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, May 10, 2019

Pamela Popo -- Restaurant Review


15 rue François Miron, ,75004
Metro line 1 - St. Paul
Check website for reservations & operating schedule
http://pamelapopo.fr/en/


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+)

2.5 - Stars....................................................€€........................................................ 3 - Bell
NOTE: Once the music is turned on it becomes a 4 - bell rating 



As a general rule for me, the heart of the 3eme or 4eme (Le Marais) is not a dining destination and not an arrondissement I would recommend tourist to go to for food, except for cafés, pizza, falafel or sandwich places (my personal opinion). So, I was looking forward to going to this restaurant recommended by friends who've recently been.




The dining area is upstairs, below is the bar. It is quite cozy, very, very charming, but as it filled up in the adjacent room to where we were at, it became quite tight, since it's not a large restaurant. And, the noise level with the hip-hop music in the background at times became very difficult to hear.

We perused the menu which is on a chalkboard. Is it me or is french handwriting difficult to read. So we decided to use our phones and pull the menu from their website. They had a nice selection of dishes.

Now onto the Food.


We started with an amuse bouche of radishes and salt. 


ENTREE


Crabe décortiqué Mousse d’asperges, carpaccio de Saint-Jacques (Shelled crab, Asparagus mousse, carpaccio of scallops). Most of us had this dish.

What a great entrée. At the bottom of the dish was the crab which sat atop, I believe, a thicker mousse. The crab was definitely not canned, cause I got a couple of pieces of cartilage, which I didn't mind. The carpaccio of scallops was topped with an asparagus mouse. Surprisingly the dish sounds very complicated and heavy, but it was extremely light and refreshing and had nice balance and also had citrus which rounded it off. So, this was a hit for all of us.













PLAT 



Canon d’Agneau Beurre persillé, Haricots Verts et caviar d’Aubergines (Lamb Parsley Butter, Green Beans and Eggplant Caviar). Since the entrée was so fabulous, we assumed that the following dishes would be just as good. WRONG. I don't think I've ever disliked a dish more than this. One friend asked for the lamb to be cooked very rare, I asked for it to be cooked medium. The meat was cut so unevenly, we had bites that ran the whole gamut of meat doneness from rare, medium, medium well, and pretty damn well cooked, bordering on leather. So, each bite was a surprise and not in a good way. The accompanying eggplant caviar was disgusting. I took one bite, and said that's it. Eggplants are one of my favorite vegetables of all time. When you mash eggplants, you need try to retain its flavor by maybe enhancing it with some lemon or spices. It truly was mushy and tasteless. And, and the accompanying gravy tasted very starchy? Not a hit at all.




DESSERTS


Tarte tiède au chocolat caramel à la fleur de sel et noisettes (Warm chocolate tart Caramel with fleur de sel (salt) and hazelnuts).

We all shared the desserts. This was the favorite of the two we ordered. It was a simple tart and the chocolate flavors came through perfectly. But it was also nothing out of the ordinary.












Paris Brest.  (Dessert, made of choux pastry and a praline flavoured cream)

This was the least favorite for the group. They found the dough way too doughy and heavy for a paris brest, so this was a miss.













I forgot to take a photo of our wine, but we had a Millebuis Chardonnay Bourgogne Chardonnay. It's one of my favorite wines. It's dry, but not too dry and also has a mild light hint of fruity sweetness.


SUMMARY

I had high expectations for this restaurant. I wanted to find a nice French restaurant in "Le Marais" where we hang out the most. The location and interior of this restaurant can't be beat, but once they turn on the hip-hop music and it becomes a full house, it becomes really hard to carry a conversation.

Now onto the food. The food was a hit or miss, and when it was a miss it was pretty startling. There were six of us so I only reviewed in depth what I had, but did taste the cod. The crab entrée was fab, the lamb was pretty bad, technically bad. The accompanying sauce was a bit starchy. As for the desserts, the chocolate was good, but we all thought the choix for the paris brest was too heavy and doughy. I did actually taste the cod, and have to say although I didn't write it up nor take a photo, it  tasted like mashed potatoes, "where's the cod?" not a good dish at all. Would I go back? the price point is reasonable and the service was EXCELLENT, but probably not. Well I guess it's back to the drawing board for me to search out a French restaurant in Le Marais that I actually like.

For 6-entrées, 6-plats, 2-desserts, 3-bottles of wine, 4-glasses of wine, 1-cognac our bill came to 425€ or roughly 71€ per person. What brought our bill up as because of all the lushes 😉at the table, otherwise it would have been a reasonable price.

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