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)!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Restaurant Review -- Café Trama

Address: 83 Rue du Cherche-Midi 76006
Phone: 01.45.48.33.71
Call for hours
Bus 89, 95
Metro: St. Placide (4), Vaneau (10)
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 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 2 - Bell

This cute little restaurant is not too far from where we live. It was recommended by a friend of ours. We were 4-people.  The interior was cute. Enough space where you didn't feel you were "too" close to people.





The chalk board menu was the same as the printed menu. Our old eyes perused the printed menu. I remember that there were mixed reviews and especially as it concerned the "price-point",  and I'll weight in my own opinion about the price point later.













ENTRÉES:

We decided to share three entrées: Charcuterie (sliced salami and ham) with "rillettes" (meat paté) which we've been told people raved about; anchovies; and white asparagus. The charcuterie was charcuterie, good, but nothing out of the ordinary. The rillettes was very tasty and had a hint of ginger.  Then we shared the anchovies; again, nothing out of the ordinary. They were good and not too salty and came with a nice butter to spread on your bread. And, lastly we shared the white asparagus. I'm not a fan of white asparagus, but the dish was beautifully presented and it was very good. They were served with a coddled egg yolk sauce, which were my favorite on the dish.



PLATS:

Three of us had the "Croque-monsieur "Poujauran" au sel de truffe" (French style grilled ham with truffle salt).  I found this dish interesting. It was atypical of a croque-monsieur. I got the impression it was pan-fried on both sides, similar to what we do in the US, whereas in France the bechamel is laden on top and grilled typically under a salamander. There was definitely bechamel sauce, but not as pronounced as the traditional croque-monsieur.  It was very good, and I liked the novelty that they used a more "American" approach. However, you could've fooled me if there was any truffle in it at all, because I tasted none, not even a hint.  The greens were nice and refreshing and also had a slight bitterness that I enjoyed. And, how can you go wrong with potato chips!



JJ had the special of the day which was a "lieu jaune" (pollock fish). I tasted it and the fish was cooked perfectly; however, the sauce was overwhelming sweet for my taste.  I am not a big fan of sweet sauces on any savory dishes. But JJ thought overall it was delicious dish, and the accompanying greens were good. There was a halved bokchoy and Asian greens of either chinese celery or kobako greens.  The greens also contains some anchovy paste.




DESSERTS:



Our table shared the fruit tart as well as "clafouti" (cherry tart). The fruit tart was simple and quite attractive. It did not come with an accompanying sauce, but our friends asked for some creme anglaise to compliment the dish. The grouped liked this dessert.

As for the clafouti it did not not look very appealing, but JJ said it was good, but was not as sweet as expected. It was very moist.









SUMMARY:

In its simplicity the food was very good. Nothing for me really stood out as something I would clamor my way back to; however, if I'm in the neighborhood and I need a meal, pourquoi pas (why not)! The service was EXCELLENT!

Now onto the price point. I'm with the camp of reviewers that believe that this restaurant is expensive for what you get. 15€ for a croque-monsieur, which is basically a grilled ham sandwich with potato chips and some greens is expensive. And, had we ordered a more substantial lunch, a plat could've cost as much as 36€.

Net-net the food was very good, nothing outstanding; service was excellent; unfortunately the price point was poor.

With a bottle of an excellent Malbec, 3-entrées, 4-plats, 2-desserts, 1-soda and 3-coffees, our lunch meal cost 164€ for 4-people.
















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