We were here just exactly one year ago and it's still as elegant and posh as always but the dead-as-a-doornail lobster lying on the back in the fish tank has mercifully returned to his maker.
The "menu" is still a reasonable 39.50 E for 3 courses plus a glass of wine and coffee and the sole and bar are still an unreasonable 43 and 30 E respectively. My oldest food-finder implored me last night (as he had last year) on the phone not to have the "menu" but spring for the sole which he described (as he had last year) as the Greenwich Gold Standard.
Colette passed on a first, our friend, the incredible taste-bud taster, had carpaccio of haddock, which we all thought was very good and our other friend, the almost-in-recovery from French "flu" friend and I shared a platter of creuses de Bretagne n°3 and Utah Beach n°3's - nickel.
OK. The fish mains: from top to bottom - grilled fresh sardines, daurade, bar and sole - were all good product, perfectly cooked (although Colette believed that the price-quality ratio of her bar was mighty poor) - I thought the sardines and daurade may have been the best I've ever had and my sole was terrific, but it was almost ruined by its being drowned in a sea of butter. Now I like butter, but there is a limit, even for someone whose ancestors ruled Normandy before the perfidious French regained it 808 years ago, but who's counting? However, the accompaniments - a puree of eggplant, a butter-less potato puree (now here's where Robuchon's butter with potato would come into play) and a hot-house winter tomato something, were respectively ghastly looking and tasting, bland and cardboardy and bland and boring.
Now, dessert. It's always great to have your opinion tested by others' palates - unless they differ 180° from you/one/me. I thought the chocolate fluffs and pear tarte were just plain fine, but the guys felt they'd been misled with the nomenclature of theirs being called a mousse and Colette thought her tart was "lacking in flavor." (And "expensive at 14 Euros"......"at 14 Euros it should have been spectacular!" quoth her.) Ouch.
Our bill, with two bottles of what I thought was terrific wine, and one coffee, was 232.50 E, thus 116.25 E a couple, although we were charged a mysterious 8 E extra, instead of having 8 E deducted from the bill beause the "glass of wine included" never arrived. So be it.
Go back? I would in a flash for the fish and oysters, but 365 days from now I'll have to find another place to entice Colette, because I have a sneaky suspicion she will be walking on the other side of the rue St Lazare from now on.