Monday-Tuesday, in A Nous Paris, Jerome Berger reviewed and gave 3/5 dots to the previously mentioned Indian MG Road and the previously mentioned Italian Caffe Stern; while Philippe Toinard, reviewed and gave 3/5 to the previously mentioned Le Gaigne, now in the 8th.
Tuesday in Le Fooding, there was a review of the Percherons in Ceret.
Wednesday in Figaroscope, Emmanuel Rubin, now doing the Hache Menu, led off with a review of the rather pricy (90-120 E) 16th restaurant – Victoria 1836, 12, rue de Presbourg, 01.44.17.97.72. Then he followed with his usual five reviews : giving 5/5 hearts to Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee which ran him 400 E for caviar, stockfish and a sardine. Two places got 2/5 hearts, the Soba restaurant Sara in the 1st and the Yankee organic/bio Rachel’s in the 3rd. One heart went to the Gyoza II in the 3rd and the Italian/Corsican Piadineria Lozio in thr 10th.
Figaroscope’s Dossier by Alice Bosio, Colette Monsat and Hugo de Saint Phalle celebrating the Street Food Temple event 19-21 September around the Carreau du Temple, mentioned restaurants there : the Cafe Pinson, Cafe Philippe, Fondation Cafe, Les Vitelloni, Monsieur Henri, The Broken Arm, L’Ilot.
Wednesday, also, Heidi Ellison in Paris Update reviewed Cock Art (the first restaurant to open in the new food street.
4.0 Le Gaigne, 2, rue de Vienne in the 8th, 01.45.22.23.62 (Metro: Europe), closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, is a restaurant with the same name and same chef (Mickaël Gaignon) as his former gem in the 4th which I loved beyond measure. But oh what a difference; - a cool, discrete outside - designer inside - 40 rather than 16 covers - Madame (Aurélie) nowhere to be seen, replaced by two jolly, friendly male professionals - a huge wine list and - prices many times that at the old haunt.
We were served amusing dainty amuses just as one would expect in an 8th joint, then my fellow-blogger ordered the cold soup of green leafy things which was extraordinarily soul-less while I scored with a toasty baked egg in a bed of mushrooms and their sauce.
For our mains we decided to go 50-50 but she started off with an overcooked, oversalted ray saved by a very tasty tasting lentil concoction and I had a good but not mind-blowing pintade.
For dessert, we again decided to order both and see; well, the mirabelle/sorbet thing was simply nowhere and the crepes without any ooompf. The mignardises were 8th-stuff once again - but the coffee was great.
With a bottle and two glasses of wine, no bottled water, excellent bread and that superb coffee, our bill was 127 E. dB level = 68.2 befitting the suit and tie 8th clientele.
Go? I've got to hear a lot more reports from trusted sources showing that Gagnon has upped his game before I return. But return I will because I know how good his food can be. Transiting to the center, especially the 8th, works for some (Eric Frechon) but not all for all (Mark Singer & Catherine Guerraz).
7.8 Le Comptoir Tempero, 124, Blvd Vincent Auriol (you remember him, the first president of the Fourth Republic from 1947 to 1954, well I do) right off the Square Pinel (he who took the chains off mental patients), 01.45.84.15.35, no reservations at least at lunch, (Metro: Nationale), closed weekends and Monday, is the off-shoot of Tempero, also in the 13th, where the Brazilian-Franco-Viet Namian couple set up their first place. Confession: I never went because "Brazilian-Franco-Viet Namian food" sounded confused, how wrong I was. The outside is the now-standard minimalist grey gun-metal, the inside raw wood and cool walls.
The amuses were those spicy little balls, the bread good, no very good, really really good and the wines, starting at 23 E a bottle - impressive. Oh and the menu/carte seemed Ok, but nothing out of the ordinary - how wrong I was.
Oh, how wrong. My first was called gyozas of lamb with beets, but the raviolis were perfectly cooked and perfectly set off by a spicy beet sauce; my main was called seabass with black rice, but the bass was perfectly sourced and marinated in some tasty thing, and its skin was crispy crunchy and came with beets two ways (confited and cooked) and a huge 1/2 carrot; and my dessert, a cheesecake the likes of which Philadelphia has never seen - about the best ever.
So to the bill. 3 courses here are 20 E (no, not kidding), a bottle of wine 23 E, so for two, with no bottled water but coffee (superb, beans ground before your very eyes), tossing in a supplement for the bar, a couple can easily exit starting at 64 E. Decibel level = 82.3 dB.
