Opening the carte at Ze Kitchen Galerie is always a surprise; what will William Ledeuil have "cooked up" today", because he never is stuck in a repetitive rut - always moving, always innovating, always shocking the taste buds, in the nicest of ways. And today was no different - the amuses were his usual fine olives, OK, love'em; and then something I don't recall being served before, microtomed beets and split radishes and celery with a sesame/sardine cream - yum. We were "offered" and yes, Colette and I accepted, a coupe while we awaited our former downstairs neighbors.
Paga started with the trofie pasta with mustard, parmesan and carpaccio of beef; Colette had the oysters, urchins, white asparagus condiment in a green apple juice with ginger and I (unpictured) had a deevine special of lukewarm but previously sauteed foie gras with shaved veggies on top.
Then the ladies both had the young rabbit with a curry sauce and artichoke/wasabi condiment while the gents feasted on confited pigeon with more foie gras with a mustard/rhubarb condiment.
For the finale two of us chose the strawberries and rhubarb with rhubarb sorbet, Colette had the mango, marinated pineapple, coco "soupe" and vanilla and the staff, not wanting me to feel left out brought out a small portion of almost mousse textured chocolate with crumble sort of stuff (which I think they overheard me talking about loving.)
With their house-bottled water and coffee (both coming with the meal) our bill came to 123.70 E a couple. Fabulous! Yet! Again!
Monday-Tuesday in A Nous Paris, Philippe Toinard reviewed
and gave 2/5 dots to Aux Vieux Garcons, 213 Blvd St-Germain in the 7th,
01.42.22.06.57, closed Sundays, lunch formula at 20 E, a la carte 40 where he
admired the oeuf mayo, kidneys, and rice pudding but felt the risotto felt
short; meanwhile Jerome Berger gave 3/5 to the latest Costes production – the
Café Francais, 3, place de la Bastille in the 4th, 01.40.29.04.02,
open 7/7, a la carte about 50 E, where he mentions the salmon, cod and
Tuesday, Yves Nespoilous, in Le Fooding, reviewed the
Medi Terra Nea, 13, rue du Faubourg Montmartre in the 9th,
01.47.70.53.03, closed Sundays, costing 16-35 E for items such as cold petit
pois soup, lamb, raw beef and clementine soup.
Saturday in Le Figaro, Francois Simon reviewed Spring,
coordinates well known, saying there was no way he could not highly recommend
And Sunday, in the JDD, Aurelie Chaigneau’s address of
the week was the Fontaine de Mars (7/10) coordinates well-known; her discovery
was a sandwich shop La Pointe du Grouin (7.5) in the 10th; and her “return
to” place was the Big Fernand in the 10th (7.5). Francois Lemarie in the JDD’s version femina
reviewed En vrac, coordinates given before, in the 18th.
I love this place; they initially started by serving only double dishes - Cotes de Boeuf, Cotes de veau, Giant fish, etc. - and had the dreaded brunch on Sundays - but now have asked themselves "What would JT do?" and come back with single portions and no brunch. Bravo folks!
All three of the four of us from the 18th ordered one of the daily entrees - the morilles in cream - OMG GTH!
Then we went on to have veal kidneys, a pot-au-feu of sea-stuff, duck with orange sauce and a "piece" of veal with teeny-tiny, delicious enoki mushrooms, all served with a huge platter of mashies - Colette deemed her duck the weakest of the lot, but I disagree - All Were Winners!
The desserts we chose were a moelleux of chocolate, a vacherin mound and a baba for which our genial wait-man, Miguel, deposed a bottle of rum which he warned was only to be used by me (ah French humor.) Needless to say, all were quite good, indeed very good, if the truth be known as exemplary as the rest of the meal.
With two bottles of a very good Sancerre red, no bottled water and four coffees, our bill was 123.50 E a couple - with mind you, four vielle prunes (and they didn't know who I or our food book/cooking class/tour leader friend was/were).
Go? The new formula works; they've got it right; GO!
