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Lucas Carton → Alain Senderens


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I went the other night for dinner. The rooms have been beautifully re-done - modern minimalism meets Art Nouveau - with a shockingly hip bar upstairs. There's a wine by the glass suggested for every dish - except the pigeon for two which has a suggested tea. The menu retains some of the classic Lucas Carton dishes - foie gras, rouget, cote d'agneau, millefeuille - but in name only - they too have been modernised. And minimalised - absurdly small portions for entrees and plats - but beautifully plated. The desserts though are enormous - especially the chocolate mousse - there was enough for three. Interesting place, good food, I definitely want to go again. But be forewarned that the service is currently horrible. Don't take it personally - I knew two of the servers from other restaurants - and VIP chefs were seated everywhere - including Christian Constant with a party of 6 next to us chatting with Mr. Senderens himself - and even they waited forever for their puny portions - with empty plates and glassses. Will post more soon.

Edited by Louisa Chu (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I dined in early oct chez Senderens.Like most people i was curious to see what changes he has made .Lucas carton had museum quality art nouveau interior and an army of servers.THe new senderens still has the key elements of art nouveau treatment that were on the columns ,but the walls between them are gone giving a more airy and open feeling.The space is still unique and gorgeous.There are perhaps more tables,but there is plenty of privacy.ITs quite romantic actually.

Service is very efficient with less servers.

The menu consists of 5 appetizers around 22 E . 4 fish offerings about 30 E each

and 5 meat at 35 E. Dessert choices were 6 costing 15 E.

Each offering was paired with a glass of wine costing on average 9 E. This was the hallmark and strenght of Senderens.THe matching was superb.

I had cepes done 3 different ways.It was wonderful except the portions were quite small.other offerings i,e the salmon seemed more generous.Chat. de rochemorin 1984 a white grave, with its acidity and mature fruit was perfect.

Next was the agneau roti au curi javanais ,mangue et citronelle.1st rate tender lamb with a concotion of slight spiciness and sweetness.coudoulet de beaucastel 2000 again went very well thanks to its lively fruit.

MIllefeuille with a glass of muscat de riversaltes 2002 ended the meal and a happy man left the restaurant.

Total cost with wine and extra tips was 117E.Not bad at all for the luxurious surroundings and the quality of food and wine,specially the combination.

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I just got back from Paris. Had dinner at Senderens one night, then lunch another day, then a second lunch at its upstairs bar.

Food and wine pairings are impeccable. I did not mind portion sizes, and was impressed by the delicate and elaborate presentations, with a drizzle of foamy sauce here, two tiny chervil leaves there, either on large round plates with leather-textured edges or black rectangular ones. One high point was the tiny calamari (chipirons) done on the grill, its tentacles deep-fried to a crisp, the flesh lustrous and tender, arranged as a colourful canvas, with small pieces of artichoke hearts and tomatoes confit. It went beautifully well with the Manzanilla El Rocio sherry that the menu suggested as pairing.

Also loved the silky veal tartare with 3 small parmesan shavings, and surrounded by pleasantly slippery rice vermicelli. Unusual yet delicious pairing, made even more interesting by the Pouilly Fuissée Les Crays it was served with.

Chocolate coulant was close to pure melted chocolate, and served with dark pieces of cherry - an odd pairing, and a bit heavy. I preferred the more classic vanilla milles-feuilles, served with a luscious Muscat de Rivesaltes from Domaine Cazes.

The upstairs bar has a small menu of assorted "sushi and sashimi" - not at all sushi and sashimi, but good - and tapas (small, but interesting). No need to reserve to go there. Excellent barman, excellent service throughout. When I lunched there, chef Senderens came in an out several times - I think his office is adjacent to the bar, in fact.

If I knew how, I'd post some of my pics....

Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm having trouble seeing your Senderens photos... help?

Thanks!

U.E.

Well, I've got the images up on my Mac website, for those of you who are interested,

together with others showing

Pierre Gagnaire's Gaya,

at  http://homepage.mac.com/aleforbes/PhotoAlbum19.html

sorry, but don't know how to put them up on this forum....

A.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I had a particularly blase dinner a couple of weeks ago there. The food was blah. The wine pairing was not bad. The service varied. One of our servers was very nice and extremely competent, evidently an old hold-over from the Lucas Carton days. He told us later that he missed the good old days. The other server, a woman, was absolutely clueless about pretty much everything, from what's on the plate to what's in the glass.

It was too expensive for what it was, and I am not one to complain about how much a meal cost normally.

(edited for typo)

Edited by pim (log)

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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I went to Senderens this week for lunch as well and although I enjoyed everything food wise, I did think the service seemed a bit inexperienced--not bad per se, just not really good either. My friend and I were discussing how Senderens managed to cut his prices so drastically and I wondered if a lot of his staff was now made up of stagiaires (interns) to keep costs down. He can’t cut the prices by only slashing food costs and things like rent and all that aren’t going to change, so he has to make pretty big changes as far as the staff goes.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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  • 5 weeks later...

