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Nov 07 Epigramme Oxalis J’Go Saint-Germain Vingt 2


John Talbott
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Nov 07 – Epigramme, Oxalis, J’Go Saint-Germain, Vingt 2

A gem in a sea of dreck.

6.6-8.8 l’Epigramme, 9, rue de L’Eperon in the 6th, 01 44 41 00 09, closed Sunday nights and Mondays, is a little jewel (30 covers) of a restaurant in the midst of tourist central (think Allard and Camdeborde.) Four of us (of whom three are members of this Society) ate there on a recent Saturday and loved it. The host Stephane offered us an amuse bouche of a terrine that was very good, especially with the Fitou we chose to start (and continue) with, despite his suggestion that we move onto a Bergerac. All four of us had 4 scallops each on a puree of cauliflower (that tasted of celeriac) on half-shells (4 € supplemental) that one of us thought had too many salt crystals on it, then two had a poitrine of veal (not on the chalkboard that lunch-time but apparently on it for that evening) that I found just fine but they thought was surpassed by my lievre royale that had the most intense, thick, dark, great-tasting black sauce imaginable (10 € supplement) and my friend Atar’s ox-tail stew with chopped root vegetables. Finally one of our guests had the very fine St Nectaire and the other a big portion of rice pudding that he declared quite good. If you take away the supplements, celebratory extra booze, etc., lunch for two (3 courses, wine and coffee and no bottled water) would only run you 77 €. Oh yah, it’s hot, go fast, even famous chefs on their days off, eat there.

Should one go? You betcha; fast!

5.0 The best strike possibility possible.

l’Oxalis, 14, Ferdinand Flocon in the 18th, 01.42.51.11.98, closed Sundays and Monday noon, was the ideal place the first day of the renewable strike, walking distance for us and featuring an inexpensive (lunch 2-courses = 15, 3 = 18 and menu noon or night at 26 €) but very decent place. It occupies the space of the up-and-down l’Histoire de….. and is run by the couple who used to run l’Amuse Bouche, where I’d also had up-and-down food. In any case, three of us had a fine meal; starters included a fricassee of escargots and mushrooms on baby zucchini slices with an intense woody sauce, a very delicately and lightly flavored tartare of very good product salmon and yummy tempura-type gambas with tandoori flavoring. We had two mains: a fine filet of canette with another dense, intense sauce accompanied by steamed veggies, whose cabbage gave them a wonderful off-taste and four-five perfectly cooked scallops. We ordered one dessert, a moelleux of chocolate, well-made, with ice cream. So in sum, one menu, two starters and one main plus 1.5 bottles of wine and three coffees = 102.40 €.

Should you go? If you live in the nabe for sure, even if not, it’s worth considering.

J’Go = Gigot, get it? I didn’t.

1-3-5.0 J’Go Saint-Germain, 14, rue Lobineau in the 6th, 01.43.26.19.02, open 7/7, is the second branch of this famed Toulousian resto that features meat and Southwestern food and wine. Where? Oh yah, where Salmon and Company used to be in the Marché St Germain. But it’s so different; stools around barrels for 2 or 4 persons, 30 dead limbs hanging from the ceiling, all chalkboard offerings, and no, I repeat, no, GIGOT. Wasn’t that why we came? This place, despite advertising itself as on the rue Lobineau is truly on the rue Felibien, now why would they say that? Could it be because André Felibien was an obscure court historian to Louis XIV whereas Guy Alexis Lobineau was a triple-threat - a Breton historian, Benedictine monk and author of the history of Brittany, l’Histoire de Bretagne? In any case, charming place, charming welcome, charming clients, charming cured meats and Southwest wines, charming treatment of clients including one kid, charming music (Buena Vista Social Club), charming charming charming. Yes, but…… (or “mais, oui,” since we’re here). OK, so like Rick Blaine who mistakingly came to Casablanca for the waters, on a cold wintry afternoon, I came to J’Go for the gigot. As I approached and saw the chalkboard I got a sinking feeling; curried lamb, skewered cold lamb, hearts, etc, but no roasts, especially no gigot. OK. I ordered piquillos stuffed with confit de carard, which I asked about the temperature of and was told luke-warm. However, the piquillos were hot and the duck cold – strange – but tasty. However my main, the three slices of black pork sausage (PNB or porc noir de Bigorre) had been either microwaved or sauteed (they don‘t have “permission” yet to roast) and sat on a bed of fall leafy stuff that was too pungent – I pleaded “la grippe” and left it after a few bites. To terminate, I had their enormously over-priced (3 € a slice) name brand brebis which was straight from the frig (Where are you now, Craig Claiborne – now, that we need you?) Any other problems: Yes; it had too many common tables, too many sandwiches/grignotages/tartines and too few roasted, non-straight out of the frigo, meats. So for 3 plates and two glasses of wine but no coffee or bottled water, we’re talking 48 €.

Should one go? As I rate it – it’s a 1.0 (elevated to 3.0 by the charm) but it could be a 5.0 with a little effort).

Oy vey, everyone loves Raymond, but not me.

