We visited this new place last week on its 5th day. It is quite attractive, contemporarily chic with tones of black and gray with a noise-deadening, chain link design carpet throughout and plush chairs and banquettes. The location is the previous "Bath" at the corner of Rues Bayen and Villebois-Mareuil in the 17th. M. Simenon has a Robuchon background evidenced by his onctuous purée among other things. There is a very affordable menu at lunch, but the more expensive carte had some things that called to us. One entrée simply titled "Les Legumes" was edible art; primo young vegetables, some raw, some marinated presented in a manner that in my eyes was unsurpassed, even by the famous "Gargouille" from Laguiole's master Bras. All of the products were of impeccable quality; butter, veal, beef, but no where were the producers flaunted; no mention of Desnoyer, Thibault, Bordier...a welcome oversight to me.
We had reserved the latest lunch time available hoping to thus have a chance to chat up the staff. However, there must be media coverage on the way because after service the chef was tied up with a professional photographer snapping away at him and even "Les Legumes".
The young maitre was more than happy to chat and told us that all week they had been feeding restaurant critics and now hoped to be able to get a few paying customers.
I will try and get back for the bargain lunch menu, and would love to hear anyone else's take. To me this feels like a Michelin star in the making and is a little reminiscent of Agapé when it first opened.
This is exciting -- thanks for reporting. I plan to have dinner there in Sept. (assuming a reservation will be possible).
Good question; lunch is 38 and Berger (who gave it a weak 3/5), reading a bit between the lines, says he'll only go back for lunch because the 80 E a la carte dinner wasn't worth it; Rubin today, however, gave it 3/4 hearts and uses words like "attentive, consciencieuse à impressionner, avec tact et technique." But I've heard from a little birdie that Laidback thot the menu was far exceeded in quality (and I suspect in choices) by the carte.
Also...I only have Fri-Sun in Paris, so would you replace one of these w/ Frederic Simonin, and if so, which?
Chez L'Ami Jean
My thought was to get in a traditional, innovative, bistro, & fine dining. And just always wanted to try Les Papilles.
Appreciate anyone's input!
"The young maitre was more than happy to chat and told us that all week they had been feeding restaurant critics and now hoped to be able to get a few paying customers."