"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, October 11, 2018

Saturne -- Restaurant Review

17 rue Notre-Dame des Victoires - 75002 Paris
 +33 (0) 
Metro: line 8 -- Grand Boulevards
Check website for operating hours

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+)

4.75 - Star....................................................€€€........................................................ 3 - Bell

I went to this restaurant when it first opened up in 2010. After it got really popular and won a Michelin star in 2016, it was difficult to get a reservations. But turns out it's easier to get one for lunch and it's much more affordable too, so a win-win situation. The "FAB 3" as we like to call ourselves (myself, Steve & Keri) celebrated our birthdays at this restaurant. I was curious to see if it was still as good as I remembered it almost 8-years later.

The interior is very simple, nothing pretentious about it. They had quite an extensive wine list and the wines are proudly displayed along the wall and bar. We had a late reservation (1:30 pm) but there was still quite a large number of people there. It was an unusually warm October day, so it was a bit warm in the restaurant, even though they have a/c. As a general rule the French don't like a/c and to them it did not warrant having the a/c on,  but for us it was quite war. Fortunately, we adjusted as people started leaving.

They have a great prixe-fixe lunch for 50€. Very reasonable for a Michelin starred restaurant. With the exception of dessert, we all had the same entrée and plat (main).

ENTRÉE:  Ravioles de homard & oignon doux, safran, huile de feuille de figuier (Lobster & sweet onion ravioli, saffron, fig leaf oil).  When it was presented it looked ordinary enough, however, when we tasted it, we were transported to a wonderful world of flavors. The lobster was sweet and tender, and the pasta encasing the lobster was al-dente. But the real winner here was the sauce. For lack of a better description, it was orgasmic. The sweetness from the onions and fig oil came through, and the saffron brought it to another level. We all agreed this dish was PHENOMENAL!

PLATS. Poularde de la Sarthe, haricots coco & moules (Sarthe chicken, green beans with coco & mussels).  This was a simple roast chicken dish was brought to a whole new level. The beauty of this dish was the skin. It almost tasted like chicken skin chicharon. It was so crispy, yet the breast meat was succulently moist. Sometimes, simplicity is the best. Not over complicated by competing flavors.  The green beans I have to assume were boiled in coco water, they were nice, but I prefer them a little more al-dente. But overall I thought the dish was delicious.

DESSERTS. As most of you know, I don't normally eat sugar, but I broke my rule today since it was our birthday celebration.

1. Framboise et lait d'amande (Raspberry and almond milk). It was a very simple dessert. I didn't really taste the almond, but what I did taste was the raspberries, crisp and tart flavor along what was like baked crumbled meringue. I have to assume the almond flavoring was in that. It was a good dessert, but nothing out of the ordinary.

2. Chocolat, origan, foin, noisettes.(Chocolate, oregano, hay, hazelnuts). Yes, you read that right, hay in the flavor profile. It's an old traditional french cooking method to incorporate a smokey hay flavor to food. It was not a pretty dish, but it did pack a lot of combination flavors. The oregano was not a strong flavor and we had to go back to taste it, but after a few bites it came through. The chocolate was good and the crumble of hazelnut added some much needed texture. Overall, I wasn't that fond of this dessert.

NOTE: We did have some wine, but unfortunately I forgot the name of the label and I forgot to take a photo. It was a white wine (savignon blanc) that went well with our meals.


Yes, it's still as good as I remember it. I favored the savory dishes over the desserts. But then again I'm not fond of sweets. The entrée of lobster ravioli was a big hit for us. The flavors all melded into a wonderful dish that really brought out the sweetness of the lobster, and the sauce enhanced the pasta ravioli. We could find no fault in this dish, just excellence. The main of chicken was so simple, but so perfectly executed. Extraordinary crispy skin with moist breast meat. The desserts were OK, in hindsight I should've asked for cheese. The service was great, as for the interior, it can get a bit noisy and hard to hear, and it was a bit warm for us. Would I go back or recommend it, ABSOLUTELY!

For 3-coupes de champagne, 1-bottle water, 3-prix-fixe menus, 2-bottles of wine and a double espresso, our bill came to 280€ or 93.33€ a person.

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