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Apr 11, 2012 05:12 PM

Paris report Mar 12

Restaurants in Paris:
Saturday Dinner-
8 rue Descartes, 75005
Metro-Cardinal Lemoine (10)
Closed Saturday lunch, closed Monday
Our first night I found a place we could walk to figuring we would be tired and cranky. Christophe was a very good first night option. When we arrived the restaurant was almost totally taken up with a long table for a party of 12. It made our service a little more relaxed but it was obvious that they had started at least an hour before we arrived.

DH ordered a bottle of Alsatian cremant to start. He tasted it and he said ‘non’ & that it was corked. I was surprised as was the waiter. He sniffed and looked at DH questioningly and DH shook his head. The bottle was taken away and DH could see the waiter and someone else tasting it. The waiter returned with a fresh bottle and said that it was fine in the nose but not in the mouth. DH felt that he made points.

For first courses we ordered haricot vert with lardon and wild escargot. The escargot was wonderful but the haricot vert themselves were slightly overcooked for our taste. Also the lardon arrived in the form of about 4 sliced of cooked bacon which made it hard to eat with the green beans.

For our plats we order ris de veau with a potato puree and a duck breast and confit. Both were very good. We had a half bottle of Pinot Noir with these. Desserts were a roasted pineapple with caramel for me and coffee ice cream for DH. I love roasted pineapple and caramel and this was a very good version. The tab was 147€ with the wines coming to 61€.

Monday Dinner-
Neva Cuisine
2 rue de Berne, 75008
Metro-Europe (3) or Liège (13)

This was the GTG dinner which has been reported on by many others. We enjoyed it and would go back again.

Tuesday Lunch-
Au Passage
1bis passage de Saint-Sebastien, 75011
Metro-Saint-Sebastien Froissart (8)

We really enjoyed this lunch with friends. The trout cerviche was very good with horseradish, watercress, flax seed and toasted bread crumbs. As is usual with us we ordered one of each of the plats-merlu (hake) and magret rose. They both came with the same sides of pureed cauliflower and a rainbow of beets. The cheese course was a goat cheese of several varieties. The chocolate ganache came with caramel and sea salt and was out of this world. I think our share of the bill was around 50€ but I am not sure.

A week later- Tuesday lunch
Le Comptoir
9 Carrefour de l'Odeon
Metro-Odeon (4&10)

We hadn’t planned on having lunch today but we never got breakfast before we got onto the train from Brive. So after we check into the hotel we went down and scored a table in the sun. We ordered one of the entrée specials which were Coquilles St Jacques with seaweed butter and an artichoke soup with tapioca pearls and foie gras. We split a Salade Niçoise which was wonderful. We had two glasses of a Bouzeron and one glass of Pineau de Charente. With a café the tab came to 70.20€ with 23.20€ attributable to the wines.

Tuesday Dinner-
Le Bistro des Gastronomes
10 rue Cardinal Lemoine, 75005
Metro-Cardinal Lemoine (10)

We met friends for dinner at Le Bistro des Gastronomes. It was a wonderful festive evening. We started with aperitifs which were served with olives and saucisson. We order telline clams with tomato and chorizo and sautéed foie gras with watercress for our entrees. The clams were good but a little over cooked but the sauce was wonderful. The foie gras was also good.

For our plats we ordered pork tenderloin which came on a bed of potatoes and carrots which had been mashed together and a bavette with potatoes and mushrooms. Both were very good. We had a bottle of Langedoc wine- Chateau de la Negly, La Falaise which was a perfect match for the food.

At this point the bartender/host brought us a entremet of Calvados and apple sorbet. It was good but potent. Desserts were a tarte tatin with the same apple sorbet and the dessert of the trip which was a crumble of strawberries with basil and strawberry sorbet. This dessert was wonderful!! DH and one of our friends had Armagnac. Our share of the bill was 94€.

