|4 Rue Pierre Leroux|
Tel: 01 53 69 06 03
Metro : Vaneau (line 10), Duroc (lines 10,13)
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+)
3.25 - Star......................................................€€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell
A good friend organized a luncheon at this well known restaurant in the 7eme. It's a very, very staid building with little signage, but it stands out in contrast to the surrounding light colored brick buildings.
“L’inconnu” means : Someone you don’t know, Something unknown, An experience you’ve never got..." (refer to their mission statement on their website)
I have to say, the tables were nicely laid out, very spacious, very unusual in Paris. It wasn't overly decorated, simple and staid, sort of like its exterior.
Interestingly, they served us a pan baked bread rather than a typical baguette. We all loved the bread. It was a moist white bread, but a slightly crunchy top with chunks of salt and topped with a swirl of whipped herbs. One word, delicious.
Seasoned bread crumbs with a potato mash, accompanied with a pancake and green leafy vegetables which the waiter said was haricot vert, which made no sense, since it was leafy. JJ had this extra course not on the menu. I tasted this dish. I actually did not like this dish at all. It tasted like you were eating seasoned bread crumbs. The bread crumbs were overwhelming. It was a poorly composed dish, almost like an after-thought, since we later saw the same crumbs used on a dish as a textural garnish. However, JJ did like the pancake with the greens.
Cabillaud poêle, petits pois, pois gourmand, navet. (Pan cooked cod, with peas, snap peas and turnips). For those who had this dish, they thought the fish was perfectly cooked, very moist and the pureed peas was a nice accompaniment to a simple but well executed dish. Overall, a good dish.
Spaghetti bolognaise, brocolis. (Spaghetti bolognese, broccoli). It's definitely not your traditional bolognese sauce since it wasn't as "tomato-y". Overall, I thought the dish was OK. The pasta was cooked al-dente, but I found the pasta a bit on the grainy side. I would surmise that the pasta had more semolina or maybe all semolina to give it that texture. For JJ, he found the dish very salty, for the rest of us we liked the saltiness of the dish. Overall, it was a good dish.
Tiramisu à la banane. (Banana tiramisu). This was a traditional tiramisu with a twist, it was flavored with bananas and the traditional liquor flavoring would've been marsala wine, but in this case it was a sweet liqueur, which our friend wasn't sure what type, but she loved the dessert.
Their wine selection were mostly from Italy. Although it was a nice list, they were not inexpensive. The lowest price wine was 40€. For our wine we selected a Champagnes vireos chardonnay vie di romans, A nice and balanced chardonnay great with seafood and vegetables since it has bright and fresh notes, but enough straw and earth to keep it from being too astringent. And, JJ had a glass of valpolicella, a red wine with some fruit, medium bodied wine, which he really liked.
And, when we thought all was said and done they gave is a parting favors of sweet little tidbits. Interestingly they almost looked like little various sushi.
The restaurant setting was very simple, probably because the Chef wanted to concentrate more on the food. Typical of the Japanese Chefs, they have a great sensibility of how food is presented. He was no exception. The food was beautifully plated.
Now onto the food. The food was all over the board. There was some excellent dishes such as the "Coulis de carotte" and "pintade", good dishes as in most of the others, and one I found absurd (bread crumb course). They do have a resident sommelier who also doubled as our wait person intermittently. What I found strange was that after everyone finished with their amuse bouche, I wasn't and was actually still holding it in my hand, and the sommelier/waiter wanted to pull it from my hand, and I told him I wasn't finished? I found this extremely odd. Now JJ did have 2-extra courses, so I can see them removing his plate sooner than the rest of us, to keep up with their timing, which did happen. Minus the odd quirks, the service was excellent.
Their mission statement is that they will be making unusual combinations and ingredients out of ordinary dishes with an Italian foundation, However, we found nothing out of the ordinary, unusual, Italian, or "unknown."
I thought it was a slightly above average restaurant, and I give them good marks for accommodating me since I don't eat desserts, that scores big points in my book, since most places would not have accommodated me. Would I go back, sure, pourquoi pas (why not).
With 4 prix-fixe 38€ with two 5€ supplements, and 1 prix-fixe 50€, a bottle of wine, a glass of wine, and 2-coffees and 1-tea, our total bill came to 291.50€ for 5-people.