Will be in Paris around the 25th anniversy of meeting my (French) husband there. After many years of low-budget dinning (first thanks to budget, then toddler-logistics) we'd like to get a bit more festive. We're planning a nice lunch a deux (maybe at L'ambroisie or Le Bristol, per this site) but would also like to treat his parents and our 6yo to a fine but low-key and comfortable lunch somewhere. I had the best meal of my life at LC in the mid-80's -- would the new more modest LC be an appropriate choice for family including a very-well-behaved child and a finicky older French mom-in-law?

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Will be in Paris around the 25th anniversy of meeting my (French) husband there.  After many years of low-budget dinning (first thanks to budget, then toddler-logistics) we'd like to get a bit more festive. We're planning a nice lunch a deux (maybe at L'ambroisie or Le Bristol, per this site) but would also like to treat his parents and our 6yo to a fine but low-key and comfortable lunch somewhere. I had the best meal of my life at LC in the mid-80's -- would the new more modest LC be an appropriate choice for family including a very-well-behaved child and a finicky older French mom-in-law?

I've only been once but I don't see why not.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I was there for lunch in September (after the change), and while I don't think there is any real objection to bringing a family, be prepared for a lot of significant changes. It was not what you'd call relaxed--a lot of rushing about, business lunchers, etc. It may be more amenable to leisurely family dining on a weekend, if that is an option.

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when I went with my 7 year old daughter the treated her like a queen and even helped with some special food requests and a visit to the kitchen. This was before the switch in style but since much of the staff is the same I do not think you will have any problems

Actually, with all due respect and caution as to false accusations, the staff is not the same. Same numbers but strikingly less polished, at least a month ago. My dining partner, who has spent 10 years in the Food Biz, said one way Senderens was able to go from 400 E to 100 E a person was by down-skilling the staff (well, that's not the word she used, but you get the point).

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Okay, thanks, I'm really looking forward to it and will report back.  My experience there 20 years ago was really unforgettable, food, decor, service -- all heavenly.  I realize the mission of the place has changed -- it will be interesting to see what it's like now.

You'll do fine. They kept the mirrors and wood paneling, despite the Philippe Starck/IKEA tables and chairs (oooh, that was nasty).

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Ah..okay.  That makes sense, John -- I'm forwarned.  Still, do you think it's a good bet for pleasing fussy Parisians of a certain age?  Is it comfortable and respectably strong kitchen-wise?

Hey, look at my photo, am I not of a certain age, Parisien-wannabe and fussy. I think everyone will be happy. Not to worry. Have fun and report back.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I really have to strongly disagree - I think the new Senderens would not at all please a finicky older French mother-in-law.

Where does she like to go?

Ah Louisa, here we agree. That should have been our first question. It would be helpful to know what places your mother in law likes. I've seen lots of finicky eaters of a "certain age" in both the dingiest and swankest places; one couple we met at Chez Georges came there week after week in from Marne-la-Vallee because the food was the same year after year; another guy at Allard years ago went because it was his neighborhood cantine; yet another friend/colleague went to Balzar beause that's where he'd eaten as a student.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Will be in Paris around the 25th anniversy of meeting my (French) husband there.  After many years of low-budget dinning (first thanks to budget, then toddler-logistics) we'd like to get a bit more festive. We're planning a nice lunch a deux (maybe at L'ambroisie or Le Bristol, per this site) but would also like to treat his parents and our 6yo to a fine but low-key and comfortable lunch somewhere. I had the best meal of my life at LC in the mid-80's -- would the new more modest LC be an appropriate choice for family including a very-well-behaved child and a finicky older French mom-in-law?

L'Ambroisie or Le Bristol? That's not a very hard choice is it? L'Ambroisie is the best classic *** in Paris. Don't miss it. Go there, and ask them nicely to help put together your menu for you. The protion size is large, and there is no tasting menu, but they will be happy to put together a 4-5 course menu of split portions for you. The best meal of my recent 2 months gadding around in Europe was my lunch there, on the last day. I've been there three times this year already. Can't say enough nice things about them.

For a nice lunch that would impress the French in-laws, why not a set lunch at one of the grand palace hotels. I would easily pick Le Meurice or Les Ambassadeurs over Le Bristol, any day. And of this bunch I like Le Meurice the most. You can't really beat the 75 euro set lunch, and that grand dining room and wonderful, classic service would sure to impress the beaux parents.

I'm not a big fan of Senderens the last time I went --used to be a big fan of the lunch menu at Lucas Carton. Not enamoured with the changes if truth be told. I didn't think the price was that much lower either. I found the meal far too expensive for what we got, and I am not usually one to complain about prices.

Edited by pim (log)

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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