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Mao

Lucas Carton → Alain Senderens

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Wow, that's bad news about LC -- I really preserved this memory as the platonic ideal of fine dining, and now I am mad that I didn't find some way to return before it was too late! Of course, there is much else to explore in the present and L'ambroise sounds excellent -- thanks Pim for the suggestion to ask for a special chef's menu of split dishes -- wouldn't have thought of that! As for the Le Meurice or Les Ambasseurs -- why do you prefer them? Cuisine, service, room? Would they be appropriate for my 6yo at lunch (perhaps on a weekend).

Louisa, my m-in-law mostly likes her own cooking, I think, which is understandable -- it's delicious and very traditional. And she likes eating out, but in places that feel comfy and predictable: for instance La Fontaine de Mars or another local place that I can neither spell nor pronounce...Nebuchanozzor...something like that...on av Bosquet. Neither place does much for us, I must say, but I think the appeal for her is that they do not squeeze her in or rush her or overwhelm her with perplexing choices.

Thanks, all!

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La Fontaine de Mars or another local place that I can neither spell nor pronounce...Nebuchanozzor...something like that...on av Bosquet.  Neither place does much for us, I must say, but I think the appeal for her is that they do not squeeze her in or rush her or overwhelm her with perplexing choices.

Thanks, all!

Well two good places in that neighborhood are Chez les Anges + Au Bon Acceuil, both essentially run by the same folk and will not rush or perplex her, you can look at the menus the day before and then reserve if you like.

Also, I'm less negative about Senderens than others; I've been eating his food since l'Archistrate in or around 1968, ah, that's when Parisian riots were real riots, and I think the new look is OK and new food fine. It's not L/C but then when he took it over everybody bemoaned the loss of the old style too (becasse, etc).


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Wow, that's bad news about LC -- I really preserved this memory as the platonic ideal of fine dining, and now I am mad that I didn't find some way to return before it was too late!  Of course, there is much else to explore in the present and L'ambroise sounds excellent -- thanks Pim for the suggestion to ask for a special chef's menu of split dishes -- wouldn't have thought of that!  As for the Le Meurice or Les Ambasseurs -- why do you prefer them?  Cuisine, service, room?  Would they be appropriate for my 6yo at lunch (perhaps on a weekend). 

Yeah, too bad about LC. If I were to go again I would eat upstairs at the bar and have a few bits and bites off their small plate menu. The by-the-glass list was interesting and the food looked pretty ok, and not exorbitantly expensive.

As for Le Meurice or Les Ambassadeurs, they would be as fitting for a 6 years old as most starry places. I am recommending them because I think the lunch menus there are pretty reasonable -as far as places like that go at least- and delicious besides. I also don't think the atmosphere at either place is all that stuffy. Both rooms are classically gorgeous, especially at lunch with sunlight coming through the windows, and the service is perfectly what one would expect out of a properly grand French dining room. Eating in the hotel also gives your 6 yr-old an opportunity to go for a turn or two in the lobby area, in case s/he is bored out of her/his mind with the adults. There are places to walk around, even run around a bit, and perhaps interesting/odd things to see. Both of you could go outside for a short break and get it out of her/his system and rejoin the table. Just a thought. :smile:

Edit to add: On the whole I prefer Yannick's food at Le Meurice to Piège's at Les Ambassadeurs.


Edited by pim (log)

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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John - that was my first question. :wink: I really like Au Bon Accueil - had a wonderful dinner there recently - and one of my friends who worked with me at Les Ambassadeurs is the sous-chef there now. Their dining room is rather modern and the lunch crowd is local office people but the food is solid and they have an excellent cheese tray from Quatrehomme - one of my favourites in the city.

greenwich st - I think I know your MIL. :wink: I used to live in the 7th right around the corner from La Fontaine de Mars and Nabuchodonosor and saw many women like the woman you describe. Let me guess - she has a good green wool coat, a favourite brown leather handbag, and wears sensible yet sturdily heeled shoes? And if you're considering a weekend lunch, then I think brunch at Les Ambassadeurs would be perfect - in fact that was my first thought.

Pim - you are of course right about everything - but in this case I have to vote for brunch at Les Ambassadeurs. :smile:


Edited by Louisa Chu (log)

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It's NOT the LC anymore!


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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ATTENTION: I have removed all the Senderens and Gaya pics from my mac site, so that's why some of you can't see them. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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The latest issue of Food & Wine gives Senderens a good review except for the service.


Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly....MFK Fisher

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Has anyone eaten at Senderens in the last couple of months? I'm dining there in two weeks and am interested to hear any recent reports. Personally, i'm really looking forward to it, having worked there in the late 90's and dined during the Lucas Carton days.

Is there a current preferred dress code?

Patrick


Taste is everything

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Forget it. Lots of hype. Lots of good advance reviews. Lots of tourists.


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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Has anyone eaten at Senderens in the last couple of months? I'm dining there in two weeks and am interested to hear any recent reports. Personally, i'm really looking forward to it, having worked there in the late 90's and dined during the Lucas Carton days.

