This was my third visit to Saturne and in my mind even more successful than my prior meals. About a year ago, after it had opened, I rated it an 8/10 and it was certainly that if not more today. I went with my downstairs' neighbors who were culinary trail-blazers for me 40+ years ago and we were blown away. At the table next to us sat a chef whom I also have great admiration for and who re-introduced himself to us; and I thought, "oh boy, if this is where he comes on his days-off, we're in good hands."
They now have 3/3/3 choices for 37 E and it's extremely difficult to decide; but we did, the lady having an intruiging salady thing of cold fennel shoots, warm marinated cucumbers and fresh goat cheese and the boys a tartare of veal with oyster(s) within, atop an egg - both divine and inventive.
Then Madame had milk-fed pork which had a wonderful crisp skin with potato, M. had scallops with a leaf of cabbage that Mme noted was sort of like an inverted scallop shell and I had the pintade with a puree of who knows, which also had a crisp skin. Was it the best pintade I've ever had? Yes or at least close.
Pause for a commerical break: how about this for a wine "Tout bu or not tout bu;" how can you not love that?
For dessert my pal had what he declared was the best dessert of the past month, a pear with chocolate and Madame & I had the tatin of apples that I'd challenge anyone to top.
With the great bread they always have, OK coffee, one bottle of wine and no bottled water the bill would be just under 100 E a couple.
Go? For innovation, taste-exploration and fun you cannot do better than eat Chef Sven Chartier's creations and drink sommelier Ewen Lemoigne's picks.
Monday-Tuesday in A Nous Paris, Jerome Berger tested and gave 4/5 dots to the Chinese Taverne de Zhao in the 10th and Philippe Toinard reviewed and gave 2/5 dots to Le Gorille Blanc, which has moved to the 4th (4, impasse Guernenee) 01.42.72.08.45, closed Sundays with a menu at lunch for 18 E, a la carte about 40 E, which serves a generous but over-cooked thus dry pork chop and over-cooked tapioca. In the center bar they announced that an ex-Christian Constant/Violin d’Ingres chef had taken over at l’Os a Moelle a bistrot “plus, plus” and cave a manger with a 29 E lunch and 50 E a la carte.
In Tuesday’s Le Fooding, Gilles Dupuis reviewed Fete de Jour, 41, rue Caulincourt in the 18th, 01.77.18.04.23, with lunch formulas at 19.50 and 25 E, dinner ones 35 and 45 E serving tuna, natural wines, charcuterie, cheese, terrine de canard, rabbit stew and mango raviolis. It is chef’d by Tsuchiya Koji, ex of l’Arpège and le Chamarré.
Wednesday, Figaroscope’s Emmanuel Rubin reviewed his usual five new places: giving 2/4 hearts to two restaurants, Le Galopin, 34, rue Sainte-Marthe in the 10th, 01.42.06.05.03, closed Sundays and Mondays, lunch menus 19, 21 & 24 E, dinner with 7 dishes at 42 E for a squid/shitake first, duck and apple/sugar/raddish dessert as well the reprised Corsican Villa Corse Rive Gauche, same address as before in the 15th, 01.53.16.70.81, closed Sundays with a lunch menu at 29 and a la carte 50-60 E for items such as spider crab raviolis, veal and rice pudding. Garnering 1/4 hearts were Mimosa, (in the old Maxan space) at 37, rue Miromesnil in the 8th, 01.42.65.78.60, closed weekends with a menu-carte at 36 E for Caesar salad type shrimp, veal and lemon meringue tart and Les Crocs de l’Ogre, an annex of the 16th resto, this at 81, ave Bosquet in the 7th, 01.45.56.96.29, open 7/7, costing 40-50 E for razor clams, burratina and milk-fed veal. Finally, Rubin gave a broken heart to Top chef winner Brice at the Comptoir de Brice in the St-Martin market, closed Sunday dinner and Mondays from 9 AM-8 PM,
The Dossier this week by Colette Monsat, Alexandra Michot and Hugo de Saint Phalle, was about where to get a hot dog : Mosaique Jaja Water Bar de Colette Le Floreal PDG Dragon Le Mansart HAND Harry’s Bar Katz’s Dog’s Cafe And also Breakfast in America, Floors + Charly Bun’s Coffee
And, in his Hache Menu, Francois Simon ate at La Laiterie, coordinates given before, where he paid 114.50 E for three and says to go so long as you don’t cross Paris to do so.
In l’Express, Francois Regis Gaudry reviewed the Chinese Table de Zhao, Charles Patin O'Coohoon reviewed Chez Betty, 14, avenue du Père-Lachaise in the 20th, 01.46.36.06.07, open for dinner only except Mondays, serving both tapas for 6 E as well as 32 and 42 E menus with a terrine of mackerel, veal and strawberry soup and Sylvie Wolff covered Gill, the famous restaurant in Rouen.
