|49, rue Olivier de Serres|
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......................................................€€......................................................... 2.5 - Bell
This is a neighborhood restaurant and has recently changed hands. We've been meaning to go, but never had an opportunity. So we finally went. I spoke with the Maitre'd, Mark, and he said they've only been open for 6-months. It's deceivingly small, but there's actually dining downstairs as well. All-in-all there are about 35-seats. Mark had lived in Australia and as we know Australia is surrounded by ocean, and hence they have lots of fresh seafood. This restaurant basically serves seafood, but they did have one vegetarian meal on the menu.
It has cozy cute interior and you can actually see the kitchen from the main dining room. As soon as Mark sat us, he immediately came with a "carafe d'eau" (water). I thought, hmm, that's unusual, you usually have to ask for water and many times they try to sell you bottle water. Good start!
Although the menu is not large, Mark painstakingly went through each dish. He did this with all his customers.
I had the butternut squash soup with haddock. I have to say, this was the best butternut squash soup I've tasted in a long time. The Chef purposely did not blend the soup perfectly smooth; hence, had wonderful nice chunks of butternut squash, just like I like it. And, the juxtaposition of the salty smoky haddock along with the sweetness of the squash was perfect. I could've had this dish alone and would've been satisfied.
J had the carpaccio of mackerel. It was accompanied by thin slices of marinated artichoke hearts and beets. This dish was also excellent. It had a nice light citrus vinaigrette and the fish was perfect. Another good start.
J had the squid with risotto. I had a little taste of the squid and it wasn't as tender as mine, it was just a tad more tough, but not unpleasant. The dish was good, but it did lack seasoning. As with the carpaccio dish from the entrée there was "espelette" , but used ever so lightly. I don't know if the risotta was left purposely under-seasoned so that it wouldn't over-power the squid, but personally it could've used more seasoning. But overall, it was a good dish.
J ordered the panna cotta. It was covered with a nice helping of passion fruit and chocolate shavings. I had a taste of the passion fruit and it was a bit on the tart side, so I knew J would love it. He likes very tart fruit. As for the panna cotta it was nice, smooth and tender and according to J it was a nicely composed dessert which he really enjoyed.
What a great find in the 15eme. It's a neighborhood restaurant catering to the locals, so you won't find tourists in there. I was so amazed that Mark was able to be manager, waiter, bus-boy and keep the restaurant running smoothly. His attentive nature was beyond reproach. In fact, he apologized that he didn't see our carafe of water was already consumed, huh? not typical in Paris. The entrées were excellent, the two plats, although good, there's some minor tweeks that need to be made. With 2-glasses of wine, our bill came to 68.50€, a great deal for a good meal. And, also the menu changes regularly depending upon the availability of the fish.
Would we go back, ABSOLUTELY.