5.75 Goust d'Enrico Bernardo, 10 rue Volney in the 2nd, 01.40.15.20.30, closed Sundays and Mondays, has garnered rave reviews, especially in cyberspace with one post entitled "Run don't walk." It is beautiful to be sure but not without its problems which we'll get to later.
Let's start out with the "bright side of life" as Eric Idle of Monty Python would say. The prices can be staggering but there is a nice lunch at 35E for 2 dishes and 45 E for 3, there are wines whose prices are reasonable and the amuse, at least today, of anchovy and pepper gel, was very good to me, although the others felt it was way too salty. Indeed when one of us indicated she had a problem with fishy fish they quickly substituted some Spanish ham (it's interesting that Bernardo, who is Italian in origin, is featuring food, at least today, that was mainly Spanish-influenced, which Laidback informs me is because the chef is Spanish - whatever.)
The two entrees were a gaspacho of tomato and strawberries and a most intriguing looking dish that appeared all the world to be two thick stalks of green asparagus but in reality were two tubes made from asparagus cooking water mixed with melted butter to make a tube filled with a "parfait" of foie gras and garnished with slices of Granny Smiths. Both were pretty successful but I wouldn't say dazzling.
The folks who ordered as a main the Spanish "paella-like" pasta with lobster and fruits de mer declared themselves bewitched by the seafood but not the pasta or lobster and the two of us who had the crispy-skinned confited suckling pig with a mustard mousse thought it was well-executed but not out-of-this-world.
At this point the others decided to drop out and left it to Colette and me to go for the two desserts; a caramelized cream and pannacotta with raspberries and these we found just ordinary.
Our bill, with two bottles of wine, good bread, no bottled water and two coffees amounted to 110 E a couple. A problem they must solve is to provide sound-baffling - the dB level started at 77.7 and went up as the meal wore on. It was hard for the 5 of us to hear one another.
Go? Ah, here everyone was in agreement, not again. I called for votes and got two 6's and two 5.5's (the scale being 0-10), so I split the difference at 5.75, which is about where I was going to rate it. We were disappointed by the hype, the glowing reports, the instructions to "run, not walk?" I don't know, but compared to recent meals at JL Nomico, 110 Taillevent, Sergent Recruiteur, Petit Champerret and Premices it really paled.