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Cercle Rouge

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Our first visit to Cercle Rouge revealed a casual bistro w. friendly reception, bar and staff. The menu is typical Parisian bistro , well balanced with a variety of offerings. Unfortunately, the food is uneven. We began with the excellent pate de campagne and a limp, undefined endive-pear salad. One good item per two. Our entrees were an underwhelming magret/confit platter [The fact that the frites arrived after it was consumed didn't help.] and the boullibaise. The latter had perfectly cooked [neither falling apart nor rubbery] fish & shellfish but the accompanying rouille added neither pungent garlic nor cayenne zip. Atypically, the boullibaise base was a soupe de poisson---then the maitre d explained that this had been the soup de jour the day prior. The fact that the waiter forgot the frites and delivered them after we had finished our entree did not help. One for two. For dessert we had chewy crepes with a bland sauce and excellent profiteroles. One per two. Both were accompanied by some fresh raspberries & strawberries, proclaimed the best part of the meal by my dinner companion. Upon leaving, I found myself wishing that the kitchen were more consistent as I felt there was some 'good cooking' potential here.

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