Great New Find In Paris---5th Arr. (Long)
I was in Paris over the weekend (usually get there 3-4 times/yr.)staying at my favorite hotel in the 5th. Saturday happened to be my birthday and I was alone, so I asked one of the folks at the hotel for a dinner recommendation. I said I was looking for something nice but not real high-end (which, being August, was mostly not an option anyway).
The gentleman I asked recommended a brand new place that had been open less than 2 months, and which was literally a 2 minute walk from the hotel (The hotel is very near Le Reminet, where I usually make a stop. But again, being August, they were closed). He described it as a "Gastronomic Restaurant". I decided to give the new place a try, and was very pleasantly surprised with the results.
The name is "La Partage" Restaurant (La Partage meaning, the owner informed me, "The Sharing"). It is located at 17, rue Frederic sauton (about a one minute walk from the corner of Boulevard St. Germain and Rue Lagrange). It is a tiny sliver of a place, with maybe 12-15 tables. The interior is very nicely done with light wood tones and mirrors throughout. The owners obviously put a lot of care and thought into creating a refined, but very warm space.
The menu was very well thought out with probably 7-8 entrees (starters or appetizers) and 7-8 Main Plates. I chose the foie gras as a starter and the Duck Breast "steak" as a main plate.
The meal was preceeded by a very nice "amuse bouche" trio of a tasty gazpacho in a shot glass,a mushroom tapenade on baguette, and a slivered and seared eggplant dish. All were terrific.
The foie came with a very interesting banana compote on the side and several pieces of excellent toasted baguette. It was rich, smooth, creamy, and the compote added a unique additional kick.
The duck (cooked medium rare) was served perfectly done. It was encrusted in a light rub (sorry, unsure what it was) and served on top of a very light (in texture) curry-based emulsion. The flavors were perfect,and I really loved how they all blended together. Accompanying was a bowl of lightly whipped and fluffy sweet potatoes. With the meal, I had a very nice, reasonably priced bottle of Burgundy. By the time dessert rolled around, the Burgundy was mostly gone, and for the life of me I can't remember what I had for dessert (I remember liking it very much though!). Excellent digestifs completed a perfect evening. Total bill including a bottle of wine and several expensive digestifs was 120 Euro.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the service. After the meal, the chef came out an sat down to chat for a while. He asked my opinion on everything from the wine to the main dishes. He could not have been nicer, and really gave me the impression he cared, telling me "next time you come back, let me know you're here, and I'll cook whatever you like." Wow!
The other service highlight was a woman who said she was an owner (not sure if she was the only one) and was also working that night as a server, busser, etc. She hailed from Spain, and had moved to Paris to pursue an acting career, while also fulfilling her dream of some day opening a restaurant. Several times during the meal she stoppped by to chat (each time asking if she could join me at the table)and one time she sat down and serenaded me with a very sweet(and thankfuly soft) feliz cumpleanos (happy birthday)sung in Spanish (I had mentioned to the chef in passing that it was a great way to celebrate my birthday). I am not usually one to engage in lots of conversation with restaurant service (just prefer the typically European model where they are there to serve a meal and not be your best friend) however, this woman was so throughly charming and engaging, that I just couldn't resist. As the name she chose for the restaurant implies, "Sharing" is what this place is all about.
By all means if you are in this area, I would urge you to try this place. It has all the charm and good cooking of Le Reminet, and the owners are so nice, that I am really pulling for them to succeed. All in all, it was a perfect way to spend a rainy birthday eve in Paris.
It's my experience that unless the website has a specific "reservations" page, e-mail does not work as a way to reserve a table. We called and after sensing our lack of French language skills, they switched to English.
As to service-well, it is true that we had an aperitif and a bottle of wine along with bottled water...but I found them very welcoming. They were also very nice about talking to us about the food in a mix of our bad French and their much better English.
re: David W
I was wondering the same, so thanks for comfirming that this was probably the issue. It made for an easy decision to shackle our hotel with all the booking chores...
Between my mother's not so bad French, my not so bad Spanish, and Le Partage's much better English, we are looking forward to an enjoyable evening.
Thanks for all the reviews on Le Partage. I have booked a table for later this month, and will report back as well. Actually, my hotel booked a table for me - immediately, and at 20:00 on a Friday night. I had tried booking online, but received no reply. Perhaps it was my request in English that didn't garner a response, but as they have their website English-optioned I was *slightly* surprised. Really more a "Gee, this would have been great if it had worked" than a disappointment... Looking forward to the food. In fact, 4 of our 7 dinners are based on recommendations from everyone on these boards - wonderful and many thanks!
