2.0 La Petite Cour, 8, rue Mabillon in the 6th, 01.43.26.52.26, closed only Saturday lunch* (Metro: St Germain/Mabillion) has had a new chef since Spring and I hate to pick on my old colleague, Gilles Pudlowski, but he did say earlier this summer that all the bloggers and press-guys had missed this one and I'm here to try to explain why.
On Paris by Mouth, we've been discussing streets with positive fengshui and I've been obsessed with the issue of whether fengshui is transferable or permanent, that is, if a restaurant is sited with positive fengshui in mind and then becomes a McDo's does it retain it? An example is La Grande Rue in the 7th, an absolutely great place a decade ago that then became either Anatolie or Cafe 117 and lost my custom immediately.
I bring this up because La Petite Cour is situated in a charming sunken garden across from the Marche St-Germain and was a favorite of Colette's and mine, serving up,if memory serves me, the best green beans of my life about 30 years ago. Then it dropped off my radar screen, who knows why, and I returned one brilliant summer day a few years ago because i was under the mistaken impression that Gilles Epie was then cooking there. Well, halfway through my terrible meal, I asked my waiter why the food was so bad, and he revealed that Epie had taken a bunk the day before. So did the fengshui go with him or was it still here?
The place has what Pudlo describes "Second Empire" charm and was so glowingly written up by him that I had to see what all my fellow bloggers and press-guys were missing. His photos, by the way, make you drool and sure convinced me. Being a dreary, rainful day, I avoided the outside and curled up within on a great red banquette.
Took a look at the menu - nice choices, 27 E for 2 dishes and wines starting at 18 E a bottle; off to a good start; well, actually not; no cheapo wine, fresh out, next bottle up was 10 E more and glasses were 9.50 E apiece. Butter was great though, giv'em that. For a starter I had the gambas fried in a batter and served with a tartare sauce whose taste was strange - what was it?; not bad, but strange, like one of those weird tasting Japanese seaweedy things you get in the Inland Sea. OK, judgement deferred.
Then I had the milk-fed pork with a sauce that also tasted weird, but bad weird this time, what was it? Truffle oil, old athletic socks, rancid oil? Dunno. And it came with one of my all time favorites - deboned pig's feet aka trotters and one of my all time unfavorites - potatoes with boudin noir - none of which showed me one iota of creativity, care or appeal.
So like M. Epie, I took a bunk.
The bill, with no bottled water or dessert or coffee and minimal wine was 45 E.
Go? Maybe there's a reason "all the bloggers and press-guys had missed this one," to whit, being *closed only Saturday lunch could explain why the food is unexciting; who can deliver 13 meals in 7 days without resting or thinking?