Is there a current preferred dress code?

Patrick

Having worked there, which I have not, I think you should go. It's not what it was then at all, but the two times I've been (I did not answer your request originally because the last time was in January and you said the last couple of months), it was fine - over-priced by my penurious scale, but not over-touristy. As to dress, the usual French mix - women elegant, men getting away with black tees (not like the Automobile Club that is apparently the last bastion of the tie and jacket according to Saturday-Sunday's Figaro). But go a day M. S. will be there to swap tales; ruling weekends out. Have fun. It's only a meal.

John


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Keeping true to my word, i dined at Senderens last Friday evening. The restaurant was full, the ambience great, and it was nice to see a few familiar faces (although i was told most of the remaining original Lucas Carton personnel will have left by July.)

As for the room, i thought it was an interesting mix of old and new that didnt quite work for me. The service was mixed, with the older staff still very attentive and informative, whilst the younger waiters seemed to lack discipline and order. Back of house, they have lost some space in the kitchen which made it feel even more compact than when i trained there. On a personal note, it was great to chat to Frederic Robert and hear where many of the chefs i worked alongside had moved onto. The overall impression i got was that the few original staff really missed the attention to detail, whilst maybe enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere back of house.

As for the food and wine, we ate and drank the following:

Amuse bouche

A shot glass of mushroom cream with a cube of fresh salmon and a vegetable crisp

Trois legumes dans un ravioli ouvert

(Louise Pommery 1999 Rose)

~

Homard et mangue au basilic

(Engelgarten 2002 M.Deiss)

~

Sole, concombre et feuille de celeri en tempora

~

Agneau biberon des Charentes

(CDR Renaissance 2001)

~

Chevre anneau du Vic Bilh, confit de citron, gingembre rose

(Chateau Doisy-Daene 2002 Sauternes)

~

Millefeuille ala vanille de tahiti

(Muscat de Rivesaltes 2003 D. Cazes)

~

Fine feuille de Madong

(Madeire Boal 10ans

The open ravioli with three vegetables, the sole en tempora and the mille feuille stood out particularly well. In fact, having been training in the pastry section when M.S first put the millefeuille ala vanille onto the menu, it was quite surreal to be eating it in the restaurant 8 years later, remembering M.S and E.S testing the dish time and time again before it met with his approval! The amuse bouche was a disaster to be honest with the mushroom cream being way too set with gelatine /agar and the components not marrying together at all. My lamb offered superbly cooked, tender and flavoursome cutlets, combined with the shoulder braised for 3 hours and wrapped in crepinette. The caul was too thick and not sufficiently broken down and the meat over seasoned (most unusual here).

To sum up; an enjoyable evening in a relaxed environment with pretty good food and good wine. I considered it to be just worth the 280 euros, but i couldn't help but compare some aspects of the experience to the dizzy heights that were Lucas Carton, and feeling a little dissapointed.


Taste is everything

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Do you know if Pierre Jung will be leaving by July?

Unfortunately i am unaware of the surname of the only Pierre i know from the restaurant. However, if it is the same Pierre (Head Waiter?) then i gathered he isn't leaving just yet.

Sorry not to be of more help.


Taste is everything

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Do you know if Pierre Jung will be leaving by July?

Unfortunately i am unaware of the surname of the only Pierre i know from the restaurant. However, if it is the same Pierre (Head Waiter?) then i gathered he isn't leaving just yet.

Sorry not to be of more help.

That's the Pierre I am referring to. Head waiter, excellent English, tremendous service, very kind person.

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Good, and you are definetly correct with your description of Pierre!!


Taste is everything

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Bumping this topic up to see if anyone's been recently. We're thinking of dining here on an upcoming visit to Paris for Sunday dinner ... Can anyone advise where the prices are these days? What should I expect to pay for dinner for two, assuming we both have the tasting menu with pairings? Good value?

JK

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Bumping this topic up to see if anyone's been recently. We're thinking of dining here on an upcoming visit to Paris for Sunday dinner ... Can anyone advise where the prices are these days? What should I expect to pay for dinner for two, assuming we both have the tasting menu with pairings? Good value?

I was there mid Feb. You should find a posting someplace from me. I would not return. Strange from even the front door!! Did not care for decor. Yes, tee shirts. One fellow looked like he might have come from mowing his yard! He was not a stranger either. Seemed to know the staff.

The food was Ok..I had:Panier de Belon, Volaille de Challans facon demi-deuil, millefeuille a la vanille de tahiti, 1/2 bottle of Badoit, V Manzanilla El Rocio, Meursault Charmes, cafe...133 euros..

I truly think that you can easily do better.........

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So tonight it was Senderens, the reincarnated Lucas Carton. More straight-up French, sort of, since even here some Asian influences crept in. Certainly this is not a restaurant in the top echelon, and even among the 2-star places it is not as good as that fallen angel Taillevent. The meal on the whole was OK, though, but nothing really memorable, at least not for me - see below.

