shortbread gave it 2-nice textures to compliment each other. And the confit of tomatoes just added another nice level of coolness and a bit of acid. Good first course.  Unbelievably, this is the one dish I forgot to take a photo of. But believe me, it was a beautifully composed and delicious dish.



Two us had the "Tartare de dorade en ceviche, avocat et pickle d'oignons" (Tartare of sea bream ceviche, avocado and pickled onions).  This was a wonderful summer dish. It's a cold dish of ceviche and thinly shaved avocados adorning it, and a thin slice of toast. It would've been perfect; however, it was extremely under-seasoned. It lacked the basics, salt and pepper. Once I added it to the dish, then it was perfect. As all Chefs tell their students, always taste for seasoning, which usually means salt and pepper. Methinks he forgot this important lesson in this situation.


Lastly we had the "Burrata et gaspacho, melon et tomate" (Burrata and gazpacho, melon and tomato).  I have to say that this was my favorite entrée, maybe because it was a hot and muggy night and it was refreshing. It truly was delicious. The fruity soup combined with the burrata cheese, it was like eating a cooled, slighty sweet dessert, without all that cream and heaviness. So, in my book this dish was a success!

PLATS

How original, three of us got the "Presa de cochon iberíque, à  l'orange" (Presa Iberian pig, orange).  When we first ordered, the wait-person asked my companion how she would like her pork cooked, and she replied rosé (pink). I was a bit shocked, so when it was my turn I said I want it cooked a "point" medium. Then she and I got into a discussion why you can eat this particular pork pink. Apparently it's been treated with salt, free ranged and the butchering process does not have all that cross contamination, hence there is no scare of trichinosis, who knew?  Therefore you can eat pork slightly pink.  So I changed my order to "rosé", best decision I made of the night.  For a French pork dish it was not at all salty. The meat just melted in your mouth. It was absolutely delicious. I actually could've had more!


To be different JJ had the "Risotto d'encornet a la provencale et chistorra" (Squid risotto and a provencal chistorra"). I tasted this dish and it was excellent. The risotto still had a little bite to it and the squid was cooked perfectly.  I probably would've enjoyed it more if I had it served in winter. Overall it was a wonderful rich flavored dish!



DESSERTS

Two shared the "Ganache chocolat, pain, huile d'olive et fleur de sel" (Chocolate olive oil and fleur de sel ganache, bread).  I know that ganache "seule" exists, but I always associate it with fillings, or frosting, and not normally the star attraction of a dessert, since it tends to be too rich.  But this particular ganache was light and airy. They whipped alot of air and cream into it to give a more mousse like texture. Net-net, it was a good dessert, albeit, not something I'd order!









JJ got the "Riz au lait vanillé, confiture "dulce de leche" (Vanilla rice milk jam "dulce de leche").  Basically, it was rice pudding with tiny chocolate bonbons sitting atop. The dessert was OK, but I found it too heavy and rich for a warm muggy evening.  JJ licked the plate.







And, I got the cheese dish "Rocamadour fermier de chez maman Dubois au miel de corse"  (Farmer Rocamadour home mom Dubois Corsican honey). It is simply goat cheese drizzled with honey. My perfect kind of cheese for a warm, muggy evening. It was light and creamy and a wonderful palate cleanser.


SUMMARY:

The restaurant Chef is Parisian, his wife who is at the front of the house is from Barcelona and is Catalan. His mother owns a Cheese shop nearby, so he gets all his cheeses from her. They let you know that their breads also come from Chez Léonie, which I have to say was absolutely wonderful!  

It was a slow, slow start, but once they got into a rhythm we were treated very nicely. I highly recommend if you go there during the summer months to ask for a table by the bar where it's open and a breeze exists. We had no breeze, so I'm thankful I brought a hand-fan.  Overall the food was very good, I had a couple of issues with their seasoning.  The noise level in the room we were at was extremely bad. Once it was filled, we could barely hear one another.



For 4 people, and a bottle of Sauvignon for apéros, a pastis, a bottle of red, a glass of white, and a glass of armagnac and 2 coffees our bill came to 152€ which was already discounted 30% because we made our reservations on La Fourchette. It was a damn good price for 4-people.

Would I come back, porquoi pas?



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