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Felice

Racines: new, beloved, well-reviewed and "secret"

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Host's Note: This topic has been created because we veered off the subject on Not your everyday in Paris to discuss Racines and other "secret places."

As for places like Cookshop, most new bio nonfiltered wine bars+ have named products (eg Bordier butter, charcuterie from Camdeborde frere, Cantin or Alleose cheese, etc). The newest is Les Racines where two members have eaten well recently but not posted yet and I had a good meal at the Breizh Cafe which is getting a lot of good press now.

I am not familar with Cookshop, but I went to Racines last week and loved it. The owner is Pierre Jancou, who is very known and respected for his involvement in the organic wine movement in France and who previously owned la Cremerie in the 6th. Racines is more of a restaurant than La Cremerie was and in addition to great artisanal cheese and charcuterie they also serve a few main dishes everyday. I had a delicious rabbit the night I was there and they were also serving andouillette, which although I can't say I am a fan, was also quite good. We also had plates of cured ham and Lardo di colannato with great bread. He uses only the very best products--even vegetables from Alain Passard's garden--very simply prepared. And Racines has one of the best selections of natural wines in Paris.

For more information, you can go to Pierre's website, en Anglais, morethanorganic.com


Edited by John Talbott (log)

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Secret? It is in every publication I have read for the past few weeks, including Sunday's Journal du Dimanche.

I prefer to read about it here and see the opinion of a respected forum host!

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I know we usually share, but I was hoping that, for this time, Racines could stay a secret for a little while. So much for unreasonable expectations.

Before you became really active here Julot we had a long topic initiated by Pierre45 on "secret" places; my conclusion, with all the print and internet news, such a thing is impossible. The four new restos in my quartier that I thought I'd "found" recently were "discovered" by the big boys shortly thereafter.

A bit of nostalgia: back in the good old days when Craig Claiborne was King of the Times, he did indeed keep some restaurants in NYC in pectore and one at least was quite special; I'm not sure with the internet that's possible any more.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I know we usually share, but I was hoping that, for this time, Racines could stay a secret for a little while. So much for unreasonable expectations.

Before you became really active here Julot we had a long topic initiated by Pierre45 on "secret" places; my conclusion, with all the print and internet news, such a thing is impossible. The four new restos in my quartier that I thought I'd "found" recently were "discovered" by the big boys shortly thereafter.

A bit of nostalgia: back in the good old days when Craig Claiborne was King of the Times, he did indeed keep some restaurants in NYC in pectore and one at least was quite special; I'm not sure with the internet that's possible any more.

I’m sorry Julot! I always hesitate to post about new places at times as well, hoping to keep them secret for a time, but more because of the English speaking press. It's true that Racines has been written up in serveral publications, but no English speakings ones--yet.

A few years ago it would have taken some time for new restaurants to be written up in the New York Times and other English speaking publication, whereas now it takes a little more than a few weeks and I often wonder if it is thanks to forums like eG.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Only a few nights after Racines opened it was packed with everyone and his brother from the food press. I thought of keeping it quiet for awhile but I soon realized that would make no sense: nothing could happen to this place that hadn't happened to it already.

And, furthermore, I think it is one of those places that wouldn't change, whatever or whomever you could bring there. The only difference is that instead of booking a few hours in advance, you'll soon end up booking one month ahead.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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And, furthermore, I think it is one of those places that wouldn't change, whatever or whomever you could bring there. The only difference is that instead of booking a few hours in advance, you'll soon end up booking one month ahead.

Racines, as well as others recently discussed here, was just written up in Figaroscopes "Best of 2007" which appears today.

I cant help but think that if and when Racines is written up by the English speaking press and Americans (and other tourists) descend that they will end up being very disappointed. This is not a restaurant but a 'cave à manger' and only serves--for now anyway-- a very limited menu of simply prepared foods using the best ingredients. We food fanatics might go crazy over a place like this, but I can imagine others saying "what is all the fuss about". They won't get it. On my visit you had a choice of Andouillette or Rabbit, hardly fare for everyone. And it doesn't strike me as the kind of place that woud bend over backwards to meet expectations, it seemed more the kind of place that would say 'you either like it or you don't'.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I cant help but think that if and when Racines is written up by the English speaking press and Americans (and other tourists) descend that they will end up being very disappointed.  This is not a restaurant but a 'cave à manger' and only serves--for now anyway-- a very limited menu of simply prepared foods using the best ingredients.  We food fanatics might go crazy over a place like this, but I can imagine others saying "what is all the fuss about".  They won't get it. On my visit you had a choice of Andouillette or Rabbit, hardly fare for everyone.  And it doesn't strike me as the kind of place that woud bend over backwards to meet expectations, it seemed more the kind of place that would say 'you either like it or you don't'.