Ambiance: The room was weird. Art Nouveau overlayed with Vegas. What's with the light-up tables, and the glass things with the changing lights? And those odd things hanging from the ceilings? All the hustle and bustle of the place made me feel nervous, not relaxed at all. Felt like getting up and telling everyone to slow down.

Service: Felt like I was eating in an understaffed restaurant. Waiters were OK, but far from top notch. B, maybe B-, given the pedigree of the place.

Food: The starters were a poached duck liver that tasted like ankimo at a good sushi bar, which was kind of interesting; scallops with ginger and lemon that were OK, but a pretty ordinary preparation and too sweet, and tempura crawfish which were well done, but came with a rather unpleasant sicky sweet dipping sauce! The mains were lobster with vanilla sauce - not very original but quite well done, the best dish of the meal - suckling pig, which was, well suckling pig, and lamb with rather tasty coriander flavored eggplants. The fourme d'ambert with brioche was very nice, but deserts were rather lackluster.

My overall assessment of this meal was that if I was 25 and this was my first time in Paris and this was my splurge meal, it would probably have been a meal that would have ended up as a fond memory. But I'm not, it isn't and it wasn't, so all it left me with was the thought that I'm sorry I missed Lucas Carton in its heyday; perhaps that would have been a memorable meal.

Tomorrow L'Astrance. Please, god of food, make that one memorable!!

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Recent meals left me disapointed with the savouries parts of the meal, despite (or leaving aside) the sheer brilliance of the langoustines dish (in which I still don't understand the role of the Pak Choi). But desserts were just extraordinary, every bit as good as in the best Lucas-Carton days, and the wine pairings alsowere at the top level.

The millefeuille, best in town, just conceived, llight and fresh, comes with a Santo Artimino 2003, a wine whose power is tamed by the fatty character of the millefeuille but whose flavours also highlight the discreet ones in the millefeuille. It very airy texture is also a nice contrast with the crispy-creamy millefeuille. Blood'n guts!

The Dacquoise, my favourite dessert, (citron confit et poivre -- confit lemon and pepper), has an extraordinary love affaire with a wine that is a star by itself, the Sauternes Doisy-Dane, ici en 2002. The fat is this time in the wine, while the dish (with its macaron, lemon confit and icre-cream) is almost seasoning the wine, like pepper on foie gras. In mouth, it starts as two different, opposing things but it converges with the citrus, fruitful flavours in the end. Donnerwetter!

The sablé rhubarbe-fraise looks like a millefeuille (but is a sablé, rhubarb on the first floor, strawberries second floor) and comes with a magical Riesling Spätlese "Zeltinger Schlossberg" 2007 from Selbach-Oster. This pairing is more on the merger side, as the wine amplifies the fruits and kind of coasts the sablé. Mamma mia!

For chocolate lovers, the Coulant Samana is a must, I heard. I'm not one of them. It comes with a 20y old Sao Pedro port. It's intensely chocolate-y but not really bitter.

So my take on it is still that Senderens is one of the greatest geniuses alive. But there are two main issues:

1- The expression of this genius heavily depends on quality of execution. Which raises not only the problem of the chef and pastry chef (obviously the current pastry chef is really good), but also the issue of a restaurant that is open seven days a week and long hours. They have to have several teams. When Robert, the chef of the last years of the Lucas, was running the kitchen at Senderens, I think the restaurant still deserved its third star. But he went. Now the performance is more uncertain: sometimes dazzling, sometimes only interesting, like Frege had.

2- The wines pairings (I already wrote that but I persist) use wine that are not good enough, so they're not the revelation that they were at Lucas. And the exception, currently, is with the desserts.

Conclusion: those days, go to Senderens for desserts only. You'll have a truly great experience. And stay tuned to the locals for the best use of local restaurants.

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Conclusion: those days, go to Senderens for desserts only. You'll have a truly great experience. And stay tuned to the locals for the best use of local restaurants.

I second that.

However, as you said, the langoustines are quite delicious, and I really liked what I tasted from the raviole de homard à la vanille (vanilla sauce lobster raviole)... probably not on par with its Lucas Carton equivalent, but still quite good.

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As I wrote in the dedicated thread, the Lièvre à la Royale was still a good demonstration that Senderens is a great, great chef, in spite of the insufficient talent of his current chef de cuisine. But indeed desserts are awesomely awesome, see for instance Senderens' classic Dacquoise au poivre noir, citron confit et glace au gingembre, served with the wonderful Doisy-Daesne Sauterns in a perfect pairing I already described upthread.

DSC_0028.jpg

The sablé rhubarbe/fraise was not half bad either (again see my description upthread)

DSC_0030.jpg

The rest is definitely, as Olivier says, "quite good". But "quite good" is almost an insult to Senderens.

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Has anyone tried, or know more about, Mama Shelter (the new trendy hotel in the 20th) and Senderens' involvement? I have read a bit in the Fooding and saw today's short piece in the Figaro but wanted to know more. Is he actually in the kitchen at all, or just designing the menu?


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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