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)!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Restaurant Review -- Sixième Sens

43-45 Rue de La Roquette 11eme
Metro:  Bastille
Phone: 09 83 88 63 52 or 06 67 19 07 19
Website: http://www.restaurant-sixieme-sens.fr/accueil.html
Note: Reservations can be made online as well
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 - Star......................................................€€ ................................................... 2 - Bell


Sixième sense, or the "6th Sense", restaurant is in one of the liveliest areas of Paris, in the heart of the 11eme by the Bastille.  I must say once you enter you escape into this tiny, cozy restaurant away from the frenetic, noisy activity just outside its doors.



We were personally greeted by Chef Guillaume Poupard. I was expecting to be greeted by a maitre'd or a wait-staff. It's a very small cute restaurant with only 16-seats. So we started chatting with the Chef and he told us he had 2 other restaurants and had at one point as many as 9-employees. He wanted something small and something he can do that he loves, namely cooking, without all the headaches that come with owning a large restaurant and to be able to meet his guests. Well I thought this should be an interesting experience, not only is he going to be our waiter, bus-boy, and bottle washer, he was going to be our Chef. So I anticipated that we would be in for a long night.


Although he had some apéritifs, we opted against them, for me personally because I don't like sweet drinks, and they were fruit punch cocktails. 

Entrées:

There were 4 of us for dinner.  Three had the "Tartare de thon légèrement acidulé à la coriandre fraiche, au citron vert et aux graines de sésame torréfiées «façon Tataki », coulis passion et pesto génois" (Tuna tartare slightly tangy fresh coriander, lime and roasted sesame seeds passion fruit coulis and pesto Genovese). We all liked this dish. It was delicious. Very refreshing with all the fruit and pesto that complimented it well. I felt like I was eating something straight from the Caribbean, I was almost hoping for a little "heat" (spicy), but this is France so it wouldn't go over well. Overall a very well composed first start.



I had the "Terrine de foie gras frais de canard de Sarlat à la vieille prune, confiture de figues aux noix" (Foie gras duck plum old Sarlat, fig jam nut).  The fois gras had a nice layer of duck fat atop the dish. Some people like to spread this on their bread, but I find the fois gras rich enough. I was eating it alone with just their rolls, which by the way were delicious. His rolls were crusty, heavier and heartier which I'm guessing was a combination of white/wheat flour. I don't normally like putting sweet on my fois gras, but my friends said you have to taste it, and I did, and it was delicious. How can you go wrong with good fois gras and some confiture to start. It too was a great start!

Plats:

Three of us had the "Charlotte de filet d'agneau fondant rôti à la fleur de Thym" (Charlotte lamb fillet roast fondant flower Thyme). Since we can see the kitchen, I noticed that he topped the lamb with a sprig of thyme and flamed it with a torch. Interesting, so it basically gave the lamb a whiff of smoky thyme. At first glance the plating looked very familiar. In fact, it was the same plating style as the tuna tartare for our entrée. But the taste was totally different. He sliced the lamb into nice thin medallions that sat atop a ratatouille of eggplant and zucchini. The lamb was perfectly cooked. Pink on the inside and the ratatouille was a nice hidden surprise. I actually took the thyme and sprinkled it around my lamb, which added an extra dimension that I liked. It was a good dish.


One person got the "Médaillons de belles noix de Saint-Jacques à la fondue de poireaux avec ses petites carottes tournées confites au miel et tagliatelles de «Prosciutto di Parma»" (Beautiful medallions of scallops, leeks with small candied carrots with honey and tagliatelle "Prosciutto di Parma"). Our friend said she adored this dish. It was perfect for her and the saltiness of the ham combined with some of the sweet elements was very complimentary.

Dessert:

Unfortunately, the Chef did not have a cheese plate, and since I don't eat sweet desserts, I opted to have a glass of cognac as my dessert.

One person ordered the "Soupe de Mangue rafraîchissante aux essences de vanille" (Mango soup refreshing essences of vanilla).  Not only was it beautifully presented in a mason jar, but true to it's title it was very refreshing. It was a mango soup that also had nice sized sweet chunks of mango. This was a big hit!



Lastly one had the "Feuillantine aux poires Williams et marrons glacés sauce chocolat noir intense" (Thin crispy dough with a williams pears and chestnuts intense dark chocolate sauce).  It was nicely presented At first glance I thought it might be a napoleon, because of its layers, I'm guessing thin "leafs" were made from crispy filo dough with a poached pear and rich intense chocolate. Everyone who tasted this dish loved it and thought it was absolutely delicious with the different elements of textures and taste.

Summary:

All I have to say is, who runs a restaurant, alone. Either they're mad or a genius. In his case, he wanted a simpler life and give pleasure by cooking small intimate dinners. Even I, at minimum, would need a dish washer, and I mean the living and breathing kind. But I have to say, my hat's off to the Chef. I was so impressed with his precision and timing. I thought for sure that we would have to wait awhile in between courses, but he's a professional and really knows kitchen timing well. It's like going to someone's home and being prepared very good food by a good friend. He's very personable and just a nice all-around good guy. Would I go back, ABSOLUTELY.

Chapeau Chef!




With a bottle of malbec, 1 glass of cognac, 4 entrees, 4 plats, 2 desserts, 2 coffees our bill came to €160.

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