My trip report - Paris May
Yet another May report, I will try to keep it short probably witout much sucess, but if someone wants further details (or photos :-)) would be glad to share more.
Pirrouette – scored Monday’s last table without a reservation, we liked the place,”woody type decor”, it’s cosy, inviting, and we felt very comfortable with the friendly yet serious approach of our waiter. I think value there is great, menu clever, food will not rock your world, but it was really to our liking. Standouts – Asparagus puree with egg and hazelnuts, will do at home, Lotte fish for main excellent, great desserts, fresh ingredients and perfect caramel tart with speculoos ice cream. Wasn’t too impressed with the pigeon dish, but still it was nice and a very good overall experience.
Sola – how to summarize Sola ? 88 E towards the 100, is a pretty complicated price point, and while Sola was very nice as an overall dinner and evening experience etc., I’m not sure the food itself was “crazy good” good enough to bring us back in the future, cause of the many other possibilities for this price (and higher) in this great city, and also some past experiences that will remain as better memories (like CLJ’s Carte Blanche experience that eventually sadly we decided to skip this year). But the food is really and seriously nice and kitchen team there very good in making “small elements” in your plate taste really “explosive” and surprising, so don’t get me wrong, we are glad for going there, it’s just the “problematic” price point that makes judgment more strict and probably will prevent a re-visit in the future. Oh and forgot to mention the artistic side in the kitchen – one of the best presentations display I ever seen.
Standouts ? The only meat dish was beautiful (we had 3 sea dishes some of them “meaty in spirit”, but actually would have loved to get another meat dish) – perfect pork loin piece with the most tasty roasted pork belly bites or so. Catfish with some bitter purple leaves and radish puree very good, amazing citrus dessert, really special.
Les Tablettes de Jean Louis Nomicos – I think it was the weak link this time, nice Sunday lunch at a pretty reasonable price, but without the included wines that were generously poured, a sauvignon blanc and some syrah, it would have been a pretty underwhelming experience. Maybe the fact that we didn’t also “connected” to the place contributed, but while the service was excellent and friendly, the food was actually quite boring and missing some “zinc” in my opinion. Actually when I posted reviews at my home country forum, even the participants mentioned that the plates look quite boring comparing to Pirrouette and Sola, but I guess that is not a big surprise
Standouts or not – wines, amuse with the lemon jelly, foe ravioli for first, 2 plats not good, veal “shank” with veggies way salty and reminding hotel food, not in a good way, or same dish just not “constructed” I could imagine getting at much less fancy places. Other pasta dish with morel, asparagus and chicken bites, not something special also. One dessert of berries ok, the other of chocolate pretty bad, very good petit fours with coffee.
I guess for that price of 58 and everything that was included, it’s pretty good value, but don’t excpect fireworks, maybe it is even not appropriate to judge the kitchen capabilities, which I’m pretty sure they are of high level, on a “lunch bargain”. There are many places that go that way, “pretty basic” show for a lunch menu, had that also at Jean Georges for example and in the name of discussion, while the preparation was decent, the food left no memories.
Au 35 on rue Jacob – we where on our way to Azabu and got lost :-) But I’m glad we found this small place, don’t hesitate if you look for informal lunch without reservation. Very friendly family running it, food was “rustic” in a very good way, 18 E for entrée+plat, a great break from the more “sophisticated” dining experiences.
Regarding sweets – Patiserrie des reves is our new favorite, the saint honore might be the best pastry item I ever tried in the city, and almonds Dragbe (?), filled with apricots jam or so, want it every day, please. The grand cru chocolate came third, but still very nice.
L’éclair de genie really nice, although for 4.5 E the size is pretty “petit” I think.. Still loved them more then Genin’s, so I guess they are very good. We tried 4, standout for me was the framboise.
Of course we had other places for bakery and patisserie (my spouse insisted on a rue Bonaparte Herme vs Laduree test, Herme is 5 levels above Laduree in my opinion, macarons and pastries).
Thanks for the tip on PR’s chocolate tablets, really good in taste and texture.
Bought some cheese from Laurent Dubois, left a fortune at G Detou – what strikes me regarding this place, is how unsympathetic the cashier woman there can be, year after year, you smile to her, leave a lot of money there, and still she looks at you and rolls eyes like you just killed her kitten, sorry about the example. Maybe it is the language (although she has pretty good English), maybe she hates when enthusiastic foodies try to diminish her stock, Or maybe she is just like that, but for god sake, please show some sympathy to your customers, lady G Detou :-)