"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)!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

L'Escient -- Restaurant Review

28 Rue Poncelet, 75017 Paris, France
Metro line 2 (Ternes)
Check website for operating times & for reservations

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+)

3.50 - Stars....................................................€€........................................................ 2 - Bell

Finding a restaurant in Paris on a Monday, other than the run of the mill tourist cafés is almost impossible, so we lucked out. Our friend "J" invited us to lunch in the 17eme close to the Champs Elysées (backside), which is open on Mondays.  So, to start off, it's a beautiful area with nice shops etc.

The interior is quite lovely. The restaurant is family owned; unfortunately, I tried to look up who they are, even the waiter didn't know. The father is the Chef, mother works both the back and front of the house and the daughter is a jack of all trades.  It's been open for 7-years and they had just recently remodeled. Very cozy and the tables were nicely spaced.

We perused the menu, and they had a really nice selection. There was no amuse bouche served, so we went ahead and ordered. (Note: My dishes reviewed below are in English)


CRISPY PRAWNS -- Three of us ordered this dish. The prawns were covered in a thin wrapping and deep fried. At first I thought it might've been filo, but it wasn't flaky enough. It was more like a "spring roll" wrapper. It was cooked perfectly, the shrimp was not overcooked as it sometimes can be due to frying. The accompanying salad was in a sweet/sour dressing. The chef purposely lightly mixed it so some bites were sweet while others were sour. Very simple and a good composed dish. A good start.

IBERIAN HAM. Jack ordered this dish. That was a lot of ham we got. It looked a lot like prosciutto. At first, I was expecting a very salty flavor, characteristic of this ham, but was pleasantly surprised it wasn't so aged and salty that it was a nice mild ham. We all really liked it.


LAMB PISTOU (pistou sauce with coriander basil & mint). Two of us ordered this dish. I ordered mine medium, and J ordered his on the rare side. Mine came out perfect, whereas, J's came out closer to medium. Although J liked the flavors, it was not the doneness he ordered. The dish came with a purée of peas, whole peas with string beans. The lamb chosen were sliced racks, my favorite part of the lamb. Overall, I thought this dish was delish.

TUNA. The other two ordered this dish. This was a nice thick piece of grilled tuna. The grilled tuna was brushed with a sweet soy based tangy sauce which sat atop some cubed avocados. The menu did say it was gonna be cooked "mi cuit" (half-cooked), but wasn't. It was more on the medium-well. Jack liked this dish because he thought it was tasty, the sauce covering was crusty flavorful but said it wasn't mi-cuit. I prefer tuna to be rare in the center. It's a preference thing for me.


MANGO.  Jack and J ordered this dessert. It was basically a frappe'd mango and atop sat a dollop of sweetened mascarpone and a dollop of Kiwi ice cream with a sprinkling of toasted black sesame. Simple, good dessert, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Salad of red fruits (rasberries/strawberries). One person ordered this dish. Another simple dish with some toasted almonds for texture, and a dollop of raspberry ice cream. A good dish, but again, nothing out of the ordinary.


Les Pillotieres,Vin du Val De Loire,Touraine
Savignon 2017 

"The evocations of Sauvignon can be floral with a touch of gooseberry or blackcurrant bud, mixed with a little musk and spices. A mineral side is often present. The Pineau de la Loire enchants with its aromas of white flowers (acacia), quince, dried fruits, honey or citrus." -- Le Guide Hachette Wine

Cuvée Alice

"Together, Cariñena and Garnacha can produce very structured wines. It is unusual for them to be overpowering, but high alcohol levels can sometimes betray the wine’s natural elegance. Black, berry-fruit flavors are typical flavor descriptors used to describe wines made from this blend." -- Wine Searcher


Overall, I thought the location, the atmosphere and the service of this restaurant was excellent. The food was also very good. Although good and definitely above average, in all honesty it didn't WOW me. But if asked if I'd come back, DEFINITELY. It was good food at good prices.

As for the dishes, there were some hit and minor misses. The lamb was not cooked to J's preference after he stressed how he wanted it cook. The tuna I thought, was overcooked. The lamb was delicious and I would definitely have it again. And, the desserts were good, but nothing out of the ordinary.

For three 3-course prix-fixe lunches, one 2-course prix-fixe lunch, 2-bottles of wine, 3-coffees and 1-tea, our bill came to 203€ for 4-people, or 51€ per person.

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