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)!

Saturday, July 2, 2022

AU FILS DES SAISONS -- Restaurant Review

 


For reservations, menu and directions see:
https://restaurant-au-fil-des-saisons.com/en/services


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



I've been to this restaurant several years ago, I think before I actually started blogging. It's in a very strange location, on one of the side alleys of "Republique". In fact, on this alley is this restaurant and a bar next door, which we discovered later that evening, was a big hit with the younger generation, and that's it.



It's looks like a very long bowling lane, but they made it work. There was originally 3 tables occupied when we entered, and then us and the group you see in the above photo.  I would imagine if it had been crowded that this place would've been too noisy to have a normal conversation, but we had no problems tonight.  The "Patron", Cedric, who is also the waiter has quite the personality. Very personable and just has a fun personality that you just wanted to continue chatting with him as a friend, before JJ said, "let him do his job." 

NOTE: I am only going to review the meals I tasted. (JJ shared a lot of his dishes)



ENTRÉE


Dauphiné Ravioli from with Comté cheese
Gratinated with parmesan cheese. 

JJ ordered this, but I decided to taste it. Yum. This is like comfort food (mac/cheese), elevated with a bechamel and comte cheese. I loved it. It is rich, but makes you wanna keep coming back for more. And, JJ who normally doesn't like rich creamy dishes, really enjoyed it too. A winner.












Fried Snails.

This had to be my favorite dish of the night. The snails were de-shelled, lightly pan fried with mushrooms and a nice creamy light sauce with greens to give it a visual and a little freshness to the dish.

I liked it because it was not a traditional "escargot" with the tons of garlic. It was a nice change. 

I could've eaten another one as a main. LOVED THIS DISH.



PLATS



Faux Filet (Sirloin steak) with potatoes 

I asked that the steak be cooked "a-point" which is typically medium. In hindsight I wish had ordered it "saignant" (very rare) since it was quite tough. The beef was grass fed beef so had little fat. The meat was unevenly cooked, some were well done, some medium, some medium rare. Imagine, all in one steak. The flavors were good, but the meat itself was very chewy.




Cod with haricot vert as well as snow peas.

This was their special fish dish of the evening. I have to say this was absolutely delicious. The cod was melt-in-your-mouth tender and vegetables were cooked al dente. The accompanying cream sauce of what I believe to be a carrot was creamy and light.

Overall the dish was a big hit.  











Rather than have dessert we opted for a cheese platter. I won't go into details, but in 14-years I have never had a cheese I didn't like. It was a nice mix of chevre, compte, rochefort, and brie. As usually, a great hit in any restaurant.



Pouilly-Fumé -- Domaine Barillot. 

For me if Sancerre is not available, this would be my second choice. 

"The cool continental climate furnishes a brisk acidic backbone and amazingly long finish to the wines, while the limestone soils found on both sides of the river deliver their hallmark minerality. However, Pouilly-Fumé’s limestone yields less chalk and more flint. This distinguishing feature is not surprising: the name Pouilly-Fumé refers not only to the town of Pouilly-sur-Loire, but also to the flint that’s the reputed source of the distinctive smoky aromatics known as “fumé” in French." ~ Vivinio



SUMMARY 

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this restaurant. Despite the few missteps, overall the food was very good. I did ding them a few points for what I thought was unforgivable. When we ordered our bottle of wine, the owner opened the bottle and left us to our devices and we had to do our own pouring and tasting. This is the first time this has ever happened to me.  Secondly, there is an unspoken rule in France that no one starts dinner unless EVERYONE is served. Our main courses came at different times, very strange. This might seem minor in US, but here a big deal here.

Now as for the food, the food was delicious. The only dish that was not my favorite was the sirloin steak. In hindsight I should have ordered it saignant (rare), because it was so unevenly cooked, hence, tender in some portions, chewy in others. FYI..., most french order their steaks "saignant" for this very reason,  they cringe at when Americans order them well done. Their beef are grass fed so have no antibiotics or hard chemicals which make them unusually tender. 

Would we go back, ABSOLUTELY. 

For 4-people, we had 5-entrees, 3-plats, cheese platter, 1-beer, 1- bottle of wine and 1/2 bottle of wine our bill came to €212 or €53 each. Not bad




Friday, July 1, 2022

LE PETIT GEORGE -- Restaurant Review

 


I came across this restaurant totally by chance, since I rarely go to the "Champs-Élysées". In fact the last time I was there was during the covering of the Arch by Christo. Net-net it's a place I normally choose NOT to go. If you're from San Francisco, you will get this, It's like a large, wide POWELL street.



