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)!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Prémices -- Restaurant Review


24 rue Rodier
75009 Paris
tel: 01 45 26 86 26
Metro: line 12 Notre-dame-de-lorette, Line 7 Poisonnière

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+)

 4.25 - Star......................................................€€€ ......................................................... 2 - Bell


The restaurant has been around for about 3-years. It's definitely off the "beaten path", in fact, I don't think you'd accidentally wander into it unless you know about this restaurant.  The interior design was quite simple, but elegant and lovely. They had several "capiz" (windowpane oyster shell) chandeliers which added a nice whimsy to the white linen tablecloths and napkins. Although the restaurant was small, the tables were nicely spaced, so you wouldn't be on top of each other.

At the helm is Chef/Owner Alexandre Weill.  I was told he was quite accomplished in the corporate world having gone to HEC School of Management and was a VP at Morgan Stanley (Paris & London), but gave it all up to follow his passion for food.  Quite admirable I must add.



We perused the menu, they had a nice selection and they also had specials for the day. They have a "pre-fixe formule" which was 24€ for an entrée and plat and with dessert was 36€, very reasonably priced. And, today's special was a mollusk risotto followed by a lamb "Parmentier".  






For our amuse bouche we got a foie gras of foam. I'm personally not big fan of foams, but I overlooked this because the foam was packed with foie gras flavor. So it was a hit for all of us, definitely a good start.











ENTRÉE

And, since I didn't have enough foie gras, I ordered it for my entrée which came with two very large huitre (raw oysters). I thought the foie gras was cooked very gently and perfectly. For some it may have been too rare. The only complaint I had about this dish was that the vein was still in tact. I did like the juxtaposition of the very cold raw oysters with the foie gras; however, one of our luncheon companions did not like this contrast and thought the combination weird. I happen to like each separately as well as together. A simple good delicious dish that was paired with a sweet poached apple to make it a cohesive dish.


JJ had the "Lievre" (hare) that was encased in flaky pastry crust. Between our two entrées, this was my favorite. The hare was beautifully seasoned and moist. The crust remained flaky despite the moistness of the hare. It was accompanied with some contrasting greens. It was simply delicious. And, the portion for an entrée was pretty ample. I could've just eaten that as my main.  Overall a wonderfully constructed, simple delicious dish.




PLATS

I had the "queue de boeuf et truffe noire" (oxtail and black truffle). Characteristic of oxtails, they can be greasy as well as stringy, and can be dry if cooked too long.  I grew up on oxtails, hence love the meat. Although it was characteristically a bit stringy it was not at all dry nor greasy. It was packed with tons of flavor. It was accompanied with a very rich wine reduction sauce. The Chef must've braised the meat for quite a long time to develop such wonderfully strong flavors.  It was served as a "de-constructed" "parmentier" (sort of like shepherds pie without the crust) with a layer of meat sitting atop a fabulous wine reduction and topped with mashed potatoes. And, if that wasn't decadent enough some shavings of black truffle. Overall, it was a very, very tasty rich delicious dish.


JJ had the "saumon" (salmon). I'm not a fan of foams, but as I mentioned, I can overlook it if the dish is good. And, this dish was delicious.  It was perfectly seasoned. It was seasoned with ginger and lemongrass and although the menu said it was accompanied with carrots it was actually accompanied by another root vegetable.  Overall a very well executed, delicious, well balanced dish.






DESSERTS

JJ ordered the "pamplemousse" (grapefruit) tart. It was a light tart filled with pastry cream and topped with pink grapefruit. And, to balance out the sourness of the grapefruit there was an accompanying vanilla ice cream.  Overall, a really well balanced dessert with varying textures and more than one note, which oftentimes desserts tend to be.











I, of course had the different cheeses. There was a nice variety of cheeses. As I've said many times over, you really can't go wrong with cheeses in France.












And, as a parting sweets, we were given some macarons.








SUMMARY

A good friend of mine J, also a food writer recommended this restaurant and he's gone a couple of times with different people and the different times he has gone, this restaurant has remained consistently good. If I were to use one word to describe the food of this restaurant it would be "FLAVORFUL". All the dishes were packed with flavor. Some dishes were simply presented but had very complex flavors such as the oxtail. Although I personally do not like foams, I'll overlook this if the food is flavorful. And, although there was only 1-wait person at the helm, we had excellent service. Only complaint that I have is that foie gras needed to be de-veined better.



This restaurant is off the beaten path, not because it's outside of Paris, in fact it's in the 9eme, but because it's on a very obscure street. It is definitely a hidden gem, but well worth going to.  We did have a nice bottle of wine a "Chateau Moulin de lagnet Saint Emilion 2012", a rich fruity red with ample full body that some people describe as having a hint of vanilla. This did boost the price of our lunch since it's 60€ a bottle.  We were 6 people and the meal with a coupe de champagne, 3-glasses of sancere blanc, pastis and coffee came to about 78€ a person.  This would not be the normal price, but we went all out today. Would we go back, absolutely.

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