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Nov 21, 2011 08:11 PM

good steak at Le Boeuf Couronné?

I'll be going to Paris in a couple months and am looking to sink my teeth into a delicious, classic French steak. A good friend recommended Le Boeuf Couronné (located near Villette). For anyone who's familiar with this place, I love to get any feedback you might have (good or bad). Also, I'm very open for other suggestions on the best steak in town! Many thanks

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  1. First the cut, my go to cut is a cotes du boeuf for two or more. Can be charred correctly and you have the joy of chewing off the bone. The place is simple as well, hopefully your pocketbook is deep as here is costs twice that of your place, it is L'Ami Louis. It is, and has been the perfect cotes du boeuf, huge enough for 3 and cooked Desnoyers beef, my favorite steak in the world. l checked your restaurant's menu and it sounds interesting, will give it a try and report back as am unfamiliar with Au Boeuf Couronne.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Wonderful! Thanks much, and looking forward to getting your impressions of the place.

      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Me too actually, I live just around the corner but have never been... I heard they used to be really good at the time the butcheries were in the neighborhood, but I'm not sure if they're still up to par, at least in Chowhounds' standards ;)

        1. re: Rio Yeti

          I'm curious if you can tell me how the steak at Boeuf Couronnee compares to l'Ami Louis. Merci d'avance!

          1. re: bostonboy77

            Admittedly, i haven't eaten at l'Ami Louis for a long time (it takes years of therapy to get over the shock of the unjustifiably exorbitant bill... we're talking at least 150 € a head here) but I imagine that the steaks at Au Boeuf Couronné are probably slightly inferior and one-fourth the price.

            Just for the better price/quality ratio, I'd choose Au Boeuf Couronné or, if you insist on Hugo Desnoyer beef, Le Severo in the 14th.

      2. Went to Au Boeuf Couronne near Parc de la Villette last evening for my first visit. The seats were quite large, the staff was very helpful and friendly, and the restaurant was delightfully quiet while almost complet . We ordered the cotes du boeuf with pommes souffle which followed soupe d;oignon and escargot for entrees. Drank a bottle of Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape, their second, it was lovely as well. Throw in a creme brulee split for dessert and that was the meal. Lovely time in a lovely place. Now to the steak. It was advertised as a 1200 gm cotes du boeuf. It came with one rib bone attached perfectly cooked as ordered about 4 cm thick. Had almost no char and was the second ranked CdB l have had in Paris, the cap was very tender, the ribeye less so, but a very flavorful cut of beef. When we left the restaurant our comment was identical, this place was great, but it ain't Louis. l have no intention to argue the merits pro or con of L'Ami Louis again. This discussion on this board and others is like discussing abortion, no middle ground and it has been done to death. The CdB at Louis is 2 sometimes 3 ribs, is @ 8-9 cm. thick and served charred to perfection. While almost twice the cost of Au Boeuf Couronne's it is also about twice the size and can serve 3 comfortably and once l had it serve 4. Also pommes souffle is quite nice but the pomme gateau at Louis, come on, my fav potato dish ever. The meal at ABCouronne exclusive of wine was 97 euros, when at Louis a few weeks ago the bill for food alone for three was 246 euros, thus 47/pp at ABC and 82/pp at LAL for a lot more food.

        15 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Yeah, you have no intentino of reopening that discussion, but you just did.

          Ironically, I was at Louis having "the cote de Boeuf" (will explain quotation marks below) while you were at Boeuf Couronné. I only partially agree with your characterization.

          Yesterday, I asked repeatedly that the whole cote be left at our table and that we would carve it, but to no avail. They presented a whole cote, took it back, and came back with small plates having three ham-like slices of cote de boeuf. I protested, to no avail. Ate my plate (only the meat actually), asked for another one, which took a while. They brought another plate, the slices were clearly from a different piece. Better, actually, but annoying nevertheless. Third plate (hey, it's me), from a different piece again.

          It was like the all you can eat carpaccio at bistrot romain: you can have as much as you want, but the second plate will come in five minutes, the third in fifteen, the fourth in twenty... I think there are IT security devices that work this way too. Also, prices were not at all like Bistrot romain.

          Also ordered the gateau de pomme de terre, which never came, having asked again several times. It was however well present on the bill, at 20€.

          My guess is that they had more cote de boeuf orders than actual cotes de boeuf, and so, knowing that most people order their two kg cote de boeuf and eat 200g if it, they took the three they had, showed them to every table and then cut them randomly. I am reinforced in this opinion by the fact that all cotes circulated before we were served anything.

          Now, I agree that 66€ for the actual gigantic perfect cote de boeuf is not shocking. It is for what I had.

          Also started with the scallops, probably with stupidly high expectations. They serve six, of which one is tiny, one average, four superb and big. Anyway, felt profoundly cheated (again). What's worse, and almost inconceivable, left hungry.

          I still think it's (one of) the best restaurant in town. But it is run by thugs who cater primarily to maffia and movie stars.

          It took forever to pay, the error in the bill making it worse (they eventually fixed it and comped us the 11€ bottle of Badoit), but we waited long before that too. There was a scene between my friend and Monsieur Louis because my friend did not want to leave Monsieur Louis with his credit card and demande that the machine be brought to his table.