For address, directions and reservations: 
https://lepetitgeorge.com/fr/


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...................................€€€...................................... 4.5- Bell


The restaurant is quite small, in fact they had to seat us in such a way that they actually had to push up the tables against 3-people, which locked them up against the wall. It was cozy and we didn't mind. I insisted I sit on the other side since I go to the restroom quite a bit, I know TMI.



They had a nice menu. There was something for everyone. And, I really thought the prices were quite reasonable.

FYI..., although this restaurant is located close to famous "George V" (the hotel/restaurant) they are not affiliated with them.








NOTE: I'm only to review the dishes that I had, but posted pictures of the some other food others ordered.



ENTRÉE

Although this was listed as an "hors d'oeuvres" I asked to have it as an entrée, since I really wasn't too hungry.

Nothing special about this dish. The anchovies were floating on top of layer of extra virgin olive oil that you spread on a piece of bread topped with an anchovy. I liked it, but nothing special. 

However, the others said their entrees were fabulous. (refer to the photos below)









PLAT

Poulpe grille, poitrine de porc confite, sauce vierge, puree maison
(Grilled octopus, confit pork belly, virgin sauce, homemade puree)

This was a take on "Surf and Turf" I absolutely adored this dish. Who would've thought that grilled octopus could be the "surf". The octopus was so tender, and jokingly we said they must've beat the hell out of it to tenderize it. The porc confit, although characteristically fatty was delicious and not heavy nor fatty. The accompanying potatoes served two-ways, mashed and quartered roasted was great. And, then carrots both-ways, pureed and in roasted strips. Even the pureed carrots had chunks of whole potatoes. I loved the play on ingredients, no complaints. And, the portions were perfect for me. A hit!



DESSERTS

Crumble aux poires et rhubarbe, glace aux dattes fleur d’oranger (Pear and rhubarb crumble, orange blossom date ice cream).

JJ loved this dish. I took a taste of it and I too loved it, the crumble was not too sweet and not at all soggy from the pureed rhubarb and pear. I normally don't like dates, I find them too sweet, but the date ice cream was light and not overwhelming.

Overall, I thought this was a hit.







Other dishes, avocado and the foie gras



SUMMARY

As I mentioned I rarely ever go to the "Champs-Élysées". Too touristy for my taste. However, around the periphery of the "Champs" there are some fabulous restaurants, as we discovered with this restaurant.

The service was IMPECCABLE. It is a very small restaurant so can get extremely noisy and it was very difficult for all of us to hear each other. I would say the patrons were half french and half Americans.

They provided a lot of choices on the menu that could satisfy anyone. The food was excellent. The only complaint I have was that it was too noisy. You could not carry on a conversation, so I knocked them down .25 points for the noise level.  Would I go back? ABSOLUTELY, if I can muster enough strength to get through the throng of tourists along the "Champs".

With 2-coups de champagne, 1-aperol spritz, 1-pastis, several bottles of water, 6-entrees (note 2-people ordered 2-entrees each, rather than ordering a plat), 3-plats 1-bottle of wine. 3-desserts. Our bill came to €323 or €65 per person.





Sunday, June 12, 2022

COMME GANGNAM -- Restaurant Review

 

19 Rue de La Fayette
Paris 75009
Website: https://commegangnam.fr/



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...................................€€...................................... 2.5- Bell


I don't typically go to Korean restaurants in Paris, but friends from out of town recommended that we try it, and I was more than eager to. I've been taking a break from French food, and if I find any worth mentioning, I will share my experience.

As an aside, I kept wanting to call this restaurant "Gangnam Style: 



I was quite surprised how larger this restaurant is, considering most neighborhood style restaurants are quite small. 

We had a late reservation of 2:00 pm for lunch, but it was still packed.  Each table has their own grill, but the exterior tables do not.. 

We perused the menus, and they had quite the collection. I asked the waiter about the heat level, and he told us that anything pictured with a red sauce, he guarantees will be spicy. I asked if it was Gochujan and he confirmed, but FYI..., other spices were added to give it more heat. 



We ordered two prepared dishes, the two meat dishes to grill. 

