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DIGEST: 2004-6 Paris Restaurant News + Reviews

John Talbott

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The Week of May 10th, 2004

Monday in Le Figaro, Francois Simon contributed two columns. In the first, at the bottom of “Croque Notes,” he remarked on the continued expansion of the Guy Savoy empire. Savoy has just bought Chiberta on rue Arsène-Houssaye in the 8th. The architect Savoy used at L’Atelier Maitre Albert (see below), Jean-Michel Wilmotte, is redoing Chiberta as well and it’s expected to open in July. In addition, Simon notes that the venerable left bank restaurant le Bellecour, 22 rue Surcouf in the 7th has been bought by “des gens épatants,” e.g some pretty impressive guys, who previously plied their trade at les Ormes on rue Chapu in the far reaches of the 16th. Simon says run or at least call The full review is here.

In his regular section reviewing established, e.g. not new, restaurants for business-folks in the “Entreprises” supplement Monday, Simon reviewed La Tour D’Argent, noting that it is a true living legend in Paris which remains superb despite its dated preparations which are a bit tired. He doesn’t tell us what the bill was but notes that it was “memorable.” No eGulleteer needs the coordinates but they are: 15, quai de la Tournelle, 75005 Paris ( Closed Monday and Tuesday at lunch. The full review is here.

More on Guy Savoy (above) appeared in the Paris Woman part of the “At Your Service” website where L’Atelier Maître Albert was glowingly reviewed. The restaurant was also designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte after the old restaurant was completely gutted. The menu is described as short but everything looked desirable. Descriptions of everything they had can be found in English here. The bill was 45-50 € per person without wine. It’s at 1, rue Maître Albert, Paris, 75005 ( Dinner only every evening from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm.

Wednesday’s Figaroscope came up pretty dry for good new French places. The picture and one heart went to Le Marquis, 15 rue Dupleix, 15th,; “nothing much original, nothing more than honest, just a 5-7 kitchen [translation mine].” Two hearts went to a Japanese restaurant (Bizan) and a sandwich/Caesar salad/cheesecake place (Cojean).

However, all was not lost, as Francois Simon had a good 13E lunch special (total bill 39E for 2) at Le Repaire de Cartouche, 8 blvd des Filles-du-Calvaire in the 11th, See article here.

In addition, the compilation article following “What’s New” featured meals under 30E in the following restaurants:

182 RD



Au Gourmand

La Grande Rue

Café Moderne

Le Vin de Zinc

Café Panique

La Table d’Anvers

De Lagarde and


Also on Wednesday, Bonjour Paris announced Yves Cambdebord’s departure (using the past tense) from Le Regalade, foretold on March 13th by Francois Simon; the opening of Joel Robuchon’s La Table de Joel Robuchon (formerly Seize au Seize) at 16 avenue Bugeaud, 16th Metro: Victor Hugo. T:; and the impending return of Ghislaine Arabian at an unnamed restaurant.

In the “Paris Bites” section of Paris Notes for May 2004, Rosa Jackson reviewed ex-Les Muses chef, Yannick Alleno’s restaurant Le Meurice, which has been around for at least 18 months, and Gilles Choukroun’s L’Angl’Opera, which just opened this spring. Choukroun was previously at the Café des Delices, which he’s hanging onto. While she’s pretty positive about the former, she does ding the vol-au-vents as not “tasting of much,” the young Bordeaux as “not the quality you’d expect,” and the food as not “jumping off the plate,” but “luring you in bite by bite.” About L’Angl’Opera, she summarizes by saying she “cannot say the meal was a great success.” As others have noted, the menu descriptions are backwards, e.g. “Vapeur, coriander Thai, pestoketchep, granny-smith….et saint-jacques” (i.e. steamed, Thai coriander, catsup with basil, Granny-Smiths and scallops in that exact order) and she describes ingredients as “tough and harsh-tasting,” “tough and stringy” and “prettier to look at than to eat.” If you want to read the entire review, you’ll have to subscribe here or get a friend to give you the user ID and password which are printed on page 2. For my views see this thread. Le Meurice is at 228 rue de Rivoli, 75001 ( L’Angl’Opera is at 39 ave de l’Opera, 75002 ( Both have websites.

The May issue of the James Beard Foundation reports that “Jean-François Piège, former chef of Michelin three-starred restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée, is now heading the kitchens at Le Crillon.” In addition, a Texas-American, Pamela Chauve has opened a restaurant in the new Hotel Walt (previously reviewed in “What’s New” in Figaroscope) on avenue La Motte-Piquet whose food is said to appeal “to both French and American diners.” This month’s issue also mentions L’Angl’Opera (see above) and describes the food as “surprising and idiosyncratic.” The chefs have changed at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Market; Wim Van Gorp replacing Eric Johnson.

Time Out’s April issue April issue has reviews of:

Delicabar, in Bon Marché, 26 rue de Sèvres, 7th (

ZenZen, a Japanese restaurant on 4 rue Bray, 17th. (

Les Fables de la Fontaine at 131 rue Saint-Dominique, in the 7th, ( already adequately reviewed in Figaroscope.

Patricia Wells is probably off traveling because she missed her biweekly column last Friday, replaced by Julian More who had an article on B&B’s with wine in Aix-en-Provence; we’ll check in next Friday at the IHT site.

Digester’s Note: This is the first of a series of weekly digests of news about restaurants, largely serving French or fusion food, predominately new, in Paris. I have included French and Anglo-Saxon sources, originally written in both French and English, most of whose content is accessible on the Internet. I have not included detailed descriptions of individual dishes, both because it is my belief that good restaurants change their menus regularly and because, except for places like Chez René or Rouge Tomate, {now Rouge St Honore} I don’t want to go somewhere where only one dish or ingredient can be trusted. I welcome feedback on content, sources I’ve missed, level of detail or anything else for that matter. JAT

Please post comments here and not in the digest thread.

Edited by John Talbott (log)

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The Week of May 17th, 2004

Monday in Le Figaro, Francois Simon, in “Croque Notes,” discussed l’Auberge de la Charme, near Dijon; the meanderings of Daniel Hébet (from la Mirande in Avignon thru Ladurée in Paris to the Jardin du Quai in L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue); and a new Guide Routard with 200 “little restaurants of great chefs” for 16.90 Euros. Click here for the full story.

Jean-Claude Ribaut in Thursday’s Le Monde does a much longer piece on the same book and defines the “little restaurants of great chefs” as the annexes of the big places, bistos of the former seconds and the restaurants less known run by the chefs of tommorrow. His very lengthy article takes issue with the chefs and restaurants not included – too many to mention here but he does give coordinates for two – the Bistrot de l'Etoile. 75, avenue Niel, 75017 Paris. which has menus for lunch at 25 and 29E and La Table de Joël Robuchon. 16, avenue Bugeaud, 75016 Paris. For the whole tirade Click here.

Simon’s review of Chez Jean (A good plan) in the Monday Figaro Entreprises is available to purchase from their archives but not on the website which still shows last week’s review of the Tour D’Argent. It shows a tantilizing bit of the review in the shopper’s cart though, stating that “Frederic (somebody) having taken over the closed-up, classic restaurant Chez Jean on the rue St-Lazare is working hard now in the classic tradition….” And there it stops. I’ll attempt to get the hard copy later. For the moment here are the coordinates: Chez Jean, 8 rue St-Lazare 9th 0101.

Wednesday’s Figaroscope had 1 3-hearter and 2 2-hearters. The 3 hearts went to L’Astrée, 3 rue du Géneral-Lanzerac in the 17th – tele with a 29E menu at lunch and 39 and 58E menus at dinner (average bill 50E). Rubin and team call its food inspired and remarkable with good respect for the product. They note the room is Tuscan, the chef Japanese and the food French. One dish – escargots and shitakes with potatoes on the shell is described as Japanese rustic. The lead photo and 2 hearts went to the new star in the 16th-space given up by the Les Ormes group who decamped for le Bellecour (see last week’s note) in the 7th; new name – Le vin dans les voiles, same address - 8 rue Chapu and unless the review has it wrong, it’s open Sunday for lunch and dinner – a real find. [Correction: The information printed in Le Figaroscope last week that Le Vin dans les Voiles (ex-Les Ormes) looked like it was open Sundays; but it is not; it is closed Saturday at lunch and all day Sunday.] The carte is 30-35E and sounds different from that of Les Ormes, for example; blanquette of fish with a saffron sauce, but still good. The other two-hearter is a Lebanese snack-restaurant in the Marais – L’Escale du Liban. The one hearter is Juste Avant, a néorétro bar à vins near Les Halles and a broken plate was awarded to Concordia which had “miserable” Thai shrimp. For the full version click here.

