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)!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Carré des feuillants -- Restaurant Review


14 rue de Castiglione – 75001 Paris
Tél : 01 42 86 82 82
Metro: Line 8 & 12 (Concorde)
Website:  http://www.alaindutournier.com/wp/carredesfeuillants/visite/

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 - Bell

Because of the tourist drop in Paris, many Michelin starred restaurants are trying to recoup losses by offering lunch specials at "reasonable" prices. Reasonable being subjective. For example, what would normally cost 200€ for lunch would now costs under 100€ without wines, coffee etc.

A good friend recommended we try this restaurant, so it was the first for all of us. At the helm is famed Chef/Restaurateur Alain Dutournier, who also owns 3-other restaurants throughout Paris. This is a two-starred Michelin restaurant. We were seven and given a private room, the main dining area was not full at all. The restaurant is comfortable and beautifully appointed with artwork and comfortable table and chairs. What was being offered was a lunch special for 68€ which included a "starter", entrée (3-choices), plat (3-choices), and dessert (3-choices).

These are the dishes I had:


Amuse bouche.  We were presented with beautiful spoonfuls of various tidbits of e.g., foie gras in a cookie like encasement. An edible balloon (ala molecular gastronomy style cooking). Each were tasty and unique, so a very good start.
















Starter.  Brandade légère de haddock en rouleau végétal. (Light Haddock in a vegetable Roll).  I actually enjoyed this dish. At first I thought it tasted a little bit like tuna, but lighter. It had a pleasing texture and I'm going to assume the casing was some type of thinned out turnip. The sauce a nice accompaniment. Overall, it was a good dish.




ENTRÉE


Persille de raie, legumes confits, quenelle crémeuse. (Skate fish, candied vegetables, creamy dumplings).  The skate fish was created in a terrine mold and was served as a slice. Normally I find these type of terrine molds to be very off putting since they're heaving with the gelatin. However, this had the right balance and it was perfectly balanced. I did like the vegetables, especially the artichoke hearts and the "quenelle", which was nice and light and a nice accompaniment. Overall, a very well composed dish.  However you would have no idea that skate was used in the dish.






PLAT


Filet de veau poêlée, champignons sauvages étuves, macaronis forestiere. (Pan cooked filet of veal, wild baked mushrooms, macaroni forest). Interestingly enough, the waiter never asked us how we wanted our veal cooked. One of my friends asked his veal to be served "rosé" pink (rare). However, those of us who ordered it all came out with either medium well, or close to well done. Although the veal was "overcooked" it was extremely tasty and tender, but then again veal is characteristically tender. The macaroni was a good accompaniment, but was nothing special. And, the mushrooms were delicious albeit they had a tiny little grit in them, understandable, since mushrooms are typically brushed cleaned rather than washed.


DESSERT


As usual, I had the cheese plate. Got 3-nice choices. As I always say, you can't go wrong with cheese.







SUMMARY

This menu is from their website. Our menu had a slight variation

We did have 3-choices for the entrées, plats, and desserts.  I reviewed only the dishes that I had. My friends had varying opinions on the dishes they had. For example, JJ loved the fish whereas my friend K, did not like it. I tasted the lamb dish, it thought it was excellent.

I have been to a few Michelin starred restaurants in my life-time, so I have some point of comparison. Although over-all I thought the food was above average, I honestly have to say, for the price range, I was underwhelmed. And here are some of the reasons why. When we ordered our veal they never asked us how we wanted it cooked, and when one told them how he wanted his done, it was ignored. We were not all finished with our entrées, yet they started clearing the table, did they forget what was taught to them in their basic french serving 101 class?!  When we were served cheese, we were NEVER offered more bread, fortunately I still had a quarter of piece of bread left. It's these subtleties that separates a true Michelin restaurant from the rest. I am truly surprised they received a 2-star Michelin rating. Would I go back? probably not, especially at these prices.

They had an extensive wine list.  For the prix-fixe lunch and a bottle of red from the Languedoc region and a white from Burgundy with 1-coffee and 3 teas our lunch came to 101€ per person.




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