"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)!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Restaurant Review -- Grand Cœur

41 rue du Temple, 75004 ParisTel: 01 58 28 18 90
Metro: Hôtel de ville (Line 1)
Closed Mondays

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 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 4 - Bell

This restaurant has been around a while. I've been meaning to go to it, because it's in the Marais where we typically hang out. And, it's known for their dining al-fresco. Unfortunately, today it rained buckets so we went inside.

Interior is really nice. The stone walls and the high ceilings gave it an old world charm. But that's where it stopped. The restaurant was not full, and we did have a late seating (1:30 pm), but it was so noisy. It had a lot to do because the walls were stone and the tables were marble, so a lot of the noise bounced off.

The menu was interesting. They said they had a prix-fixe menu, but it was not printed, so in addition to asking for some water and the specials, our waiter just went off and totally forgot about us.

Finally a woman wait person came and she told us what the specials were. We had to ask her to repeat it as the acoustics were so bad we could not understand her. And, we once again asked for water and it finally came. 

After we made our decisions, we decided to order the specials.  We also ordered wine. Normally the wine comes before the meal is served. But we got it mid-way through our entrée, how weird.


Calamari salad. It was actually quite good. There were julienne carrots, zucchini in a light vinaigrette oil mixture. And, much to our pleasant surprise there were also some large pieces of whole shelled shrimp. The calamari was just a tad tough, but not unpleasant to the palate. Be forewarned if you're allergic to peanuts, this dish did have peanuts. I happen to like peanuts on my salad so this was a plus for me. Overall a very good composed first course.


Duck. The duck was served to us 2-ways, roasted breast, and in a cup almost served like a parmentier, however, the potato topping was more like a thin whipped potato that was very light and airy. I did not like the roasted duck, it was very tough. However, my friend who ordered the same dish said his was fine. I gave him a piece of mine and he agreed that mine was particularly tough. So, it looks like they have consistency issues coming out of the kitchen. The accompanying vegetables of zucchini and a pureed of peas was a nice accompaniment. I thought the sauce for the duck was a bit tart though.

The little cup with pulled duck in the sauce was absolutely delicious. It had a lot of flavor and the meat was cooked very tender. This was the saving grace of this dish.

We decided to forego dessert and got coffee instead.

Wine: Thierry Germain Les Roche 2015 Samur Champigny.  A red wine made with 100% cabernet franc from the Loire. It has both the smell and taste of red fruits with a very balanced acidity.


This restaurant is known for their outdoor terrace, so it's apparently nice to come here for al-fresco dining. Unfortunately, for us it rained and we ate indoors. The food is just fair, nothing special. The service was inconsistent. One waiter never remembered our orders, so we had to ask the other wait-staff and they were more attentive. Would we go back, maybe for the outdoor dining where the noise level would be lowered. The food wasn't bad, but it just wasn't anything special.

With 4-entrées, 4-plats, 1-coffee, 1 bottle of red wine and 2 glasses of white wine our bill came to 171€.

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