On Saturday, in Le Figaro, Francois Simon‘s Croque Notes was entitled « Le Baratin, The best restaurant in Paris ? » suggesting that it’s an impossible question to answer, trying to compare it with a local trattoria, sushi shop or South-West bistro not to mention places that serve one thing very well (Petit Vendome, Sola, Coutume Cafe) and that he thinks the Baratin comes closest noting that it has one of the few female chefs in Paris, save Olympe.
In addition, in Le Figaro, Alexandra Michot had an article on chocolate to coincide with the 17th Salon of such, categorizing the shops as : The Opportuns : Pierre Herme Frederic Roussel Hugo & Vivtor Larnicol The Purists : Stephane Bonnat Francois Pralus Bernachon Michel Cluizel And the Croque-Stars : Patrick Roger Jean-Paul Hevin Pierre Marcolini Jacques Genin Patrice Chapon The discreets : Christian Constant Pascal Le Gac Jean-Chharles Rochoux Fabrice Gillote
And Sunday, in the JDD, Astrid T'Serclaes reviewed La Table du 8, 8, rue Jean-Goujon in the 8th, 01.40.74.64.65, with a 42 E menu (3 and coffee) or 35 E menu (2 and coffee) and Aurelie Chaigneau gave a 7.5/10 to l’Entrée des Artistes, 8, rue Crussol in the 11th, with a menu at 25 E and cocktails 10-12 E, open only 7 PM – 2 AM except Sundays serving items such as a lamb terrine, pork rillettes, salmon sashimi, and a Saint Nectaire as well as a 6/10 to the Italian Capriccio in thr 8th.
Now Figaro ran a survey this weekend coinciding with FIAC and 95.15% of their sophistocated right-wing respondants thought that contemporary art was over-priced. I think that's going a bit overboard. I went to the third site off-the-Grand-Nave today and I thought the stuff was pretty nifty. Some examples:
So, it's Sunday October 23rd and Paga and I are watching the Rugby World Cup Final between the All Blues and the All Blacks and trying to figure out what the actual difference is between what a fullback, wing (left and right), centre (inside and outside), fly-half, scrum-half, number eight, flanker (openside and blindside), lock, hooker and prop (loosehead and tighthead) do and how this is progress from the other designations such as "three quarters" and "out-halves", "first-five eighth" and "second-five eighth" as well as half-backs and "loosies" and "inside backs." Verbiage courtesy of Wiki.
In any case, despite my secretly wearing an All Black tee-shirt and baseball cap during the match to jinx the Haka-intimidators, we (France) lost closely, which I suspect tomorrow's L'Equipe will blame on the ref but I think is due to the fact that when you're a nation of 4 million with 13 times as many sheep, up against France, which has 62 million people but far fewer sheep to run away from, you don't breed the same winners in rugby, sailing and climbing (you forgot Sir Edmund, didn't you? - who also did it 'because it was there.")
To further depress us, DSK was once again in the headlines, this time associated with a prossie ring in Lille - like someone in the New York Review of Books said about another famous guy who has a whack-a-mole history, "This Hitler, will we never be rid of him?"
OK; to lunch and the famous chef on his day off.
I'd forgotten but the store across the street is the most clever take-off on the name of America's most wonderful songwriter there is. So there.
After we (speak for yourself Kemo Sabe, OK, I) polished off the rillettes of cod, it was onto the ceviche of bar and oysters and bulots - Yikes, I was full already.
Madame had the daurade royale and the rugger-guys had lacquered mackerel which were very similar to the wonderfully smoked eel, that good sushi places serve - delicious.
For dessert, we three shared two portions of figs in red wine, of which there was none left after we got done.
Our bill; hummm, let me hem and haw a bit here; if we hadn't had the bulots, bubbly and (extra) booze, we would have come in easily under 100 E a couple. But we were having fun.
Go? In a flash; Sunday, fish, and at least one great chef eating out (I'm not telling who either, nawny, nawny, nawny) on his day off.
Le Bouchon & L'Assiette is a place which Colette and I and a few co-conspirators from Paris by Mouth have found to put out consistently very good food at reasonable prices (33 E for 3 courses at lunch for example, with wines from 6 E a glass or 17 E a 50 cl). So when my downstairs pals suggested we go, I leapt. There were many appealing items on the 33 E "menu" but also stuff on the "today" chalkboard.
