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)!

Monday, May 20, 2019

O'Bergine -- Restaurant Review


32 Rue Tiquetonne 75002 Paris
Tel: +33 9 71 51 12 72
Metro: Line 4 (Etienne Marcel)
Reservations can be made on La Fourchette (The Fork)
Website: https://obergine-restaurant.business.site/



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



I love this neighborhood around Rue Montorgueil. The street is called Rue Tiquetonne and it's about as French quaint as it gets.  We went with some friends and decided we wanted to do something other than traditional french, and this fit the bill.

The name is a play on Irish names, which I thought was very cute.







It's a small quaint modest restaurant, it sits maybe 26-people. The maitre'd, Omer as well as the co-owner was very warm and welcoming.



I spoke to Chef Claude and he's from Lebanon so the cuisine is a fusion of middle-eastern and french. We perused the menu, and it had a limited choice of different dishes.  All are prepared onsite.






















ENTRÉE


Deconstructed hummus. What a great dish. I've never had a deconstructed hummus. It was interesting. We had a traditional hummus made chickpeas, as well as one made with carrots and sweet potatoes. Keep in mind that hummus is made with sesame paste, tahini, so the added sesame gave the dish a nice textural component.

Personally, I would've loved it served with traditional pita bread,  or a Lebanese flatbread, but it was served with french baguette, other than that it was a good start.






PLATS



Filet of sea bream. This was my favorite dish of the evening. The skin was nice and crispy and the fish very, very tender. The accompanying green asparagus, crunchy mushrooms along with the broccoli and carrots as well as zucchini gave the fish a nice healthy balance. Although you would think that the sesame cream tahini sauce would be too much for this dish, it actually gave it some smoothness. A big hit for me.









O'Bergine Farcie.  This is their signature dish known as "Batenjen Mehchiand" rightfully so.  A delicious farcie (stuffed eggplant) with Lebanese spices and citrus.  What came through on this dish was the scented cinnamon, which is typically used in this region of the middle east. It was a beautiful mix of flavors all subtly blended. A hit.







DESSERTS



Crispy angel hair with cream and ice cream. Using noodles or noodle-like pastry is not uncommon in the middle-east or the Maghreb countries, but I've always had it with loads of honey, which I don't particularly care for, because it's too sweet. This dessert although complicated looking was actually quite a simple dessert and was not smothered in honey. It's mascarpone and mozzarella cream nested (literally) between two crispy angel hair noodles topped with vanilla ice cream. Jack liked this dessert not only for the flavors, but also for the different textural component, so it was big hit.













Crème brûlée- A standard version.

Cheesecake au Labneh- A delicious, more like a cake, cheesecake but made with labneh instead of the traditional cream cheese or cottage cheese.

NOTE:
I only reviewed the dishes that I tasted.


SUMMARY


What a great find. Don't be deceived by its size and unpretentious setting, the chef makes some pretty damn good middle-eastern/mediterranean food. I thought all the dishes were excellent. As I mentioned the only thing I thought odd was they did not serve the meal with typical middle-eastern bread such as pita or lebanese mountain bread (khobez).  Would we go back ABSOLUTELY.


For 4-entrées, 4-plats, 3-desserts, 4-glasses of wine, 1-coffee our bill came to 142.50€ or 36€ a person. A very, very reasonable price.





















Sunday, May 12, 2019

Le Mazenay -- Restaurant Review


46 rue de Montmorency
Metro Line  Rambuteau (M11)
Check website for operating hours & reservations 
https://www.lemazenay.com/



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.


ENTRÉES


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












PLATS 



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. 









DESSERTS 


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.
















SUMMARY


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.

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.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Sourire -- Restaurant Review


27 rue Galande 75005 Paris
Metro: line 10 (Maubert – Mutualité)
Check website for operating schedule and menu
https://www.sourire-restaurant.com/sourire-tapas-francaises


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+)

3.25 - Stars....................................................€€........................................................ 2 - Bell


This is a neighborhood close to Boulevard Saint-Germain which I normally don't dine in, primarily because I find it too touristy and the food is generally not good. So, at a recommendation of my friend we went and made reservations for a late lunch 13:30h at this French tapas restaurant. They have 2-restaurants in Paris, and one in Bayonne. It's in a great location close to the Ile de la Cité, but then again lots of tourists.


The interior was long and narrow and they actually had a few tables on the terrace. Nothing out of the ordinary, but quaint. We sat in front of the front window at a more casual setting with a coach and a long coffee table.

This is a french tapas restaurant, it seems like we ordered a lot for 3-people, but it was actually the perfect amount because they were just tasting portions (see link for menu).


1.  Burrata. The burrata was nice and smooth and overall good tasting. The pesto cream with the twill was a nice accompaniment.













2. Cheese plate. A great selection of cheeses: comté, basque brebis and an aged brie. It was accompanied with a sweet confiture.














3. Beetroot salad. Salad was very refreshing, and what's not to like about fresh beetroots served along with tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce).











4. Fries. We had a mix of sweet potato and regular fries. Nicely salted and crispy. I especially liked the sweet potato fries.











5. Asparagus. Asparagus is in season and these were good. Perfectly cooked and accompanied with a citrus and morel sauce.












6. Salmon. "mi-cuit" (half-cooked). I didn't like this dish at all. First of all it was supposed to be half cooked, but it was completely cooked, dry and salty. So, I'll need to remember to skip this next time.












