"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 9, 2016

Cinq Mars Restaurant -- Restaurant Review

51, Rue de Verneuil
75007 Paris
01 45 44 69 13
Opened every day
Metro (12) Solferino

Website: http://cinq-mars-restaurant.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 (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

2.70 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 4.5 - Bell

This restaurant is located in the posh area of Paris, the 7eme arrondissement, close to the Musée d'Orsay and the Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

It's a small restaurant, but they managed to pack quite a number of tables inside the restaurant. It was a warm day and with no air-conditioning we were grateful all the windows were open. Fortunately, we had an "independent" table for 4 next to the interesting listings of wines handwritten on a chalk board.

As we entered the restaurant we noticed it was extremely busy. One of my friends was a bit insulted because she was the first to go up to the maitre'd and yet, he helped the man behind her first, so this was a bit disconcerting.

Although, one friend was late, we sat at the table for what seemed like a very long time before the wait-staff even asked us if we wanted any water or wine while we waited for our friend.

They had 2-menus, the menu of the day, which was a prix-fixe lunch for a very, very reasonable price of 18€ for 2-courses or 22.50€ for 3-courses.  And, they had their regular a-la-carte menu.  One of us selected the 3-course menu, while three of us ordered a-la-carte.


Tartine de campagne aux veau et pleurotes (Country bread with veal and mushrooms). This entrée reminded me a lot of "blanquette de veau", it was not a shy entrée by any means. It was creamy rich with lots of mushrooms and tidbits of veal. It was accompanied with crispy toasted slices of baguette. It was rustic in its presentation, but over-all we thought it was a very good, hearty entrée, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Veloute d’asperges (Cream of asparagus soup). The soup was served in a large tureen and a dollop of cream which you could mix into your soup as desired.  The soup was good, rich and creamy, but nothing out of the ordinary, almost nondescript.

Salade de poulpe, huile d’olive et citron (Octopus salad, olive oil and lemon). I had the octopus salad. I have to say in its simplicity this was a very, very good dish because it was cooked well. The octopus was extremely tender, not an easy feat. The lemon added a nice citrus flavor. The only minor complaint I had about this entrée, was that it was a bit salty.


Cote de cochon nourri au lin, purée de céleri (Pork chop with flaxseeds and a purée of celeriac).  Three of us had this dish, and we thought it was quite a nice generous portion. This was a rustic cut of pork which included the rind/fat which I think adds to the moistness and taste of the dish.  We all agreed the pork chop was delicious. The purée of celeriac was a nice alternative to mash potatoes. What I did find odd though was a clump of parsley put on the side, very 1980's plating.  But overall, a very good hearty rustic dish.

Cuisse poulet fermier, puree de pomme de terre (Leg/thigh of farm raised chicken, mashed potatoes). This was a very simple dish, a roast chicken with mashed potatoes, it was nothing extraordinary, but a good basic dish none-the-less. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of this dish.


Verrine de fraises à la chantilly (Strawberries and cream). There was nothing to this dessert since it's basically strawberries and cream. It was a good basic dessert you can have at any home and/or restaurant.

Assiette de fromages (cheese plate).  The plate had basically 2-types of cheeses, it included a chevre (goat cheese) and Comté (unpasteurized aged cow cheese).  Nice contrasts between the 2-cheeses and it came with some confiture.


The service was a bit off-putting in the beginning with the mishap with my friend trying to get our table, and with myself I felt a little attitude. And, granted we expected slow service, that's the norm, unhurried service, but it seemed longer than usual. Normally at minimum we should've been asked if we wanted some water or wine until our friend arrived. I have to say though, that the wait-staff did warm up to us later.  This restaurant served good basic French cuisine. Our favorite was the octopus entrée and the pork plat, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. I can see why it's very popular at lunch time. It was packed and extremely noisy. Having a conversation was nearly impossible, but as it thinned out, it became easier. The prices are very reasonable and I would go back for the simple basic food and price ratio. This is not a place you'd go for the ambiance, nor a place to go for a business meeting, or for that matter a romantic meal.

For 1-prix-fixe 3-course lunch, 2-entrées, 2-plats, a cheese plate, and 2-bottles of rosé our meal came to 44€ each.

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