6.2 Le Tourbillon in the 17th has a bit of a back-story and because I promise my readers I will update information and my rating(s) here goes: I ate there first in February 2010 in their left bank site and felt it merited only a 5.1, slightly above average; then when they moved to the 17th I went in April 2014 and thought it was much better, about a 6.7. But today,....but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Today was the hottest day of the Year so far and by the time we's schlepped over to the 17th I was dripping and a glass of white Beaujolais was just what we needed. And their amuse-gueules were "very nice" said one of our friends of a couple who have homes in both Paris and San Francisco.
Our firsts were quite delicious: a plate of tomatoes, greens and melted goat cheese on toast and sweetbread bits with girolles and croutons. And another bottle of wine.
Then one of us had a very nice cut of veal and the other three had the jambonnette of stuffed rabbit - a big mistake - because the rabbit was dry as a bone and the jambonnette was unlike any jambonnette I've ever encountered (although much loved by Colette) and we had three servings to get through. By this point we'd switched to a red.
For dessert, we 4 ordered two; a tart of apricots that was lackluster and a very good tiramisu of chocolate and other flavors. (Based upon Colette's experience with dessert tarts in restaurants she has decided she can buy much better ones in a good bakery.) The mignardises, were, like the amuses, "quite nice."
We appreciated the airconditioning and we thought the service offered by two young women was very good.
Our bill with three bottles of wine, no bottled water and two coffees - 95.45 E a couple.
Conclusion: Not as ordinary a meal as I had in 2010 but not as good as 2 months ago. Too bad.
John’s Top Ten or so for 2014: 8.0 A.T. 7.8 Kigawa 7.6 BAT 7.5 Le Servan 7.4 Sur le fil, Bistrot Maquis 7.4 Maison de l’Amerique Latine 7.2 Le Bon Georges, Yard, Huitrerie Regis, Le Clown Bar 7.1 L’Envie du Jour 7.0 Table de Cybele, Will, Jeremie, Mangetout, Le Rubis 6.9 La Faille 6.5 Les Deserteurs, Dix-Sept, Les Enfants Gates 6.4 Auberge du Roi 6.3 Hai Kai, Eugenie 6.2 Atelier Ramey, Saut du Crapaud, Le Tourbillon 6.1 Circle Rouge, Postiche, Bistrot Quai 6.0 Ferme St. Simon, Petit Matthieu, OKA, Ruisseau
Les Enfants Gâtés in the 14th is a place that pleased me enormously a while ago and I resolved to go back with Colette. We invited another food-interested couple but got our wires crossed and so while we were in the 14th, they were in the 3rd. In any case they started us off with a thick mousse of avocado with tiny crunchy fish eggs or was it tapioca; hunnnnh?
Colette started off with a lovely mound of crab meat with herring eggs on a bed of crustacean jelly that needed a little fleur de sel de Camargue boost, but my sardines with sweet pepper, olives, tampenade and EVOO needed no enhancement and with the Buzet made for a great start.
For mains, Colette had the cod with squid slices, coco beans and aromatic oil and I repeated my sweetbreads with a risotto of diced potatoes - same overcooking of the sweetbreads but better offsetting by the potatoes this time around. At this point we moved onto some Chinon.
For dessert we shared a tiramisu with Mara des bois strawberries; just fine.
Our bill with the 1.5 bottles of wine, no bottled water, a 12 E supplement for the ris de veau and 2 coffees was 110 E.
Two very positive addenda: our check was delivered promptly and the A/C was turned back on after a number of us asked.
Yard in the 11th; Colette and I were horrendously late for our lunch date with two new friends (blame it on Delanoye's hairbrained traffic scheme that has delivery trucks, cars making turns and taxis unloading passengers in the bus lane so the buses cannot make better time than dump trucks) - but luckily our friends had proceeded with some wine and water and we joined in.
There were three starters and Colette, ever challenging the social order, ordered all three and raved about them. The coques with lovage were intense; the beets and cherries subtle and the gaspacho so good that I had a bowl of it for my dessert.
For mains we had the white tuna with salicorns, cucumbers and smoked apricots and lamb sweetbreads with peas and buttermilk with warm whole radishes (that really didn't work for me.) At this point we'd turned to a red Gamay which went nicely with it all.
For desserts, in addition to my gaspacho, the others had grilled peach and fresh cheese, a Kate Mousse (ha ha) and fromage blanc with honey and pistachio bits.
With some rose to end the meal, one bottled water and two coffees, our bill woulnd up being 82.50 E a couple.
The Restaurant A.T. (Atsushi Tanaka) in the 5th is another place I ate at earlier this summer that Colette marked on her list of "musts" and we went with two wonderful long-time colleagues in town for a few days. The menu this time was spelled out and totally different from last time excepting the charbon chip amuse starter.
To begin with we had cubes of salmon, halves of tiny potatoes and juniper; then veal with yellow beets and rosemary - both with a bottle of light Alsatian Riesling - a wonderful start.
Then we had chichard (a mackerel-like fish) in a cherry-tomato gaspacho with dribs of avocado; some foccacio (much better than it was last time) with olive oil from Seville; and lieu jaune (pollack) with pdt puree and safran - with another slightly more assertive Alsatian wine.
As it came time to serve our double-lamb chops (wonderfully underdone) the head-guy who was most attentive to our wine-needs whispered "would you like some red wine with the lamb?" - I asked the table and on we went with another bottle which worked out well with the tonka/chocolate dessert as well. "Oh," you say, "what are those green dots?" - "well they're camouflage." "Huh?" Sure, pureed broccoli, zucchini and parsley." "Ah, ha."
Our bill; arr, hem, haw, shucks, our friends picked it up although I put up a weak fight to share it. But if you figure that each couple had two 45 E menus, water (2 E), coffee (?) and let's say one bottle of wine at 37 E, one could get out for about 135E.
"Problems John?" "Well, actually yes." The noise level was intolerable and the peskies weren't fellow Yankees or fellow Parisians but Asians who constituted 50% of their custom.
The Hidden Philippine Kitchen in the 14th is hidden, as well it should be, from peskies of all nations, deep in the 14th, but Colette and I were invited by its chef and his husband to celebrate the fete national and the third Pacte de Famille that kept France and the Philippines friends forever. You remember that from History 101, no? In 1761? No? So check out wiki.
In any case, we were greeted with crispy "dim sum" with lettuce leaves, mint and cilantro and a spicy sauce with radishes and peanuts along with a glass of rose from Provence. This was followed by an incredibly spicy/tasty salad (like Colette's Thai salad), crispy fried spring rolls with lettuce leaves, mint and cilantro and a sweet sauce, followed by a plate of chicken adobo - the Philippine national dish - and topped off with a tapioca dessert with strawberries, pineapple and papaya.
Our bill, after many bottles of wine and cups of coffee? Walang anuman; we were their guests.