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)!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Alan Geaam -- Restaurant Review


19 Rue Lauriston, 75116
Tel:  +33145017297
Website:  https://www.alangeaam.fr/
Metro: (6) Kléber


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......................................................€€......................................................... 2.5 - Bell


Chef Alan Geaam gets around. He has restaurants in several locations. l'Auberge de Nicolas Flamel in the 3eme, "AG" at St. Germain de Prés, which he will soon be letting go, which I'll explain later, and "AG" Les Halles" which is relatively new, and finally, this new restaurant, his name sake in the 16eme, which is a stone's throw away from the "Arc de Triomph".  It's located on a side street which unless you know where the restaurant is, you would not know this restaurant existed.



The interior was very modern with "curvy" banquettes and matching chairs. It was actually quite comfortable and had a "homey" atmosphere.


While we were perusing the menu, they brought some tasty little crispy wafers made of beets and "sumac" . He told us he has a Lebanese background, hence, the sumac.

The menu was a tasting menu which you can choose. We opted for the 3-course menu, but ordered the pigeon as our main, rather than the fish. The wait-staff did ask if any of us any allergies, or had any aversions to certain foods, which we don't.







Amuse Bouche was a trio of various tasty morsels from carrots, passion fruit and fish roe on a meringue squid flavored toast. My 2-favorites was the egg roe over the meringue toast. As you bit into it there was explosion of a large egg roe that just oozed with wonderful flavors of the sea. And, the squid ink toast just added another dimension.

The passion fruit served over a bed of toasted nuts was my second favorite. The textural components and tartness of the fruit was a great combination.



ENTRÉE


Carpaccio of dorade with a thick pea sauce/soup.  This entrée was served cold. The chef himself came out and poured the soup for us. The carpaccio was great and we had various components in this dish. We had the raw element of the carpaccio with al-dente whole peas, green onions, and juxtaposed with the smoothness of the cold sweet pea soup was a perfect melding of flavors and different textural components. I loved the dish.







PLATS -- NOTE:  Although the pigeon was not part of the 40€ prix-fixe menu, we opted to order it anyway, since our friend J had heard it was the dish to get.


Pigeon. We ordered ours rare, you can order it more well done if you wish. The pigeon sat atop a bed of bulgur wheat which was beautifully flavored, and atop sat blanched carrots. I liked the crispiness of the skin and the doneness of the pigeon breast. It literally melted in your mouth. I would imagine if it had been cooked more, it would've lost its "melt-in-your-mouth" attribute.





Salmon. The salmon was perfectly cooked. The skin was nice and crispy and the meat was extremely moist. The chef grated some "Buddha's hand lemon" to give it that nice citrus touch. I saw some patrons actually remove the skin, that's the best part. I was very tempted to tell them to give it to me.








We had creamy butter and thyme flavored butter, with various types of breads. 


DESSERTS



I ordered the cheese plate. This was a tad disappointing for me since it was mostly "chevre" (goat cheese) and I'm not a big fan of goat cheese. It did have some shaved cow's cheese which was a little more aged. and I enjoyed that. It also came with a sweet little cake, which I passed on.

As for the the dessert it was a sorbet topped with rice pudding and wrapped with a nutty wafer. Strawberries was the theme of this dessert. At first you think the combination of the rice pudding with sorbet would be a strange combination, but it all came together magnificently.




WINES

As usual we ordered a bottle of a white and a red.

Domaine Serge Laloue, Sancerre, Loire, France 2015.  Sancerre is probably my all time favorite white wine. It's characterized has having light citric smoky notes with added white stone fruit and white peach freshness, with a balance of fruit and acidity.

Saumur Champigny Domaine Sanzay 2015.  It's a cabernet franc, which is known for their their roundness and freshness. It combines finesse, freshness and minerality; Tannic tip with a spicy finish.





And, as a parting gift we got some "mignardises" (bite size sweets). They were bitter sweet dark chocolate ganache encased in a hard-shelled round gold dusted chocolate ball. We also had some homemade caramel toffee and some various sweets. What a nice parting gift.











SUMMARY

As I mentioned chef Geaam has several restaurants in Paris. He is a well known restaurateur and chef in Paris. He designs all his restaurants and menus himself. We were lucky on this particular day because he was actually there. He told us he wants to focus more on the food; hence, he will soon be letting go of "AG" at the St. Germain de Prés" location. Simply because logistically, he was spreading himself way too thin between the 4-restaurants.

I actually enjoyed the meal a lot. JJ and J thought the amuse bouche, entrée and dessert were above average but the main somewhat ordinary, and J was just a tad disappointed in the pigeon, and he did admit that it was probably because he had higher expectations and his friend had put that dish on a pedestal.  But overall, I thought the food was excellent and the staff could not have been nicer. From the amuse bouche, carpaccio/soup extraordinaire, to the pigeon. Only thing I would change would be a nicer collection of cheeses.  I'm becoming a big fan of the Chef. Would I go back ABSOLUTELY.

For 3-people our bill for 3-courses, 3-filtered water, two bottles of wine, a coffee and and tea, it was 207€ or 69€ per person.
























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