"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)!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Restaurant Review -- Le Régalade


La Régalade
123 Saint Honoré
75001 Paris
tele: 01-42-21-92-40

9 Avenue Jean Moulin (orginal location)
75014 Paris
Phone: 01 45 45 68 58

Updated, reviewed 10/30/12:

After almost 2-years since it opened on Rue St. Honoré, we had an opportunity to return.  All I can say is the food and service has dramatically improved. We went for lunch and they had a Pre-fix menu for 35€.  The menu still had their signature dish of the "poitrine de cochon" still my favorite dish; however, the dish was much lighter since it was served atop of wilted cabbage and some carrots. We had the Coquilles St. Jacque served over a nice vinaigrette, a tuna confit, which was excellent. And, some cheese at the end. Only minor complaint I had was the salad accompanying the cheese had a dressing that was extremely sour.

The service is much better than I had remembered, with very nice and amicable wait staff.  I would definitely go back.

New Ratings:

  4- Star..................................................................................................................................2 - Bell

Reviewed 6/23/10
1-3 scoring
Food:  1
Restaurant: 1.5
Service: 2.5
€50 pp for dinner with wine

There's been so much fanfare and hype about this new restaurant location that we were quite excited to go and check for ourselves. We were 4-people, all seasoned "foodies" -- two had been many times to the Le Regalade in the 14eme and liked it. I did my homework, and found a very "mixed" bag of reviews. But with an open mind we entered anew.

The atmosphere was quite minimalist, with the exception of red hanging pendant lights and tall ceilings, it lacked any real color or charisma. I felt like donating a few "modern" paintings to give it some soul, oh well.

We were treated with a complimentary glass of white wine of L'haurault. It was quite refreshing and excellent since it was quite a warm evening. We checked out the specials, but I already knew what I wanted, since they're known for the poitrine de porc (literally means porc chest, but often referenced as porc belly).

As we ordered our courses, yes including desserts, we were given a terrine de volaille, it was about half- filled, so the other half I'm assuming had already been eaten by a different table. It came with cornichons, pickled peppers and bread. The bread was stale, and we didn't even really have a chance to taste the terrine, because right after it was placed on our table, our entrées were ready to be served. Luckily we each quickly got a slice of the terrine and put it on our bread since there were no plates, just in time before it was whisked away, whew!. So much for savoring the terrine. Note:  a new basket of bread came, and this time it was rubbery. Perhaps to preserve it's freshness it was wrapped in plastic, hence, causing it to have a  rubbery texture. For Paris, this is not a good sign, if you can't even get the bread right.

Jack ordered a red, Domaine La Tour Vieille Collioure, I have to say it was not good, so I watered it down to make it more palatable. But we don't blame the restaurant, Jack took the blame for not asking for a recommendation and/or selecting a better bottle.

The 3-of us had the Poelée de Girolles a local mushroom (pictured at top left). It was OK for me and the two others liked it alot. The poached egg when broken gave it a nice yellow tasty creamy saucy substance. I realize mushrooms should never be washed, but brushed, but mine was inordinately gritty. I was the only one that felt that way. The entree was interesting.

Jack had the salmon, it was just OK, but not really inspiring.

Then the piece de resistance, the poitrine du porc. It was EXCELLENT. Nicely braised with a lot of good flavors and it had a nice crispy skin. I think I died and went to pig heaven. It was served on a bed of lentils. Although this dish traditionally served with lentils, I would have liked some greens with it as well. Our companions told us at the 14eme restaurant they served the poitrine on a bed of greens, I would've much preferred that since the combo was just too rich and heavy for summer, and we're no longer peasant people needing to store fat for the winter.

       Jack had the cabillaud , the fish was good, but it too was just not inspiring.

Dessert came, 2 had the Rhubarb, fraise compote. One had sliced strawberries with cream. The presentation was quite sloppy. It looked like a 4-year old had an art project and piled a bunch of Jello pudding and whipped cream into a glass. I was told the taste was nothing spectacular either, very plain and uninspiring! I had the cheese plate, but I was so filled with lentils, I couldn't take a bite.

I had just come back from reviewing "Incanto" in SF. A well known "all pig" kinda restaurant (see review in my blog 6/18).  So, I had a pretty good comparison when a restaurant does it right with somewhat the same ingredients. Net-net on our experience, what's with the hype? With the exception of the poitrine de porc and the service,  the food was very uninspiring. Some like the minimalist look of a restaurant, but if you're touting that you're spending less on decor and more on the food, than show us the goods! For a more authentic atmosphere and consistently good food, I'd recommend going to nearby Chez Denise!

1 comment :

  1. It was the company and conversation that made the meal a special one! Look forward to eating our way down the rue...and especially Hidden Kitchen! Noticed that you put our website on your web roll...many thanks, dear!!! I'm enjoying your blog, too! I can't believe you had to start over with all of your missives, though...what a drag!