Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Aug 31, 2009 09:01 PM

Frenchie Restaurant

Had the recent opportunity to partake in an excellent meal at this petite restaurant just off rue de Reamur in the 2e...the menu changes based upon available ingredients but I'll whet your appetite by sharing our dinner...raviole de tourteaux, jus de persil aux coquillages (unbelieveably delicate) followed by epaule d'agneau braisee, aubergines, epinard, citron confit (nicely presented and very succulent), and finished with perles du japon a la noix de coco, fraises des bois, coriandre...accompanied by an excellent Bordeaux...we wer soooo happy...try and enjoy.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The other thing "Secrets of Paris" blog says about Frenchie is that it is a very good bargain for the quality. Is that true?

    1 Reply
    1. We had lunch there yesterday. It is very, very good. Quite simple cooking that lets the ingredients shine through. For me it is very good modern Italian food rather than classic French, I see the "Jamie Oliver" influence in the food; Jamie may have his critics but in this case these are very good influences (River Cafe).

      The menu was €21 for three courses, two choices per course. To start a fig, prosciutto, green bean and parmesan salad or heirloom tomato salad. Both great. For mains we both had a butternut squash risotto with lamb confit flavoured with lemon, the other choice was fish. I had Gorgonzola with sour cherries for dessert, and my partner in crime a Coffee Gourmand which was coffee with with a side of sago (perles du japon) and a alcohol soaked brioche.

      1. How did you get a booking? We've been calling for days and only get a taped message. How far ahead do you need to book?

        17 Replies
        1. re: thetraveller

          You need to call when the restaurant is open, during service. It is tiny and there are often no staff to answer the phone outside these hours. So 12:00 to 2:30 and after 7:30.

          1. re: PhilD

            I had a very unfortunate experience with Frenchie. I had our hotel make reservation for our last night in Paris about a month before our trip. Shortly before leaving for the restaurant, we attempted to confirm, only to be told there was no reservation.

            We had the hotel call two times, as well as call the concierge who made the reservation at home on a Saturday night. The concierge recalled make the reservation, and, we were told, Frenchie was surprisingly rude to the hotel when they called to inquire.

            I genuinely believe that the hotel had this one right and Frenchie either kept bad records or simply dropped the reservation. They completely ruined our final night in town, a Saturday, at a time when it was impossible to get another reservation. Be careful when making a booking and be sure to re-confirm ahead of time.

            1. re: brownhound

              As l put in a post a month or so ago, feel you did not miss much. Nice people, good wine list, food just OK

              1. re: brownhound

                It is impossible to say who is at fault.

                I usually make my own reservations, the few times I have used the hotel I have had a 50% error rate often because they forget. Frenchie is tiny, and pretty chaotic given its massive popularity, so the fault could equally lie with them.

                I disagree with DCM, I feel that at its price point it is an excellent restaurant, not classic French, but good all the same. Whether, it would be on my list for a week in Paris depends on where else I planned to eat as it is the sort of simple place that fits in with grander tables on an itinerary.

                1. re: PhilD

                  The hotel's other reservations came off without a hitch to some of the better spots in town. And when things went off the rails, they had a conference call among the three concierges to figure it all out, and the one who made the reservation specifically remembered the call. Add to that the way Frenchie responded to the hotel did not make me think the hotel was at fault.

                  It was picked because (a) the reviews here have been pretty good, (b) it was close to the hotel for our last night in town, and (c) I wanted to try one of the "new" bistros that are all the rage right now. Alas.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Main reason l went was your repeated recommendations. No one`s fault, just found food very uninteresting and not for my `mouth`. Found Baratin far better and in same genre as this, but a real pain to get to.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Apples and oranges. Frenchie's and Le Baratin share little in common: length of time they've been open, chef's experience, quality of ingredient, quality of product, size of room, number of servers, general experience of its client, current buzz. I fault the latter for most of the problems in new, small restaurants. What works brilliantly for a house operating at 95% capacity fails dismally when the demand is 300% and staff is 2.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        Why apples and oranges, 20-25 tops, chef driven, ingredients based on market, small storefront style. Same number of servers when l was there,both relatively inexpensive. Yes Baratin has been open longer, it has succeeded, good for them, Itsounds as though you are penalizing the one who is very nice compared to the one who is having growing pains, Frenchie. Ignoring all other aspects l had a far better meal at Baratin than Frenchie, thus why not compare them.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          Sorry, DCM, I think of Le Baratin as a vetted and well established restaurant. Frenchie is a new shoestring operation that somehow captured the attention of the press. At Le Baratin, there are 3 people in the front room, one of whom is husband of the chef, to answer the phone, pull wine from the cellar, take orders and bus. At Frenchie, there is a chef and a very pleasant waiter who is less than successful multitasking to handle all of these duties, also needing to leave the building to source wine which is stored in another building down the alley. In no way am I penalizing Le Baratin which is one of my favorites and a true Parisian classic..
                          Perhaps it's like comparing a dinner at my house and at my daughter-in-law's. I need to give her credit for what she accomplishes with decades less experience than I.
                          That said, I repeat to visiters that trying to book at the buzziest restaurants may cause them a lot of angst and eventual disappointment when they finally get seated.

                          1. re: mangeur

                            Perfect, then next time l am in Paris you may cook for me instead of your daughter-in-law cooking for me. l understand what you are saying, but for me a restaurant is about the result, and yes the waiter does schlep down the street for the wine, but have been to La Baratin for lunch when the house consisted of the barman, suppose the afforementioned husband, and a server. Point being IMHO, Le Baratin got it right, for whatever reasons, time, skill, help, whatever, while had no problems with Frenchie , but THE FOOD WAS UNINTERESTING, and that is a great part of what it should be about, regardless of all the other agenda going on and whatever growing pains may abound.

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                              I think Frenchie's problems are down to the volume of calls versus number of servers. Given it's central location,and recent reviews it is absurbly popular. On the other hand Le Baratin, given its location, and its age, has fewer callers; we booked at 5:00pm for that evening.

                              I liked both Le Baratin and Frenchie. For me both had interesting food; Le Baratin is strong and traditional and meat led. My meals at Frenchie were lighter and had a more Italian inspiration with less emphasis on the meat. I think we ate in them back to back and I liked the contrast between the two. That said isn't Frenchie at a lower price point?

                              1. re: PhilD

                                Very nice distinction Phil. I love Frenchie but agree Baratin could be a great 2nd for those unable to get into Spring2/Table 28, Bigarrade or Astrance.

                                1. re: PhilD

                                  I think poor such problems won't kill a restaurant like Frenchie. So long as it has good reviews, location and buzz, it will manage to stumble by despite of itself even if the quality suffers until it figures out how to emerge from adolescence (see Brooklyn's "The Grocery" for a New York example). But I wish it nothing but the worst in the meantime.

                    2. re: brownhound

                      Ditto -- made a lunch reservation in person a month ahead. Show up at 12;30 and was told that there is no lunch and reservations were canceled and everyone was contacted. They were annoyed by my presence. No apologies and no help to secure a reservation someplace else. No problem! I WILL NEVER BOTHER YOU AGAIN!

                  2. re: thetraveller

                    "How did you get a booking? We've been calling for days and only get a taped message. How far ahead do you need to book?"
                    Phil is correct but I have had to call early and often, and last time, I actually reserved for my next visit on exiting.

                    1. re: John Talbott

                      "last time, I actually reserved for my next visit on exiting."

                      I always do that chez Frenchie and chez Spring.