Go? Lordy me yes. I've been reading reviews and Hounders talking about 400 E - $1000 meals that may be nice stuff from Ducasse & Savoy (both of whom I've eaten with) but this sort of place with a young exciting chef is more interesting to me at this point in my life. BTW, the tables were full by 13h00.
5.8 Bobby & Bobette, 14, Rue Houdon in the 18th, 09.81.76.04.80 (Metro: Absesses) is a place whose truck I passed a while back and thought its mothership deserved a look. The day I went a crew was laying cable in front of it and provided great street theater during my meal.
I had just spent the night sleeping on a bench (no kidding) in the Brussels airport in my crazy escape route from Madrid to Paris with Air France's strike and was really dizzed out. But I tried to make the meal as good as I could and started off with a ceviche of cod, moved on to a veal kidney in cream sauce and ended with a superb creme brulee.
With 50 cl of Bordeaux and such a 3-course, "fresh products/fait maison" meal, with no coffee or bottled wayer, the bill comes to 36 E.
Go? Well it is nice to have an alternative on the Mont to Jeanne B. and the Cantine de la Cigale if they're closed. Although Le Miroir is here too i suppose.
I went to the Prado this morning and the lines were horrible; luckily a Press Pass opens them up and in a few minutes I was at the temporary show on El Greco and his influence on everyone from Manet to Francis Bacon; very impressive; a quick tour of the Goya black/dark/noir paintings in Room 67 and I was off to lunch.
El Senador is a place I'd read about on Chowhound as having good suckling pig and I sure needed that today after wrestling all day yesterday with Air France & Expedia to get me back home to Paris. It's across from the Senate, has been here for either 60 or 16 years and is crusty as the dickens, and empty too - Senate must be out of town (but wait.......)
They started me off with some rolls (very crusty good), sausages (good) and butter and some wine from La Mancha, replete with a drawing of Don Q. himself; I moved on to a "green" salad that, though, had heirloom tomatoes, sliced onions and a fine dressing; then what I came for - the suckling pig leg with tender hot meat inside and crispy crunchy skin outside - heaven!
My coffee (just fine thank you) came with a coffee liquor topped with cream and the bill with this all, but no bottled water, was 38.50 E or 77 E a couple. Oh, as for the empty restaurant, the Senate staffers were all in the attached bar having a lovely time.
Arriba is one of Ramon Freixa's latest ideas, sited like a theater in a huge food court at the Platea Madrid, (a take-off on Milan and Bolona's Eatily) 5, Goya near Colon. I arrived at 1 PM and was told it didn't open til 1:30 so I repaired to the food court after noting the Picasso bullfight drawings, some of which I have copies, around the bar.
There I sat and sipped some fine sangria while watching more Security folks pass by than Barack Obama has and a huge screen show a loop of what it said were live shots of the Madrid Fashion week, with their models choreographed by the Minister of Silly Walk, John Cleese, I suspect, which I had passed a few hours ago; prompting my observation that the difference between attendees at a fashion event and a medical congress was that the physicians are better looking.
The menu was impressive and the bread roll warm and crusty but it had a strange taste, as did the cod fritter made from the chef's own recipe; ditto the gambas and red rice which also were oversalted; there's something in Madrid cooking that doesn't please my palate. But the rich and suited folk around me seemed to love it all.
My bill, with no bottled water, but coffee, was 45 E.
So, I was headed off to a trusted source's tapas bar of of her 10 best, the Miguel Angel, just 4 blocks from my hotel, the Miguel Angel - it was described as "the secret tip of everyone in the barrio: breakfast joint in the morning, white table dining at lunch, after work hangout for young professionals on weekends. But those who really know stop in between 7pm and 9pm, when the mood is mellow and the tables in the alcove are still free. Following tradition every glass comes with a heaping plate of tapas to choose from. Cured ham on pisto with melted goat cheese, or the ubiquitous tortilla Espanola, the options change everyday but the flavor is consistent."
But it seems things have changed; plenty of booze, no food and no fun at least at 20h00. So Plan B.
El Jardin del Miguel Angel, in my hotel, BTW a very wonderful luxurious hotel, that I had a great deal from Expedia about (across from all things a Starbucks where I had breakfasts [they have different breakfast stuff]). Well, it was not half-bad; some great olives, wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, amuse of gaspacho (not so great) and salmon pate (pretty great); and a dish of artfully displayed anchovies with toasted "tomato" bread and raw chopped tomatoes like La Gaya used to do on the left bank.
With no water, desserts or coffe, my bill was 28 E.