The longer compilation piece by the whole team (same website) was on restaurants outside Paris:

Les Paillotes in Ville-D’Avray

Cazaudehore in Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Le Tastevin in Maison-Lafitte

Maison Fournaise in Chatou

L’ile Saint Germain in Issy-les-Moulineaux

Hotellerie du Nord in Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh territory)

L’Ecu de France in Chenneviéres-sur-Marne

Saint-Clément in Arpajon

And Le Soleil in Saint-Ouen (really just past the peripherique, Metro Porte de Clignancourt, opposite the St Ouen flea market) with a new chef who just came from Jamin. Its address is 109, ave Michelet It features fresh products daily on the blackboard.

Simon himself went to one of the restaurants in the outlying areas for his "Haché Menu," also on the same site: Pouilly Reuilly in Le-Pré-Saint-Gervais where a very good 25E menu allowed two to eat for 121E. You need a car or taxi but he’s enthusiastic. Again see same URL.

The May Condé Nast Traveller listed three Paris restaurants among its 66 new “hot tables” (it’s quite bizarre because there are 67 on their website). They were:

L’Atelier de Jöel Robuchon

L’Atelier Maitre Albert

Stella, a renovated brasserie with new owners in the 16th, classic bistro dishes that run $16-44

The website for the full article is here.

The RestoaParis website wrote up L’Etage, 43, avenue des Ternes in the 17th Sounds like it’s targeted to the young with “électro” music, bistrot fare (tartare of beef, confit of duck) at 14E for a 1st and a main or a main and dessert and a big room upstairs (80 seats) for private parties. For the full version click here.

May’s Travel & Leisure mentions three places:

Delicabar, mentioned also in last week’s Digest

Michel Chaudun, the chocolatier at 149 rue de l’Université

Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Vandermeerch 278 ave Daumesnil

For full piece click here.

Finally, I finally discovered the reason why Patricia Wells has not contributed to the IHT in a while. Deep within her page --click here-- she indicates that as of May 6th she will be in the US for two months promoting her book The Provence Cookbook. She says that she’ll resume July 15th.

Please post comments in the the discussion thread and not in the digest thread.

John Talbott

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The week of May 24th

Francois Simon’s “Croqué Notes” in Monday’s Le Figaro discusses a restaurant run by Régis Marcon in Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid ( He loves it, so if you’re down St. Etienne way it sounds like looking it up would be worthwhile. One gets the idea from his column that readers of “Croqué Notes” think it merits three Michelin stars not the two it has. To read it all, click here

Francois Simon’s “Table d’affaires” Monday in “Figaro Entreprises” is a review of the venerable La Marée in the 8th. The title of the review says it all: “The tide (La Marée) is steady.” The years pass and the boat doesn’t move; indeed he thinks if you call to reserve in 100 years, it will be there. He says it’s all quite good but nothing dazzling either. To read it all, click here

The Figaroscope “C’est nouveau” team on Wednesday gave two hearts to Le Safran, in the Hilton Arc de Triomphe which featured shrimp and avocado with wasabi, a “Hilton Burger” and a chocolate-raspberry macaron. The other four restaurants that were reviewed all got one heart; they were Premiers Pas, La Scuderia, La Table and Café Jules. For the entire article, click here

Years ago the Metro/Bus system – le RATP – put out a weekly handout newspaper that was pretty pathetic. Just in the last while, however, A Nous Paris has been upgraded and when they reviewed L’Ourcine April 26th I realized they were serious. There’s no website, you have to pick up the hard copy as you enter any Metro station, but it’s worth consulting. This week, P.T (Phillipe Toinard) gave Rageneau, 202 rue St-Honoré, in the1st – telephone - 3 of 5 hits. It’s largely a snack place between meals but it also has real food, for example, cod with a “crumble” of basilic tomatoes, olives and lemon and a reasonably priced (22E) Côtes-du-Rousillon. It’s open from 8 AM all day, 7/7.

It’s that time of year, clearly; when folks want to sit on what is often euphemistically called the “terrace.” Certainly in the Bois de Boulogne it is, but on a sidewalk on a downtown street, it’s a bit less romantic. Three weeks ago, Pariscope’s “Time Out” section listed their favorites as:


Restaurant du Palais-Royal

Le Parc aux Cerfs


La Gare

And this Wednesday’s Figaroscope gave this list of restaurants with terraces:

La Terrasse du Parc

Petite Cour

Café Lenotre

Terrasse Mirabeau



Fontaine Gaillon

Café Corazza

Café Marly

Café Véry

Restaurant du Palais-Royal


Il Cortile


Le Petit Théâtre


Le Cinq

Maison du Danemark


Maison Blanche

Cour-jardin du Plaza

Hotel Raphaël

Le Sud

La Gare

Le Totem



Closerie des Lilas


Pavillion Montsouris

Bistrot de Breteuil

Fontaine de Mars

Maison de Amérique Latine

Bermuda Onion

Académie de la Bière

Café Maure de la Mosquée

Café de la Nouvelle Marie


Léna et Mimile


Chai 33

Le Guvinac

Club Med World

Café Bibliothèque

Le Brespail


Viaduc Café

Boca Chica

Café Beaubourg




Fous d’En Face


No Stress Café

Auberge du Clos

Le Papkika

A. Beauvilliers

Also in Wednesday’s Figaroscope, Francois Simon chose the terrace at Montalembert (3 rue Montalembert in the 7th - for his “Haché Menu.” His bottom line is “It is perplexing to say the least, but the lovers of translucent (no real translation) food will be at home if they have good company.” However, his wait for it sounds insupportable (56 minutes by his watch). The bill was 85E for two without wine. Please consult the original article here

Then in this week’s “Time Out” section in Pariscope they reviewed two more restaurants. Le Marsagny, 73 av Parmentier ( as if it were new but it’s been around for a couple of years. The reviewers loved the “neighborhood” bistro quality of the place, the food and the 17E wine; menu at 20E, average bill 35E. The second restaurant was a Café” Le Cannibale at 93 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud in the 11th ( The chef is a Melbourne-trained woman who cooks with a Middle-Eastern influence and they especially loved the desserts. The plats du jour are 8.90E and the final bill averages 28E.

This week the compendium lists Indian restaurants:


Ganesha Corner

Aux Comptoirs


Le Gange

My ecopy of David Applefield’s My Mercredi didn’t arrive until I’d posted last week’s Digest but has a fine list of chocolate stuff and where to get it compiled by Sarah Thompson. It has:

Gateau au chocolat coulant at Pamphlet, 38 Rue Debelleyme (3rd M: Filles du Calvaire)

72% chocolate bars at Pierre Marcolini, 89 Rue de Seine (6th M: Odeon)

Chocolat amer macaron at Laduree, 16 Rue Royale (8th M:Madeleine)

Banana chocolate mini-pave at Boulangerie de la Place, 10 Place d’Italie (13th M: Place d’Italie)

Chocolat nougat ice cream at Berthillon, various spots on Ile St. Louis (4th M: Pont Marie)

Fondant au nutella at Boulangerie Beaudet, 99 Rue Monge (5th M: Censier-Daubenton)

Fondant au chocolat at Loir dans la Theiere, 1 Rue des Rosiers (4th M: St. Paul)

Brioche aux pepites au chocolat at Florence Finkelsztajn, 24 Rue des Ecouffes (4th M: St. Paul).

Hot chocolate at Steiger, 20 Rue des Capucines (2nd M:Madeleine)

Please consult the original article here

Addition: Last week, I noted that Francois Simon’s “Table d’affairs” was reviewing Chez Jean, 8, rue Saint-Lazare in the 9th. Because of a computer glitch, the entire article wasn’t on Le Figaro’s website but this week I got a hard copy. He gives it 3 out of 5 stars for the cuisine and 4 for Qualité/Prix with a menu d’affaires of 32E. But, when I looked at the carte in the window it was one of those impossible places that has two not always appealing choices for each course – e.g. 2 entrées (a hot waffle with white asparagus or haricots verts with a remoulade of smoked magret), 2 plats (poached salmon or rabbit thigh) and 2 desserts (marinated strawberries or a chocolate granité). If you have those it is indeed 32E but by taking average prices a la carte the bill looks more like 82E without wine and coffee.

Correction: I reprinted the information printed in Le Figaroscope last week that Le Vin dans les Voiles (ex-Les Ormes) looked like it was open Sundays; but it is not; it is closed Saturday at lunch and all day Sunday.

Please post comments in the the discussion thread and not in the digest thread.

