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May 23, 2010 12:21 PM

Reporting back: L'Agrume & KGB

I wanted to report back on these two places after eating there yesterday and Friday.

First, L'Agrume: we opted for the tasting menu, 6 courses, 36E (or was it 37? Came out to 89E for the two of us with 4 glasses of wine). First was crab meat with a tomato puree called a gazpacho which was fantastic, by far the best dish of the evening. Second was a small but delicious dish with white asparagus, potatoes and red onions. Third was a a poached fillet of sole with peas which was good and fourth was Angus beef with carrots. I'd say we loved the first dish the most, second a bit less, third a bit less and fourth, well, fourth :-)

Two deserts, both great: a pannacotta with strawberry sauce on top and strawberries with a pistachio cream.

One thing that we noticed was that 90% of all the diners spoke English and everyone ordered the fixed menu. And I mean everyone: at some point we saw the chef poached 8 fish simultaneously! So my question to you Parisians: when tourists (i.e. one-time eaters) take over a restaurant so completely ordering only the fixed menu - doesn't that "kill" the restaurant for locals? After all, the locals can no longer get a reservation in a timely manner, can't review the place, can't revisit or recommend it to their friends. What do you think?

Second up, KGB. Truth is, we started off at Ze Kitchen Gallerie. Their website says a discovery menu of entree, plat "a la plancha" and dessert costs 35E, which fit our budget. However, after sitting down we were surprised to see that the menu costs 76E (!) with entrees at around 22-24E and main dishes at around 40E. We got up and walked up. At the entrance they asked us why we were leaving. We said politely that we misunderstood the menu from the web site and they agreed that it had changed.

So, we walked down the street to KGB and had a great meal. We ordered a a pasta and their set of 6 "amuse bouches" - both were fantastic and exactly what we were looking for: fresh ingredients that we can't get at home with interesting combinations: salmon/ginger ravioli, fish croquette in spicy pepper sauce, crab-meat, kumquat with a shellfish (sorry, forgot which one), carpaccio, and a cold apple soup. For the main dish, both of us ordered fish, monk and cod, and both were fantastic with wonderful sauces I wish I knew how to make.
We shared a dessert of strawberry ice cream which was great. All in all, our favorite dinner in Paris.

Getting ready to enjoy our last day in Paris tomorrow. Anyone know of a good place by the Madeleine for dinner tomorrow? (It's Monday... sigh)

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  1. There is Goumard and Tante Louis; both have prx-fixe menus. Goumard is a bit less expensive.

    1. ZKG only has the good value set menu at lunchtimes, in the evening it is full ALC and gets very expensive (it has been like that for years). I also found their website confusing and it is easy to assume the menu is available in the evening.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PhilD

        Thanks, Phil, at least I don't feel like an idiot any more :-)

      2. I don't know any place near where you want to go. Take a cab or metro and go to Marcab. You will search for my unlisted phone # to thank me for saying so. So thank John Talbott instead as he is easier to find and he sent me there last week.

        5 Replies
        1. re: hychka

          Well of course I'm flattered hychka, but there's also:

          9 place de la Madeleine, 8th (Metro : Madeleine)
          T : 01 42 65 22 90
          Open lunch and dinner everyday

          Le Passage
          9 place de la Madeleine, 8th (Metro : Madeleine)
          T : 01 42 65 22 90
          Open lunch and dinner everyday
          Menu = 36 €, a la carte 50-70 €.
          A la carte from 80-100 €.

          1. re: John Talbott

            Thanks for the recommendations!! And John, thanks for recommending L'Agrume - we had a great time.

            1. re: chez_isaac

              We ended up taking 2 metros across town to Marcab only to be turned away at the door as they were closing. Well, at least that leaves something for our next visit!

              1. re: chez_isaac

                Just out curiosity, when was your reservation for L'Agrume and how far in advance did you make it?

                1. re: stanshep

                  We reserved a table for two for last Friday, May 21st at 19:30. We made the reservation around 2.5 weeks ahead of time.
                  At least six couples were turned away while we were there so I urge you to make a reservation.