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Lousy Meal at L'Atelier Maitre Albert

Wish I read more of the (mixed) postings before we headed there. Great location and interesting room but there I'm afraid it ends.....

Salad with sauteed chicken livers was quite good, and the Potiron soup (is it me or is this soup suddenly everywhere??) was tasty enough but at 17 Euros it needed a little something beyond the mushrooms and the table-side pouring into a rectangular bowl.

I had the Jarret de Veau a la Broche, which was OK, though many tough bits and cartilage that were inedible. The gratin of spinach and mushrooms would have been tasty and fine if it weren't full of sand!

My partner ordered the Tranche de Boeuf - saignant. When the grey slab of tough meat arrived he remarked to the waiter that it did not seem saignant at all. The waiter insisted that once we cut into it it would be.... it never was. There wasn't a red drop on the plate to be seen. The sauce Bearnaise was cold and thick. The Gratin Dauphinoise, a dish I generally love, was bland and literally seemed only to be potatoes swimming in cream.

The woman right next to us seemed to have ordered the same dish with at least superior results in the viande department... looked thick and nicely rosy. Don't think we heard her say "bleu"... In all of France I've never had saignant beef this grey.... Was it because we were apparently Yanks? Was it because I rejected the 75Euro wine the waiter strongly urged we order with our dish and went with something cheaper?

Eventually, sensing our displeasure I suspect, the waiter dropped off the signature grapefruit terrine with the odd glob of meringue which resembled toothpaste. It was, unfortunately, like the whole experience... rather bitter.

In the end, I the whole place seemed rather pretentious, and skating on reputation.

I've had my share of disappointing meals in Paris, usually not with this much hype or heft on the tab.

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  1. Used to have an apartment on that street 20 yards away, went when it opened. Found loud, minimal menu and 'precious'. Reason after all this time have not been to Guy Savoy, sorry for your bad experience. Ice cream place on corner is very good, hope you tried and liked that

    1. Not singing "told you so" but... the reason was not you. It's just that it's a bad restaurant, expensive, and that does not need to fight for clients.

      Is Savoy's name still associated? In any case, it would be wrong to induce from that meal that Guy Savoy's restaurant is bad. DCM, we need to go when you're back.

      12 Replies
      1. re: souphie

        Not afraid it is bad, just a little afraid of Savoy now

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Fair enough. I'll go tomorrow and take pictures. Just for you.

          1. re: souphie

            How and when was Guy Savoy associated with L' Atelier Maitre Albert ?

            1. re: mdietrich

              He bought the place a couple of years ago. Maybe 2004 or 5. Actually, if you check out his website (www.guysavoy.com) you'll see that it is one of his five restaurants, with the one in vegas, les bouquinistes and le Chiberta.

              1. re: souphie

                thanks...never noticed LMA on the Savoy site. Maybe you should tattle on LMA and give GS a heads up the bad reports tomorrow. The Las Vegas Savoy gets consistent rave reviews and michelin 2 stars. Looking forward to your photos.

              2. re: mdietrich

                Restaurant bought and redone in 2001, spent a lot of time/money doing it over and was dreadful IMHO from day one. Looking in window looked great, that was the only positive. Lived on Rue Maitre Albert for three years and went there once.

                  1. re: souphie

                    Merci a tout! Glad I wasn't the only one out there with a bad experience. Agree with DCM - the place looked great... alas. Good news is that a bad meal in one place CAN be eradicated by a good one somewhere else: had a fab lunch at Au Bascou yesterday (poelee de girolle and fasison avec choux et foie gras). Now THAT'S why I come to Paris every year!

                    1. re: Gman

                      Au Bascou is fabulous, does not get much attention on this board.

                      1. re: f2dat06

                        I had a pretty crappy meal there, and that did not look like an accident. I remain to be convinced.

                        Pics: http://picasaweb.google.fr/ZeJulot/Au...

                  2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Delucacheesemonger - I used to live on rue Maitre Albert too! That was from Spring-Fall 2003. If I recall correctly, L'Atelier MA did not open until Fall of 2003.

                    1. re: theskyflyer

                      No argument, barely remember where l live now. And to you Souphie, l had had a great meal at au Bascou, remembered you were not impressed.