John Talbott

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The week of May 31st

Francois Simon's "Croque Notes" appeared this week in Saturday-Sunday's Le Figaro. In it he notes that each year British and American journalists flock to France in weather such as we're having and come up with some astonishing finding or other, such as the end of French cooking, cafés, markets or terroir (no translation; you know what it means). This time it is "Newsweek" that recounted the "death of the bistrot." He says one of its writers tried in vain to find a good roast chicken in vain at Gagnaire and the Café des Delices. Simon suggests instead going to Jean-Marc Boyer's Puits de Trésor ( in Lastours, 19 kilometres outside Carcassonne, where Simon had a melt-in-your-mouth pintade. For the original article click here

After all the restaurants with terraces Le Figaro gave last week, they came up with even more this week (for Mothers' Day) in the same Saturday-Sunday's Le Figaro:

The Bristol hotel's patio

Le Jardin des Cygnes at the Hôtel Price de Galles

Le Jardin d’Ampère

L'Hôtel Raphaël

Le Pré Catalan

La Grande Cascade

Le Jardin de Bagatelle

Galion (the boat)


Café des Lettres

Café du Musée Jacquemart-André

Café Marly

Bistrot des Dames

For Alexandra Michot's article with all the restaurants' descriptions, prices and coordinates you’ll have to buy the article by clicking here

In Tuesday's Figaro Entreprises, (Monday was Pentecôte), Simon's "Table d'affaires" reviews La Muse Vin, 101, rue de Charonne 11th, He calls it a cave-bistrot and one of its features is a wide selection of wines available almost at cost and food that sounds good (e.g., magret de canard with ginger) but only rates it a 3 out of 5 stars. For the whole review, please click here

Wednesday, for the first time in my memory, both Figaroscope (2 of 4 hearts) and Pariscope's Time Out section listed the same place first (putting to rest the hunch that one simply followed the other's lead): Le Duc de Richelieu, 5, rue Parrot, 12th,, very near the Gare de Lyon. The lunch menu is 14.50, average 25E. Sounds interesting, albeit familiar (e.g. rillettes of goose, veal scallop, baba au rhum, reasonably priced wines) and heavy on meat and light on fish. It's run by the former Le Gavroche bunch from rue Saint-Marc in the 2nd. Le Figaroscope, once again listed the aforementioned 2-hearter first and provided it photo space ahead of the more highly rated 3-hearted restaurant, La Table de Joël Robuchon, maybe because it (JR) hardly needs the pub. As mentioned here before, it's in the old Seize au Seize space, 16, ave Bugeaud, 16th You may already know, but it's quite similar to JR's Atelier but here you can sit at a table rather than a stool. The food and prices, however, are similar - average here is 80-100 Euros. The Figaroscope lists two other two-hearts, Al filo delle stagioni (Italian) and Le Sot-l'y-laisse, 70 rue Alexandre-Dumas 9th, where Rubin et al were most impressed by the côte de bouef and lamb shoulder. The final one-hearter is Le P'tit Panisse, 35, rue de Montreuil in the 11th For

the whole review, please click here

The second restaurant in Pariscope's Time Out section is L'Uitr (try to pronounce it - it comes out - "L'Huitre"). Well that's the theme; oysters on the ardoise as well as lots of fish. The prices are described as good (for fish in Paris), the bill averaging 30 Euros, a Muscadet at 22 E. It's at 1, place Falguière They go on to list Sunday brunch places:

Café Léa


The Moosehead

Quai Ouest

As for Figaroscope's compendium, it's devoted to "theme restaurants" whose themes I won't give since I think they're pretty clear from the restaurants' names, if not write me;

A toutes vapeurs

Fromage Rouge

J'Go (pronounce this one too = Gigot)

Terres de truffes

Rouge Tomate {now Rouge St Honore}

Le Wok

Ballon & Coquillages

Pomze (another one that's onomatopoetic = Pommes)

For the whole review, please click here

Zurban, the relatively new (3 years) weekly competitor to Figaroscope, Pariscope and Les Spectacles, which is touted by Olivier Morteau as a good source of accurate reviews, has no website with its copy, but this week reviews a "wine bar" Le Cercle Tourne Rond, 7 rue Saint-Sabin, 11th, which it says is good price-good taste.

In this week's A Nous Paris, the RATP freebie, two restaurants are reviewed. The first is Le Relais de Sévres, 8-12 rue Louis-Armand, 15th in the Sofitel, which is entitled "In search of a Star." While it got a 3 out of 5 blocks, there were five "buts" in the review which alerted me to a problem; example: the roast lamb was creamy but lukewarm. As the review concludes: "The search goes on." The second restaurant is an old standard on the Butte de Montmartre, L'Oriental, 76, rue des Martyrs 18th, and while I said I wouldn't cover foreign food in this Digest, it's North African, which used to be French, so I'll pass on the news that it too got 3 out of 5 with no "buts," just the dilemma whether to have tagine or couscous.

I'm catching up on some recent Time Out sections in Pariscope. In the 5-11 May one, they reported on the re-emergence of Gilles Epié, he of Bocuse, Ducasse and TV fame, just returned from L.A. He's opened a new place: La Petite Epié at 8 rue Mabillion ( which blends traditional French fare and Hollywood/Rodeo Drive stuff (the examples they give for dessert are fondant de chocolate and fruit salad). The Time Out folks loved it at 35E. That week they also liked a bistro in the Batignolles area: l'Abadache, 89 rue Lemercier in the 17th ( The reviewer(s) notes that there is a bit of Brit in the cuisine (watercress, Stilton and other English cheeses) due to his English wife's influence. 34E average.

In the 12-18 May issue of Pariscope, they review a recently re-opened Spanish restaurant (La Paella) and a budget one (Les Trois Frères) that's been around for "over two decades." They then list a bunch of vegetarian restaurants:

Foody's Brunch Café

Le Petit March Marché

A Toutes Vapeurs

La Madonnina

New Pondichery

And in the 19-25 May Pariscope, Time Out reviews Djoon, 22, bd Vincent Auriol in the 13th - They thought it was "really good" but its downsides are its location by the Bibliothèque National (Mitterand), its desserts and its "acid jazz." The other restaurant reviewed is a chef-owner-run bistro Le Manège de l'Ecuyer, 6, rue de la Sourdière in the 1st It sounds classic (snails, sausage, andouillette, rabbit, crème caramel, etc.) and terrific - the average check - 34E. In their following compendium of "top fish places, they name:


L'Huître et Demie

Restaurant Cap Vernet

Ballon & Coquillages


Jean Miot reviewed the venerable Au petit théâtre, the 22nd of May in Le Figaro. It’s at 15, place du Marché-Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris. Closed Sunday and Monday. Menus 18-22-28 €. Carte : 35-45 €. It’s been in existence since 1790, and when the owner it transformed himself from charcutier to cuisinier it became best known for its classic porc preparations (but they also have carpaccio of St Jacques, bar with asparagus, lotte with an amoricaine sauce, farm rabbit cooked 7 hours. He called it a rare virtue in Paris. To read the entire article click here

Friday May 4th, and since Mrs. Wells is absent in the IHT, they printed a Bryan Miller story on Cajun cooking which I suspect was in the Times.

However, Le Monde Friday published 3 reviews in “Toques en Pointe” by Jean-Claude Ribaut: the first two are bistrots, evidently both originally conceptualized by Emmanuel Laporte: Les Feuilles libres, 34, rue Perronet, 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine. Tél. : 01-46-24-41-41, open Monday-Friday and Saturday night and its annex - Entrées libres, 49, rue Madeleine-Michelis, 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine. Tél. : 01-46-24-00-84. Open Monday to Saturday. Both sound very nice; e.g. thick foie de veau with capers; contrasting flavors of sweet & sour, etc. He also reviews a brasserie – La Stella, which has just reopened after two years. It’s open every day at 133, avenue Victor-Hugo, 75016 Paris. Tél. : 01-56-90-56-00. He says they serve lovingly prepared and simple dishes; excellents fruits de mer, navarin of lamb, tête de veau, blanquette, aile de raie, quenelles, home-made fries, pied de porc. Count on 35E a la carte.

Please post comments in the the discussion thread and not in the digest thread.

