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Felice

Restaurant Sensing - Merged topics

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Just wondering if anyone has heard anything more than what John already mentionned in the Digest.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Three of us visited Sensing Friday night and were favorably impressed. The decor is the opposite of Martin's Grand Vefour...modern in a good sense of the word with projections on one wall, an alabaster bar with comfortable looking seating, but what's up with this no tablecloth thing in new modern versions of old masters,e.g., Senderens? The carte is unusual in that there is an extra category at the beginning called "snackings", which are listed before the entrees. These are in the €5 to €6 range and would be a good idea if you were at the bar and just snacking, but it seemed to me to be a means of charging you for the amuses bouches often served at no additional charge, but this is an unfair criticism because we were served a little amuse bouche with our champagne. We "Snacked" on Cromesquis de foie gras, bouchée croustillante de légumes and an interesting presentation of millefeuille de bettrave(pictured here in the spoons).

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Our entrées were Foie gras aux coings et aux noix which was good

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but not as unusual as the Colvert marbré au celeri

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All three of our main courses were of impeccable quality and cooked just as ordered: Thon au foie gras, Veau en croute d'herbes with delicious mushroom stuffed macaroni, and Dos de biche served with cranberries and a purée of Topinambour.

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The wine list was not encyclopedic but good, however I ordered a particular St. Julien and it was unavailable...how can a spanking new restaurant already be out of a wine that probably isn't ordered with great frequency? Our desserts were a dark chocolate ganache, a Savarin au rhum, and a citrus dish called "Agrume de differente facon", all good. I felt that the price for the three of us in a restaurant with this lineage, with a €52 bottle of Bordeaux, Chateldon(€4), coffees and an Armagnac was a reasonable €273. Our server was a little distant but I don't require any "sucking up" as long as the service is adequate.

Would I return? Gen. MacArthur expressed my sentiments as he left the Philippines..."I shall return".


Edited by Laidback (log)

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We walked by there last week and attempted to look in the window. Alas, they have a one way window system, which allows customers to look out, but no one to look in.

Although, if you stay at the side, one can see in!

I thought it looked a little too stark, but the food you show here, certainly looks good and creative!


Philly Francophiles

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Any comments on the service? I have heard from four different people that it really sucks, and seems that the waitstaff is composed of trainees (stagieres) , who have no idea. Others hate the too minimalist décor and high prices... I"ve yet to hear a totally positive review .. then again, they haven't been open long...


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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Any comments on the service? I have heard from four different people that it really sucks, and seems that the waitstaff is composed of trainees (stagieres) , who have no idea. Others hate the too minimalist décor and high prices... I"ve yet to hear a totally positive review .. then again, they haven't been open long...

When Ptitpois and I ate there the service was fine and our reviews were positive as well.
Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

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Curious about Guy Martin's new venture, a week ago i had dinner. The setting is ultra modern and sleek ,somewhat impersonal.I was greeted warmly by the hostess ,who remembered my tel call and was given a table that allowed me to observe the action.The restaurant was full and was all Parisian.

I started with lisette en fine tarte,a treatment of baby mackerel over a crunchy tarte with a tomato based and a tartar based sauce all on a fennel bed. The result was fresh and lively dish full of citrus flavor , just deliceous. The main was pigeon enrobe de muscovado.I thought i was in heaven .Tender ,rosy pigeon with caramelized sauce .IT reminded me of the pidgeon i had at l'atelier ,but i prefer this rendition.

A decent coings confis ended the meal . I drank an interesting saumur champigny, which complemented the meal admirably.

Total cost without the wine was 63 euros , which is excellent value.

Through out the meal There was constant inquiry about how i felt and when i left the young chef came to ask me .Comment c'etait? . I said un vrai success ,vous allez voire. He responded with a big smile.

Oh , j'espere bien.

I think This is the best newcomer in 2006. A few days later there was an article about sensing in figaroscope , giving it a high rating

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The main was pigeon enrobe de muscovado.I thought i was in heaven .Tender ,rosy pigeon with caramelized sauce .IT reminded me of the pidgeon i had at l'atelier ,but i prefer this rendition.

I ordered that pigeon too when I went there with John, and I was in heaven too. Best pigeon I ever had besides Laurent Pourcel's pigeon au cacao.

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Any comments on the service? I have heard from four different people that it really sucks, and seems that the waitstaff is composed of trainees (stagieres) , who have no idea. Others hate the too minimalist décor and high prices... I"ve yet to hear a totally positive review .. then again, they haven't been open long...

I was lucky enough to have dinner with Laidback and his charming wife on Friday at Sensing and the service was the only thing that was lacking. Not that it was terrible per se, just not great. Actually we were served by several different people, most of them quite charming but our main waiter was aloof on the verge of cold (Laidback was being very generous saying he doesn’t need sucking up to :smile: ). Having worked in many restaurants I normally don’t have a problem with service and am more than understanding when things don’t go well, but our server just didn’t seem very comfortable nor very happy in his job really. He definitely didn't seem like a stagaire though. Our food runner was quite charming however, taking a minute to explain everything he brought out and another woman who served us periodically was also quite nice, so half of the service was good. It left me thinking that to have a truly amazing experience, the service really needs to be good as well.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Perhaps we should have another thread on service, but, Felice, I identify with your post completely. Without naming it, there was a very "hot" little restaurant that floundered along with the most unprofessional but well meant service. We returned time after time for the lovely food and, what can I call it, sweet service. But have drifted away after our last visit. The less practiced but personable waitstaff had been replaced with several semi-pro fellows who leant little to table. While not actually arrogant, they were so just short of it that the meal lost much of its luster. :sad:


eGullet member #80.

