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, October 29, 2015

Restaurant Review -- Restaurant Clémentine



5 Rue Saint Marc
Metro: #8 Grands Boulevards
Phone: 01 40 41 05 65
Website: http://www.restaurantclementine.com/



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+)

 1.80 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 2 - Bell


It's a very typical French restaurant located close to "Les Grands Boulevards" and the theaters.  It was recommended by one of my readers. So, there were 4 of us in tow to celebrate a friend's belated birthday.  It's a tight squeeze as is typical for most French restaurants in Paris,  but has a very warm, homey atmosphere. Our wait-staff could not have been more inviting.





They had a pre-fix menu for 35€ which included an entrée, plat and dessert, and 26€ for entrée and plat.


















ENTRÉES



Escargots.  
Two of us had the escargot.  Good start. They were good, very garlicky and not too overly oily, so no complaints here.











Crusty goat cheese.  The two who got this liked this. The goat cheese was encrusted in "brick," a pastry known in France which is very similar to "filo" dough.  I had a taste; it was nice and crispy and the goat cheese, albeit strong and powerful was good, but nothing spectacular.










PLATS

Beef with bernaise sauce. This was their "plat du jour" speciality of the day. It was terrible. The meat came out barely warm, saying it was lukewarm would've been a compliment. It wasn't overcooked, but it was so dry. It must've been sitting around a while. And, the bernaise sauce was lukewarm and not smooth at all and had an off-putting almost gummy texture. I truly disliked this dish. Had I had something to eat earlier to sustain me, I probably would not have eaten it.  Thank God for wine.





Tuna with sesame seeds. One person had this dish. It was nicely presented, and that's where it ended. Can we say "over-cooked." It's criminal to overcook tuna, plus it was dry. One also wonders if the sesame seeds were to mask something. And, the "piece-de-resistance" was the god awful risotto that accompanied it. It was gummy and just plain nasty.





Duck filet with honey and fig sauce.  This was the only redeeming dish of all the "plats". Two ordered the dish and they were cooked to their specifications, one rosé and one saignant.  Albeit sweet because of the honey and prune sauce it was very tasty.









DESSERTS

Plate of cheeses. I ordered a plate of cheese. This is the other redeeming dish. The selection of cheeses were really good from strong to mild. No complaints here.













WINES



Amatéüs bobi.  A light red wine from the Loire valley.  It was very good. It had a rich aroma with fruitiness and did not overwhelm of the strong flavors of e.g., the cheese entrée. 
















SUMMARY

This restaurant was recommended to me by one of my readers. On social media this restaurant has also had some excellent reviews, go figure? I wanted so much to like the restaurant because the people who run it are super, super nice.  The entrées were French staples and were good, but nothing out of the ordinary. The plats are usually the "star" dishes. The fish and the beef, in my opinion was a crime and insult to the taste buds.  However, the duck, wine and the cheese plate redeemed this restaurant.   With a bottle of wine and 2-glasses of rosé our bill came to 39€ each. I would have given it a lower rating, had it not been for the entrées, duck, wine and the EXCELLENT service.  Would I go back, probably not.

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