Edited by John Talbott (log)

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The week of June 7th

In Monday's Le Figaro Entreprises, as usual, François Simon reviews established places – this week - L’Ardoise, 28, rue du Mont-Thabor, 75001 Paris ( Closed on Monday and Tuesday; it’s a rarity that’s open Saturday and Sunday. The menu is 30E and he thinks it’s the best quality/price bistrot in the area (Saint-Honoré). He mentions the asparagus, whole bar, poulet of Bresse, roast pigeon and little pots of chocolate. He says it may be crowded but stick with it. (Digester’s note; it’s one of Pascal Remy’s favorites too.) For the whole review, please click here

Francois Simon's Croque Notes appeared this week in Tuesday’s Le Figaro. He discusses the La Baule paradox, as a locale where cooking is sort of lost in the past (my translation of Simon’s typical literary flourish); his case in point was l’Eden Beach at the Hermitage which he loved. He also discusses the guide book for the region, le Guide Gantié, and mentions all the restaurants he, Gantié, highly rated. For balance, I’d remind readers that Olivier Morteau thought little of Gantié, e.g.: “Jacques Gantié (the Pudlowski of the South)’s column “Saveurs” in Nice-Matin and his Guide Gantié represents nothing but bullfighting, women, cigars and bon vivants.

In ParisObs, Philippe Coudourc reviews Djoon, 22, boulevard Vincent-Auriol (13e); 01-45-70-83-49 which he calls subtly simple from nems to chocolat à la crème d’amandes amères. It’s another place (like last week’s Le Duc de Richelieu) that features classic dishes: eg terrine of pork, herring, boudin noir, enormous choucroute, etc., etc. Read the article here It was mentioned previously in my Digest of May 31st where I noted that in the 19-25 May Pariscope, Time Out reviewed it and thought it was "really good" but its downsides were its location by the Bibliothèque National (Mitterand), its desserts and its "acid jazz."

Another review in ParisObs is of L’Entredgeu, 83, rue Laugier, in the 17th; 01-40-54-97-24. Since it’s not really new (2 years old maybe) and is really tricky to find (my comments, not ParisObs’) I’ll let you look it up.

Wednesday, Figaroscope was topped off with the first review I’ve seen of the reborn La Régalade, which so many eGulleteers liked so much under Yves Camdeborde's direction, under its new chef. It gave it 3 hearts and describes Bruno Doucet as a young and impeccable successor. It says the restaurant retains the same colorfulness, same need for advance reservations and same bistrot "esprit." Plus the menu-carte remains at 30E with supplements. It also gave one heart apiece to a bio restaurant – Biotifull (I’m not making that up), Le Zinc des Cavistes, Le Cercle Rouge (a wine bar) and Il Cielo (Italian of course.) For the whole review, please click here

As for Figaroscope's regular Wednesday compendium, it reviewed eight Thai restaurants in Paris. Under my self-imposed rule, I won’t go into detail; but will say that I’ve found that Thai chefs using French produce different tasting meals than in the US or Thailand. You can check it out here. François Simon, in his Hache Menu, reviews one – Silk and Spice.

Le Figaro’s Jean Miot, June 5th reviewed the 25 year old Pétrus which again, due to my self-imposed rule, I won’t dwell on overly, except to say (as he does) that it’s open on Sunday, combines fish, Savoy and Spanish influences and retains its charm after all these years. Pétrus, 12, place du Maréchal-Juin, 17th, Menu: 42E and Carte: 60/85E.

Le Monde’s Jean Claude Ribaut in the June 10th edition covers three places. The first is the very old (1923) brasserie, Savy, 23, rue Bayard, 8th, 01-47-23-46-98 (which sounds typical except for aligot each Wednesday and game each Tuesday in season), closed Saturday and Sunday. The formule is 19.50E, lunch menu 23.50E, terrorist menu 26.50E (just want to see if your reading carefully), and a la carte 40E. The second is a fish restaurant – Taïra – Japanese-French fusion, 10, rue des Acacias, in the 17th, 01-47-66-74-14, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, serving interesting things such as nems with langoustine/ginger sauce as well as classics, e.g. la bouillabaisse (avec rouille et croûtons). Formule at 30E, menu 34E, dégustation menu 64E and a la carte 64E. The third is a tapas place L'œnothèque, 20, rue Saint-Lazare, 9th 01-48-78-08-76. Closed Saturday and Sunday. All a la carte but count on 30E.

Previously, he had reviewed Sumai’s Café, 33, rue de Vaugirard, in the 6th, where I’m scheduled to eat next month, so I was interested in what he had to say, even though I’m a bit late picking up this review which was actually published May 14th. It sounds very Mediterranean with squid, sardines, tuna, etc. The bill averages 40E. I’ll let you know how it is.

Food & Wine featured a review of La Famille in the 18th, already covered a fair amount elsewhere. I think it’s here

Gourmet (USA) in GOODLIVING p 62 in its June 2004 issue featured l’Angl’Opera and La Table du Lancaster, Hotel Lancaster, 7 Rue de Berri, 8th, Open seven days a week. More on Michel Troisgros’ La Table du Lancaster on both Jancis Robinson’s site, calling it marvelous and on the “same pedestal as Paris's two other highly cerebral and innovative chefs, Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon” but with “strange if not silly” categories of food, e.g. witty; zesty; piquant; sharp; green and sour (the bill for 3 = 257E) and Time Out also liked Le Cannibale, 93 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11th M° Couronnes. Open noon-midnight daily. Average 25E. The chef, Miranda Epstein, comes from Melbourne but cooks Middle Eastern oriented cuisine (e.g. tagines).

ParisParler’s Adrian Leeds liked le Sot l'y Laisse, a Bistrot à Vins at 70, rue Alexandre Dumas, in the 11th, Métro Avron, Alexandre Dumas, closed Sunday and Monday. A La Carte Menu: Average 30-35E a person. She calls it “beautifully delicious” and a “perfect neighborhood bistrot” with such things as asparagus, foie gras mi cuit, a half a duck, medallions of lotte, and a heavenly crème caramel. Figaroscope gave it two-hearts June 2nd (see the Digest of the week of May 31st). She also recommends the Bistrot à Vins Jacques Melac which has been around at least since 1981 when it won the Coupe du meilleur Pôt. It’s at 42 Rue Léon Frot also in the 11th. A feature; it’s open 9 AM to 5 PM everyday except Sunday and Monday nite.

Finally, Eat in Paris featured L’Emile 8, rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1st which they describe as classic and relaxed.

Previously, I’ve listed some outside restaurants for summer dining. This June 8th Bonjour Paris gave some more:

La Terrasse du Parc

Pershing Hall

La Table du Lancaster

La Petite Cour

Au Café Moderne

L’Espadon at the Ritz

Le Cinq at the George V

Bistro de Breteuil

Hôtel Raphaël on the roof

That's about it.

Please post comments in the the discussion thread and not in the digest thread.

John Talbott

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The week of June 14th

Last Friday I missed Jean-Claude Ribaut’s article in Le Monde about three chefs, three signatures, three styles, which he entitled: Three styles: Gérard Cagna, the Promethian (named after the Titan who shaped men out of clay, was the first to give them fire and showed human beings how to save the rich fatty meat for themselves not give it to the gods), Olivier Roellinger, the Appolonian (God of Music, Healing, Prophesy and Light) and Gérard Vié, the Dionysian (God of Wine, Vegetation, Ecstacy, and the Life-Force). As per my focus on Paris restaurants, I will mention only Vié’s Les Trois Marches in Versailles in detail. Ribaut calls him a magician with enthusiasm and inspiration and cites several dishes that sound fabulous (e.g. big langoustines in a small crépe of pieds de porc cooked in a coulis of crustaceans). Always click on the red word to get the original. The mythological info can be found here. Cagna plies his trade at Le Relais Sainte Jeanne, Route de Dieppe (D 915), 95830 Cormeilles-en-Vexin. Tél.: 01-34-66-61-56. Menu découverte 60€. Menu dégustation 110€. A la carte, count on 100€. Roellinger is at La Maison de Bricourt (Relais gourmand): Rue Dugesclin, 35260 Cancale. Tél.: 02-99-89-64-76. Menus 88€ (lunch) and 105€ (dinner). The St-Malo big deal menu is 150€ (lunch and dinner). A la carte, count on 150€. And Vié is at Les Trois Marches, 1, boulevard de la Reine, 78000 Versailles. Tél.: 01-30-84-50-00. Lunch 58€ (Tuesday to Friday), menu plaisir 160€. A la carte, count on 180€.

Francois Simon starts off his review in Monday’s Le Figaro Entreprises of the Bistrot du 6e, 116, boulevard Raspail, in the 6th of course,, with the subtitle of “simple et juste,” which given his literary flair, surely means “straightforward and correct” more than its literal translation. Indeed, the review contrasts this place with the bistros that are interchangeable as well as those that are sincere and put themselves out, like L’Ardoise, reviewed last week, and places that gently lead you on but for not a lot of money. Le Bistrot du 6e, however, is part of another category that is honest and Simon says that while he has quibbles with things like the banal (and probably Banette) bread and “all too-ready” sauce, he thought the waiter was unusually sincere in asking if he liked it and the clientele especially charming. He mentions several dishes on this carte (a whole grilled bar, pastilla with pigeon, duck on mashed potatoes) that aren’t replicas of the copy-cat places serving goat cheese salad, duck breast with honey, cod with pureed potatoes, etc. and says you’re in good hands culinary-wise. For the original article click here.