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An aquaintance of mine, who owns a well known restaurant in Paris, went with his wife last week for dinner at Sensing. His pork dish was raw inside. He brought it to the server's attention, who didn't believe him. It was left untouched. When dessert was brought , the server told him "You probably won't like this either, as you didn't like the main dish". He noticed that the waiter's shirt-collar was soiled from the inside. Needless to say, he won't return, and I'm not too motivated to go. I certainly won't recommend it to my clients...


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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We ate there last Friday night.

Overall the food was terrific. I had the "snacking" assiette - most were very good, some just OK (veggie puffs and mussels were great, betterave was a bit flavorless). What I didn't care for was how the spoons rested on a peice of neon green jello and we were told NOT to eat this - why put a food type item on the plate then?? Per the reco's above I had the pigeon - loved it! Dessert was good too. I would normally highly recommend this restaurant to all (only 200E for 2 including wine, etc. - a good deal for this level of food), BUT it's not all about the food:

The restaurant never was more than 2/3 full and we'd had a reservation for 3 weeks. However, they sat us at the "bar". When asked to be moved the only table they claimed to have available was one wedged behind a table set for 10 and about to be seated. We opted for the bar. During the meal a number of two tops seemed free. The bar chairs are possibly the worst I have ever sat in (they are pretty though) and I normally like to sit/eat at bars. First they have no back to them - try that for a 2 hour meal. Second, bar stools normally have a bar on which to rest ones dangling feet. The bar on these stools were fine if you are taller than 5'9" (I'm 6' so no problem), however my wife's feet did not reach thus her legs were dangling for 2 hours - she had to get up and stretch every 10 minutes otherwise her legs fell asleep as the blood was being cut off.

Also the restaurant projects images onto the main wall of the front room. Sort of OK at first, about a 10 minute loop of large lips, naked male torso, the words "Sensing", nature scenes, etc. However over the course of 2 hours you see the same loop countless number of times - like a scene out of A Clockwork Orange... Also, the waiter was quite aloof as mentioned by others - and not just in a gruff Parisian waiter sort of way, more in a I'm better than you way - very off putting.

If this place cleaned up the front of house/decor issues it could be terrific.

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the restaurant projects images onto the main wall of the front room. Sort of OK at first, about a 10 minute loop of large lips, naked male torso, the words "Sensing", nature scenes, etc.  However over the course of 2 hours you see the same loop countless number of times - like a scene out of A Clockwork Orange...
Bloody maddening, luckily when Ptit and I went it was either not functioning or we (by the window) didn't see it - Today it was awful... and if you're prone to epileptic episodes from visual jangling, oh la la.
Also, the waiter was quite aloof as mentioned by others - and not just in a gruff Parisian waiter sort of way, more in a I'm better than you way - very off putting.
This did not happen today - I think because of the crits (they read eGullet after all,) they've beefed up the staff, who desperately wanted to speak English with us, and we were over-indulgently treated, I would rate the staff/service today at the top.
If this place cleaned up the front of house/decor issues it could be terrific.
Well, indeed, it's perhaps over-priced (but then I've never met a restaurant that's underpriced or movie too short), but they are definately serving one-star stuff, quite well done.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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We were there for dinner last week, and had a great experience. At first they tried to seat the three of us at a 2 top in the bar area, but we stood our ground, and were instead seating in the back dining room, at a great corner table. I dont know weather it was the American accent, or them not wanting to give up the table, but we are glad for the back table(especially after reading the previous posting0. The back dining room was lovely. We did not have one clunker in our dinner, which included the assiette, the sweetbread terrine, the tuna with foie gras entree(really great) the scallops, followed by cheese, and some relly good desserts(especially the coffe parfait).

The sommellier made excellent reasonably priced suggestions for wine, and even sent over complimentary dessert win. My only critism was the cheese offereing for the cow was not overly interesting. Service was professional, and friendly without being stuffy. The price of 100 Euro per person seemed like a real bargain for the quality of the dining experience. We will go back again.

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On John and Pti's recommendation, I caught a quick lunch here, having the mosaic of colbert and foie, and the veal.

Both very well prepared, wih excellent ingredients and at a higher level of care than you would find in an equivalent London establishment. Service was perhaps over friendly, but am part to blame as they thought I was writing a review (solo diner, note book, much scribbling, silly questions about provenance of ingredients etc).

Didn't care very much for the decor or shtick, but not offended. Food perhaps lacked something of the soulfulness of other parisian mainstays (hi and low). Still, very much worth returning to.

Thanks to pti and John.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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. Service was perhaps over friendly, but am part to blame as they thought I was writing a review (solo diner, note book, much scribbling, silly questions about provenance of ingredients etc).