Wednesday Dinner-

Le Comptoir
9 Carrefour de l'Odeon
Metro-Odeon (4&10)

There were six of us for dinner at Le Comptoir. We all started with Kir Royales which were served with Gougeres. The first course was a soft poached egg on a bed of mushroom duxelles with a foie gras foam. It was very good and I don’t care for runny yolk eggs.
The second course was a ‘Féra du lac léman’ which we were told was a lake salmon. It had been sautéed and served with a cress and tamarind sauce. It was wonderful.
The plat was veal with braised endive and a parsley mousse. It was good but not as good as the preceding courses.
The cheese course was wonderful as usual but they didn’t bring us any quince paste. I didn’t notice until we were almost done with the cheese.
Dessert was a grapefruit dish with a Campari jelly and a buttermilk ice cream.
We had two bottles of wine- one a Saumur and the other a Jurancon. The Juancon was a new wine for me and excellent with the cheeses.
After Armagnac for those who are aficionados we stagger home up three flights. The menu is a pre fixe at 55€.

Thursday Lunch-
Chez L'Ami Jean
27 Rue Malar 75007 Paris, France
Bus Ligne 63

Our final meal in Paris was at an old favorite, Chez L’Ami Jean. We have been there twice-once for dinner and once for lunch and prefer the lunch service. Dinner would be great with more than just two since is it so frenetic. Lunch is more relaxing and it was very empty when we were there on a Thursday.

We started with glasses of wine- I remember mine was a Pouilly Fuisse which I love. The entrees were spectacular. One was an asparagus dish with wonderful perfectly cooked asparagus and lardons. This was what the haricot vert dish should have been! The other was scallops with squid, we don’t remember the details of except that there were crunchy things that added to the whole dish.

For plats I had ris de veau which was amazing. It was on a bed of little mushrooms. DH ordered a shoulder of lamb which I was surprised at since it didn’t see that it would come rare which is how he likes his lamb. These were two shoulder chops which came pink and perfect. With this we had a half bottle of Irouleguy Bran which we had never had before. I have heard of the wine but never tried it. It complimented the plats perfectly.

Every once in a while you learn something new about your spouse or significant other. I never knew that DH liked rice pudding which of course at Chez L’Ami Jean is the best version around. I had another wonderful version of roasted pineapple with caramel. DH finished with an Armagnac and we paid the bill which was 185.50€. The ris de veau was very expensive but worth every bite!! The wines and Armagnac made up 52€ of the tab. Sometimes you have a meal and the bill comes and you think to yourself was it really worth that amount of money? No question with this meal! And a perfect end to two weeks in France.

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  1. Why was the food portion at CLJ so high 133euro? I've never been but will be going for dinner and thought there was a set menu somewhere between 35-50 plus additional for supplements if you choose. Just wondeing if you know what the current price fix is for dinner? Thanks

    16 Replies
    1. re: mick

      Wonderful report.

      Indeed ClAJ a "mini-degustation" menu at 42 euro, and a "normal" dégustation at 55 euro.
      Last time I was there, for my bday, as usuall, Mario asked me if we wanted the chef to take care of us instead of our ordering from the menu, as usual we said yes. Then we both realized that we have never even looked at the ClAJ menu for years.
      We had an other virtuoso blowout, with
      - 2 starters: a morille+asparagus soup, a langoustine&maigre combo,
      - an "in-between" course, an experimental dish that Jégo thought we should try as guinea pigs: slowcooked herb-infused baby lamb, topped with a layer of octopus carpaccio, topped with an ultimate layer of sea urchin eggs. The guinea pigs applauded.
      - Main was a veal roast that was very very good, but by then it was somewhat lost in all the highly inventive experimental starters. We chanced upon ris de veau one in another dégustation blowout, and thought it was superb, and normally I don't even like ris de veau.
      - Dessert 3 desserts: the rice pudding, a fruit cup, and, LOL, a banana split, plus a cupcake-size bday chocolate cake that Jégo made for me, which we shared with a couple of very interesting fellahs at the next table, one of whom used to be the sommelier for the Tour d'Argent before going indie, who regaled us with great lores.
      How much was this blowout whose price as usual we did even ask about before hand?
      42 euro.
      I can't guarantee that Jégo will give every 42 euro menu diner cupcake size bday cake and an experimental dish - he knew qnd trusted that we were omnivores and would give an honest opinion afterwards. But I am sure you will feel quite sated, ooh-ing and ah-ing, as you leave the restaurant, and find yourself in the shadow of the Dame de Fer.
      The 55 euro menu is usually what we end up getting. Again, as I explained above, we never say we want the 42 or the 55 euro. We just nod to the waiter's question: do you want the chef to take care of you.

      Do you konw Pouilly Fuissé is John Wayne's fave red?