Wednesday’s Figaroscope gave 3 hearts to Les Ormes, ex of the 16th, now in the old Bellecour space, where I ate on its (re-)opening day; the coordinates are at that site. The Rubin team says the cream of lettuce with filets of rouget was refreshing (I loved it), the veal’s head rough & tough (a compliment apparently) and the veal shank (jarret) tasty. The menu is 44E and average 60-70E. Thaï got two hearts, it’s on the Rue St-Roch in the 1st. The rest of the choices were one-hearters – Le Temps Au Temps, Le Café des Techniques in the Arts-et-Métiers Museum and Cantella (Italian). It’s all here.

Also in Wednesday’s Figaroscope is their "Dossier" of places open after 10 PM. Fresh_a wasn’t translating, he was quoting literally, when he said the advice about last one mentioned, Djoon, was “Wait and see” because the chef had been replaced so quickly (four months after opening).

The restaurants were:


Pierre au Palais Royal

Atelier de Maitre Albert


Brasserie Publicisdrugstore (sic)

Libre Sens





Wednesday’s Figaroscope also featured Francois Simon’s "Haché Menu" as well, in which he usually finds something good to say about the place reviewed. This week not so. I’ll cut to the chase with La Baraque, 102 rue de Charonne in the 11th, where he asks “Should one go?” and answers “No,” it’s not only not good but too expensive. Read it all here.

Rosa Jackson in the June 2004 "Paris Bites" in Paris Notes repeats what we've heard elsewhere about Yves Camdeborde, e.g., that he'll open "very soon" (well, we all know what that means in French, normalement = forever) a small hotel (une pension de famille) ? where, which will be open to the public for lunch, and to guests in the evening. It will have an open kitchen, where he will be visible to better communicate with diners and the staff, but will not change his style. She also reviews Le Café Constant, just past Les Fables de Fontaine and Le Violin D’Ingres on Rue St-Dominique in the 7th, already well-covered and open since last summer as well as Le Cristal Room at the re-located Bacarat House in the 16th, also more than six months’ old and well-reported elsewhere already.

Clotilde Dusoulier, on the Bonjour Paris site had this to say about Les Papilles, where I ate a few weeks ago, click here: simple and tasty, around the Luxembourg, serving “traditional French cuisine with a South-west” twist.

John Talbott

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The week of June 21st

Last week I again missed seeing Jean-Claude Ribaut’s article in Le Monde until the following Monday, leading me to question if Le Monde doesn’t delay posting its articles for 24 hours. Anyway, his article posted on June 17th has a press date of June 18th and covers Corsican restaurants in Paris, which he notes are rare. He lists four of them though (and I know there are more, e.g. my favorite the Café Corse is not listed):

Auberge Chez Rosito, 4, rue du Pas-de-la-Mule, 3rd, 01-42-76-04-44. Modestly priced.

La Table Corse, 8, rue Tournefort, 5th, 01-43-31-15-00. Not expensive at lunch.

L'Alivi, 27, rue du Roi-de-Sicile, 4th 04-48-87-90-20. Open 7/7 and has a delicious « stufatu with olives » (braised beef, pork shoulder, smoked ham, onions, garlic, tomato, wine, olive oil, over pasta with grated cheese, laurel, parsley, Corsican herbs, etc.) It’s under new management.

Le Paris-Main-d'Or, 133, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, 11th 01-44-68-04-68. A venerable local brasserie serving Corsican pork sausages and roast goat.

Click here to read the whole article.

On June 19th, François Simon in his “Croque Notes” in Le Figaro heads his comments “Lastours, pétard de Prusse!,” (trans.=a pleasant surprise) in which he visits le Puit du Trésor near Carcassonne, now chef’d by Jean-Marc Boyer an ex of l’Ambrosie which he says he’d go back to anytime. But the reason why he really wrote about it, is its new practice (along with others) of providing a wine “doggy-bag” so you’ll not exceed the blood alcohol test limits of 0,5 grams per liter (in most states in the US, our equivalent level is 0,8), now strictly enforced by the highway patrols. He notes that it’s not so bad to arrive at your destination and finish the bottle off, albeit you may be taken for a bum. Coming back to Paris, though, he has some harsh words to say about Le Fouquet’s (, which he thinks has lost its place in the world of de luxe brasseries and has fallen into the genre of dietetic food, which arrives with all the charm of hospital food.

His confrere, Jean Miot, meanwhile, reviewed two restaurants in his “Propos de Table.” One is the Castel Marie-Louise, 1, avenue Andrieu in La Baule whose chef Eric Mignard has been there more than 27 years, for which I refer you to the original article. The other, though is in Paris. It is the Point Bar, the grey-walled zen-saddened restaurant with Rorschach-like photos at 40, place du Marché-Saint-Honoré in the 1st (, which despite the trendy décor, he liked. Its chef Julien Perrodin trained with Jean Bardet in Touraine and Gagniere in Paris. Miot lists about 10 dishes that sound inventive; he says the wine is reasonable and the prices manageable – 18-21E formulas at lunch that come with coffee and the carte is 35-45E.

Francois Simon starts off his review in Monday’s Le Figaro Entreprises of the venerable restaurant Lasserre, 17, avenue Franklin-Roosevelt, in the 8th, with a bang. Get this, he says occasionally a place escapes him, a place that’s “incompréhensible, vain, déjà vu, entendu, mange.” OK, then he notes that the price of the lunch menu is 110E which seems to him only yesterday was 52E. But he goes on to name dishes that sound solid and appropriate for the rich, dumbfounded diners who number among them the beautiful women who are rapidly disappearing from the great places. Like so many of his reviews, he turns what sounds horrible into a compliment and winds up saying he’ll remember the meal for a long time (yes, but with what emotion?)

Wednesday’s Figaroscope gave its three and two hearts to two Italian places; the Delizie d’Uggiano in the 1st and Caffè del Gattopardo in the 18th. Rubin et al chose to feature with a photo but only give one heart to Pères et Filles, 81, rue de Seine in the 6th, and one heart sans photo to C…. T’Issy, 28, bd des Frères-Voisin in Issy-les-Moulineaux (recall that La Manufacture, which gave birth to several interesting chefs, is out there) Then another one heart went to the bio sandwich shop – Bioboa in the 1st . Given these ratings I’ll not write up anything about the dishes but refer you here.

Also in Wednesday’s Figaroscope is their "Dossier" of places serving tartares and carpaccios. They are:

Tartares of beef:


Rue Balzac

Carpaccio of beef:

Casa Bini

Tartare of lamb:

Fleurs de thym

Tartare of Tuna:

L’Espadon Bleu

Bon 2

6 New York

Pizza with raw tuna:


Carpaccio of lotte:

Le Pré carré

Tartare of langoustines:


Tartare of salmon:

Zèbra Square

Also in Wednesday’s Figaroscope Francois Simon’s "Haché Menu" reviewed Carpaccio, at the Royal Monceau. Once again, he obviates the necessity of my giving you the details by saying there must be 50 Italian restaurants better than Carpaccio but do go if you’re holed up at the Monceau with a busted leg. He does note, though, that for 24E you get an Olympian portion of beef carpaccio.

Time Out’s website added Cook Book, 9 rue Surcouf in the 7th,, to their monthly list this week. This is “world food” à la Spoon which they recommend if you’re hankering for New World wines and food.

Finally, the restoaparis website features a Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Latin at 35, rue des Ecoles in the 5th, which has been run by the Gourdou family for more than 30 years.

Please post comments in the the discussion thread and not in the digest thread.

John Talbott

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The week of June 28th 2004

As usual, I got Le Monde’s “Toques en Pointe” by Jean-Claude Ribaut a bit late. He finally got around to reviewing Le Gourmand, 22 rue de Vaugirard in the 6th (, a place where the specials on the 24 E formula and 29E menu-carte change weekly, thus one must go by and read it to see what will be featured each day. Ribaut noted the carpaccio of langoustine and red tuna with pimentos as examples. He also covered Les Alchimistes, 16 rue Favart, in the 2nd, ex-Café Runtz,, which recently reopened under a new team. He calls the entrees (e.g. sardine mille-feuille) savory, the plats (grilled salmon with pine nuts) “with-it” and the desserts (chocolate “soupe” with pistachio ice cream) delicious. A la carte count on 36E. He also reviewed Sébillion, a brasserie located at 20, ave Charles-de-Gaulle in Neuilly ( He admired the “all you can eat” gigot at 21.60E with a gamay but also have the usual fare, e.g. tete de veau, pot au feu, baba, etc. Count on 36E. Full article here.

