"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, April 13, 2018

Grive -- Restaurant Review

18 Rue Breguet, 75011 Paris Phone: 01 43 55 53 93
Closed Saturdays and Sundays
Metro 11 (Bastille)

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+)

3.75 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 3 - Bell

Our good friend J and his wife Colette are back in town and invited us to try their favorite restaurant of 2018 which J along with his French television food personality friend gave rave reviews. The restaurant is named after an indigenous bird of France. It's a very small restaurant, about 22-seats  in the front, and in back a table for 4 by the kitchen.

We pursued the menu and found it to be a nice varied, uncomplicated menu with a nice selection of meat, fowl and seafood.


Salade de Coque (Cockle salad). J and Colette ordered this salad. It's really hard to cook cockles and make them tender, oftentimes, the cockles for many taste like miniature "balled" rubber bands. And, you need a little toothpick like tool to get it out of the shell. These were served "shelled".  This was a really good dish. The cockles were cooked perfectly and not at all rubbery. Light, refreshing with a nice mild vinaigrette was on point.

Rillette de maqueraux (Mackerel rillette).  Jack ordered this dish. Imagine a tuna salad made with a light mayonnaise, but instead with mackerel. Mackerel has a very strong distinct fish flavor, especially when smoked. This mackerel was mild and was actually good. Didn't have that overwhelmingly strong taste, but it wasn't my favorite dish but Jack quite liked it.

Asperges vertes & sauce mousseline (Green asparagus and mousse sauce). I ordered this dish. I liked this dish because of its simplicity. Normally, the French don't like their vegetables too raw, unless e.g., asparagus is shaved thinly and used as a salad. Most of the time, especially white asparagus, for my taste are always overcooked. In this case the asparagus was cooked, very al-dente, perfect for me, but might be too raw for most French. It was "french cut" (bottom outer skin layer removed) so you could eat even the toughest part of the stem. The accompanying sauce was good. The chef let the freshness of the asparagus speak for themselves.

6 huîtres naturelles de pleine mer de Saint Vaast La Hogue. (6 natural oysters of open sea of Saint Vaast La Hogue). J decided rather than have a main, he wanted another entrée. I've stopped eating oysters after reading several articles of diseases they can carry (it's the hypochondriac in me). But I was told they were very fresh and delicious.


Lieu jaune de ligne, poireaux & ail des ours (Pollock with leeks & wild garlic).  Jack and Colette ordered this dish. The fish was very fresh. I had a little taste of it, and it was damn moist. Perfectly cooked.  However in concert with the chef's approach to more simple, natural presentations, the fish was not seasoned at all and while moist and beautifully cooked it was somewhat bland.

Côte de cochon de Bayeux au foin (Bayeux Pig).  I ordered this dish. My first thought, wow, this is one huge chunk of pork. This pork could easily have served two people. For me the pork was cooked perfectly. I like the outside of my pork to be a little crispy and crunchy and the middle to be well cooked regardless whether it's attached to the skin or not, but also moist. And, it delivered. The sprinkling of salt was a nice touch since some of the other dishes could've used more. This was your basic meat and potato dish with beets. A very good hearty meal.


Note: I don't eat desserts, so according to the group:

Tarlette et noisettes de Sicile (Coffee and hazelnut tart from Sicily). The tartlette was very good and not too sweet.

Creme brulee a la flouve (Crème brûlée with the) flouve (plant used for flavoring). A classic but the twist was adding the flouve known for its sweet scent.

Overall, nothing out of the ordinary, but good desserts.


The restaurant had a nice selection of wines.

Vin d’ Alsace, Edelzwicker Bergheim 2015. This is a dry white wine from the Alsace region of France. I especially enjoyed it because it had a nice clean, crisp taste and since I don't drink red wine for health reasons, it went well with my pork dish.

2015 Tango Atlantico, Noella Morantin.  This is a red wine from the Loire region of France. Known for its tasting notes of red fruits, cocoa, cinnamon, prune.


Overall, the execution of their dishes was very good. Did the dishes wow me, no. Was it above average, yes. Was the service good, it was excellent. Would I return, absolutely. Some of the dishes like my asparagus were very under-seasoned, but that was quickly recommended by adding salt.

For 4 people: 5-entrées, 3-plats, 2-desserts, 2-bottles of wine and 3-espressos and a tea our bill came to €213.50 or €53.38 a person.

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