Dinner report: Fontaine de Mars: Never Again.
I wanted to perform a bit of a public service and describe a recent meal I had at La fontaine de Mars. I have the good fortune to live in Paris and get to dine out pretty frequently. Let me state categorically that I will not be returning to the Fontaine de Mars after the meal I had there last week. I ate there a few years ago and found it to be good, not great, but since we had friends visiting us on a Sunday, our options were few. We reserved a week ahead of time and were seated upstairs, in a small, hot room, filled with a large and loud American family with several small children. But the evening was about good friends and food, so I tried not to care about this. Bad food, though, I cannot forgive, especially when it's so easy to get it right with the kinds of French classic dishes served at La Fontaine de Mars. My friends both started with the veloute d'asperges au fois gras; my husband and I opted for the leeks vinaigrette. The soup tasted very vaguely of asparagus and more like heavy cream. The foie gras dollop was so full of sinewy veins that my friend had difficulty eating it. Our leeks were swimming in flavorless oil and were flaccid, sad versions of what they should have been. For the next course, my friend ordered the Sunday special of poulet fermier avec sa puree. Despite sounding boring, she ordered wisely. My husband and I ordered the confit de canard, thinking that it would be difficult to mess it up. We were wrong: the skin, which should have been crispy, was totally soft and shockingly, the duck did not have the depth of flavor that a confit should have. For dessert, we shared the mousse au chocolat, which was unpleasantly grainy and tasted like bad American milk chocolate. I was shocked at how bad this meal was. I will never return. Just because the Obamas ate their a few years does not make it worth visiting. When there are so many good places in Paris to go eat, do not be scammed by this place. Sorry for the rant, but this was a memorably terrible meal.