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)!

Monday, February 13, 2017

L'Escudella -- Restaurant Review


41 ave de Ségur -- 75007
Tel: 09.82.28.70.70
email: Escudella18@gmail.com
Metro: Ségur (10) or  St. Francois-Xavier (13)
Closed: Saturday and Sundays

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+)

4.25 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 3 - Bell

We're back. Returned a week ago from our winter break in the U.S. and back to exploring new restaurants. Our good friend J is also in town and recommended this restaurant. This restaurant promotes French cuisine with a new "inventive" twist, and I would agree with that.

The interior is cozy enough. It's not a large restaurant, I counted 28-seats.






The menu had quite a nice selection.  It appears the menu changes, since it was basically a printout presented to us on a clipboard. They did have a "plat du jour" which was a pintade (guinea fowl).












To begin, we started out with an amuse bouche which was Japanese inspired. It was a wrapped tourteau (Atlantic crab). It was presented like nori-maki sushi with chopsticks. There was no rice, it was basically crab folded with mayonnaise. It had a light taste and not overwhelming, so it was a good start.






ENTRÉE

Chorizo de boeuf wagyu (Beef Chorizo). This was from their "tapas" section of their menu. This dish was inspired by Spain. We got this to share. At first I thought, what a waste using wagyu, probably because I associate this with very high high-end beef served as a steak. Wagyu beef is now farmed locally in France, so much easier to obtain. It was very, tasty and the fat level was perfect, not too oily and the heat (spicy) level hit at the end, but was not overwhelming. Excellent.




Carpaccio de betterave crapaudine cuite au gros sel, mousse de betterave et condiments (Carpaccio of beets cooked with coarse salt, beet mousse and condiments). For France, this was quite a hearty entrée. The beets were beautifully presented with sliced beets and a mousse of beets. Atop sat toasted pine nuts, crumbled hard boiled eggs and some thin olive slices which elevated the dish. Overall, a very well composed dish.



PLATS

Pintade (guinea fowl). Two of us got the special of the day. It was lightly roasted served with an "au jus" and topped with greens. And, it was served with a side of mashed potatoes. To me guinea fowl tastes like a cross between a chicken and turkey. The meat is very lean, and I find the meat much more flavorful and moist than other fowls. In its simplicity, the dish was very good.





Poitrine de cochon confite, jus aux couteaux, wakame, pâtes à l’encre de sèche [Confied pork belly, gravy, wakame (seaweed), pasta with dry cuttlefish ink].  I am going to assume that this dish is Italian and Japanese influenced. I ordered this dish. I thought it was an excellent dish. Now this dish isn't for everyone, since pork belly can be extremely fatty. But this had to be one of the best roasted pork bellies I've ever had. It had a perfectly crusty salty exterior, and the interior was melt in your mouth, albeit fatty and rich. The black pasta was a nice accompaniment. Overall an excellent dish.



DESSERT

Paris "Carcassone" (Paris Brest).  I had no idea that there was a Paris "Carcassone", now I know the "Paris-Brest" so I assume that they might have a variation from the Carcassone region. I had a little bite of it, it was extremely light and airy, unfortunately I did bite into one of the more well done hazelnuts, burnt actually, so it did have a little bitter taste, otherwise it was a good dessert.





WINES



As usual, we ordered a bottle of white and a bottle of red. The white was from the Languedoc region, a Chateau de Valflaunès, "Pourquoi Pas". We had to laugh at the name, "pourquoi pas", why not? It's a white wine known for it's dry, herby ripe-fruit flavors from Pic Saint-Loup. It's not a heavy wine, light and refreshing.

Chinon “Les Terrasses," Lambert.  It's a light red wine using 100% Cabernet Franc. It's known for its wild musky nose, dense fruit, and the terroir of calcareous clay atop the region's famous tuffeau. It can be served with a slight chill and suggested to drink young!


SUMMARY

They tout themselves as serving French cuisine with an "inventive" twist. I would have to agree. Their cuisine was influenced from Japan, Italy and Spain. I have to say, all the dishes were beautifully presented and excellent. The service was excellent. It is a small restaurant, so once it filled up it got a little noisy and hard to hear. The only complaint I have is the hazel nut in the dessert was a bit burnt, which gave it a bitter taste, otherwise the other components of the dessert were delicious. Would we go back, absolutely.

For 2-entrées, 3-plats, 1-dessert, 2-bottles of wine, 3-coffees our bill came to 47.50€ per person (there were 3 of us).










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