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In Praise of Ze Kitchen Galerie

Mcarolan May 6, 2010 02:59 PM

We went to Paris for a quick trip and thoroughly researched these boards for ideas. We booked at Ze Kitchen Galerie for Wednesday night, and it was a complete pleasure. The wait staff was friendly. We were not rushed. We were a bit put off to see so many Americans but around 9 pm the French arrived. We ended up talking to our "neighbors" at two adjoining tables and had a great time. But of course, it was the food that knocked us out. I highly recommend the degustation for around 78E. Each course was more interesting than the next and we did not know what we'd be getting until it arrived. Fun place, great location. Hungry as I type this back in the USA already.

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  1. John Talbott RE: Mcarolan May 6, 2010 06:11 PM

    Agreed, but we are in the minority - "you can get this anywhere on the East and West Coasts of the US" Not!

    John Talbott's Paris

    12 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott
      MOREKASHA RE: John Talbott May 7, 2010 08:18 AM

      We had a great meal there last June. My only compaint was the wine service. While you can get meals similar in NYC, I havent had any that stood up to Z.

      1. re: MOREKASHA
        John Talbott RE: MOREKASHA May 7, 2010 08:50 AM

        What was wrong, variety, price, speedy delivery?

        1. re: John Talbott
          MOREKASHA RE: John Talbott May 7, 2010 12:56 PM

          It's always a challenge to pick a wine that goes with such a meal. I saw a Chateauneuf 1/2 bottle from a producer I never head of. So I asked them to tell me about it. The answer was, "It's white, it goes well with fish"... At Marcelo in Santiago de Compostela, Spain I had the same query. They suggested a wine from Aragon, it was the cheapest wine on the menu. I had noticed the wine before as I hadn't seen a wine from Aragon, but I didn't mention that to the waiter. The attitude was just so much better, at least in regards to the wine.

          1. re: MOREKASHA
            mangeur RE: MOREKASHA May 7, 2010 06:30 PM

            You bring up a very interesting and important point. The establishment of a functional and positive rapport with one's waiter is critical for an excellent meal. Unfortunately, initial orders often need to be placed before this crucial understanding becomes clear to both parties. In a perfect world, your waiter would zero into the level of your appreciation and make appropriate recommendations. Often, not. However, even when I perceive a disconnect with a waiter, I have found it in our interest to persevere with a positive attitude. Occasionally, no, most often, we leave with a good experience.

            1. re: MOREKASHA
              John Talbott RE: MOREKASHA May 8, 2010 05:35 AM

              "It's always a challenge to pick a wine that goes with such a meal."
              Very valid point. Ledeuil uses so many different and sometimes unexpected ombinations, spices and herbs that it is indeed hartd to find one that will go with what two persons are ordering.

              1. re: John Talbott
                mangeur RE: John Talbott May 11, 2010 06:20 PM

                Tsk, tsk, John. Lame excuse. As a chef choosing to use 'so many different and sometimes unexpected combinations, spices and herbs', I would expect Ledeuil to coach and train his waitstaff to be expert in suggesting compatible wines, by bottle or by glass if necessary, from a wine list that I would hope he assorted because of those wines' ability to compliment his plates.

                To be told "It's white, it goes well with fish"...would blast me back to a hotel dining room in the '40s.

                1. re: mangeur
                  menton1 RE: mangeur May 12, 2010 07:28 AM

                  Of course, good recs on wine pairings are the role of a sommelier, who now are only to be found at high end Michelin * restaurants...

                  1. re: menton1
                    mangeur RE: menton1 May 12, 2010 07:42 AM

                    Oh, no. In many small, not expensive and certainly not starred places we find excellent wait people who know the food and the wine list, who even add one's wine tastes and preferences into the equation.

                    1. re: mangeur
                      menton1 RE: mangeur May 12, 2010 08:24 AM

                      Of course, mangeur. But this is quite variable from place to place, and, as we've heard about right on this thread can be unreliable.

                  2. re: mangeur
                    John Talbott RE: mangeur May 12, 2010 01:30 PM

                    Mangeur, you know I'm a philistine. My wine philosophy is public information. As a really old guy, I no longer care; the wine lists circa 1968 of Taillevent are in my living room drawer, Bocuse's in my fading memory and Giradet's still like yesterday.

                    To be told "It's white, it goes well with fish"...would blast me back to a hotel dining room in the '40s.
                    In the '40s I was waiting for my father to come back from finding death camps, wine was no issue.

                    1. re: John Talbott
                      MOREKASHA RE: John Talbott May 12, 2010 05:08 PM

                      JT, It did take me back to simpler times. Otherwise I enjoyed the meal.

                      1. re: John Talbott
                        mangeur RE: John Talbott May 12, 2010 05:54 PM

                        My point, John, was that an understanding of the menu and the wine list is well within the grasp of small, inexpensive places. It starts at the top and filters down. In fact, when the kitchen staff is small and the FOH equally small, there is optimum opportunity for shared information. When the chef cares about the client's experience, the staff cares. And when the client has a good experience, he both spends more, returns and spreads the word.


                        If a waiter had uttered those now famous words to me in response to the OP's intelligent question about a listed wine, rolled eyes might well have been my response. Or maybe I'd have asked him if he could find out more information about this wine that was unknown to me and seeminly to him, thereby educating both of us..

          2. c
            chez_isaac RE: Mcarolan May 9, 2010 01:17 AM

            Thanks sharing your experience. We'll be in Paris in two weeks and I made reservations at Ze Kitchen Galerie based on the recommendations on this board.
            We're looking forward to a great meal!

            6 Replies
            1. re: chez_isaac
              menton1 RE: chez_isaac May 11, 2010 11:23 AM

              Please report back here on your dining experience, isaac.

              1. re: menton1
                chez_isaac RE: menton1 May 13, 2010 02:44 AM

                But of course! Only one week to go!!!

              2. re: chez_isaac
                lterrell RE: chez_isaac May 12, 2010 11:35 AM

                I will be in Paris in early June for about 24 hours as part of an extended layover and to see a friend's band from my hometown of Washington DC perform. We will have one dinner and leaning towards ZKG. I am a semi-vegetarian (will eat fish) and husband eats anything. We prefer lighter, fresh food vs the more traditional dishes. With that said Is ZKG a good choice? We are staying near the St. Germain des Pres metro and it appears the restaurant is walking distance.

                1. re: lterrell
                  lterrell RE: lterrell May 12, 2010 11:38 AM

                  Forgot to add, we will be there on a Wednesday night and assume I should make reservations? When is the "peak" dining time in Paris these days?

                  1. re: lterrell
                    menton1 RE: lterrell May 12, 2010 11:52 AM

                    I would recommend the annex, the Kitchen Galerie Bis in your situation. (KGB)

                    1. re: menton1
                      lterrell RE: menton1 May 12, 2010 12:28 PM

                      Thanks. Is that because of the food or because it would be hard to book at ZKG?

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