A few months ago**, I ate at Hide in the 17th and loved the place. You may recall:
"Classic French by a cool Japanese chef.
7.0 Hide aka Koba’s Bistro, 10, rue de General Lanrezac in the 17th, 01.45.74.15.81, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, menu 26 E for 3 courses, 29 E for 3 courses and 25 cl of wine and about 35 E a la carte. When I read Emmanuel Rubin et al’s 1 heart review in January I assumed (wrongly) that this was a Japanese place despite their statement that the cuisine was closer to Escoffier than Kobe and that 1 heart meant “no way.” But surprisingly, his colleague Francois Simon in today’s* “Dossier” of places under 30 E in Figaroscope called it the “deal of the month”; so of course I called and booked immediately – smart move John. It was quite, quite good and very, very affordable. I don’t know how Rubin et al could describe the food as classic, correct and familial and give it only 1 heart while M. Simon described the dishes as unctuous, in good shape and solid and conclude that one should add it to one’s list of “necessary places to go.” But back to the descriptor of the place – “traditional” – on the walls are hanging Willy Ronis’ photo of the kid and the baguette and George Brassens of the stairs in Montmartre – pretty French I’d say. While they have paper napkins and paper placemats (but get a demerit for no paper towels in the loo), it is a linen not a paper quality place. The service person was delightful and funny, the menu very large and varied, the bread crusty and tasty and the wine unusual (good). I ordered from the a la carte ardoise; starting with sautéed foie gras on the bed of mache perfectly dressed so the vinegar offset the natural fatty-sweet tone of the liver; then had a cote of veal undercooked as much as he could with mashed potatoes wonderfully flavored with parsley and something else I couldn’t put my finger on and forgot to ask about and an overkill side-dish of noodles and butter; and terminated with a coffee gourmand, all the rage in Paris this Spring (with Ethiopian coffee, crème brulee and salty coffee ice that was super.) My bill was 44 E but I suspect the 29 E deal would be pretty good.
Go back? I cannot wait to test it out with my gang.
**My last meal was April 16th, fully paid for."
Well, I took my gang, or they took me as the case may be and it suffered the "sophomore slump," which I've written about before elsewhere and I ate crow instead of food. But before that -
Time out: across the street were antique street signs, one of which was for the General Charles Lanrezac (1852-1925), whom Who's Who says was "....regarded as the French Army's most respected pre-war strategist, [but] proved less able as a commander in the field and was removed from command in the first month of the war, in August 1914."
As first courses I had (again) the foie gras and it was superb, on a bed of fine al dente green beans and Atar had cod on a bed of mache, equally good. But then.....
I had over-the-hill, muttony lamb with good for nothing "Boston" beans and smashed potatoes which were OK, but the whole thing I barely touched; Atar had sole with pleurottes which if one were starving on a desert isle would pass, but Colette's chicken didn't survive scrutiny even with added salt and Elan's trio of fish was just passable.
Finally, Colette tried her standard by which all restaurants are measured, a floating island and I didn't hear any Meg Ryan sounds. Coffee and bread and wine were OK; the bill 109.50 E for 4, but as my father used to say:
"Yah gets what yah pays for."
*My last meal was June 20th, fully paid for.