"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)!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Je Thè...Me -- Restaurant Review

Je Thè...Me

4, rue d'Alleray 75015 Paris
Metro: Line 12 Vaugirard
 closed Sundays and Mondays
reservations accepted
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 - Star..........................................................................................................................2 - Bell

We walk by this restaurant frequently since it’s in our neighborhood, and kept saying we’ve got to try this restaurant, so we did the other day with our good friend JT.  This restaurant has quite a lot of history, it was a former delicatessen, which was classified as an historical monument.  Inside, it is antique filled with mirrors, earthenware pots and bottles of vintage cognac. Very kitschy, but I happen to like antiques and old history, so felt very comfortable.  There are tables for 26 people downstairs, and upstairs, there are tables for 24.  The day we went for lunch only three quarters of the downstairs was filled.

We perused the chalkboard menu, which was hard to read. It’s a bit of a sore point for me, why is it chalkboard penmanship in France can frequently be so difficult, and no, we have had French friends who also cannot make it out so it is not our lack of fluency in French. We had to second guess what was written on several items and finally ask the staff.  JJ was amused as the 'Magret de canard' looked like it said 'Marget de conard'.

I had the foie gras. Although it was quite tasty and nothing out of the ordinary, I felt it was way, way too chilled. They should’ve softened it up a bit to just a little below room temperature. The fats in the foie gras turned a bit rubbery.

JJ had the “tartare de la mer”, a fish tartare. Although very simple, I thought it was very good. It had a nice citrus flavor and well balanced with shallots and sweet oranges as well as avocado.

JT had the écrevisses (crayfish), we all agreed this was a really good dish. Perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned, not too overwhelming that you couldn’t taste the dish, despite the fact that they added coriander. So, this was a hit.

So far so good….


JT and JJ had the rognon (kidneys), although they were cooked perfectly, I have to say it was just good, nothing wowed us about this dish, in fact we all agreed it could’ve used something, maybe some espelette (Basque peppers), or something to give it more excitement.

I had the “Plume Iberique” which is the side part of the pig.  OK, I like pork and any incarnation of pork, I have to say though that this pork was cooked very, very unevenly. Parts were crispy crunchy, and other parts were moist and tender, and other parts were dry.  Fortunately, I like all ways of preparing pig, even in my case three-in-one.  It was topped with pickled chopped red onions which, for me, was distracting but JJ liked it.  But this is definitely not for everyone. It came with some really creamy mashed potatoes that were quite good.


We shared a croquant fruit rouges, strawberries and raspberries over whipped cream and sprinkled with a crusty cake crust. Although good, it was nothing special and didn’t look like a lot of effort was put into the dish.


This is a family owned restaurant. It’s quaint bordering on kitschy, but has a lot of history.  Although this restaurant is known, and has been written up several times about their promoting "offal", I was disappointed that there were only two-offal dishes on the whole menu.

Service was quick, so quick I felt like I was in US.  In fact, one of my dishes was whisked away before I barely finished the last bite. We give them the benefit of the doubt since it wasn’t crowded so they paid more attention to us.  But I did have the feeling they couldn't wait for us to leave so they can get on with something else.  There’s something to be said about enjoying a leisurely lunch, which the French are known for, but I guess they didn’t get the memo!

We had a bottle of Cheverny, 3 additional glasses of wine and 2-coffees and our meal came to 55€ each, so this is not an inexpensive place.

Would I go back, I’m not sure, since there’s so many other restaurants to try in our neighborhood!  Because we had such high expectations we were quite disappointed.

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