0.3-3.0 Vingt 2 (get it? I don’t), 22, rue Desnouettes in the 15th, 01.45.33.22.22 open everyday but Sundays when they have brunch, was “discovered” by three of my eGullet friends before the big guys and while they didn’t tout me off it, they didn’t say it was a must either – Quote by one – “If you’re in the neighborhood it’s OK” - end-quote. So my pal Atar and I schlepped, and I mean, schlepped, really so, via a devious route (utilizing Tram #3) during “the” strike and wound up at this charming place, with charming tables and stools, charming wines and run by a (you got it) charming couple. He gave it a 3.0 because it had the best bread he’s had in two weeks, (better than Laurent, l’Elysees de Vernet, etc.), the pain perdu, one of the four cheeses served and the price. I gave it a 0.3 because of the other miserable dishes – a correctly cooked (burned outside/raw inside) piece of bonito (translated as Boston mackerel – which I always thought was a tuna) that was most uninteresting; the special of the day – piggie with mustard grains – how could one miss? – PS it was the world’s worst tough and tasteless butcher-rejects cooked in a sort-of insipid, creamy sauce; and chicken strips toasted on the outside and Ok on the inside with several leaves of “Mexican” (wha?) tarragon on top – all with lotsa mashed potatoes and salad greens. Our bill, if we’d done what I suggested on first reading the chalkboard, i.e. have a platter each of charcuterie and cheese and some wine - would have been something like 44 € for two, a world record.

Should you go? No, instead send your backpacking nieces and nephews.

John Talbott

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L'epigramme.Restaurant de poche par excellence.

Truly small(15 tables) in a high rent area of the 6e.ONe eats and drinks well and reasonably as pin pointed by the owner when i asked as to what's special about his restaurant.John already discribed the dishes.SO I will not go over what we had.

The cuisine is sophisticated and tasty and the wine list quite varied.I am sorry that we did not try some other wines than the fruity ,new world fitou we had.THe chef of ZE kitchen was having lunch with his son ,next to us.He said he made his lunch selections based on dietary concerns.

Vingt 2. In the up and coming 15e

AN informal and fun place .I ate and drank very well contrary to john"s experience.I had 2 versions of vegatable potage as an appetizer ,both deliceous and the main was a sanglier with gratin ,which was heavenly.Drank a very decent cote de rhone village.Total cost 45 euros.The place was full with young and attractive parisians. I'll be back

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I had a nice experience at Vingt 2 as well and if I lived in the area would certainly go back. A friend and I shared two sablés which we liked very much, although I can't remember what they were topped with. I then had the day's special, grilled bar, simply prepared. It seems like the kind of place to stop in for something light with a glass of wine or where you can have something a bit more substantial if you'd like and the prices are very reasonable, I think my bar was 11€. It's a young, fun, hip neighborhood place and not a reastaurant that you would seek out while visiting.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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  • 3 months later...

Update March 21, 2008:

l’Epigramme

Four of ate here today and again were warmly welcomed. Two of us started with terrific warm tete de veau slices.

Then the ladies had the rascasse on a bed of veggies in a brown sauce. One "recipient" liked the dish but the other added salt and was not impressed with the product nor the veggies and sauce. However, I really liked my beef cheeks stuffed with mushrooms and Monsieur his veal on a bed of sweet-potato.

Everyone but me had dessert; one serving of chopped apples with a sable; two others had mixture of banana, chunks of chocolate cookie and formage blanc. Both were quite good.

The bill was 73.50 Euros a couple with wine, coffee but no bottled water. Our rating was about a 6.0.

Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Update March 21, 2008:

Four of ate here today and again were warmly welcomed.  Two of us started with terrific warm tete de veau slices.

Then the ladies had the rascasse on a bed of veggies in a brown sauce.  One "recipient" liked the dish but the other added salt and was not impressed with the product nor the veggies and sauce. However, I really liked my beef cheeks stuffed with mushrooms and Monsieur his veal on a bed of sweet-potato.

Everyone but me had dessert; one serving of chopped apples with a sable; two others had mixture of banana, chunks of chocolate cookie and formage blanc. Both were quite good. 

The bill was 73.50 Euros a couple with wine, coffee but no bottled water. Our rating was about a 6.0.

John I am a little unclear which restaurant you are referring to; because of your 6.0 rating it must be l'Epigramme.

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Sorry you are correct - I'll fix.

It was l’Epigramme

Update March 21, 2008:

l’Epigramme

Four of ate here today and again were warmly welcomed.  Two of us started with terrific warm tete de veau slices.

Then the ladies had the rascasse on a bed of veggies in a brown sauce.  One "recipient" liked the dish but the other added salt and was not impressed with the product nor the veggies and sauce. However, I really liked my beef cheeks stuffed with mushrooms and Monsieur his veal on a bed of sweet-potato.

Everyone but me had dessert; one serving of chopped apples with a sable; two others had mixture of banana, chunks of chocolate cookie and formage blanc. Both were quite good. 

The bill was 73.50 Euros a couple with wine, coffee but no bottled water. Our rating was about a 6.0.

John I am a little unclear which restaurant you are referring to; because of your 6.0 rating it must be l'Epigramme.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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