I feel exactly the same as you do about Racines. It is definitely not a "destination" bistrot in the common sense of the word. I think not everybody, especially if "attracted" by the English-speaking press or media, will get it or even like it. Which is why I never worried about it being spoiled in the first place. The other reason is (and there again I agree with you) that indeed neither the chef or the sommelier (one of the most idiosyncratic in Paris) would bend over backwards to meet every whim and fancy, which would result in a loss of soul. Actually it is so much like French bistrots of decades ago, the type that very people would like if they came to life again (same phenomenon as the so-called "baguette de tradition française" as compared to true traditional baguette as it used to be made), that I think it is not likely to cater to a universal audience. It is not even likely to please all the French, far from it.

Even the wines won't be to everybody's liking. Many people, when served one of their sparkling, unfiltered, appley-peary Loire chenins, will wonder if someone is not playing a joke on them.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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I cant help but think that if and when Racines is written up by the English speaking press and Americans (and other tourists) descend that they will end up being very disappointed.  This is not a restaurant but a 'cave à manger' and only serves--for now anyway-- a very limited menu of simply prepared foods using the best ingredients.  We food fanatics might go crazy over a place like this, but I can imagine others saying "what is all the fuss about".   They won't get it.

I feel exactly the same as you do about Racines. It is definitely not a "destination" bistrot in the common sense of the word. I think not everybody, especially if "attracted" by the English-speaking press or media, will get it or even like it.

Even the wines won't be to everybody's liking. Many people, when served one of their sparkling, unfiltered, appley-peary Loire chenins, will wonder if someone is not playing a joke on them.

This reminds me both of his prior place Cremerie Caves Miard + Breizh Cafe both of which I and the RFC liked but others "didn't get." It does not surprise me, Felice, that Figaroscope picked it as a "best of," after Francois Simon's love note.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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discuss it all you want, it's now shut until 13 January ;)


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Unfortunately , with the proliferation of food blogs, the gastronomic landscape has been vastly changed, in many cases for the worse...interesting idea for an article...


Edited by fresh_a (log)

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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the sommelier (one of the most idiosyncratic in Paris)

Can you go into more detail about what makes the sommelier idiosyncratic?

I'm afraid this defies description... You'll have to go there (when it opens again) and appreciate for yourself.

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Defies description? Then what about an example.

I think what pitpois means ,opinionated sommelier.Someone with strong opinions about certain wines and I assume if you mention or order a wine that he does not care about ,he will then let you know in no uncertain terms.

I have run into characters like that .Actually I like them

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I haven't been back to Racines since they turned the gas on, but went twice during their early pre-GDF days (on the recommendation of Felice) and can share some descriptions and photos.

The menu for our first visit was as follows:

Entrées

-salade "retour du jardin d'Alain Passard"

-soupe du bonheur

-rillettes de cochon...ou de lapin

-planche de salaisons d'autour

Plats

-Joue de boeuf de chez Hugo

-Côte de veau de chez Hugo

Also

-Assortiment de fromages fermiers

-Gateau de Zoé (Pierre's daughter) au chocolate noir

This was lunch and we shared the salad (a mix of radishes from yes, Passard's very own garden, plus parmesan, honey and black pepper), the rillettes de cochon (with chunks of carrot and other vegetables and another smear of honey), the salaisons (which included a perfect lardo di Colonatta) and the cheese. Photos are below.

gallery_29580_5527_368988.jpg

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For the second visit, my friend and I shared the rillettes de lapin, a slice of tête de veau, and another exceptional planche de salaisons. More photos below.

gallery_29580_5527_329263.jpg

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As for the "idiosyncratic" Pierre, I think that word must be code for "gap-toothed, tattooed hottie." He was charming and enthusiastic, telling us about his vegetables and his butter (Bordier) and even selling a hunk of his lardo to take home.

gallery_29580_5527_299485.jpg

As Felice rightly pointed out, this place (which just picked up a Fooding award, right?) is not for everyone. But those who like to try new wines and eat simple but very good food will be happy for this address.


Meg Zimbeck, Paris by Mouth

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Ahhh. so that's Pierre...


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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Defies description? Then what about an example.

I think what pitpois means ,opinionated sommelier.Someone with strong opinions about certain wines and I assume if you mention or order a wine that he does not care about ,he will then let you know in no uncertain terms.

I have run into characters like that .Actually I like them

OK. No, not at all. What I mean is that he has a personal, poetic way of doing his job.

(And I didn't mean Pierre, I meant Ewen.)


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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