SPICY CHICKEN FEET.  This dish is not for everyone, fortunately our friends are very adventurous foodies. The spice level was high, but flavorful. The tendons were delicious. This dish is not so much about the chicken feet, but the sauce that is accompanied with. It's great with white rice, because by default the rice is flavored with it. I loved this dish.


SPICY SQUID: Another spicy dish. The squid was sliced in such a way that it was tender enough that you didn't have to chew it like bubble gum. The spice level wasn't as high as the chicken feet, nonetheless it was a good dish. Lots of flavor. 



Next came our grilled meat dishes. 



WAGYU BEEF. This was the combo wagyu beef.  This was probably the most expensive of the dishes we ordered at 100€, but with four of us it seemed reasonable. The meat was beautifully marbled, but since it's just raw meat, and typically wagyu is not pre-spiced to keep true to is flavor and texture, you needed to add eg, kimchee. We were given a raw egg with soy sauce to dip your beef to give it a slight salted flavor. The raw egg helped bind the sauce, but it was not spicy. 




BEEF TONGUE. Like the wagyu beef, it was not pre-spiced. One of friends had never had tongue, and he seemed to enjoy it. I liked it, but again you needed to add something with it. We were served "Banchan" to add flavor. Along with the banchan you were also served lettuce leafs, so you can make lettuce wraps with the grilled meats.



As mentioned we were served about 6-different "Banchan" as side dishes to our various dishes. Although 6 seems like alot, I've been to Korean restaurants where they served as many as a dozen.







SUMMARY 

Not comparing this restaurant to Korean restaurants in Korea or any large city in eg, NYC, LA or SF, the food was good. We have one in the 15eme which I yet to review, and I will, that is much better, but is not as fancy as this restaurant. 

I asked the waiter about the spice level, and he did say they do have notifications on the menu which dishes are really hot. He did say many of the French do not select those dishes because it is too spicy for them. 

Surprisingly, my favorite dish was the chicken feet. The spices and heat was a nice change from "run-of-the-meal" french meals. The one complaint I have is when they turned the grill on, it never went above low/medium, if that. It should've been much higher so we could've charred our meat. 

The restaurant was a bit expensive, but then again we did order the wagyu beef, which BTW are now locally raised in the south of France. With 2-sodas, 1-San Pellegrino, 1-tea the dishes total came to 181€ or 45.25€ each.  

Will we go back, absolutely, I'd like to try the other dishes, but forego the wagyu beef so we can try the other reasonably priced dishes. 









Friday, June 10, 2022

TRUFFES FOLIES -- Restaurant Review

 

37 rue Malar 75007 Paris
Website: https://truffesfolies.fr/fr/



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 - Star.......................€€............................... 2 - Bell


Do you like truffles, then this is the restaurant for you....

I've never been particularly fond of truffles, with the exception of white truffles, and wouldn't you know it, they're pricier than black  truffles. I attribute this slight distaste to when I was younger, I used to be given truffle oil or truffle infused "things" as gifts. And, if anyone's tasted truffle oil, they can be nasty. 

NOTE:  As always, I will only review the dishes that I tasted. 

The interior of the restaurant is quite small. And although they did have an interior able for 5 people, it would've been quite tight, so we opted to eat outside, which was quite pleasant and glad we did. 



Entrée: I had the poached egg served with a creamy egg custard, topped with Perigord truffles which is on the cuff of going out of season. 

I have to say I loved this dish in its simplicity it was delicious. You had a perfectly poached egg embedded in a nice egg/creamy custard topped with perigord truffles that were slightly warmed up. For me this was a hit. Sometimes, the most simple dishes are not only hard to make, but they're the most delicious N'est-ce pas?

What a great start.




Plats:  Bucatini carbonara et Truffes. They didn't have the bucatini but they did have a linguini pasta, which was fine with me.

I actually expected this dish to be very eggy and richly laden with cheese. But the base was delicious, The eggs mostly came from the egg noodles.The bacon bits were nice and salty and it didn't have the same richness as a normal carbonara because it had less oil and a minute or no amount of cheese,. The truffles replaced what would've normally been shaved cheese and replaced with shaved truffle.  And, lucky for me, they were in the last season of perigord truffles. In its simplicity each ingredient spoke out. I loved this dish.



DESSERTS: The two desserts our table ordered were Tiramisu and Creme Brulée. And, what a surprise, they were served with a hint of truffles. I took a bite of both. Both tasted pretty normal and nothing out of the ordinary other than the hint of the truffles for both, but very good. 




