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)!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pierre Sang Boyer-- Restaurant Review



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+)

3.2 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 3 - Bell


This restaurant is in the "Oberkampf" section of Paris in the 11eme arrondissement. This used to be quite a "gritty" neighborhood and has since been very gentrified. Pierre has two restaurants one on Rue Oberkampf, which we went to, and a few steps on the side street of Rue Gambey also his name sake "Pierre Sang."


The restaurant is actually quite small. There was a long bar as you entered with seats for dining. We sat in the basement section where all the wines were stored. It actually felt like we were dining in a wine cellar which is fine by me. Our table was originally set up for 5, but one more friend decided to join They accommodated us by squeezing in another chair. It was tight, but cozy and happily we were all able to break bread together.

The restaurant has only one 'surprise' tasting menu, there are no choices nor a menu telling you what is coming, but they do ask if you have allergies, and according to our waiter, every two days the menu changes. You can have a 2, 3, or 5 course tasting menu.  We all opted for 3-courses. They serve your meal without telling you what it is, and then ask you what you think it was after you ate it. I'm not sure if this was done with each table or just ours, but regardless it was an interesting concept.

There were no "amuse bouches" that were provided and we immediately got our entrées.

ENTRÉE


Shrimp with a broccoli sauce. A very, very simple dish. The shrimp was grilled and sat atop a puree of broccoli. For added sourness, it had some vinegary red onions, a half of a sour cherry and radishes, and garnish with greens that I'm not familiar with, but the waiter said it was indigenous from the south of France.  It was a good dish, but nothing out of the ordinary.









PLAT


Veal with lentils.  The veal was perfectly cooked and sat atop a bed of lentils.  As a vegetable side it came with a braised bok choy and small cut up haricort vert and beets.  They had a nice heaping of "Gochujang" and our waiter also told us that it was also mixed with pureed kimchi.  The dish was also splattered with wilted arugula. The veal was cooked perfectly, the haricort vert was al-dente, and the bok choy was nicely braised. The gochujang added a nice dimension to the dish with its spiciness. Our waiter was concerned that it was too spicy, silly boy. We told him it could've been spicier, our group all liked spicy food. Overall it was an excellent, well composed dish.


DESSERTS


Apricot ice cream with crumble. A very simple dessert of an apricot ice cream sitting atop a sweet buttery crumble topped off with a lemon creme anglaise and garnished with fresh julienne arugula. And, a nice little surprise of a sugared piece of apricot. My friends who had it said it was very good and enjoyed the differing textures to make it a well balanced dessert.








Cheese plate. I told our waiter up front that I don't eat desserts, but if they had an alternative cheese dish I would take that. I give them credit for this, because it wasn't on their menu but they managed to rustle up some cantal cheese for me, served with a peppery orange marmalade that give it a nice little kick.







WINES

Domaine Pierre Martin 2015 Sancerre.  This is actually one of my favorite whites. This wine is described as being refreshing and has a nice acidity, ripe fruit and a long finish.

Philippe Alliet Chinon. The red drinkers in our group ordered this bottle. A medium red wine that's known for its nice fruity and aromatic nose, with freshness.












SUMMARY

Pierre Sang Boyer became a local celebrity when he finished third in the season 2 of "Top Chef" France.  He was born in Korea, but adopted at the age of 7 by a French family. He actually went back to Korea to find his roots and upon his return infuseed some of the flavors of Asia into his cooking style. Interestingly, other than the gochujang used as a dipping sauce and the bok choy as vegetable side, there was really nothing Asian or any spices that were infused into the dishes that I tasted.  The entrée was good, but nothing out of the ordinary. The plat was excellent and all of us agreed it was a well composed dish. And, the dessert in it's simplicity was very good. One of my pet peeve's is not changing out utensils between courses, and in this was the case between the entrée and plat. In my book, there's just no excuse for this, and as a result I gave them an overall lower rating than I would have normally. Our service was very good though. They were very accommodating when we had to change our number and our waiter was quite friendly and amicable. Overall, I thought the food was above average and the price point was excellent. It's a noisy fun place, and not a place to go for a romantic dinner. The cellar was quite warm, but we noticed later it cooled down, so they must've had an air-conditioner, rare in Paris. Would I go back? for lunch porquoi pas (why not).

For 3-courses and two bottles of wine our bill came to 228€ for 6-people or 38€ a person. An incredibly good price point ratio.






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