M. started off with the tete de veau which was good, Madame with a terrine de campagne with spicy Basque peppers both of which were super but I had the most innovative and unusual dish - bulots marinated in a vinaigrette/garlic/ginger sauce but with gourmand peas and an cold cream of soy bean sprouts. Now I make the world's best bulots in wine to be served with mayo but these were way above my range of expertise. After one bite of his tete, M. said "This is better than Paul-Bert." "Hold on" I said, "you're not finished this or anything else yet."
Then two of us had an incredibly generous portion of large scallops with a chestnut and something puree and M. had the filet mignons of pork topped with peanut and coriander star-dust. "Much better than Paul-Bert."
Madame and I and folded our cards at this point but M. insisted she have the goat cheese with honey and he, the Basque cake with a bowl of melon balls - both superb and not what you'd expect. "Paul-Bert" said he, "never going back." What was it Sachel Paige said - "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you” - watch out P-B.
With some Burgale wine, tap water, coffee and adequate, not great, bread, our bill for 3 was 156 E; thus 104 E a couple.
Talk about turning defeat into victory; today after a most disappointing meal, I headed over to FIAC, that bazaar of contemporary art in the nave of the Grand Palais that started most modestly in 1974 but has now turned into a huge venue for hundreds of galleries and for at least two years has spilled over into the Tuileries. There are also two offshoots along the C-E, Art Elysees and Design Elysees, that are near the Metro #1 stop at C-E Clemenceau.
I approached the Press line at FIAC and was informed by a Dragon Lady that my presence was no longer desired; I protested, "but, I've been coming for years," to no avail. So attempting to recoup something from a day of disaster I saw the sign for the Design Elysees and said "Why not?" And was that the right recovery.
Wow; it was dazzling and fun and the owners of the spaces said it was fine to shoot these photos.
Is it worth 15 E? Dunno. But I'll be back next year.
3.0 La Pulperia, 11, rue Richard Lenoir in the 11th, 01.40.09.03.70, closed some lunches and Sunday, is beloved by everyone - Bruno Verjus, of Omnivore and France Culture and of course his respected blog "Food Intelligence", who TMK, "found" it, Jerome Berger of ANP and Aurelie Chaigneau of the JDD, who awarded it an unprecedented 8.5/10. So on the anniversary of the failure of the Argentinian banking system, according to today's Figaro, we decided to celebrate by going to a French restaurant chef'd by an Argentinian guy who had passed through the great kitchens of the Ritz, Crillon and Jardin Royal de Monceau.
Now across the street is the oddly named Bar O'Bistrorologue, hummm, is that a good or bad omen? Avanti. For lunch they have a most appealing-sounding and reasonably-priced "menu" of two items for 15 E and three for 18 E
and with three chefs in the open kitchen we were guaranteed brisk serving of dishes - not! They appeared in a leisurely if not languid, fashion which helped push the rating from an ordinary 5.0 down to a 3.0. So, how did I arrive at that.
6.0 Welcome and seating and warmth.
8.0 Corn puree/soup (from a can or Picard's but nonetheless) with pulpe that was really chewy, hard and quite frankly tough.
2.0 (generous) for the empanada of meat (who knows what meat - dog maybe?)
3.0 Filet of bar atop mushrooms.
5.5 Veal onglet on mashies (I would have rated it higher but M. said no.)
5.0 Cod with root veggies - not bad, just not great.
5.2 My friend so judged this cheese plate (I disagreed, thinking it better but he wussed me down.)
4.0 Chocolate tart - actually an 7.0 but because it was served with such glacial speed, its orderer had had to depart without a nibble so make that 1.0+7.0÷2=4.0.
0.0 Oh boy, the flan, or was it flan, or just a flash in the pan of a flan?
Our bill, with a bottle of wine, a bit more to get us through the endless waiting, no bottled water and so-so bread, was 117 E, 78 E a couple.
Go? To Argentina?, sure; through food bankruptcy in Argentina?, no need. I have only myself to blame though - I broke Talbott's Rule 5bis, never eat ethnic food in France unless the chef is Japanese or American.
I went over to the Pompidou after lunch with some trepidation and completely unprepared (I had intended to go to my great barber on the rue des Blancs-Manteaux but he was on conges.) So I entered the C.P. aka Beaubourg to see what I could see.
The Munch is mammoth and I assumed (wrongly) would be crammed with sick/suicidal/screamy stuff so I looked forward to the first room when was just learning; then the second, and third and by golly, right up the 12th and last room it was splendid. I was most happy.
Then I retreated to the ground floor for their usual "throwaway" exhibits but was wrong again: #1, Cyprien Gaillard winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2010 - gee whiz - the sculpture(s) in the room otherwise surrounded by photos was awesome and finally to 150 works of Yayoi Kusama whose soft sculpture I disliked but whose paintings that echo those of Vasarely were pretty nifty.