I was also very well treated when i dined solo last oct .I was also given an excellent table .I have to confess that i spoke french.I wonder what accounts for the difference in treatment as some had a horrendeous experience.

Perhaps ,speaking french and also looking the part of a serious diner.( I,e . I discussed the menu at lenght)

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. Service was perhaps over friendly, but am part to blame as they thought I was writing a review (solo diner, note book, much scribbling, silly questions about provenance of ingredients etc).

I was also very well treated when i dined solo last oct .I was also given an excellent table .I have to confess that i spoke french.I wonder what accounts for the difference in treatment as some had a horrendeous experience.

Perhaps ,speaking french and also looking the part of a serious diner.( I,e . I discussed the menu at lenght)

I think it depends on who's serving and more likely luck of the draw, or at least I hope so. There are good waiters and bad waiters in every restaurant. I was only unhappy with our main waiter, the food runner was great. And if a waiter in Paris only gives good service to those who speak French and to serious diners, I think the restaurant will have a problem.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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We are coming upto Paris with my Dad who is a real gastronut and are eating at Lucas Carton and L'Ambroise on two nights and wondered if Sensing might be a good option for the middle night, something a bit lighter to give our paletes a break without compromising on quality perhaps? The other place I though was Benoit? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks!

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We discussed Sensing quite a bit here, so I would start by having a look there.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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We discussed Sensing quite a bit here, so I would start by having a look there.

Here's my take on it
8.0 Sensing, 19, rue Brea in the 6th, 01.43.27.08.80. Guy Martin (three stars at the Grand Vefour,) has placed chef Rémi Van Petegen in the kitchen and kept front-room lady Sophie Jousseaum (from its predecessor Dominique,) in this hot spot near Vavin/Le Dome, etc. and my, oh my, it’s some combo in a dazzling remake of the space. Aside from ultramodern furniture, there is a wall of glass containing a “museum” of Baccarat crystal behind it. Two of us ate there its third day and while the service is not yet seamless, the cooking is. My partner started with a mixture of appetizers that looked like sushi meets mezzes (salmon, tuna, etc) and I had a halved lisette with an incredible sauce of confited fennel and some revised version of crème fraiche – both divine. Then we split (1) a pigeon (which we agreed was the best we both have ever had) with a sauce that had either coffee or chocolate and (2) veal with pasta “cigarettes” stuffed with mushrooms, simply beyond description. Then she finished with a panacotta topped with sliced apples and granny Smith ice cream and I had a baba-like cake au rhum. The bill = 135 €. Go back? You bet! But for how long will one be able to reserve easily?

Note I'm going to merge the threads so all the info's in one place.


John Talbott

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We had a great meal at sensing 7 months ago. At first we were shown to a horrible table in the bar, but when we refulsed, were taken toone of the other dining rooms. After that, really great food, and wonderful service. To be honest, I was underwhelmed by my last meal at l'ambroise, but found my meal at sensing memorable.

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The Boston Globe today had an interview with Guy Martin. It seems he will open a Sensing on the water front in Boston. The connection is his french friend who managed a hotel in Boston and now is an advisor to this deveoplment project.

Merry and I ate at Sensing approx a year ago. To be brief: the food was average, the atmospheric light show was a major distraction and the front room is considerably less warm and conducive to a dining experience than the back. We decided we would probably not return and have not.

Is this too harsh? Have things become better?

Sandy

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The Boston Globe today had an interview with Guy Martin.  It seems he will open a Sensing on the water front in Boston.  The connection is his french friend who managed a hotel in Boston and now is an advisor to this deveoplment project.

Merry and I ate at Sensing approx a year ago. To be brief: the food was average, the atmospheric light show was a major distraction and the front room is considerably less warm and conducive to a dining experience than the back.  We decided we would probably not return and have not.

Is this too harsh? Have things become better?

Sandy

Chacun à son et cetera. I really liked my two meals at the Paris location with two finicky eaters but have not been back; hummmm. But I was not put off by the light show. I was concentrating more on the food show. But Martin (whose cooking I have experienced firsthand) was in the kitchen neither time.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I have eaten at Sensing twice, I liked it twice; the chef is doing a good job, probably a better job at Sensing than Guy Martin at Le Véfour. Expanding the Sensing formula in foreign locations seems like a move to steady the business in the perspective of Le Véfour possibly losing a macaron or two, but that is only my own pronostic. At any rate, and wherever the location, the interest of the place will entirely depend on the quality of the chef that will be placed there, for formula alone bears minimal interest.

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I have eaten at Sensing twice, I liked it twice; the chef is doing a good job, probably a better job at Sensing than Guy Martin at Le Véfour. Expanding the Sensing formula in foreign locations seems like a move to steady the business in the perspective of Le Véfour possibly losing a macaron or two, but that is only my own pronostic. At any rate, and wherever the location, the interest of the place will entirely depend on the quality of the chef that will be placed there, for formula alone bears minimal interest.

I also loved my dining experience at Sensing .I admit I was seated in the rear and treated well perhaps because i was alone and showed interest.Who knows.

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