"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, October 8, 2012

La Maison Du Jardin -- Restaurant Review

Address:  27, Rue de Vaugirard, 75006
Open:  Monday - Friday
Metro: Line 12 (Rennes) 

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 (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)

  3.75 - Star..................................................................................................................................2 - Bell

The other day, 3 of us stopped and had lunch at La Maison Du Jardin.  One of my friends had already been there.  The restaurant is cute, albeit small and extremely tight.  In fact, although we had a nice window table my chair was actually hitting the table behind me. The poor woman sitting behind me, my back was right up against her food.

They had a pretty nice selection on their menu.  For our entrées, one friend got the paté de canard. She said it was really good, and it came with a nice toasted slice of bread.

Two us got the mussel salad. Although it was extremely tasty, the mussels were smothered in a rich, rich mayonnaise type of dressing and the salad itself was dripping in oil.  I did like it, but I think they really need to tone down the oil. If I poured the oil in a cup from that plate, I couldn't have easily fried an egg. My other friend who had this dish also agreed.

For our plat, both friends got the steak and I got the duck encased in phyllo, served with grilled figs.  So, we'll start with the duck. It had alot of flavor and the top of the phyllo dough was nice, crisp and flaky.  The duck was pulled, so it had the texture of pulled pork, but in a heavy dark almost demi-glace like sauce. Again, I thought it was tasty, as I neared the bottom, parts of the bottom of the casing were actually burnt black. I tasted it, it tasted burnt, so I stopped eating it.

My other two friends ordered the steak, one of my friends told me she had something similar the other night that was much better than the one she had this particular day. Whereas my other friend said it was cooked perfectly.  I was really surprised when they ordered the steak that the wait-person did not ask how they wanted it cooked. My guess is since that alot of Americans frequent this restaurant, and many of us like it "a point" which is medium-rare,  they stopped bothering to ask.  I tasted the steak, and it was actually very good. It was accompanied with different vegetables and potatoes.

And, for dessert we shared a quartet of chocolate. A chocolate ice cream, chocolate mouse, chocolate gâteau and something akin to a chocolate ganache.  We agreed that it was delicious albeit sweet and very rich.

All-in-all I thought the meal was definitely above average. The dishes were very tasty, albeit some where executed poorly (e.g., burnt phyllo), and the service was excellent. For the 3 of us with a half a bottle of wine the bill came to 37€. Would I go back, I would. It's a good meal for a good price. To me it was nothing outstanding or wowed me, but much better than your run of the mill Bistros.  And, for those who do not know French, the wait staff all speak great English.   

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