So, here's the blow by blow as Howard Cosell would say:
It's pouring drenching rain from Tempete Zeus (that gets your attention, doesn't it?) and I'm schleping my poor body with one cane over to the Rue du Dragon to one of Cyril Lignac's newest places.
Now I have a checkered career with Cyril or he does with me; I hated "Oui Chef", I cannot tell you why - it's concept, his arrogance, I couldn't stop watching but I hated every minute and vowed I'd never eat at his place(s). But a dear friend talked me into eating at his new place in the 11th and we hated it. So why did I go here today? Pure masochism. And to be honest, the reviews and a personal rec from a trusted friend.
I enter 27 Rue du Dragon, the Bar des Pres, and nope, there's no record of my reservation. None, nul, a non-person am I. "Try next door" says the helpful bar guy. So, I schlep my poor body and soul next door. Et voila, I do have a reservation here, at Aux Pres.
6.8 Aux Pres, 27, rue du Dragon in the 6th, 01.45.48.29.68, open 7/7, (Metro: Got me, but the 95 Bus is good).
The place looks like one of many, about 1/2 full of lots of Yankees who speak no French, ordering burgers and frites, Yikes, what have I gotten into? I look at the Carte, hummmm, not bad, crusty shrimp and crispy sweetbreads, my sort of stuff.
So the shrimp comes out in a bowl, they are all cut up and decorticated amidst a sea of wonderfully spicy Japanese seaweeds, yum, but not what I expected.
The sweetbreads, crispy skinned, cut up again, in a bed of carrots and spinach, with butternut to the side, not what I expected, but.......
At this point I'd already observed one Yankee lady startled by her cheeseburger expressed surprise and then another French woman besides me looked at the tower of shredded cheese on hers and shrugged the equivalent of WTF, and I leaned over, which I never do and said in French "Bizarre, eh?" Translation "bizarre, eh?" and she agreed or vice versa.
So, I ordered a dessert knowing at this point it would not be my French Mother's version of pain perdu, and it was not.
At some point I had pulled out my handy dandy decibel meter that showed 85.8 and a sharp waitguy asked what it was, so I was outed either as an EC noise inspector or busybody. Whatever!
Ok, my bill, for a couple, with no bottled water but a bottle of wine, awful bread and two coffees with their madeleines, count on 133 E.
Go back? Were it not for the prices, yes. Ah, screw it, I'll come back. And go next door too.