"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)!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Le Mazenay -- Restaurant Review

46 rue de Montmorency
Metro Line  Rambuteau (M11)
Check website for operating hours & 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+)

4 - Stars....................................................€€........................................................ 3 - Bell

As soon as I had just written about "Pamela Popo" saying it's really hard to find a good french restaurant in Le Marais, we came upon this restaurant. In fact, very close to our old stomping grounds in the 3eme.

Very modern sleek interior, when we arrived it was pretty crowded with locals for lunch. We were the only non-french there. It did get a bit loud, because they had a lot of hard surfaces where noise could bounce, but we had no problems conversing. They had a large floor to ceiling window which let in a lot of natural light. And, a big plus, they have air-conditioning when the heat starts rolling in, in the summer.


Terrine of chicken livers and apple served with beets.  Two of us ordered this dish. This is a very, very typical French starter. I often times eat it as a meal with some bread or crackers. It was very good, a well balanced (ratio) of chicken liver, fat and apple. The accompanied beets gave the heavy dish a nice freshness. Good entrée.

Duck foie Gras.  This was a very smooth creamy foie gras, albeit extremely rich. Foie gras needs something to cut down on the richness and it was accompanied by some citrus and sweet/sour apricot jam which did the job. Overall a nice simple entrée

Escargot. This was my favorite entrée of the day. At first  I thought they must've made a mistake, but then realized it wasn't your typical escargot. It was pieces of escargot sitting atop smooth homemade cottage cheese. The black currant dressing added a nice sour component and the greens brought it all together. An excellent, simple, beautiful composed entré


Pork Belly. Two of us had this dish, and I have to say, being a pork lover, this dish was delicious. The pork was "confit'd" perfectly and the accompanying sauce was nicely reduced naturally, versus adding any type of starch to thicken, which I hate. It is a heavy dish, but I loved it. 

Skate. This was not on the regular menu, so I have to assume it was a special for that day. This was not an attractive dish and I had not expected the skate to be de-boned.  Normally, for me skate does not have a particular taste. So the accompanying cream sauce added a nice balance to the otherwise light fish, without overpowering it. There were blanched spinach and a sprinkling of pine nuts. Nice dish. 


Almonds and Hazelnuts Napoleon. Of the 3-desserts we ordered, this was the favorite of the group. The nice crispiness of the almond wafer with the praline cream was a nice balance of sweetness, textures and even citrus, with the accompanying lemon. So, this was a hit. 

Bourbon Vanilla Millefeuille (thousand leafs). This also looks like a "napoleon", with a thick filling of cream and a dollop of caramel. Our friend said that although he liked the dessert, it could've been a tad sweeter.

Strawberry/rhubarb Charlotte (trifle).  Jack loved this dish, it was a slice of savoy cake topped with vanilla cream and strawberries/rhubarb. Jack loved this dish because it had a lot of rhubarb in it. He liked the tartness that was added to this normally sweet dessert. So as far as he was concerned, this was a great dessert. 

WINE:Graves. We had a bottle from Chateau Massereau.  The Graves area tends to produce a lighter Bordeaux.  Aroma of floral, notes of resin, spices, chocolate, vanilla, and roasted aromas. Taste is supple, firm, and rich with blackberry notes.


We were just in "Le Marais" the other night and I stated that it's hard to find a good french restaurant in the Marais, well I just ate my words today (sorry for the pun). We discovered Le Mazenay in Le Marais, in fact in our old stomping grounds. It's a modern structure surrounded by classic older buildings. 

Now onto the food. All the entrées were very good, with the escargot being our favorite. As for the plats, all of us loved what we ordered, with the pork being the favorite for two of us, and the skate being a favorite of the other two, so it was a draw. 

As for the desserts, all the desserts were excellent, except for a minor complaint that the Bourbon Vanilla Millefeuille could have been sweeter. 

The service was excellent. Would we go back, ABSOLUTELY. YAHOO, en fin (finally) we found a worthwhile restaurant in "Le Marais"

We were four people, for 4-entrées, 4-plats, 3-desserts, 1-bottle of wine, 2-glasses of chardonnay, 1-tea, and 1-coffee our bill came to 221€ or 55.25€ per person. 

NOTE.  Normally the prices would've been much more reasonable, but we decided to splurge on the wine which was 62€ a bottle.

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