7. Iberian pork. We were all expecting some kind of charcuterie, almost like a prosciutto, so the menu is a little deceiving. Although, not what we expected, it was none-the-less very tasty with its sweet maple syrup glaze. It was accompanied by a tarragon sauce.








NOTE: We skipped dessert.


SUMMARY 


As I mentioned, I don't normally like dining in this area and always leave it to the tourists. However, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the food. And, although there was only one server, he kept the plates moving. The food was above average, with the exception of the salmon, atmosphere nice, service great. Would I go back, yes, if I'm in the neighborhood and I just want to nosh, ABSOLUTELY.

For 7-tapas dishes, 1-bottle of wine, our bill came to 92€ or rounded up about 31€ per person, "pas mal" NOT BAD.

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
http://restaurantescient.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+)

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)


ENTRÉES


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.














PLATS 



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.










DESSERTS


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.
















WINES 


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



SUMMARY


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.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Le Grand Bain -- Restaurant Review


14 Rue Dénoyez, 75020 Paris
Metro: 2 (Belleville)
For reservations and operating schedule, check their website
http://www.legrandbainparis.com/en/home/


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 - Stars....................................................€........................................................ 5 (bomb) - Bell
       (4-Stars for FOOD subtract 2-stars for atmosphere and add 1 star for service) 


NOTE: I struggled with the overall review of this restaurant because I truly loved the food. So, I will rate the food and atmosphere separately, and you can judge for yourself.


Our close friends invited us to dinner to the Belleville area of Paris. Belleville is the unofficial third Chinatown of Paris and is also where the young congregate because rents are cheap. It's also where many artists live because again rents are very inexpensive. It's a gritty, graffiti laden, vibrant area of Paris.



With that said, the minute I walked in it was buzzing with activity. In fact, so buzzing I couldn't hear a word anyone said. It's a small tight restaurants but they do have a bar counter you could sit at. I sat along the walk through, so I was none to happy because I kept getting bumped into. Not a good start.





This restaurant is really for about sharing, ala "tapas style".  Unfortunately, they didn't have any paper menus. They had a large menu as you see in this photo where we had to go stand next to it to see it. They did have a smaller board, but it appeared that it was being shared and it was nowhere to be found. But I will say it was a very exciting menu, very innovative.



I WILL LIST OUR SHARED DISHES

1.  Gougères. There are usually two types of gougères, stuffed or a sort of bready type. This was the latter and it was moist with bacon and bacon fat. So, as its description, the pork flavor came out. The group loved it.










2.  Peas. The peas were a nice refreshing addition. Whole peas cooked perfectly atop pureed peas. It was flavored with roasted dill and had a few fava beans as well. Also a good dish.
















3. Baby Shrimps. I loved this dish, little baby shrimps deep fried with a good helping of salt. You eat the whole shrimp, head and all. A simple dish, but delish.















4. Ris de veau (sweetbreads). This dish was delicious. Quite tender and succulent. What made this dish interesting is the sauce of pureed anchovies emulsified with an oil. Then to add sourness it was sprinkled with capers and topped with some dressed arugula.













5. Seiche (cuttlefish). The cuttlefish was cooked perfectly, and was served with just the yoke of and egg and what I believe to be pork fiber. Reason why I say I believe, I just bought a bunch when I was Taiwan a few weeks ago and it has the exact same flavor profile. It was a good interesting dish with a lot of different flavors and textures.












6. Asparagus.  The asparagus was perfectly cooked. It sat atop a cream cheesy sort of puree with large sliced raw mushrooms. I thought this was a good dish. But I don't think I've ever had sliced raw mushrooms in a warm dish like this, usually they're a little pan fried or grilled. None-the-less a good dish.













7. Panna cotta. Now this was an interesting dessert. One complaint about the dish, it tasted very glutinous. I think the chef could've cut back a little on the thickening agent. It was accompanied with rehydrated prunes in a liquor, and covered with crumbled cooked crackling of meringue.











8. Chocolate with strawberries. I'm not a fan of milk chocolate, so right away I didn't think it was that great. But our friends loved it. It was a tart with milk chocolate, strawberries and vanilla ice cream.












NOTE: I was getting so annoyed with the noise I totally forgot to take photos of the wine. Plus I ordered their house white.  Jack had perused the wine list and didn't see anything that caught his eye. The waiter asked what we would like and made a good suggestion.  When he brought the wine Jack tasted it and said it would be fine in about 10 minutes, so the waiter decided to pour the wine into a decanter and swished it for us.  That has never happened to us before (outside of Michelin starred places) and it worked like a charm.


SUMMARY 


This is a young happening place. We were the oldest ones there. It was so loud, I truly could not wait to get out of there, because it was actually painful. They serve til quite late and they do turn tables. People came in after 10 pm for dinner and it was still quite lively. The one annoying thing I found was that the walkway from one end to the kitchen to where I was sitting made it impossible for people not to bang against me. So, if you go, sit along the wall, or be ready for "bumper car" action.

Now onto the food. I thought the food was excellent. Very inventive and creative menu. And, the execution was spot on. As for the service, despite the hecticness, the servers were able to manage, which is a feat in themselves. So, chapeau to them.

Will I go back. NO. As you know I'm big about "dining should be about the whole experience." Food was excellent, but the atmosphere is not for me. I had a headache when I got home.

There was 4 of us. We had 8 shareable dishes, 2 bottles of wine, 1 glass of wine for 146.50€ or 36.61€ per person. VERY REASONABLE.