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Changes at Chez l'Ami Jean

Has anyone heard about this:

http://thepariskitchen.com/2012/07/ch...

Sounds like it won't be the same loud, boisterous, carniverous pigout feast it was. I can understand Jego trying to simplify his menu, since I was in awe of his ability to create so many complex a la carte dishes and different menus all at once.

What do you guys think of his new concept ~ will it be a better, worse or the same CLJ? I think I will miss what it was, even though I only went twice for lunch.

Jo

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  1. Oh boy. About a month ago l made a deal with myself to avoid prix fixe restaurants if possible.

    1. Jo:
      you know I usually go there for lunch, so this does not affect me too much, but a 10-course orgy certainly sounds tempting.
      And I wouldn't worry about it not being boisterous. Nothing is going to make Stéphane stop yelling.
      I think the change will be for the better. Dinner has for a whle become too hectic. Te service and even the food have sometimes suffered. People have complained about the lack of space and the hectic-ness more than they have about the food. This arrangement will give everyone - dinners and kitchen - breathing space.
      And this streamlining of the menu is also a good thing.
      The present menu is so complicated in logistics: a 42-euro one, a 55-euro one, and one around 70-eruo chef's caprice, plus à la carte, plus a game menu during game season. And it is all delicate ikebana kind of construction. I don't know how the kitchen can do this day in day out, performing what amounts to the Chopin-style fingering where one hand plays seven notes and the left hand plays 3 notes, all evenly within a beat.
      I'd continue to lunch there, but would like to try the 70-euro debauchery, for a bday celebration, something like that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Parigi

        Well, maybe I can join in the debauchery in January (especially if I'm by myself ~ 75 euros instead of 150, lol).

        I do like going for lunch though and having the rest of the day to digest my feast.

        Yes, I agree about the streamlining ~ it's been amazing to me both times how Jego can juggle all those choices in one service.

        Jo

      2. Was there a couple of times in the last month including closing evening before the holidays and each time enjoyed the choice of one of the gastro/tasting menus which I now realize was a bit of a trial run for bigger changes.

        Each menu was very good and some dishes were just amazing. Braised rabbit and a turbot dish come to mind. Each meal was made up of more modest sized portions than I remember from past visits. Drama and shock value aside, that is probably a good thing!

        I did find the dishes a little more like so many other restros, however, and always liked this place for very well done traditional dishes. I suppose this is another version of La Regalade versus La Relagade St H.

        I will probably miss the comfort of the original, but times change. Of course the big question is what will become of the rice pudding!

        1. Quite frankly, I'm delighted with the new concept. I like small dish, multi-courses because I don't get bored. I love it when the plate is empty and I still would enjoy one more bite. I hope the ten courses aren't too large or inflated with extras.

          It will be interesting to see if the new format calms the dining room (Jego, no; diners, yes?)

          5 Replies
          1. re: mangeur

            I was sitting right next to the kitchen window last time. jégo broke my eardrum.

            1. re: Parigi

              Having never been before, I was really looking forward to trying the classic. Though the new concept does sound intriguing. Do you get the impression they will keep the old format for lunch, or perhaps a scaled down version of the new format? It was kind of hard to tell from the article. After reading so many posts, I could almost taste the terrine and rice pudding.

              1. re: joeandmaria

                Isn't he still doing ALC at dinner so assume lunch as well - thus possible to build a meal to your specification.

                1. re: joeandmaria

                  " Do you get the impression they will keep the old format for lunch"

                  The comment section of the article has alrady answered your question.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    Thanks. Did not see that in the comments. For others who may have missed it, the author of the article commented, "The menu choices may change slightly but the lunch format will still be “neighborhood bistro.”

                    We will be there the first part of October, so right after the change. Looks like I may have to book both lunch and dinner.

            2. Here is a look at some of the dishes that will be served at the new CLJ.

              http://thepariskitchen.com/2012/07/a-...

              2 Replies
              1. re: naughtyb

                Thanks for the link - looks very interesting, but it will be intriquiging to see how long (or if) the "old" CLJ menu/style stays. Looks like Jego is entering a new phase and I would expect to see a migration away from the old as the new establishes itself. The two may coexist for awhile but logic would predict the old rice pudding is going radical and I can't see him running both side by side.

                However, wise to say you can see Jego in all these dishes, they look like an evolution from the food I enjoyed there last year. Good luck to him.....maybe now the food will be more in line with the prices charged (i had thought it expensive for what it was on my last visit).

                1. re: PhilD

                  I am glad I will get to try it before it changes. I will be there in about a month. I think it is set to change a little over a week after we eat there. My guess is I will experience a hybrid version of the restaurant which hopefully will combine the best aspects from both versions.