"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, January 28, 2016

Restaurant H -- Restaurant Review

13 rue Jean Beausire
75004 Paris
Tel: 01 43 48 80 96
Metro: Lines--1,8,5 Bastille
Open Tuesday through Saturday 12 h à 15h et de 20h à 23h
Website: www.restauranth.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 (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)

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

This is a relatively new restaurant and has only been open for a few weeks. Although it's in the 4eme and centrally located, it's hidden. It's located on a quiet street not often traversed, Rue Jean Beausire. At the helm is Chef Hubert Duchenne. Originally from Normandy he trained with some impressive Chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Jean-Louis Nomicos and Olivier Nasti.

It's a small restaurant and the interior is quite pleasant. Very modern and sleek, but not cold at all. It was quite cozy and the tables were nicely spaced so that you're not on top of your neighbors as is typical of Parisian restaurants.

Basically, they have 3-tasting menus: 3-courses (30€), 5-courses (50€), and 7-courses (70€).  Since it is Chef's choice, you need to let them know up front if you're allergic to anything.  Fortunately, we're not, except since I don't eat sugar I did ask if they could substitute the dessert with cheese, which they thankfully obliged.  We opted for the 3-course lunch since none of us are big eaters.

At first we were given little tasty morsels of chips bedded onto un-popped popcorn. They were actually quite good; one was a sesame chip and the other was a grain chip. They were salted with big chucks of salt which I liked. Additionally, we were served a wheat bread accompanied with a wonderful creamy butter.


For our first course we had the "lieu" a pollack fish. It was lightly poached encased in a sauce of watercress. The fish was extremely moist. I would guess that it was cooked "sous-vide".  It was accompanied with cubed radishes. At first it tasted like unripened mango or even unripened papaya, but our waiter told us it was a "boule d'or" turnip which in fact has the characteristic taste of a firm "almost" ripen mango, but not as stringy. Overall, this dish was very delicious and well executed.


For our main course we had the veal.  I was a bit surprised by the smallness of the dish. It was almost an entrée size (appetizer).  It was accompanied with baby carrots and a kumquat/carrot mash, and garnished with some watercress.  It was a delicious dish, again well executed. Almost textbook perfect. Personally, I would've wished the veal was a little larger, to distinguish it from the entrée portion.  Again, this dish was well executed.


For the sweet desserts, my companions had the chocolate mousse caramel with cream and chips of chocolate as well as coconut. They liked the dish and thought it was well executed as well.

I had the cheese as a sweet substitution. It was an aged chevre (goat cheese), very good, but then again, I personally don't think you can go wrong with the cheeses in France.

As a parting sweet we were given a marshmallow with coconut.


In it's newness, the restaurant was above average. If you're really hungry, then I highly recommend you go for the minimum 5-course tasting menu. The portions are small. The food is very tasty and well executed. Although the food was above average and tasty, it lacked depth or "soul".  It did not wow us. It needed definition, it needed to be more than just text-book correct.  On a positive note, although the portion sizes were small, they were tasty. So, personally, I would rather have small portions, but tasty rather than large portion and lack of taste.

I personally feel that the restaurant will continue to evolve and become even better, once the Chef finds his identity. Would I go back, sure, I'd like to see what else the Chef has in store.

The service was excellent and with the two bottles of wine and coffee our bill came to 177€ for 3-people.

For the red wine we had the "Bourgueil -- les vingt lieux dits", which is known for its fruity tones of raspberry,violet with pepper notes. A very good all around red wine.

And, for the white we had Domaine Alain Chavy bourgogne chardonnay 2014, crisp, clean, dry which is usually served with fatty dishes.

Both were excellent wines for the price.

1 comment :

  1. It sounds like an experience that is better than most. I too agree on small but tasty. I wonder how the chef feels about telling people that he studied under someone who was Nasti! ;)