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)!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Le Mesturet -- Restaurant Review


77, rue de Richelieu 75002
Open for lunch and dinner 7/7
Tél. 01 42 97 40 68 
E-mail: contact@lemesturet.com
website: http://www.lemesturet.com/
Metro: Bourse

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+)

1.75- Star......................................................€€......................................................... 4 - Bell


I was looking for a restaurant close to a hotel by the L'Opéra where a family member was staying. I chose this restaurant randomly and knew very little about it, other than what I read online and the reviews looked favorable.  It's very close to one of my favorite tapas restaurants "A.Noste"



It was a Friday night, and it was pretty well packed in. A lot of tourist and some locals sprinkled around, common in this part of town. They certainly knew how to squeeze a lot of people in the restaurant. It was quite noisy and warm inside. We perused the menu and it had very traditional French classic dishes. They had a prix-fixe menu, 2-courses for 26€ and 3-courses for 31.50€, very, very reasonable.


ENTRÉES:

Aubergine grillée à la tomate et chèvre frais de chez Lethielleux. (Grilled eggplant with tomato and fresh goat cheese).  This was my favorite entrée of the evening. A very simple grilled eggplant with the right mixtures of sweet, salty and sour and some melted goat cheese. A simple good dish, but nothing out of the ordinary.  It was under-seasoned but had a very nice dressing.









Terrine de Couchon. (Pork terrine).  I don't think I've had a more greasy and gristly terrine since moving to Paris. It was not good. First bite I took was an edible piece of cartilage. Second bite I took was the rubbery inedible part of the skin. To add insult to injury the greasy terrine left a greasy film on my palate.  The only redeeming quality of this dish was the accompanying sour salsa, I suppose to cut the greasiness.  And, the sprinkling of cayenne or espellette, I suppose to mask the blandness of the terrine. Definitely a bad choice.





PLATS:

Blanquette de veau à l’ancienne, riz pilaf et petits oignons. (Veal stew cooked in the old style, pilaf rice and onions).  This is an old style traditional French dish. Although overall an average dish, the dish was overwhelmingly under-seasoned. I couldn't stop salting and sprinkling pepper on the dish to give it some flavor. They also had some dijon mustard on the table, and I added that too. With the addition, it was more to my liking, but overall just an average nothing dish. I now know why they had salt and pepper and mustard on the table.




Tête de veau roulée sur la langue, sauce gribiche , légumes vapeur.  (Calf's head accompanied with a typical gribiche sauce and steamed vegetables).  Another classic French dish. It was an average good dish, but it's not a WOW dish.  This dish was once again extremely under seasoned and needed salt and pepper.  And as with so many French dishes, the vegetable were just for color (eg 2 string beans and 3 small carrot bits) and not for accompaniment. 








Filet mignon.  This was best dish of all the three. The filet was cooked perfectly (medium rare) and accompanied by a terrine of potato and zucchini. Aha, this dish was actually seasoned well. The sauce actually had some flavor. It was a rich demi-glace. And, the side dish was a nice accompaniment. Overall a good dish, but nothing out of the ordinary.










DESSERTS:

Charlotte et café gourmand.  A charlotte is a type of trifle or "french tiramisu". As typical of a charlotte, this was encased in a sponge cake. The trifle in this case was flavored with raspberry. Although good it was nothing out of the ordinary.

The café gourmand had a chocolate fondant cake, a chocolate mousse and a sweet buttery cake. Although it didn't look real pretty, they were all quite good and tasty, but again nothing out of the ordinary.






SUMMARY:

The restaurant is in a great location, close to L'Opera and "Little Tokyo" (Rue Saint-Anne area). The restaurant is small, but very well packed in. The menu features classical French dishes. The grilled eggplant was good, the filet mignon was good and the desserts were good. The veal dishes were extremely under-seasoned, and my pork terrine was pretty disgusting.  On the other-hand the service was excellent. What I found interesting is they kept changing our carafe of water every few minutes or so to insure we had chilled water.  The maitre'd and our wait-person were extremely efficient and warm and inviting. It was a Friday night, but I found the noise level extremely bad. It truly was difficult to carry on a conversation.

Overall, we found the food just so underwhelming. Would we go back, probably not. For 3-people we had 3-entrées, 3-plats, 2-desserts, and 3-glasses of wine, our bill came to 103.40€.

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