Pouilly Fumé to the east of the Loire river, and Sancerre to the west, each region's terroir imparts slightly different characteristics to their respective wines. Mostly unoaked, these wines have amazing structure with perfumey notes of grapefruit and gooseberry with a slight note of honey.

Wines from the Pouilly Fumé tend to be a little more full-bodied than their Sancerre counterparts.

These wines pair amazingly well with nearly all kinds of seafood and salad greens with citrus or vinegar based dressings. The classic pairing of Sancerre with grilled goat cheese is quite possibly the best thing to put in one's mouth.

Somewhat collectable, a good vintage of Upper Noire white can shelve for up to ten years; although, that could be pushing it. It is suggested you drink them in the 4-6 year age range. (Source: vinio)






SUMMARY


Prior to coming to this restaurant my thoughts on truffles were just eh. I could  live with or without them. Probably for all those years of getting truffle oils or bottled truffles which tasted nasty to me. But there's nothing like fresh truffles cooked properly into a dish that brings it to the next level. This restaurant has made me a new believer, especially the perigord truffles which has a nice earthy flavor, but not overpowering flavor which I enjoyed.  

We had some very discerning dinner guests and we all agreed the food was great. With 5-entrées, 5-plats, 2-desserts, 2-bottles of wine and 1 glass of red our bill came to 318.40€ or 63.62€, not bad for this quality of food and service.

Would we go back, ABSOLUTELY.




















Monday, June 6, 2022

JIA YAN -- Restaurant Review



5 Rue Humboldt
75015 Paris
Metro: Line 6 (Dupleix)
Phone 06 70 26 29 77
Website: http://jia-yan.lafourchette.rest/en_GB/

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 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 2 - Bell



I don't normally review ethnic restaurants, but since I'm from San Francisco it seems like a never-ending search for a good, even passable Chinese much less Sichuan restaurant. And, this restaurant comes closest to what you can find in SF, NY or LA. 

Pre-Covid lockdown, we came here often since it's also in our arrondissement (15eme). The Maitre'd is a gruff old Chinese man who likes you to order his way. If you're from SF you'll know this chef (click for more info) Edsel Ford Fong, the maitre'd must be related to him. 



It's a small restaurant and seating towards the back wall can be very tight, with chairs butting up against each other. But the restaurant is pleasant enough. 


Entree:  We had shrimp dumplings and Seaweed (wakame) salad.

Shrimp dumplings. The filling for the dumplings were good, but the dough was a bit thick and doughy, but good. The accompanying sauce had a kick, which livened the dish.

Seaweed salad:  it was really good, fresh, clean and spicy. I can't imagine the french eating this because it really was spicy. 






MAIN COURSE



Plats we had (from left to right) Sauteed eggplant, pork belly, and beef. Surprisingly, none of the main dishes we ordered were spicy hot, but nonetheless they were good. I think it depends on what dish you ordered, because some of them were pictured with lots of chilies. And, I've had other dishes in the past where it was spicy hot. I think they must've added some "Cantonese" style dishes to accommodate the French palate.  

Eggplant: The eggplant was very tasty, a bit on the sweet side for me. More like a Cantonese dish rather than a Sichuan dish, but good.


Pork Belly: It was braised in soy and I tasted 5-spice. I liked it, but this is not a dish for everyone since it contains a lot of fat and is oily. I liked it because it reminded me of a Filipino dish called "Paksiw na Baboy" (stewed pork belly or pork knuckles in soy and vinegar).

Beef: The beef was coated with rice flour then steamed, and it had an underlay of sweet potatoes. It was an OK dish, but JJ had an aversion to the dish.  Steaming anything with any kind of flour has a peculiar texture, imagine coating chicken with flour then steaming it. It had that kind of texture. It wasn't my favorite dish, but it was OK. 



Dessert: The maitre'd comped us with the dessert, go figure. It was just fruit and a little cookie that looked like a "chouquette










SUMMARY 

We've be to this restaurant several times pre-Covid and came back today to see if any changes have been made. And, from what I can gather there have been changes made. There's a lot more Cantonese style dishes offered on the menu. But for some reason we didn't order any of the Sichuan main dishes with the exception of the seaweed salad.

I recall once,  pre-covid when 2-French women came and sat next to us. They asked the Maitre'd if they could make their dishes not too spicy. He said, "No, madame, we make our food the way it's supposed to be made, if you don't like spicy, then you should go find somewhere else to eat." Needless to say, I was both shocked and delighted he said that.

