Reaching for a star and….ah….falling
3.6 La Clarisse, 29, rue Surcouf in the 7th, 01.45.50.11.10, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays is wonderful reincarnation of the nothing place La Gourmandine. It’s beautiful, the staff are terrific and for a top of the line resto in this part of the 7th, with a menu of three courses for 38 and two for 31 €, how could they miss? Plus the chef used to be at the Ferme St Simon and I ate well there.
Well, let me start with the clientele and sound-dampening; the day I was there two American dot-comers, two French buyers of software and one Brit who seemed in the middle, talked non-stop at the top of their voices some 30 feet from me and the acoustics, like in Chartres, enabled their loud conversation to go bingo into my ears (and yes I tried other secluded corners to no avail).
Then let’s go to the wonderfully priced “menu” – very reasonable but only two choices for firsts (eggs with boudin noir vs halfcooked salmon with sliced potatoes on a bed of ratatouille – actually quite tasty); mains (an uninteresting sounding fish dish and a tough pheasant that was also banal and tasteless – a tough combo to achieve); and desserts (an assortment of ice creams or what was described as cooked apples like a tarte tatin – which was nothing of the sort – it was OK, but was in reality a pile of cream/baked apple/what we call a lace cookie at our joint/more baked apple and a ball of caramel ice cream on top).
I can just see taking my foursome here and having them balk at the choices, look at the carte (18 for firsts, 32 for mains and 12 € for desserts) – and never forgive me. The bill for the three-course menu, plus two glasses of red wine and no water or coffee = 54 €.
Should one go? Do you have a full-body cast, live 2 steps away and love poor price-quality places?
* Originally reviewed October 2007