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Apr 21, 2010 06:41 AM

Frédéric Simonin

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.

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  1. This is exciting -- thanks for reporting. I plan to have dinner there in Sept. (assuming a reservation will be possible).

    1. Thanks for the report, I was wondering about this! How much was the lunch menu? And do I have a shot at all at getting a reservation if I will be there May 7-8 (2 weeks)?

      2 Replies
      1. re: juliemarie8

        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.

        1. re: juliemarie8

          The bargain lumch menu was €38. I have no idea how the reservations will be, just call and ask. I got in for the latest seating by calling the day before, but this was their 1st week. Tel.: 01 45 74 74 74

        2. Also...I only have Fri-Sun in Paris, so would you replace one of these w/ Frederic Simonin, and if so, which?

          Les Papilles
          Chez Dumonet
          Chez L'Ami Jean
          Cinq (Sunday)

          My thought was to get in a traditional, innovative, bistro, & fine dining. And just always wanted to try Les Papilles.

          Appreciate anyone's input!

          1. "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."


              1. re: Laidback

                Wow. Which restaurant to replace so I can go here??

                1. re: juliemarie8

                  That is about like asking me which child to trade off...all your picks are well thought out, and any choice I made would be so personal to me that it probably would not work for anyone else.

                  1. re: Laidback

                    So true. I don't want to remove any of them but there are so many other places I want try. I might have to buy an apartment and stay forever.

                    1. re: juliemarie8

                      That was Dr. Talbott's decision some years back.

                      1. re: Laidback

                        I want to be Dr. Talbott when I grow up!

                        1. re: parisjo

                          Me too, actually I'm seriously looking at moving across my market street (to stay on topic) to a place with an elevator so I can schlep groceries, wine, etc up more easily. I'll never leave a market street, however, it's the way to live.

                          1. re: John Talbott

                            Ah, but the more stairs you climb, the more groceries and wine you can consume without gaining weight!