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Jarrasse- Neuilly sur Seine


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While I am aware that most dining in Paris begins at 8pm, I was staying at the hotel across the street and asked the waitress about the time they open for dinner and was delighted that she told me 7pm. I arrived at 7:30 and the maitre d' looked at me as though i was trying to burglarize his house. I informed him that his own employee told me when I could arrive it made no difference. Kept me standing at the small shelf of a bar in an empty restaurant for 30 minutes. I ordered the coquilles ravioli which I believe was 22 euros and it was unremarkable and gooey. I was looking forward to the skillet prepared lobster and vegetables (38 euro) and was sorry to find the lobster tough and chewy and the veggies soggy and bland. Obviously overcooked right ? Well, the maitre d' once again argued with me and told me that they were "french lobsters" and that they are all chewy and tough, and made no offer to replace the meal. I told him to bring me something else or i would dine elsewhere. Finally, I received a beautiful piece of cod perfectly cooked and thoroughly delightful.

The maitre d' also loudly talked on his cellphone speakerphone about 10 feet from where I was dining- twice. If they are going to be this pretentious, they need to live up to the standards they pretend to.

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Not so long ago I had a totally different experience at Jarasse.

On a truly foul night, public transport workers were on strike and Parisian traffic was chaotic with the taxi from Charles de Gaulle taking over more than two hours – really a bad start to the evening.

We ended up hopelessly late for our reservation (9.30 for 8.00!) but everybody at Jarasse, particularly the maitre d', was delightful and in the first moments lifted the stress of the evening from our shoulders.

Having fallen for some polished up-selling, the bill was much higher than planned but the recollection that remains is of good food and wine in relaxed stylish surroundings.

It's funny how even good restaurants play their part in life's infinite variety

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