          Fun night.

          1. re: souphie

            SOunds like torture. Showing someone an awesome cote de boeuf but then taking it away and giving them a few little pieces every 15 minutes cannot be counted as actually serving cote de boeuf at all. I wish I could do my job like that and get paid.

            1. re: souphie

              Souphie, it is good to have you back on the forum with your refreshing comments. You and DCM exhibit the diverse experiences and impressions that can, and often do, result when 2 world class gourmands visit the same restaurant.

              1. re: Laidback

                Let Souphie tell you about the last time l was there, it was with Souphie. It certainly was not the nightmare he just related. He and l are going again in a few weeks, we will report back.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Yes, last time was good (except for the part where we three "strong men" had to sit at a table the size of my laptop) -- they let that bad boy on the table and we had at it our way.

                  Hopefully, next time will be great too. I just to have to up my maffia credentials is all. You know, offers they can't refuse and that kind of stuf'.

                  1. re: souphie

                    Why don't you just stop supporting contemptuous thugs and go have a côte de boeuf at Le Severo or Le Bis, or at Café Cartouche, at Chez l'Ami Jean, etc., or just at home?

                    I've never been to L'Ami Louis but from everything I've read about it, the food does not seem to be worth what you have to put up with when you're there.

                    (As for me, it won't be easy to have anything beef-related when I get back home after eating wagyu in Tasmania.)

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      l am sure you know Australian Wagyu or even American or South American Wagyu have very few similarities with the Japanese version best expressed in Kobe. CLAJ does not serve Cotes du Boeuf anymore and it was a pale comparison with Louis, obviously on a good day. Have not been to Le Severo yet.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        I am sure I meant organic Tasmanian wagyu, not Australian wagyu. One that is exported to Japan.
                        L'Ami Louis just does not sound worth the perverse, pseudoparisian sadomasochistic game that seems to be played there on a regular basis. I don't think any côte de boeuf (not "du boeuf", which would mean there's only one ox on Earth) is worth that. Especially when there are plenty of places in Paris where you can have a good one without anyone taking you for a ride. Chez l'Ami Jean does serve côte de boeuf, just avoid the ones sourced from Desnoyer, who isn't that good for beef anyway. His thing is veal, really.

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          Pti - it is good to hear you are enjoying Tasmania. And tassie beef is very fine, but the best Wagyu is probably Victorian sold by a supplier called David Blackmore - worth seeking out.

                          DCM - i will grant a lot of Wagyu isn't fantastic but that is because it is such a generic non-controlled term. In many markets it covers everything from pure bread Wagyu to Wagyu down to F2 hybrids which are diluted cross breeds. And this even happens in Japan so you need to look at the detail of the labels (the prefectures in Japan like Kobe do have tightly controlled labeling like AOC in France). And remember much of Australia's Wagyu production does head up to Japan with lots of the Australian feedlots owned by Japanese companies.

                          But back to France. Are any top butchers starting to sell Wagyu? I see it becoming more and more common on restaurant menus in many countries and I assume top chefs in France will want to get product of this quality in terms of both taste and texture. Maybe the import regs and production regs mean you can't bring it in as live cattle for breeding as I think most French cattle is pure bred local breeds. And may carcasses are restricted via some sort of EU protective legislation.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            Phil - Tasmania is awesome. The produce!

                            Shortly before leaving, I've met a Spanish wagyu breeder/importer in Paris, he supplies the chefs. His cattle is in Spain, there isn't any wagyu breeding in France at the moment. So far the man has been selling to chefs and restaurateurs, not to butchers, so right now I'm not sure top Paris butchers are selling wagyu. They may in the near future, though.

                            The wagyu breeder on Robbins Island told me the history of wagyu breeding outside of Japan and it was quite a complex one since the wagyu race wasn't supposed to leave Japan in the first place. It did arrive to Australia via the United States. I don't think any legislation in France would forbid wagyu cattle breeding, but the tricky thing would perhaps be getting the breed and its genetics onto the territory. Also, they'd need the right climate and food to yield meat that would be worth selling. The quality greatly depends on the diet and breeding conditions.

                    2. re: souphie

                      Souphie, you used to like Les Gourmets des Ternes, one of my favorites. I know there are issues relative to reservations and the preference for regulars vs tourists. Any views?

                      1. re: Oakglen

                        Going on monday -- but they issues at Gourmet des Ternes palish in comparison with the one at Louis, and their pièce de boeuf is awesome.

                        Pti, Louis actually sources from Desnoyer, who is very good for beef, but only if you are Louis or Gagnaire.

                        1. re: souphie

                          How surprising.
                          I wouldn't feel very proud as a butcher if I were known to give decent products only to a few selected chefs, given the relatively low quality of what he sells to others.

                2. re: souphie

                  Been back today for lunch -- it was us and another table, so there was no issue of feeling cheated or mistreated. The cote de boeuf was sterling, as were the "mutton" and the snails and the foie gras. The cote de veau à la crème was awesome but no better than Joséphine's (which is not à la crème).

                  Gonna have to stick by my statement that they're just the best for what they do. And that we should really launch a competition for it -- same idea, only nicer.

                  1. re: souphie

                    Also had a VT Gewurtztraminer with the Foie Gras, wonderful.