Preliminary reviews holiday 2011 - Les Cocottes, Tintilou, Huitrerie Regis and Agape Substance
Hoping to update this later but just wanted to post a quick note on our meals thus far.
Got here Christmas eve, staying at Place Republique. Bought some provisions at Jeanne A. and a nearby bakery (Aux Peche Normande) for a simple dinner. Nice charcuterie from Jeanne A and croissant from APN but nothing I would travel out of the way for.
Christmas day we had lunch at Les Cocottes, recommended on Paris by Mouth. Unfortunately it was a special Christmas menu and relatively over-priced/mediocre. Seems like a pleasant place to grab a bite otherwise, though. Dinner we just had a quick felafel at L'As du Felafel (we are trying to avoid the holiday menus for obvious reasons). Falafel was very good, on par with good NYC falafel. If you have had good falafel then I would say it's nothing to go too out of your way for. Just my opinion. But it was fresh and crispy and had lots of nice veggies. Had amazing macarons from Pierre Herme for dessert, including two special holiday edition foie flavors (foie and chocolate, foie and fig). These were amazing, as were the white truffle hazelnut and the mandarin orange olive oil flavors.
Yesterday we went to the soup place mentioned in Clothilde's book, bar a soupes I think, which was a very charming affordable place in the 11th for a simple meal. For dinner we went to Tintilou, a bistro in the 11th. Dinner was very mixed. Appetizers were very interesting and good- I had a combination of foie terriine and cured salmon, both flecked with lemon zest. My husband had an egg en cocque (tasted like a poached egg topped with a seafood sabayon) with perfectly seasoned tiger shrimp on the side. Entrees and desserts were, however, completely amateurish. I had scallops that tasted like it was on a pile of canned pumpkin. Don't recommend overall.
Today for lunch went to Huitrerie Regis for oysters which was amazing. Lovely place, oysters were exceedingly fresh and sweet compared to what is available in NYC. It is a very small place and filled up quickly, so recommend going for lunch and getting there on the early side.
Dinner was Agape Substance, where we had a wonderful experience. Very congenial atmosphere and food that takes risks and pushes the envelope a little. Recommended for the adventurous eater. Standouts included the pumpkin soup with a speck foam, skate with crosnes, jerusalem artichoke with a nut crumble, lamb with beet and barley, and a pumpkin/toasted grain dessert. We split one wine pairing and enjoyed the pairiings that were chosen. We stayed a little late chatting with a lovely couple from Chicago and the very accommodating staff brought us some champagne on the house. Overall a lovely experience.
Up next are Spring, Rino and Au Passage. Will report back. Thanks to all who have thoughtfully posted their reviews, the posts in this forum have been very helpful in planning our trip...
Good question, mangeur. Just got back from lunch at Spring which we LOVED and I would rank as a great value for what it is. Ditto for AS. Wouldn't call HR a value at all but we are oyster fiends and loved it anyways. Bar a soupes was extremely reasonable (8 euro for soup, bread, dessert/cheese and a lovely iced tea). The soup was nice but nothing super special but we had a really nice citrus tart included and were grateful to have a cheap and reasonably healthy meal. Didn't really think Tintilou was a great value because beyond the apps we didn't enjoy the meal. Can't fairly comment on Cocottes's regular menu. Am very curious to try Au Passage because we heard it was an excellent value. Also curious to try a more affordable seafood place (maybe plain de mer or ecaillot?) if we can squeeze it in because I am curious how the oysters will compare.