"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)!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Il Sorrentino -- Restaurant Review

4 Rue de Monttessuy, 75007 Paris Phone:01 45 55 12 50
RER: Porte D'Alma
Metro: La Tour-Moubourg

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+)

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

I've just recently returned to Paris and had our typical Wednesday lunch with my friends from the 16eme arrondissement.  We were 4-people, and I was inspired to eat at this restaurant after seeing a "demo" on an intriguing way to flavor pasta by using a cheese wheel. (see plat section).


We decided to share the entrées. We had an antipasto of vegetable antipasto, a frito calamari and a grilled calamari. The vegetable antipasto was simple, grilled, straight forward and given a nice dose of olive oil. In it's simplicity it was delicious.  The fried calamari, although attractive, was way overcooked. There's a general rule about calamari, either cook it one minute or one hour, otherwise it will have the consistency and the taste of a rubber band. And, this is exactly what it tasted like, rubber.  On the other hand, the grilled calamari was perfectly cooked and delicious, with a nice added citrus. We agreed that this was our favorite entrée and in fact dish of our lunch.


The reason why I wanted to go to this restaurant was because of this dish "Cheese wheel cacio e pepe", pasta prepared in a cheese wheel, particularly a parmigiano reggiano wheel.  About the only thing that was impressive about this dish was the presentation. I realize that are different version of this dish, but typically this is very simple dish made of pasta, olive oil,  pepper and of course the cheese. And, sometimes it can be made a little creamier by adding a touch of cream and/or butter. Once the dish was served, I noticed it seemed more milky than creamy and it had to have been the most boring pasta I've ever had. My guess is that they used mostly the water from the pasta which didn't incorporate well to make a nice sauce. I think I would've welcomed some cream and/or butter. In French, a great description would be  "fade" (bland). I wasn't even offered pepper when the dish was served. So, I was very, very disappointed.


As I mentioned we all 4 shared the dishes. For our our main dishes we had a pizza, a gnocchi and a ravioli.  I have to say I liked the pizza. The crust was nice and topped with simple fresh ingredients such as arugula as well as ham.  However, the two other pasta dishes, not so much. They were uneventful and forgettable. All I recalled tasting was the heavy creams, which detracted from the e.g., truffles in the gnocchi. And, the ravioli was just ordinary.


We ordered two desserts, the "coffee gourmand" which in France is usually coffee accompanied with 2 or more small desserts. The coffee gourmand came with a pane cotta, a cannoli and a mousse.  The second dessert had 3-flavored ice creams. Since I don't eat sugar, comments was the cannoli was just average and the rest were good.


Italian food is probably one of my all time favorite cuisines because of its simplicity and its freshness. I thought the grilled calamari and the pizza were very good. Maybe I have an aversion to cream, but I found the pasta dishes just too laden with cream. I realize that Northern Italian cuisine use a lot of diary, but for me, it really detracted from the pasta. The primary pasta dish "Cacio e pepe" that I was so looking forward to was such a disappointment.

The service was very good.  Net-net if you like creamy pastas, then this is the place for you. Would I go back, maybe, but I think I'd stay away from the creamy pastas. With 3-glasses of wines, and the dishes above for 4-people our bill came to 195€.


  1. That's a shame that this Italian restaurant was not as expected. I was raised on Italian food but my grandparents came from Ascoli Satriano on the heel of the boot. Southern Italian cooking bordering on what would be called "peasant" food but it was always freshly made and delicious. It also helped that my grandfather had a large garden and they grew a lot of wound up in our meals!

  2. Another great review. Thank you Randy!