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Paris Bistros, Restos


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As I think Orik said, "it is that time again."   I will be in Paris for a few days in the beginning of December, any recommendations? New ones, old standbys? Places to avoid?   I have a bunch o

I suspect Bruni or Paglia wrote that review.

Had lunch here last week and it was so good I've booked dinner for next month!.   Added bonus of being right by the metro on the 8 line.

in August I had a very good lunch at Saturne, good but both my dishes needed a bit of salt. Still I'd go back. I also had a fantastic dinner at Comptoir du Relais. Stunning. Have loved Frenchie Wine Bar. If you are in the area and in need of a quick nosh the tacos at Candalaria are surprisingly good.

 

Heading back to Paris for my birthday in Dec. Looking forward to ongoing reviews so I can choose a great dinner. Thinking Vivant? Sola? Yam'tcha?

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in August I had a very good lunch at Saturne, good but both my dishes needed a bit of salt.

The typical American palate screams for additional salt in French dining rooms. So as to not insult the chef, we carry a tiny container of fleur de sel. Turns okay into WOW! Why not enjoy your plate as you prefer it. You're paying for it.

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in August I had a very good lunch at Saturne, good but both my dishes needed a bit of salt.

The typical American palate screams for additional salt in French dining rooms. So as to not insult the chef, we carry a tiny container of fleur de sel. Turns okay into WOW! Why not enjoy your plate as you prefer it. You're paying for it.

I don't know if I'd call the people writing on MFF "The typical American palate."

 

 

 

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One of the comforts of international travel (ex-Barcelona) is the relative assurance that salt will be used reasonably, by which I don't mean that dishes won't be salty when they need to be*, but that someone won't decide to suspend judgement and ruin a perfectly good plate of food by tossing a teaspoon's worth of coarse salt on it before it leaves the kitchen**, or, historically, by deciding to salt stock before reducing it into demi-glace and then use that demi-glace for sauce.

 

A curious direction that some Parisian kitchens (Septime, Chateaubriand, and a few others) are taking in a misguided attempt to reassert their significance in the global dining scene is to avoid the use of spices altogether, instead using "natural ingredients". For example substituting sea beans for salt (because, I suppose,sea beans are made salty by divine intervention and not by NaCl?). Also common by now, but good, is the veal + oyster tartare... maybe something will come out of this silliness after all.

 

* some dishes you can't fix by adding salt tableside, pasta being the obvious example.

** I've heard from multiple American chefs that their restaurant recipes end up using 5x the amount of salt they specify in their cookbook, when you include that final "sprinkling"

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in August I had a very good lunch at Saturne, good but both my dishes needed a bit of salt.

The typical American palate screams for additional salt in French dining rooms. So as to not insult the chef, we carry a tiny container of fleur de sel. Turns okay into WOW! Why not enjoy your plate as you prefer it. You're paying for it.

I don't know if I'd call the people writing on MFF "The typical American palate."

It was something that Patricia Wells remarked about quite often in her restaurant reviews. Paraphrasing, "If only the kitchen had used some salt and pepper..." I consider her mainstream. But then, she doesn't write here.
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Going to try the new menu at L'Ami Jean tonight.

 

Looking forward to reading about it!

 

Last Friday we went early for dinner to L'Ami Jean. We sat at the table next to the kitchen. There were three of us. We all had the six or seven course menu at 75 euros. Although not mind blowing, ii think most dishes were very good +. i did not take pictures and cant recall all the details but it went something like this. There was a container of porc terrine on the table and a jar of little pickles. Since we were still discussing our options (there was a full menu of the usual alternatives , cote de boeuf, foie for 2 plus the game of the season selections, grouse, perdraux, hare) we had not touched it. Our waiter offered it to us and served a little to each. Then he took the terrine away. It was very good. The first course was a clear vegetable soup that was excellent with a little crunchy bites in it. Then an egg over (orange) trout and something else. the egg was done in the oven and finished in a pan and its yolk was soft but not runny. The dish was fine but a bit underwhelming for my tastebuds. Not sure if this is a salt issue-I have been oversalting things lately. Then, I think, the most successful, to me dish was a wedge of beef cheeks sandwich. It was served as a trio of triangles on a slab. The thin (buttered?)bread was toasted. The wedges were "seasoned" with little fried shrimps and some little snails (i am sure they have another name) scattered all over the serving palette. Then we had a nother clear soup. Then a white fish over something which I cant recall but I am sure it had no faults. Just well cooked fish over something or other. The last savory dish was a full sized serving portion of thick sliced roasted pork. It was adorned with his customary, crispy ham. The porc was unbelievably tender and flavorful and accompanied with cepes, the large mushrooms now in season. Then, a cheese course. It was a hard sheep cheese, thinly sliced and served with cherry compote. It might have been served too cold. The desserts were the excellent rice pudding, with caramel and dried fruit,cereal on the side. And a trio of little desserts one of which was a mini paris brest. These three were mostly forgettable.

Our young french server spoke to us in Spanish and explained what we were eating. I think the restaurant has made an effort to communicate better with its increasing non french clientele. the first time i was there a few years ago, no one spoke anything but French.

We all enjoyed this dinner and left fully satisfied.

 

vivant lunch today

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That sounds like the same thing they've been pushing for a while - either a la carte dishes with game, foie, etc. or the elaborate but very safe tasting menu. I guess they're just trying to push more people in that direction...

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Best I can tell, they have stagnated for well over 5 years now.

 

It's not my personal cup of tea.

It's a big favorite of an in-crowd who are thick with Jego who tosses them extra tidbits and includes them in the kitchen comaraderie. The rest of us get standard fare and service, not bad but not the best of our bistro experiences either. I have found the food considerably better than the Regalades, probably on a par with l'Oucine, but its best dishes are much more expensive than either also.
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Best I can tell, they have stagnated for well over 5 years now.

 

It's not my personal cup of tea.

It's a big favorite of an in-crowd who are thick with Jego who tosses them extra tidbits and includes them in the kitchen comaraderie. The rest of us get standard fare and service, not bad but not the best of our bistro experiences either. I have found the food considerably better than the Regalades, probably on a par with l'Oucine, but its best dishes are much more expensive than either also.

I don't understand the appeal of the Regalades -- even at the price offered.

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Best I can tell, they have stagnated for well over 5 years now.

 

It's not my personal cup of tea.

It's a big favorite of an in-crowd who are thick with Jego who tosses them extra tidbits and includes them in the kitchen comaraderie. The rest of us get standard fare and service, not bad but not the best of our bistro experiences either. I have found the food considerably better than the Regalades, probably on a par with l'Oucine, but its best dishes are much more expensive than either also.

I don't understand the appeal of the Regalades, even at the price offered.

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I don't understand the appeal of the Regalades, even at the price offered.

I have to admit that I don't pay the tab so seldom pay attention to price/value. The meal and experience are either good or aren't. So I'm totally in your camp. Neither LR makes it for us, although I have to admit that we gave up on the original years ago.
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