La Guirlande de Julie
Has anyone been there or know anything about it. Saw an article in Town and Country magazine.
Another Paris restaurant mystery. Andre Terrail scored this great location for the La Tour D'Argent group and installed some noteable talent from Taillevent etc. It is no longer listed on that web site and I presume the place was sold off; to whom I don't know. Someone please give it a try.
We were there yesterday (Thursday 2 Aug.) at lunch. The menu, including 3 courses, was 27 euros I think (two choices for entrees and two for plats, plus dessert). We weren't that hungry and so ordered from the carte. We both chose canette with an Asian-style salad and a nem stuffed with cuisse de canard. We drank a red wine from the Auvergne. Instead of dessert we shared the cheese course, Roquefort, Comte, Camembert, and a baked chevre, served with a salad. The meal was superb, as was the service. We sat outdoors in the arcarde of the Place des Vosges, a wonderful people-watching experience. We could hear the music from an accordion and string group in the Place, which added to the ambience. There were businessmen at the next table who had ordered the set menu, and I regretted that I had not ordered the dessert, which was an apricot concoction with whipped cream. I don't know if the Terrail family is still the owner, but the duckling (their signature dish) was superb. We will definitely return.
My then girlfriend from Barcelona and I were in Paris for a few days in October 1993. We were wandering through Place des Vosges on a Sunday, as I recall, about 2 in the afternoon. We passed by this restaurant, and something called out to us, "This is the place!" We walked in to find a small, old and ordinary-looking room full of diners, who looked up at us as if to say, "How can YOU possibly know about this?" An older woman who appeared to be the owner shook her head at us to say, "Not you, not now, perhaps not ever, young man." One of my few culinary regrets ever. It was one of those things that spoke clearly "Yes, this restaurant is amazing, and no one from the outside knows it yet." From the looks of the recent photos on the website, the place is totally changed from what it was. It may well be a wonderful restaurant now, but it is without doubt different.
I'm glad to hear that people had nice meals and good experiences at La Guirlande de Julie. We were there for dinner in spring 2007 and had a passable, but not fabulous, meal. The menu was interesting - I'd sum it up as French with an occasional, very light Asian/fusion twist - and the food fine (especially the appetizers), but a few things bothered me, including:
- my main course (a lamb shank in a light broth) was tasty but lukewarm, which made me think the kitchen had fired it too early; and
- for dessert, the maitre'd tried to get us to order the dessert "du jour", which was tiramisu. Seeing as it was a quiet night but NOT late (it wasn't even 10 p.m.), I wondered if they just wanted to get us out of there quickly. Maybe it's just me, but I thought it unseemly for a restaurant of this calibre (and part of the Tour d'Argent family) to be "upselling" a pre-made dessert so hard, especially as they had some really nice desserts (e.g., zabaglione, gauffres), on the regular dessert menu.
All in all, it was a decent meal, but not memorable. We had better (quality, service, value) meals in the same price range at Petit Pontoise and Maison du Jardin.