"What's good on this menu?" asked my friend from the 15th. "Everything I said." And it was, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
We started off with the entree du jour- a toasty fried piece of cod with pepper mousse; eggs cooked on a plancha with a puree of asparagus, bacon and salad; and white cuttlefish and artichoke hearts both topped with slices of very wonderfully spiced chorizo.
For our mains we had the sweetbreads with petits pois; grilled bar with onions and chorizo; pigeon breast with its roasted parts and white asparagus; and the 7-hour lamb with violet carrots. My 15th friend said some were better than others but I thought everyone did very well.
Desserts were a soft brebis with black cherries; gariguette strawberries and rhubarb in a rhubarb sauce with pistachio financier; and a praline tart with speculos ice cream and caramel sauce.
With the equivalent of three bottles of wine, no bottled water and three coffees, our bill per couple amounted to 94 E.
I returned today with Colette and two recent friends to Le Gagnage, the restaurant of Aurelie and Jerome and we were pleased.
The firsts were intriguing and beautiful - a terrine de Campagne with nuts and trumpets of death; a feuillete of snails with garlic and tomato coulis; and the aumoniere of mushrooms with Chaource sauce.
For mains we had the lieu jaune with risotto; a filet of bar with sweet-potatoes and seafood fluff; and yellow Vendee chicken with pilaf rice.
For desserts we chose the pear tart with vanilla ice cream and the bananas with flamed rum and coconut sorbet.
With two bottles of Bourgeuil, no bottled water, three coffees and a calva our bill was 85.70 E a couple.
I had been so taken by Les Premices and its wonderful chef last month that when to friend-diners suggested we go back I jumped. We had two amuses: a mint cream with celery and what I swear was monkfish but without a scream from Colette must have been cod.
For firsts M. Anonymous had the asparagus four ways and I had a delicate Thai soup with rolled-up almost Japanesey wrapped bits of lobster.
The women then had the Landes farm chicken and the guys the daily special - crispy outside sweetbread with artichoke hearts and peas that were in between ptit and gross - all just fine, thank you.
We finished up with a cheese platter and two rice puddings with caramel (Colette declared hers "one of the best ever."
Our bill, with 2 coupes of champagne, 2 bottles and 2 glasses of wine, no bottled water but 3 coffees was 252 E, but taking away the champagne, it would have been more like 112 E a couple.
5.0 Charlot, Le Roi des Coquillages, 81, Blvd de Clichy in the 9th, 01.53.20.48.00, open 7/7 hasn't changed a bit since our gang went there in the 1980's on "cook's night off." Elegant, reasonable prices and stunning decor.
One of our friends had already busted her chops trying to find a restaurant she needed to review for a guidebook she was contributing to, that was open May 1st and after about 7 places - gave up. When the gang suggested Charlot last night at supper I put up a brief fight: "Remember my last time - the grand aioli? It was awful" "But, John, the only thing to order is the bouillabaisse." Full stop. "OK" So aside from an amuse bouche of tomato soup, that sure tasted like store-bought pasta sauce, with parmesan, topped with a large glob of creme fresh, that's what we had, and lots of it.
With two bottles of Muscadet, no bottled water and three coffees, our bill came to 88.74 E a couple.
Go? Under the circumstances yes, despite the ever mounting decibel level (at 79.2 dB I quit) but on our way home I saw that both Lui L'Insolite and Le Cafe Qui Parle were open, so next May Day, that's where we'll be headed.
6.3 Table aka La Table de Bruno Verjus, 3, Rue de Prague in the 12th, 01.43.43.12.26, closed weekends, has been open a bare month and already garnered much press. Bruno Verjus, it's creator and chef de cuisine (with 3 others) was described in Le Fooding as a "Critique gastronomique, blogueur, auteur, chroniqueur radio, consultant,.....homme-orchestre du gastrocosme" and in the spirit of full disclosure*, he is an old eating partner and friend of many years - so of course I want him to succeed and am unlikely to write a bad review unless the meal was disasterous, which it most certainly was not.