      1. re: Parigi

        I would have loved to do the 42 euro menu dinner but we ordered a la carte. The ris de veau came with a very high tariff but worth every euro for 3 reasons- it was our last meal in Paris, ris de veau doesn't appear on many menus locally and it was so good that my husband who usually just tolerates it said it was fabulous.

        I am not surprised that it was John Wayne's favorite red.

        1. re: Parigi

          I thought all Pouilly Fuissé were white???

          1. re: monchique

            Could you have been thinking of Pouilly fumé ?

            1. re: Parigi

              "I thought all Pouilly Fuissé were white???"

              Yes, Pouilly Fuissé are whites. I thought Parigi was making a joke about John Wayne's wine tastes.

              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                You are right. Well, more pink gold than white. :-)
                In my post-operation stupor, I merged two bottles that JW ordered, "pouilly fuissé for the duke", and a Bordeaux for the rest of the table.

                1. re: Parigi

                  Parigi, I always read your posts with great pleasure.

                  No I was not thinking of Pouilly Fumé, different grape and région. But you win, the site you indicate mentions 2 reds out of 863 Pouilly Fuissé ... Strange they can use the appellation though.

                  I had never seen or heard of a red Pouilly Fuissé, but may be I have lived abroad too long.

                  1. re: monchique

                    You are right. See my post above.
                    Am seeing double, from my eyes and my head, (and bowing deeply for my mistake.)

                    In the jingle jangle morning of my memory, I made multiple mixups:
                    "And then something happened. Suddenly the room seemed suffused with the dream, and I could not think why. Three men appeared out of nowhere, playing guitars. Pilar Wayne leant slightly forward, and John Wayne lifted his glass almost imperceptibly toward her. 'We'll need some Pouilly Fuisse for the rest of the table,' he said, 'and some red Bordeaux for the Duke.'
                    We all smiled, and drank the Pouilly Fuisse for the rest of the table and the red Bordeaux for the Duke," Joan Didion, John Wayne: a love song.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      I'll drink to that and to the Duke :o)

                      1. re: Parigi

                        Then I guess more properly the Duke's favorite red was a Bordeaux. I will have to keep my eye out for the red Pouilly Fuisse.

            2. re: Parigi

              OMG, am having food orgasms as I read this. Maybe Den will stay home with Seb one day next month and let me sneak off to CLJ for a birthday lunch.............nah, probably not, but a girl can dream!


              1. re: parisjo

                "am having food orgasms as I read this."

                The waitstaff told me that all orgasm talk must be taken up with Jégo directly.

                1. re: Parigi

                  I'll my food, not quite there. dont need any O's or J's mixed in or any combination

                  1. re: Parigi

                    "The waitstaff told me that all orgasm talk must be taken up with Jego directly."

                    That would certainly NOT be a problem......hubba, hubba........

                2. re: Parigi

                  When we went in December the petit voyageur was 55 and the carte blanche was 80. There was a 3 course menu for 42 that offered multiple choices per course. The 3 course didn't appeal that day so we ordered a la carte and our shared entree and 2 plats were about 40 each. We probably should have just ordered the petit degustation but were concerned about finishing all the food.

              2. You are lucky to be able to get a reservation at Le Comptoir for dinner. I thought it was near impossible unless you stay at the attached hotel.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mikey8811

                  Now you know how we got the reservation. If you want to try to get a reservation, then going by late afternoon might work.

                2. Great to read a review of Le midweek dinner service it seems along time since anyone has reported. It always used to be my favourites and sounds like it is still great - the cheese basket was always very fine with some interesting accompaniments.

                  CLJ food costs can quickly mount up if you choose ALC rather than the cheaper set menu. If you go with the " let the chef feed you" option it also insn't cheap. Good but not cheap.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: PhilD

                    "If you go with the " let the chef feed you" option it also insn't cheap. Good but not cheap."

                    But I explained, we always go with that, and find out we get the 55 euro or 42 euro menu. Well, not the price of an everyday meal, but certainly good, no, great, value.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      I suspect you are getting treated a little differently as you are regular. For the irregular visitor it is 80 euros for the chefs "feed you until you are full menu".

                      CLJ used to be pretty cheap for what it delivered and was our regular haunt for great quality at a great price. But prices have crept up and whilst you can eat very well on the cheaper set menus you can also quite easily run up a decent size bill as AGM did. I think it is sensible to point this out so people don't think they will get the lavish and extensive feast often described here for on the cheap menus.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        " I think it is sensible to point this out so people don't think they will get the lavish and extensive feast often described here for on the cheap menus."