Also, Friday, Liberation’s Vincent Noce reviewed L’Espadon Bleu, 25 rue des Grands Augustins in the 6th near Jacques Cagna’s mother ship,, chef’d by his nephew Julien Logereau and open several years. He summarizes the food as correct (he notes especially that the eponymous swordfish was cooked to its exactly proper texture, etc.) and liked the fish choices available according to the market but disliked the lack of a no-smoking space. The whole article can be found here. M.-H.M. at Libe also reviewed the Petrossian offshoot, L’instant Petrossian which has a smaller menu but retains things such as herring, tarama and 4-7E wine by the glass; it’s at 25, rue des Grands-Augustins in the 6th. N.B. Yves Camdeborde’s second at Le Regalade is now at the piano of L’Ami Jean, near the Quai d’Orsay.

Saturday, Francois Simon’s “Croque Notes” in Le Figaro covered Robuchon’s new place at 16 ave Bugeaud (ex-Seize au Seize), already well-written up elsewhere. The food is well made, with small portions, served impeccably; but, and you knew there was one, Simon was asked to be on time and at a time (e.g. 19h30 precisely) he might rather be showering.

On Monday, the very same Francois Simon, in Figaro’s Figaro Entreprises reviewed the relatively new (since January) restaurant, Sumai’s Café, 33 Rue de Vaugirard, which Ribaut had reviewed May 14th in Le Monde., as a “vast” restaurant where admired the wild rocket salad with Serrano ham and parmesan, encornets and navarin. His review is not without its criticisms, for instance, he criticized the slowness of the service, the limpness of the dishes, the noise and the smoke, however, but thinks the place and “your” mood will over-ride its faults. For the entire review, click here.

Tuesday’s A Nous Paris carried Jean Aubry’s review of Chartier, 7 rue du Faubourg-Montmartre in the 9th, and gave it only a 1 out of 5 squares, summing it up by recommending you choose the table closest to the door. In the sidebar they announced that Catherine Guerrez of Chez Catherine, much beloved among other things for price/quality while at her rue de Provence digs, was now offering two formulas in her rue Berryer site: 40e (entrée-plat) and 35E (plat-dessert).

Wednesday’s Figaroscope’s “What’s New” is on vacation until September and in what is now a several-year tradition, Figaroscope published a little booklet of “Best of’s” for the summer The ten best tables (most of whose coordinates should be found in previous Digests)were:

The most chic: Le Lancaster

The most bistro: L’Ourcine

The most clever: Les Papilles

The most bluffant (tough translation): Les Ambassadeurs

The most “in-shape”: Ken Club

The most arty: La Blanchesserie

The most “beautyfood”: Bioboa

The most cerebral: Le Café de la Maison rouge

The most “eat well surely”: La Table de Joel Robuchon

The most ephemeral (i.e. summer only): Le restaurant plage du Batofar

Also Wednesday, Figaroscope’s Francois Simon, in his “Hache Menu,” trashed La Ferme St-Antoine in part because they had run out of chicken, their signature dish and also for other faults, such as their sole, of which he said it would be difficult to find a more pathetic example. But he did pass on a valuable lesson for diners; noting that you can tell how bad the crevettes are by how much sauce comes with them; e.g. lots of sauce=bad product. “Should one go?” “No.” Plus they’re not giving the food away – it cost 81.80E for himself.

Finally, in this week’s Figaroscope, Emmanuel Rubin teases us by previewing recently or soon to be opened places not yet reviewed:

Hotel Murano an urban spa-resort with restaurant

Chez Jean inspired by Benoit Bordier

Chiberta taken over by Guy Savoy

Hiramatsu’s second place in the 16th

Hotel Jolly-Lotti’s restaurant run by Gualtiero Marchesi

une cantine besides the quai de Valmy in ephemeral factories

Yves Camdeborde’s new néo-pension de famille

Bel Canto number 3 in Neuilly

Pariscope’s “TimeOut” section reviewed or better-put, kvetched over La Table de Joel Robuchon’s harsh reservation clerk, plastic flowers and rushed service (for a bill of 70E) despite the judgment that Frédérick Semonin’s food was “truly dazzling.” The second place, Le Vin dans les Voiles, already mentioned in a prior Digest and “7 new/changed Restaurants thread,” comes in for unqualified approval as a nice wine bar with a “bargain (24E) lunch.” The list that usually follows the two reviews is comprised of classy loo’s which I won’t waste space giving.

Alexander Lobrano’s “The latest from the foodie front lines” in June’s Where reviews several new places or new chefs. At the Plaza Athénée’s Restaurant Alain Ducasse, he found that the “Olympian….experience” was “maybe” still offered but in general despite the ingredients and quality it was more solid than exciting. Near the B.N. F. Mitterand in the 13th he liked Bioart, an organic restaurant which he felt rose to the level of similar places in San Francisco or London, as well as Pearl which he said hits “every trendy note,” e.g. hibiscus, quinoa, star anise, etc. He also applauds L’Ourcine, already well-covered here and liked “a great new restaurant” in the 17th, Terrasse Mirabeau which serves “fashionable contemporary bistro” food.

au feu, baba, etc. Count on 36E.

Time to catch up with some Pariscope Time Out sections from June:

June 9th they featured Les Paillotes in the Ville d’Avray, which was noted in the Figaroscope of May 19th as a nice restaurant outside Paris (20 min. from the Gare St Lazare). Sounds terrific, overlooking a reservoir, “satisfying summer eating,” and average bill of 40E. Second place featured was Les Papilles, 30 rue Lussac, previously reviewed by Figaroscope May 7th with 3-hearts and Bonjour Paris June 6th and sampled by me in my thread on 7 new/changed restaurants. Anyway, they describe it as “brilliant value for money,” a menu at 28.50E and run by an ex pastry chef at Taillevent and the Bristol. Then they list several “legendary literary dens:”

Hemingway Bar at the Ritz

Harry’s New York Bar

Café de Flore

La Closerie des Lilas

Les Deux Magots

La Coupole

June 16, Pariscope’s Time Out section reviewed Le Sot l’y Laisse, 70 rue Alexander Dumas in the 11th, which got 2 hearts in June 2nd’s Figaroscope and was also touted by Adrian Leeds in ParisParler the week of June 7th. Because the TimeOut folks are extra-sensitive to being quoted verbatim, I’ll just communicate the sense that they love this place because it’s the essence of a “neighborhood bistrot,” with good meat dishes and reasonable prices, e.g. average of 30E. Cook Book, their other selection, 9 rue Surcouf in the 7th, was also reviewed nicely this week on the TimeOut. This review calls it pleasant, describes the cooking as “pretty good,” but the emphasis on world food may be a downside for visitors seeking to escape California & Co. This week’s compendium listed “midnight snacks:”

La Tour de Monthlhéry (Chez Denise)

Le Crocodile

Le Violin Dingue

La Taverne de Nesle

La Maison de l’Aubrac


Still summarizing past issues of Pariscope’s Time Out section, June 23rd’s copy covered the Lebanese restaurant Les Fleurs de Thym and the wine bar Le Cercle Rouge 7 rue Sabin in the 11th which was reviewed and got 1 heart June 9th in Figaroscope. The authors suggest that it’s a good place for a quick bite to eat and some wine before the opera, which is a pretty nifty trick since the representations at the Opera Bastille begin pretty promptly at 7:30 PM and the wine bar only opens at 8. The theme this week for their list is places near water, which include:


Les Rendez-vous des Quais

La Balle au Bond

Le Chalet des Iles

Le Grand Bleu (NB this place, located at the Port de l’Arsenal, across from 46 blvd de la Bastille in the 12th,, is open 11:30-midnight and thus could be used for the pre-Opera snack suggested above)

Finally, if you have a friend who has no sense of humor or interest in food but does have 5 Euros he/she’ll never miss; get ‘em to buy a copy of Fooding a “Nova” publication and deftly slip off somewhere to read the ultimate parody of Gourmet, Saveurs, Fine Cooking etc. My favorite pictures are of the coagulated steak tartare (p. 43) and the deconstructed gaspachos (pps. 96-99). There are also serious reviews of their favorite 140-some restaurants and bars with English summaries: e.g.

Au Bon Accueil – daring dishes

L’Epi Dupin – mouth-watering inventive dishes

Chez Casimir – pure ingredients

Le Troquet – brilliant generous food

A fun read!

