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)!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Plume -- Restaurant Review


24 Rue Pierre Leroux
75007 Paris
Tel: 01 43 06 79 85
Bus: 89, Metro: Vaneau (10) & Duroc (10&13)
Closed: Sundays & Mondays 


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 (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

2 - Star......................................................€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell


This restaurant newly opened about 2-months ago. There's a lot of hype from the local media (e.g., Le Fooding), so our good friend J suggested we go.  The restaurant is in the 7eme, a very posh area of Paris.  As you entered the restaurant you notice that it's quite small, very tight, but not uncomfortable.  There are 20 seats, not including a high table to the right as you entered that had a very tall table, almost like a tall bistro table for two.



At first impression the wait staff were very attentive, they took our jackets and asked us what we wanted to drink. Foregoing aperitifs, we ordered our usual one bottle each of white and a red. We perused the menu, and they had a very reasonable prix fixe menu as well as their à la carte menu.



All the restaurants I have been to since the start of 2016 gave us an amuse bouche, so I thought it interesting that they did not provide an amuse bouche, but that's OK, it was just something I noted.

JJ and I decided to get the prix fixe menu, whereas our friend J went à la carte menu.

ENTRÉES

Voluté de champaignons rosés, (Cream of chestnut mushrooms).  We all got this dish. J did note that there were hints of truffles in the soup. Interesting, none of us at the table really care for truffles, but despite the inclusion of the truffles we found the dish just ordinary. It was creamy, had good flavoring, and with the 3-added croutons it gave a nice textural element, But again, just seemed ordinary and did not wow any of us.








PLATS

Lieu noir, flower-sprout et beurre d'estragon, ("Coal fish" (pollack), flower-sprout and tarragon butter).  JJ and I had this dish. The fish was perfectly cooked. The skin was crispy and the flesh was extremely moist. That's where it ends, there's a saying in French, "C'est fade" meaning it's bland. When I say bland it was painfully under-seasoned. Thank God the wait person gave us some "sel de mer" coarse sea salt.  The greens, which we assumed to be baby kale, on it's own had more flavor than the fish. We were very underwhelmed by this dish.


Margret de canard, topinambours, blettes de couleurs et airelles, (Duck breast, artichokes, chard  and cranberries).  J ordered this dish.  It was a nicely presented dish. I took a bite of the end piece and we both agreed it was over-cooked, almost tough, but as we got closer to the center it was more medium rare.  I suppose the cut of the breast which was a bit uneven resulted in an uneven cook. Despite that it was tasty. I did, however, find the artichokes a bit rubbery. Again, a good passable dish, minus the tough ends of the duck.






DESSERTS


Ananas roti, chèvre frais au citron vert, ( Roasted pineapple, fresh goat cream and lime).  Cheese with lime? JJ was not too happy with this dish despite liking cheese and liking citrus.  A bad combination.  The roasted pineapple also was not endearing. 
















Tanzania 75% et fruits de la passion, (Tanzania chocolate 75% cocoa and passion fruit).  This was probably the highlight of all our meal. The passion fruit ice cream with the chocolate mousse was a nice combination. The passion fruit had imparted a nice tart flavor and the chocolate mouse had a nice strong bitter-sweet chocolate taste which is characteristic of high content cocoa desserts. And, the crumble added a ice textural element to the dish. So, this was our saving dish of the day.





Vielle mimolette 24 mois, (Mimolette cheese aged for 24 months). Like I always say, you can never go wrong with cheese in France. This was a nice aged cheese. As cheese ages, salt crystals form and that's the part of what I love most about aged cheeses. It came with an  accompaniment of an apple compote.









SUMMARY

This restaurant has been written up as the new upcoming star to watch. Well like I always say, taste is subjective. We unanimously disagreed with the recent brouhaha about this restaurant. The restaurant is cute enough and the noise levels fluctuated between 70.9dB and 76dB, which is acceptable. The service started out great, but then it faltered. First of all, when we ordered our red wine, not only did the server not give any of us a chance to taste the wine, he poured a full glass for JJ and left???? Having lived in Paris since 2008 I have to say that was a first for any of us, and the WEIRDEST experience ever. The French take such great pride in their wines, and to not allow us to taste it first, this act was almost treasonous. Secondly, after we finished our main courses we asked to get the menu back so we could look at the desserts, our wait person said OK, put on her jacket and left the restaurant to have a cigarette and/or make a phone call? We of course had to wait until she finished her cigarette but still had to ask the other waiter to bring us the menu???? The service staff in the restaurant are pleasant enough, but really?

Now onto the food. The prices are reasonable and they have a nice selection of wines (JJ wouldn't know since his clipboard menu did not include the list). But the food was very underwhelming. The soup was ordinary, but it was tasty.  And, although the fish was cooked perfectly, I can only describe it in one word, 'BLAND.' The duck was unevenly cooked. The saving grace for this whole meal was the chocolate and passion fruit.



We had two bottles of wine; a red Terra Lisa 2013, and a white Eric Chevalier les 3 bois. The red was a nice light bio red wine with more rounded edges, whereas the white was also light, but much dryer.  With two prix-fixe menus, one a la carte of 3-courses, and one coffee our meal came to 138€ for 3-people. I personally would not go back.

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