Reporting back - I went to le Partage last week, as our special last dinner in Paris, based on the postings on this site. We were very impressed with the food, but frankly, I don't see what the fuss is about with regard to the service. Based on our wholly unscientific sample, it appeared that if you ordered aperitifs and bottled water, you got friendly and lavish attention. But if you didn't order aperitifs, and only asked for a carafe d'eau, you got service that was at best indifferent. Given that we spent 100 euros even without the add-ons, I thought the differential treatment verged on offensive.
Had dinner there last night and was sadly very disappointed (I wonder if a different chef was working tonight since its Sunday?) We really wanted to like it, but our amuse bouche was dry and found the foie grois fine but not superb (and thought the bread they served it with was too thick and bready). The shrimp needed an extra dose of salt as the dish had very little flavor. The duck was fine but curry was much too strong for this dish. Not sure what happened but we really didn't have a great meal (and had such high expectations based on other posts). Maybe just a rough night for some reason. Service was pleasant though and the restaurant is both charming and elegant.
Thanks for the reco, Howgart. After reading the review and looking at your list (of which I found several of my own favorites), we ate here on Friday night, and I'd put it at 'well above average'. The foie app was great, albeit a little different with the banana (which I loved, btw) maybe not something everyone will love. My wife had the shrimp dish, and the shrimp themselves were very good, nearly as sweet as lobster. The curry sauce they came in was just OK. I really liked the lamb dish (3 ways, which I believe was two loin pieces, two leg pieces and some marrow in a wrap arrangement of some kind...the kir and wine were catching up to me @ this point). The roasted banana dessert was perhaps the best part of the meal. All in all, it was quite good and a nice find for the neighborhood. Service was excellent and I'd return. Thanks again for passing it along.
Based on the review, I had dinner at Le Partage late last week. The room, the food, the people working there -- all superb. The highlights were the foie gras with a delicious banana confit, the duck breast served with sweet potatoe puree, the lamp with polenta, the cream of chocolate with coconut drink (you have a spoonful of chocolate, then sip the coconut). The menu in French isn't exactly the same as the menu in English (no, the English menu isn't more expensive) so I suggest you use the more up-to-date French menu. We had kir royale to start and a bottle of wonderful red wine from the Vacluse (sp?). Total was Euro 300 for 4 people. This is a fantastic find.
Funny enough in the past we've been to the Lebanese place across the street, which is good too and ate at Atelier Maitre Albert (which is around the corner, amazing pumpkin soup that my kids live for, steak was just awful, veal was only fair -- my kids said it reminded them of pot roast -- next time I'd go for the chicken) the next night. It is a good thing I don't stay nearby -- so at least I can get some exercise with all this wonderful eating.
Thank you so much for this post-I printed it out months ago and wandered by Le Partage just last week when I was in Paris-the menu looked interesting and the space lovely, so we made a reservation-what a find.
I wish I could be more detailed, but I just enjoyed myself. We had a wonderful shrimp dish with avocado, the above named duck dish and a lamb dish with polenta-everything was perfect. We had a bit much to drink and also can't remember the dessert-but I remember it was good.
But more to the point-this is one of the most vibrant, alive restaurants I've had the pleasure of eating in-if I lived in Paris I would eat there once a week...by all means, try this gem-it is a delight.
Thanks all for the kind words. I have lurked on these boards for years, only posting occasionally. But I have learned so much from all the folks here (including many of the folks who responded to my OP)that I just wanted to give a little something back to this great community....so a big thanks to everyone!
Jm, I'm afraid my list is kind of boring, and contains mostly the usual suspects (many, in fact gleaned from this very board). I'm kind of a creature of habit, and when I find places I like, I tend to keep going back. So, I'll list some of my faves (in or near the 5th) but I suspect the list will dissapoint you. Nonetheless, here goes:
Chez Rene (always feels like I've come home!)
Ze Kitchen Gallerie (always interesting and exciting combination of ingredients)
Le Boquinistes (touristy, but reliable)
Benoit (for their great cassoulet)
Restaurant Le Christine (part of the hotel)
Atelier Maitre Albert (good, simple rotisserie)
Le Petit Pointoise
Chez Paul (good and different specials and wines from the Jura region---very "homey")
As I said, not really exciting, but I've come to like each for various reasons. If anyone has others in or around the fifth I need to try,please let me know what I'm missing! Once again, thanks to all!