John Talbott

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The week of July 5th, 2004

Le Monde’sJean-Charles Ribaut in Friday’s “Toques en Pointe” reviews just one restaurant in Paris (the others are La Taverne du Mont D’Arbois in Megève and the Café Royal in Evian.) It is the Café Lenôtre, at 10 ave Champs-Elysees,, actually reopened in June 2003 by the Lenôtre group, which offers a spectacular site and food ranging from escabèche de rougets to a hamburger with foie gras. It’s open every day from noon to 11 PM (except Sunday – 7 PM).

Francois Simon’s “Croque Notes” in Saturday’s Le Figaro recommends two books on ‘zincs,” those steadily-disappearing old bars whose counters are made of zinc – “Au vrai zinc parisien” by Francois Thomazeau and photographer Sylvain Ageorges and “Les Carnets de zinc” by France Dumas. He also informs us that Claude and Chantal Colliot have thown in the sponge at La Bamboche, 15 rue de Babylone in the 7th-; the good news being that they’ve turned it over to two of their young chefs. Simon bemoans the fact that it’s not enough to serve brilliant food at a reasonable price, one has to make an ass of oneself to get folks attention.

Sunday, Astrid de T’Serclaes in Le Journal du Dimanche’s Version Feminina gave yet another list of restaurants with outside seating to add to those summarized in prior Digests:

Le 3

Le River Café

Le Grizzli

Le Sainte-Marthe

L’Ile in Issy-les-Moulineaux (92nd)

In Monday’s Le Figaro Entreprises, Francois Simon in his “Table d’affaires” reviewed Maison Chardenoux, 1, rue Jules-Valles, 11th, Since Ducasse up’d and left it to renovate Aux Lyonnais the new owners have totally revamped the menu and while the welcome is less than relaxed, he says to go because the restaurant is true to its legend. He notes that Friday night their aligote is very agreeable as is the Cotes-du-Rhone. The menu is 23E at lunch and he gives it 3 out of 5 stars.

Also in Monday’s Le Figaro Entreprises, Lena Lutaud wrote a two-page article on the state of (business) affairs of Restaurant Bernard Loiseau on the occasion of its annual shareholders’ meeting. For those who read of Loiseau’s rise in the Michelin in “Burgundy Stars,” tasted his food in Saulieu and knew of his fear of de-starization and subsequent suicide, covered in detail in “Food Business,” this article makes interesting reading. The stock has fallen 26%, 15% attributed to his absence and Dominique his widow, has plans to boost revenues by offering hotel/food/spa packages and food with the Loiseau endorsement. At Saulieu, Patrick Berton has succeeded Loiseau in the kitchen but no mention was made of the status or fate of his semi-independent Tantes (Marguerite, Jeanne & Louise) in Paris.

Tuesday, A Nous Paris reviewed the reborn Le Regalade already rated three hearts in Figaroscope the week of June 7th (see above). The review by Jerome Berger was titled “Comme Avant,” e.g. As Ever, Like Before, and he gave it 5 out of 5 blocks. He reserved 15 days before, the waitfolk were the same as under Yves Camdeborde, and the food is still based on quality and quality. He also reviewed Maceo, 15, rue des Petits-Champs in the 1st,, giving it 3 out of 5 blocks. Currently, they have a “red menu,” largely based on tomatoes and strawberries, for 39E until September 15th.

On Wednesday, Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” gave 2 hearts to the Villa 9 Trois located in Department 93 (9 Trois, get it?) in Montreuil-sous-Bois, at 28, rue Colbert, (FYI, Montreuil is the last stop on Metro #9 Pont de Sevres-Montreuil) and the restaurant is about 4 blocks away. They especially liked the veal kidneys, less so the puree of girolles. They also have 2 hearts to Le Soleil 109 ave Michelet,, in Saint-Ouen opposite the flea market already listed by them the Week of May 19th, see above. There they liked the tasty osso bucco and baba. Both run about 50E average. Then they listed 3 one-heart places: Scène Sur Seine, 45 quai des Grands-Augustins in the 6th, Le Village, 25, rue Royale in the 8th and the Villa Catalogne. The compendium this week included cocktail places which I’ll skip and refer you to the website if you desire to know more. N.B. For some reason, as of today (10 July) it has still not been posted on the website.

Francois Simon’s Hache Menu in the same issue reviewed Biotifull Place located in the Beauty Shop part of the Department Store Printemps, which his colleagues only awarded one heart to the week of June 7th (above). As usual, it’s hard to figure out how serious Simon is; calling it perfect one minute but saying it costs 18.50E for almost nothing and you’re left hungry for the next meal, the next.

Finally, Francois Simon, writing in Gastronomie in the same issue updated the four year quest of Marc Veyrat, of the eponymous Maison de Marc Veynat near Annecy and La Ferme de Mon Pere in Megeve, for a Paris site. Simon says he has renovated the ground floor space at 17, ave Niel in the 17th which will be a “tasting laboratory” open some days to the public. I cannot find the free version but if you’re interested in the summary or paying for the original, go here.

Wednesday, I bought Pariscope, which as usual for the past 11 years, has included a six page English summary of restaurants, art & exhibitions , movies, etc. compiled by the folks at Time Out. A bombshell! No more; this was their farewell. Not farewell for les vacances, or farewell to Pariscope but to appear elsewhere, no, a real farewell, period. This is a shame, because while they could be wrong in their judgments (in my opinion), they represented a good source of information on new restaurants. They reminded me and us that their online resource – TimeOut.com/Paris will continue and it has to date included about four restaurants a month. For their last compendium, for some reason they relied on Alexander Lobrano (see next paragraph) for another lists of “Best of’s.” These included:

L’Astrance Contemporary

Taillevent Traditional

Chez Jean Modern Bistrot

La Régalade Traditional Bistrot

Pierre Gagniere Haute Cuisine

Le Cinq Hotel Restaurant

Le Dôme Seafood

Le Train Bleu Brasserie

Au Trou Gascon Regional

Au Moulin a Vent Steak-Frites

Beurre Noisette Budget

Les Magnolias Surburban

So long, TimeOut guys, we’ll miss you.

Alexander Lobrano’s “The latest from the foodie front lines” in July’s Where covers one restaurant that I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere: Frugier 137, Ave de Versailles near the Maison de Radio France in the 16th which he says mixes modern & classic cuisine.

The June-July Gault/Millau Magazine reviewed four restaurants already covered by others (above). They are:

L’Ourcine – 13/20

Fables of Fontaine – 12/20

Les Papilles – 12/20

Rouge – 10/20

Digester’s Note: Thanks to all those folks who take the time to feed me information and suggest new sources for discovering new restaurants. Á bientot.

Please post comments in the the discussion thread and not in the digest thread.

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The month of July, 2004

In the Friday July 15th Le Monde Jean-Claude Ribault titled his review of Hélène Darroze’s eponymous restaurant “Hélène and the Gascons: originally from Landes, this young chef henceforth brings together the products of her childhood to Paris.” He starts off mentioning her somewhat goofy variation of the chef’s toque and her memories of strong flavors, like that of the song-bird, the ortolan, that it is forbidden to catch, prepare, etc., which she first had at age 5 and still cooks like her grandmother did. FYI: see this thread. He then spends considerable space on her background and training both at school and with her father and Alain Ducasse, then tells of her opening the restaurant in Paris raising the money herself (which according to Olivier Morteau is more and more rare,) and her acquisition of one and then two Michelin macaroons since she opened 5 years ago. Anyway, he finally gets to the food: first describing the origin of her meats and vegetables; then her inventive dishes such as morilles or truffles with corn cream and sheep’s cheese, chicken with a piperade sauce and various interesting sounding vegetable dishes. The restaurant is at 4, rue d'Assas in the 6th, It’s open all of August, Monday to Saturday only at night; menu=160 Euros; after September closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at lunch.

The same day, Ribault briefly mentioned two places in his “Toques en Pointe;” Beato, an Italian restaurant in the 7th and Maceo in the 1st. The latter, part of the Willi’s Wine Bar group, is open all of August and serves vegetarian and fish plates; the vegetarian menu=30 E; the menu astucieux (trans=astute, clever) is 39 E, the discovery menu is 35 E; closed Saturday lunch and Sunday.

Although it’s outside Paris, I should mention that in the July 8th Le Monde, Ribault also wrote up the Relais & Château Hostellerie de Plaisance, Place du clocher in Saint-Emilion particularly mentioning the oysters of Arcachon and Pauillac lamb.

Patricia Wells returns! Friday July 16th she reviewed La Table de Lancaster 7, rue de Berri in the 8th (60-85E without wine) which although already written up by others merits a mention because of her rave review in the IHT. It sounds fabulous, especially the cannelloni of warm goat cheese and artichokes.

