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)!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Le Vent d'Armor -- Restaurant Review



25 Quai de la Tournelle 75005
tel: 33 1-46-34-50-99
'Open: Monday night 19:30, Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner
Website: http://www.le-vent-darmor.com/
Metro: 4 (Cité), 1 (Hôtel de Ville)


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


This restaurant has been open for about 15-months. Interestingly, it's across the pont (bridge) from the Ile St. Louis where my good friends live and who recommended we try this restaurant. But for whatever reason this restaurant has been under my radar. So, we made it a point to go and check it out. Plus it's in a great location, easy to walk to, and the walk along the Seine is always beautiful.


The interior is quite lovely, very simple and modern, and also very comfortable. It's a small restaurant, maybe around 20-tables. I was a bit surprised that the restaurant wasn't more busy for a Friday night, but that was OK for us.


As I ordered a started sipping my kir, we perused the menu. There was a tasting menu for 60€, but we all thought that would've been too much food for us.

You'll notice something about this menu, it's 95% seafood. They specialize in seafood. So, off the bat, I need to warn my readers if you don't eat seafood or allergic to it, this is not the place for you.










AMUSE BOUCHE.


For our amuse bouche we got a small croquette of monkfish. It was served with an herbed pesto. JJ thought it was just a tad salty, whereas I thought there wasn't enough salt. It was well fried, not greasy at all. I could've had the pesto a little more spicy peppery, but hey, we're in France, they don't do spicy.









ENTRÉES


Huîtres spéciales n*4 — Marennes Oléron -- (Oysters on a half-shell). Although oysters are not in season, JJ, who ordered them, thought they were delicious, fresh and very juicy, and not gritty as they are normally known to be during the off-season.














Soupe de Poisson rouille du chef, et croûtons (Fish soup with croutons and cheese).  Our friend R ordered this dish, and he said it was excellent. The added garnishes of croutons and cheese was served on the side, so you can add them as you wish. R added the cheese and after it melted it looked like French onion soup. Overall, he thought it was a very good dish.














Thon minute, sésame, piment d’Espelette (Tuna cooked for 1-minute, with sesame, espelette peppers). Originally I had wanted to order the crispy shrimp, but I misheard the waiter earlier when he told us that was the one dish they didn't have. But I wasn't disappointed. The tuna was perfectly seared, just the way I like it. I like the "ying-yang" combination of the outside cooked with the interior a sashimi texture. The espelette sauce could've been spicier, but like I said, this is France. It was served with accompanying lettuce greens with a light vinaigrette sauce.





PLATS


 Médaillon de lotte œufs de Harengs fumés, crémé d’échalotes (Medallions of Monkfish with Smoked herring eggs, and cream of shallots).  JJ ordered this dish and said the fish was very, very fresh. As characteristic of a monkfish, it is very meaty. Monkfish can be overcooked which would make it rubbery, but he said this dish was cooked perfectly tender.

















La Sole grillée, sauce champagne (Sole grilled with champagne sauce).  R ordered this dish, and he said it was excellent. The fish was also fresh and cooked perfectly. He had a nice variety of green beans with carrots and a squash.









Cassolette de langoustines aux truffes (a dish of langoustines and truffles).  I ordered this dish. For some reason I had read cassolette as cassoulet, a traditional dish with white beans as the base. But I was wrong. It was more like a creamy bouillabaisse soup base. The langoustines were perfectly cooked and the accompanying sauce was delicious. And, for you truffle lovers out there, there was a nice healthy serving of garnished black truffles. Simple, but tasty. Note: it did come with potatoes, and vegetables.




CHEESE COURSE

I of course had the cheese plate. This plate had a nice salad with a light vinaigrette dressing. It included "tomme de savoie" which is a semi-firm cow's milk cheese, and mild in flavor. Actually, it's one of my favorite cheeses, so lucky me. And "chèvre" cheese, a goat milk cheese. I'm not a big fan of goat milk cheese, since I liked harder more aged cheeses, but for you lovers of chèvre, it was very good.  








DESSERTS:



Gratin de pamplemousse Rose et son sabayon grand marnier (Pink Grapefruit Gratin in sabayon) and Assortiment de glaces et sorbets (maître glaces) (3 scoops of ice creams and sorbets (master ice cream). JJ ordered the grapefruit, it consisted of sliced fresh pink grapefruit served on a hot plate with sabayon sauce. It was good in its simplicity.

R ordered 2-scoops of chocolate ice cream and 1-vanilla. Delicious ice cream, but nothing out of the ordinary for France.








WINES





We ordered a bottle of Chinon Marc Brédif 2013.  It's a red wine of cabernet franc, known to have a classic red wine taste. There's a tartness underneath a layer of fruit flavors. Alcohol level is not as high as well.













MIGNARDISES (PARTING SWEETS)


We were given a selection of caramelized nuts. A brown sugar marshmallow and some meringues.



















SUMMARY

You have to like seafood to come to this restaurant, that is what they specialize in. In fact, there was only 1-dish that was not a fish dish, but a duck dish and only served as a plat. One important note, all the seafood was of high quality and very fresh. It's a small cozy restaurant, but in a great location. It's next door to a rotisserie place we frequent, as well as across the street from the famous "Tour d'Argent" which we don't frequent, and across from "Notre Dame".  The waiter and his helper could not have been nicer and more efficient. Would we come back, ABSOLUTELY.

With 1-kir, 3-entrees, 3-plats, 1-cheese plate, 2-desserts, 1-bottle of wine, and 2 glasses of a Sancerre white, our bill came to 259€ or 86.33€ per person. So, this is not an inexpensive restaurant, but well worth going to.


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