About

"The evolving 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)!

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Dude Restaurant -- Restaurant Review


84 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis
Metro line 4 (Chateau d'eau)
Tel: 01 45 89 40 24
Website: www.thedude-restaurant.fr
Closing July 31 so make reservations now.


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 - Bell

This restaurant is located in a funky neighborhood of the 10eme that is up and coming, but can still seem a little seedy. I was debating whether to review this restaurant or not since they are closing the end of the month and rebranding themselves to build a new restaurant. Well I decided to write a review #1 to give them the accolades they deserve, and #2 we can follow the chefs to their new restaurant which will probably be opened around September after "La Rentrée," so hopefully this review will give you a sense of their food sensibility.




INTERIOR.  The interior is quite lovely, very sleek clean and welcoming. I was a bit surprised that only 3-tables were occupied, but our wait person told us they're not as busy for lunch as they are for dinner. The restaurant was opened by Geoffrey Rembert and assisted by chef Lucie Martin.




AMUSE BOUCHE. In the meantime, we got an amuse bouche of "panisse" which is a dish from Provence, typically served in fingers (almost like fries), it has a crispy exterior, and a creamy almost custard-like interior, reminiscent of polenta. And, the good thing about these nibbles is that they're low in carbohydrates and gluten free, for those watching your figure.














MENU: Just in description alone, the menu was quite eclectic and very creative. So, I was anxious to try all the appetizers, but decided it might be too much.


ENTRÉES

Pastèque (Watermelon). I loved this entrée, it was slightly grilled with a brushing of olive oil and salt and pepper. It was served with dollops of creme fraîche, which gave it some creaminess.  In its simplicity, it was quite refreshing and naturally sweet (no sugar added), perfect for a warm summer day.














Pain Gua Bao (Salmon steamed buns).  This dish really surprised me. It was quite creatively constructed in that it was a deconstructed bao with ingredients not normally associated with steamed buns. First of all, at first glance the buns were black, because they were made with squid ink. But the texture and taste was typical of a steamed bun, with slight ink taste, but not overwhelming. The salmon was gravlax and it was interestingly different since bao is normally served steaming hot, but actually in combination was delicious. I loved this dish for its uniqueness and creativity.






PLATS

MAQUEREAU. This was the fish of the day. Normally mackerel has a very strong, for a lack of better word, "fishy" smell and taste. But this mackerel was very mild and quite tasty. The skin was perfectly cooked and the vinaigrette sauce was a nice combination to cut some of the oiliness of the fish. The greens and apricots gave it some freshness. So, overall it's a well conceived dish.








POITRINE DE COCHON. (Pork Belly). I ordered this dish. Wow, it was a rich dish, in a good way. The meat was extremely tender, but this dish might not be for everyone since typical of pork belly, the fat is also eaten and not omitted. The fat was like butter. The peanuts added a nice texture to the overall dish. What I wish it had was a vinaigrette sauce or a salad added since it was quite fatty. But the meat itself was perfectly cooked.






SARDINES. This had to be one of my favorite dishes of the day. Hard to see from the photo, but the sardines were made into rolls and sat side-by-side atop some mildly flavored hummus, with a few sprinkling of peas. Typically, when you think of sardines, you think of canned sardines with its brininess and strong flavors. This was fresh, grilled and very tasty with a mild marinate. I would definitely have this again if I go before they close.






DESSERTS


We decided to share two desserts.:

BLACK FOREST CAKE. What a surprise. Who knew that basil would be a good match with chocolate. And, what a creative dish. It was a deconstructed "black forest cake" with sweetened marinated cherries, whipped cream with a chocolate mousse sitting atop a crumbly chocolate cake, which I could immediately tell was made of lots of egg whites because of the crumbly texture. So, texturally it had all the components of a very good dessert for chocolate lovers.

RHUBARB TART. Beautifully constructed was a rhubarb tart sitting atop a meringue type of crust. It was topped with some rhubarb cream and various cuts of rhubarb. The rhubarb itself was tart, the way it should be, and the sweetness from the crust along with the cream balanced it out.

These desserts were so extraordinary that Jack ran up to the pastry chef to ask if she was single because he would like to marry her!



SUMMARY

This find was bittersweet. What a great little restaurant in a funky neighborhood. The dishes were very creative, tasty and well balanced. All the dishes were good, only suggestion I would have is to add something citrusy or vinegary to the pork, to cut down on some of the fattiness. My favorite dish was the sardines, full of flavors, none overpowering the other, but very well balance.

Unfortunately, this restaurant will close end of July and rebrand itself after "La Rentrée" (September). So go soon and be on the lookout for these very talented chefs. I will post an update. If this is a sampling of their food, would I go to their new restaurant, you betcha.

For 2-entrées, 3-plats, 2-desserts, 2-bottles of wine, and 3-coffees our bill came to 131.70€ or 33€ per person, what a great deal.

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