Not to sound like a total food snob, but one thing I learned long ago after moving to Paris, never compare Chinese food that you can get in SF, NYC, or LA because you'll be disappointed every time. It is what it is. However, you can find EXCELLENT delicious southeast asian cuisine like Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian. But most of the Chinese food that you'll find in Chinatown are Vietnamese whose ancestry is Chinese, so the food has already been bastardized. 

But I have to say that this restaurant comes closest to what I could get in SF. I asked the maitre'd if he was from Sichuan, he said no, but our chef is. So, that was a good sign.

With 2-entrées, 3-main dishes, One-37cl of wine, 1-tea, our total for 3-people came to 86€.

Would I go back, absolutely. 


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

KITCHEN TER(RE) UPDATE -- Restaurant Review

KITCHEN TER(RE) -- UPDATED REVIEW- MAY 31, 2022


26 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris
Closed Sunday & Mondays
Metro: Jussieu (Line 7 & 10)
Bus: 89 (Institut du Monde Arabe)
Tel:  01 42 39 47 48


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+)


4.80 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 2 - Bell


Please refer to the original review by clicking on this link (Kitchen Ter(re) original review 2017)

This restaurant has been our favorite restaurant for years, in fact since it first opened up in 2017.  We have gone numerous times. Then we had a lockdown and changes happened. 

Last night was my first time to return after lockdown. We went back with friends, and I didn't recognize any of the staff. They were all new. But they were still very personal and welcoming. The menu stayed true to their mission serving grain noodles, their trademark dish, with fabulous accompanying ingredients, sauces with touches of Asian flavors and style.

#1.  After a few years, the restaurant stopped showing the different grain noodles they make in house. But since our friends had never been, I asked the wait-person to give us a special  demonstration.

#2. I had the beef ravioli as an entrée. I was surprised when I got it, cause it reminded me more of wonton soup, but with a darker (Thai) broth. The broth was absolutely delicious. It had a little kick that hit a little latter. The ravioli was stuffed with shredded beef, I would've preferred pork or seafood, but it was delicious none-the-less.  An EXCELLENT dish.

#3. For my main I had the Mackerel which was the dish of the day. OMG, this dish was absolutely deliciously. Mackerel can oftentimes be very fishy and almost tough and/or stringy. They softened the flavors, how I do not know. It still had the distinctive taste of mackerel,  but with milder textures and flavors. If you don't normally like mackerel because of its distinctive strong flavors, you might want to try this dish.  And, the accompanying vegetables were nice. Not overcooked, as what happens a lot in France, more al-dente. Excellent dish.

#4.  JJ was thrilled to see they had a rhubarb dish as one of the choices for dessert, and was ecstatic to find it actually was composed principally and exclusively of actual pieces of rhubarb, and a blob of ice cream, since typically rhubarb desserts have a sparing use of rhubarb and focus more on accompanying fruit, eg strawberries. 


SUMMARY

With the exception of the "Lockdown", we have gone to this restaurant more than I can count. And, I have introduced this restaurant to so many people and we all agree this is a game changer, when you want to try something not classically french.

Changes to the menu have occurred, as well as staff, but Chef Leduill, the Michelin starred owner, kept what made this restaurant popular, true to its flavors and mission of infusing Asian flavors to unique dishes. Everything was EXCELLENT.

With 6-apertifs, 1-bottle of wine, 6-entrées, 6-plats, 5-desserts, 2-teas, 1-coffee, 1-digestif our bill came to 407€ or 68€ per person.

Will l go back, ABSOLUTELY. Like comfort food, it's like a comfort restaurant for me. 

NOTE: I've kept the same overall rating of 4.8


 

Sunday, May 29, 2022

ACCENTS TABLES BOURSE -- Restaurant Review

 

24 Rue Feydeau, 75002 Paris
Metro Line 8 (Grands Boulevards)
Website: https://accents-restaurant.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+)

2.25 - Stars...................................€€€€...................................... 1- Bell


A friend invited me out to join for lunch. This is a one starred Michelin  restaurant. It looked familiar, but I couldn't immediately remember if I had been there or not. 


As I entered and sat for a few minutes the maitre'd said I'd been there before, and he reminded me where I sat, descriptions of the people I was with and then it all came back, beautiful interior great atmosphere, so why did I forget? I'll explain that later. 