5.1 Le Bouquet du Nord, 85, Rue de Mauberge in the 10th, 01.48.78.29.97 (Metro: Gare du Nord) was my fall-back resto choice after I realized that Rosa Bonheur Sur Seine would be impossible to get in and out of due to the women's 6 K La Parisienne. In any case, I arrived early and cooled my heels sipping some fine Bordeaux until the kitchen opened (the wait-staff were super nice in indulging me).
I ordered defensively since I'd never been and reviews on the web were mixed; however, the salad frisee had great chunks of lard and a wonderful dressing that was like Aux Lyonnais circa 1968; the "beautiful St Pierre" was quite ordinary, but the potatoes with sauce were tasty although the trumpets of death were not; and the meringue with the coffee was more than decent.
My bill, with more decent bread than usual at a station joint and no bottled water, was 32.30 E.
Go back? Probably not although around the Gare du Nord is tough sledding.
Jose Luis on Serrano in Madrid was a place several sources recommended me in Madrid where I was for a Congres. It was quiet enout at 8 PM when I went but in Spanish fashion, was packed when I left. All I wanted was some wine and tapas and the score was mixed: the wine and chipirons were terrific but the bonito was too spicy and the sausage too greasy.
My bill with a half-bottle of wine, no bottled water and these tapas, was 18.50 E.
Monday-Tuesday, in A Nous Paris, Jerome Berger reviewed and gave 3/5 dots to Le Vaisseau Vert, 10, rue de Parme in the 9th, 0149.70.03.55, closed weekends at lunch and Sunday on Monday for dinner, which is another place serving French food with a Japanese chef - running one about 40 E for items such as cannellonis of haddock, an entrecote and carrot cake with munster and espelette. Philippe Toinard, meanwhile, reviewed and gave 3/5 to Wallace, 90 rue de Cambronne in the 15th, 01.47.34.28.39, open 7/7 and running one 35-50 E for items such as a millefeuille of eggplant and fresh fish and cheesecake. In addition, the was an article on the canal d’Ourcq that mentioned a new restaurant, Les Bancs Publics at 2, rue de Nantes in the 19th, no telephone given, closed Sunday and Monday nights, where an autodidactic chef serves a 3-course meal for 15.90 E.
Tuesday in Le Fooding, there was a review of the Italian Caffè Stern in the 2nd.
Wednesday in Figaroscope, Emmanuel Rubin, now doing the Hache Menu, led off with a glowing review of the rather pricy (100-130 E) 16th restaurant – Pages. His 5 reviews were of the 2/5 heart relocated Le Gaigne, 2, rue de Vienne in the 8th, 01.45.22.23.62, closed weekends where at 42 & 75 E (degustation) or 45 and 70 E ALC one can have cannelloni of ray, barbue and a moulleux and 2/5 Yankee Bronco in the 10th. Garnering 1/5 were the Ialian Quindici in the 15th and the fisn n chipsish George in the 10th. A busted heart went to the Italian Mercato in the 10th.
Much of the rest of Figaroscope was devoted to Alain Ducasse and the Dossier by Alice Bosio and Colette Monsat was no exception listing his favorite tables: Pierre Sang Boyer Bistrot Belhara Jin Coretta Okuda Caffe Stern Frenchie To Go Foundation Cafe Brut
Sunday, in the JDD version femina, François Lemarié reviewed the second restaurant of the Brazilian-Viet Namese couple who run Tempero, this called Tempero Le Comptoir in 13th. In the main JDD, Aurelie Chaigneau reviewed and rated 5.5/10 the bio Soya in the 11th, called the Italian Viola her discovery of the week (7) and revisited Braisenville (7).
2.5 Les Petites Ecuries, 38-40 Rue des Petites Ecuries in the 10th, no telephone listed and no reservations taken apparently (Metro: Chateau d'Eau), open 7/7, was on everyone's list of summer terraces - Figaro calling it "La Plus Jungle." Well, I guess it is - but the jungle facing the street is replete with folks smoking whose fumes go inwards not outwards, so I moved to the very back. The carte is suspiciously long on Metro-type dishes and short on what needs to be prepared today.
So, rather than order a hamburger or fish-burger or salad, I decided to go with two starters that seemed to me, must be fixed on site: fried pseudo-Viet Namese rolls with crevettes which had the strangest taste, and a batch of palourdes which had the strangest taste; terminating with a moelleux of caramel with ice cream that had little but no strange taste.
The bill with no bottled water, lousy bread rolls, a half-bottle of rose and a coffee, comes to 78.80 E a couple.
Go? The only redeeming virtue here are the splendid toilets, otherwise you can cross it off your list, jungle or no.