                        I did, Phil. Sigh.
                        I specifically pointed out that others getting the 42 euro should not expect the experimental dish or the bday cupcake.
                        And even though every time I said yes to having the chef take care of us, I had paid alll kinds of different prices, the amount of which is revealed to me only when I get the bill. I know, strange game.
                        Once it turned out I paid 75 euro without wine, and I was in the company of some stellar hounds. (Goes without saying I have reported the lunch and the price on this board.)
                        On subsequent visits, I keep saying yes to the same question "do you want the chef blabla", and the bill seems to get smaller, I don't know why. And as I said, I never specified - nor was told - a price.

                        I don't have proof that I am treated with privilege. I think I have always been treated very well, even in the beginning when I was not a regular, went with other nobodies and got the 35 euro menu (again duly reported on this board).
                        And I have also explained that we got the experimental dish because Jégo knew he could experiment with us, not because he was hoarding goodies for me only. Imagine sending a surprise dish - one with lamb, octopus, sea urchin, - to one of the migraine-inducing picky eaters whose demands regularly haunt this board. Would be disaster all round.

                        If I am indeed treated with privilege, I am very flattered, but saying this without proof would be unfair and even obnoxious and perhaps just as misleading, like: You have to be there, and you (may or may not) have to be me.

                        A long time ago, the first time we said yes to the blablabla question, Mario was careful to ask each one of us if we ate everything and had no good allergy. He has stopped asking about our no-eat-list.
                        Last time we lunched there, after saying yes to the blablabla question, we asked Mario if we should get a bottle of red or white, since we had no idea what we were getting. Guess what? Mario didn't know either. We worked out a wing-it pairing system of getting half a bottle of each color of Irouléguy. The rest was Jégo's rhapsody.

                        1. re: Parigi

                          Since I brought up the question of the " cost of a meal" at CLJ following AGM's initial post,
                          I think PhilD and yes you Parigi have clearly pointed out what the cost ar can be etc,
                          It will be my virgin experience there and although I am an beyond an adverterous eater I will most likely stick with one of the set menus just because I dont want to get hit with a hugely unexpected bill not being a person of chow prominence etc etc. Although, in reality the reason for not ordering Chef Jego"s whim or as Parigi nicely states do you want the "blablabla" is because all the reports from hounds suggest its an Awful lot to Eat and I've busted my get at more meals than I could ever remember and just dont enjoy it. I'm one who must finish everything on his plate. I've been incapable of leaving a crumb. So to enjoy, I just order less if or when possible. Yeah, food issues, at least weight has never been one of them, must be good metabalism.
                          Four of us going for a midweek dinner, will reply back with an up to date accurate pricing at CLJ, if possible.

                          1. re: mick

                            In terms of food volume,
                            - For the 75 euro gut-buster, I could not finish. Two fellow hounds had no problem polishing off everything and licked the plate so clean that the kitchen did not have to wash the plates afterwards.
                            - For the 55 euro gut-busters, I have a little trouble finishing, and once did whisper to ask Mario to give me a "Baggie Dog" for the foie gras I was leaving on my plate. -- OK, maybe I was privileged that time.
                            - For the 42 euro meal, I finished everything except for a chunk of the main (veal roast). I left the food on my plate after making certain Jégo had just left the building. If there had not been the surprise experimental dish, I could have finished the veal.

                            1. re: mick

                              For what it's worth, after dining a la carte there we've decided next time we'd go with the 5 course for 55. As far as I know pricing hasn't changed since December except for the introduction of a midweek lunch at 35.

                              New website with prices

                            2. re: Parigi

                              We talk about getting one of the 'menus' each time we go but generally with degustation menus everyone in the party is required to get it. Therefore we would both get the same dishes where with a la carte we are able to try more dishes. Could Chez L'Ami Jean be accommodating enough to prepare separate menus? We only have three nights of dining on our next visit to Paris- the dreaded Sat-Mon block. We already have reservations at Le Comptoir for Monday evening so that leaves Saturday for Chez L'Ami Jean. Probably a crazy night for them-too crazy to make concessions to a deuce. The date is Jun 30 if anyone is around and wants to make it a party.