There are 2 tasting menus, one for 52€ (4-courses) and another for 65€ (5-courses)


Amuse Bouche and Starters 


I'm going to depart from how I normally review restaurants by describing every single dish, to the dishes I recalled and it had a strong impact on me, positively or negatively because I had way too many tiny bites and could not remember what went into what dish. Also, the menu they gave us did not correspond to their lunch prix-fixe menu. So, net-net I will try and describe only those those dishes that I liked or disliked. You'll probably be able to figure out the dish by the picture.

This style of cooking "Nouvelle Cuisine" which was introduced to the U.S. back in 1969-71 and was very, very popular throughout the 80's. I didn't realize it was coming back. I personally don't like it, so I'm already prejudiced. Keep in mind some of these dishes were teeny tiny, larger than a thimble, but pictures can be deceiving.

For our amuse bouche we had a meringue of fish the size of a small bon-bon. I found so off putting because the fish flavor was very strong, and maybe I associate "baked" meringue with something sweet. 

Then we had the bone marrow. Basically a raw tiny tip of a white asparagus the size of my thumb nail served over a painted bone as a vessel and covered with a biscuit shaped like a bone on it? Kitschy, no? It had absolutely no distinguishable flavor. 

Lastly a savory broth with a watermelon ice cube. The flavors were clashing with each other and my palate wanted to hate it and like it at the same time. 

So, as you can imagine the amuse bouche was a mishmash of different flavors served on bizarre plates. It wasn't the size that bothered me, amuse bouche are supposed to be small. It was the flavors, or lack of.

NOTE:  All the dishes were cold.


STARTERS AND MAINS

Portions were a mishmash of small tasting items or an entrée portion. The watercress concoction was good, not sure if there was cream or thickened by bulk vegetable, but as they say in french "pas mal" (Not bad.). The broth was citrusy, but also had a lingering umami flavor. The sweet breads were actually quite good, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The oyster leaf wrapping the sausage, you want to beg the question, why even bother? It was a joke. I have an aversion to foamy food because it reminds me of baby spit. So, whatever that green stuff tasted like nothing, but as you hit the bottom there were stronger flavors, and I'm not sure what it was.

I really needed a manual describing the dishes, ingredients, and in what order to eat them.  A lot of the dishes all came out at the same time, so it was confusing where to start. Our wait person, although sweet, I could not understand his french nor what little English he knew. His native language is Japanese, and I speak no Japanese.


Desserts

There were 3 parts to this dessert, first one was a white asparagus, comte cheese, white chocolate, cardamom and pineapple served 2-ways.  Lastly, a pistachio sponge cake.

In the top photo, all I have to say it was wrong on so many levels for me. Yes, we put honey on cheese, yes, we put confiture on cheese to intensify the flavors, but the white chocolate ice cream really fought with the flavors of the comte cheese, I disliked it immensely. I actually found the combination disgusting.

On the other hand the pistachio sponge cake was out of this world delicious, light, airy and with the accompanying confiture was great since the cake itself was not real sweet. This probably was my favorite dish of all the dishes I tasted. Go figure?


SUMMARY 

This restaurant is not for everyone. Obviously not for me. I normally like to nosh and love tapas bars, but I wish they had a manual or description of what should be eaten with what. I think some of the mild flavors were competing with the strong umami flavors.  Plus I'm over this style of eating where you have a large number of thimble or small sized dishes versus few dishes done wall. And, you might argue well tapas are like that. I would argue they're not, tapas are honest non-pretentious basic dishes that can be shared with friends and the canapé sizes are satisfying.

As we continued our meal, it dawned on me why I didn't remember this restaurant, because it was unmemorable and too complicated. In my humble opinion, having a Michelin star does not guarantee a good meal. My friend and I both agreed this was her least favorite of the Michelin starred restaurants she had been to. Note: she is on a mission to eat at all the 1-starred michelin starred restaurants in Paris.

I digress, what made me laugh was the sausage wrapped in an oyster leaf? I think my 5-year old nephew could do that.

Would I go back, ABSOLUTELY NOT! 

With prix-fixe 4-course meal,  3-glasses of wine our bill came to 75€ each. I bumped up the fair rating a little bit because they tried so hard to make it a wonderful dining experience, the ambience, and service was excellent, it was just some of the flavor combinations that didn't work for me