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In Praise of Ze Kitchen Galerie

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. 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

      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

        What was wrong, variety, price, speedy delivery?

        1. re: John Talbott

          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

            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

              "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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                    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

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

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        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. 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

              Please report back here on your dining experience, isaac.

              1. re: menton1

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

              2. re: chez_isaac

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: menton1

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