The restaurant has been elegantly refurbished, has neat rotisseurs for the meat and (our day) pineapple and a menu that is long on good products and spare on choices.
For firsts, Madame M. chose a rabbit terrine with pieces of rabbit liver therein and wonderful big cornichons which she considered "not to her taste" but the rest of us thought was quite good; and the men had what was essentially a carpaccio of very good (raw) rumsteak with anchovies and a nice salad.
For mains, the ladies shared a rouget for two, which they deemed undercooked twice (and the men thought perfect) and we had the rotissed loin of pork with sophistocated beets which we thought was the cat's meow.
Desserts were shared by all: a slice of 2-hour rotissed pineapple with three vanilla ice cream and a chocolate mousse with a sorrel anglaise sauce. Again, the men thought all was well in the world and the women demurred.
With two bottles of reasonably-priced wine (the first list we got was eye-popping), no bottled water and three coffees, our bill came to 117.25 E a couple.
Go? Me and my pal, you bet; the ladies - never again.
Monday-Tuesday in A Nous Paris, Philippe Toinard reviewed and gave 3/5 dots to Cuistance, coordinates given before and Jerome Berger gave 3/5 to Edgar, ditto.
Tuesday, Yves Nespoilous, in Le Fooding, reviewed Thierry Breton’s third (after Chez Michel & Chez Casimir) called the Restaurant La Pointe du Grouin, 8, rue de Belzunce in the 10th, no telephone, open 7/7, non-stop 8h to 2 h, costing less than 15 E for 4 E sandwichie-type stuff at lunch (andouille, ham, smoked salmon) and 4 E hors-d’œuvre stuff at dinner (tuna, pigeon) plus 2 E desserts such as kumquat tarts, yogurt and pots of chocolate (glasses of wine from a magnum run 2-4 E.)
In Figaroscope this week, Emmanuel Rubin rewarded the new chef at Antoine (coordinates well known) in the 16th with three hearts for his 90-140 E a la carte offerings of items such as langoustines, rouget and pistachio souffle. He then gave the Marc Meneau-directed Saut du Loup, coordinates given before, two hearts, for the 25 E lunch menu (40-60 E a la carte in the evening) that contains ham and milk-fed lamb. Single hearts went to the Italian Il Goto in the 12th ; the Chinese Nanchang in the 11th ; and the wine & cheese joint En Vrac in the 18th.
The Dossier this week by Colette Monsat, Alice Bosio, Lena Lutaud, Hugo de Saint Phalle and Francois Simon reviewed the “new brunch” restaurants: Colorama Auberge Flora Epicerie Musicale Le Bel ami La Compagnie de Bretagne Bozart Bistrot Les Sardignac Café Louise Noglu Le Castiglione
And Francois Simon went to the Italian Gustibus in the 11th.
This week’s L’Express had a review by Francois-Regis Gaudry of the Japanese-French Es, 91, rue de Grenelle in the 7th, 01-45-51-25-74, closed Sundays and Mondays, menus at 65 or 85 and 45 E at lunch starting in May, mentioning things like a caramelized Jerusalem artichoke and emulsion of anchovies; Charles Patin O’Coohoon of Chez Graff, 62, rue de Bellechasse in the 7th, 01-45-51-33-42, lunch formulas at 20 and 24 and a la carte 30-35 E, closed weekends, chef’d by a Japanese guy as well who serves items such as green aples, cucumber jelly and wild watercress; and Kathleen Bousiquier wrote up Bloempot in Lille.
Saturday in Le Figaro, Francois Simon reviewed Maxim’s, coordinates well-known where for 400 E a couple one can dine pleasantly.
And Sunday, in the JDD, Aurelie Chaigneau’s address of the week was the Daily Syrien in the 10th (7/10), her discovery was Edgar in the 2nd (5.5) and “return to” place La Mascotte in the 18th (6.5). Francois Lemarie in version femina reviewed La Regalade Conservatoire in the 9th.