Then, on July 30th , writing from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux , she wrote a blistering comparison between Jacques and Laurent Pourcel’s La Table d'Augusta, in northern Provence, where, despite the good gazpacho, fresh pesto and zucchini blossoms, the meal “disappointed” and the dinner menus cost 41, 51 and 80 E and two other restaurants where the chefs are actually there and which she loved:

Le Grand Pré in Roaix, route de Vaison, 84110, where Raoul Reichrath “never repeats a menu.”

Les Abeilles in Sablet, 4, rue de Vaison, 84110, where Johannes Sailer served an all tomato menu at 46 E.

I was reminded by an article in “Word of Mouth” in the Condé Nast Traveller that the newest edition of Paris-Plage just opened and will be in full swing until August 20th. From the Tuileries to the Pont Henri IV (famously referred to in “Before Sunset”) it offers two spots dedicated to picnics and five “cafés buvettes,” which judging by the TV shots, offer a bit more than beverages and sandwiches.

Adrian Leeds of Paris Parler wrote about the vibrancy of the rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud area; mentioning in particular a fine meal featuring a brochette of lamb grilled with herbs at L'Autre Café, 62, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud in the 11th . You can subscribe here.

With the title of “Eating on the Road,” Jean-Claude Ribault of Le Monde suggests several restaurants between Paris and the sun after discussing the chicken buying and serving of the Arche group. They are:

Hôtel du Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet 03-80-21-3006

Les Voûtes, Faverges-de-la-Tour 04-74-97-42-52

l'Oustaou de la Foun, Château-Arnoux Saint-Auban 04-92-62-65-30

Le Grand Pré, Roaix 04-90-46-18-12

La Combe, Vaison-la-Romaine 04-90-28-76-33

Les Terrasses, Remoulins 04-66-81-77-50

La Table de l'Horloge, Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie, near Uzès 04-66-22-07-01

Château de Saint-Maximin, Saint-Maximum 04-66-03-44-16

In July, the Le Figaro bunch must have been en vacances because the food and wine section mainly covered railroad and airport buffets and products of the season, e.g. strawberries, melon, sorbets and ice cream. But their coverage may be of interest to some.

To fill the summer “trou” (liberal translation=void) when most of the national food critics are on holiday, I went digging through past issues of Where. In February I found three pretty new wine bars mentioned by Alexander Lobrano –

La Muse Vin 101 rue de Charonne in the 11th,

Les Couleurs de Vigne 2 rue Marmontel, 15th, featuring Auvergnat meat and cheese.

Chez Grisette 14 rue Houdon, 18th, where he liked the Aurillac cold meats, pork shin on lentils (from the ardoise) and a homemade terrine de campagne.

Rosa Jackson in Paris Notes’ Paris Bites writes up two places already well publicized in the New York Times and elsewhere:

Le Timbre 3 rue Sainte-Beuve in the 6th,, which she loved (to read the details you’ll have to borrow a friend’s copy or subscribe here and get the ID and password) and

La Table de Jöel Robuchon 16 ave Bugeaud, 16th which she offers as an alternative to the widely-praised as well as well-despised (her implication, not mine) Atelier de Jöel Robuchon.

In addition, Annabel Simms in the same edition of Paris Notes writes up in “Hors de Paris,” those “only-in-France” guinguettes, where slightly outside Paris, one can eat and dance at Sunday lunch or into the summer night. She lists four reachable by RER (rapid suburban trains requiring an extra ticket when going outside the city limits). They are:

La Guinguette Auvergnate, 19 Ave de Choisy, Villeneuve St-Georges-Triage (RER D to Villeneuve Triage) Menu 17 E; times too complicated to summarize, instead see here.

La Guinguette de l’Ile du Martin-Pêcheur , 41, Quai Victor-Hugo, Champigny-sur-Marne (RER A to Champigny) Menu = 25 E, ditto times.

Chez Gégène, Allée des Guinguettes, 162 bis Quai de Polangis, Joinville-le-Pont (RER A to Joinville) Menu=38 E, ditto times.

Le Petit Robinson, next door at 164 Quai de Polangis, Joinville-le-Pont (RER A to Joinville) 35 E, open all year for dinner-dancing. See here

Finally, I don’t usually mention wines, but an article by Alain Sarraute in Le Figaro said two things of interest; first, that rosés were now made in almost every region of France and second, that they’re ideal for summer barbeques (it’s ironic that this article appeared just 3 weeks after Eric Asimov in the NYT also noted that rosés were now hot). It reviewed a dozen or so they liked.

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The weeks of August 2nd and 9th, 2004

Despite the flight of many food critics from Paris in August, good old Jean-Claude Ribaut is still at it in Le Monde. August 6th he reviewed:

Man Ray, 32, rue Marbeuf, 8th, 01-56-88-36-36 open only at night with new chef Marc Marchand having moved over from Le Meurice producing “impeccable” cooking and sushi (count on 50E a la carte), (however, be warned, customers reporting to The World’s Best Bars have some critical things to say about the service and prices).

La Rôtisserie d’en Face, 2, rue Christine in the 6th,, Jacques Cagna’s 2nd, which has a formula at lunch for 17E and menus at 24-27E.

In addition, I missed his article July 23rd where he reviewed the bistrots:

Le Berthoud, 1, rue Valette in the 5th, 01-43-54-38-81, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday and first two weeks of August, where Nicolas Memin has relaunched this “good place.” The “savory” market menu at 29,50E has 5 appetizers, 5 mains and 5 desserts, and

L’Absinthe, 24, place du Marché-Saint-Honoré in the 1st, 01-49-26-90-04, about 45E a la carte, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday and 12-23 August. For my personal opinion please see here.

Timeout ’s This Week site presented information on several restaurants recently:

La Petite Cour, 8 rue Mabillon in the 6th,, open daily (which often in Time Out’s strange lexicon means closed on weekends, so check), which was cited in a prior portion of this Digest as La Petite Epié, featuring Gilles Epié’s return to Paris. However Timeout’s reviewer describes the décor as “twee,” and the service “sullen” despite their loving the food.

Le Dôme, 108 bd du Montparnasse in the 14th, a venerable establishment, closed Sunday and Monday where they loved the oysters and sole.

The Kitchen, 153 rue Montmartre in the 2nd near the Bourse, (www.thekitchen.fr) which opened in March, closed Saturday and Sunday evenings with a lunch menu at 9.50 and 10.50 E and dinner at 23 E. Run by a pair of Irishmen, it’s described as anglophonic, has a non-smoking floor and non-French food but is replete with soups and fresh product.

Nouvel Obs reviewed Georges, a Costes Restaurant, which is not at all new, in and undated article. It sits on the 6th floor of the Centre Pompidou in the 4th, 01-44-78-47-99. They mention the tuna and tarama, lamb and grilled tartare and St-Marcellin and clafoutis but mention the food only after much ado about the decor, view, etc. The price of a meal is 30.50 to 137 E; quite a spread! - and they award it 12/20.

They also review the Park Hyatt Vendome’s elegant and charming Terrasse which has olive trees from Italy, at 5, rue de la Paix (2e); 01-58-71-12-35. They are much more rhapsodic about the setting than the food, dismissing the desserts, for instance, as talented but somewhere between Pompom girls and sweet sorbets. The menu is 48 E with a glass of wine but they do not give it a grade.

In addition, they reviewed two airport restaurants:

Café Maxim’s at Orly, 01-49-75-78-23, on level 2 which they term a true restaurant (13/20) with a 29 E formula, and

Les Etoiles at Roissy CdeG, Concourse 2D, actually located in the Sheraton, 01-49-19-70-70, which they think is the best airport food and give a 14/20, commending the veal sweetbreads, Saint Pierre and chocolate dessert. The lunch menu is 48.50 E and dinner 55.20 E.

Finally, they give a compendium of railway station buffets:

Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon written up fully in an earlier edition of ParisObs, April 8th, awarding it a 13-14/20

Le Café Terminus at the Gare St-Lazare, 108, rue Saint-Lazare (8e); 01-40-08-44-44, menu = 33 E : 12-13/20

Le Grenadier at the Gare d’Austerlitz, Cour des Départs (13e), 01-45-84-38-55, menu carte at 21.73 E. 11/20 for “honest cuisine.”

Ostréade at the Gare Montparnasse, 11, boulevard de Vaugirard (15e); 01-43-21-87-41. The oysters get 15/20 but anchovies only 12/20. Formulas at 14.75 E.

Terminus Nord across from the Gare du Nord, 23, rue de Dunkerque (10e); 01-45-85-05-15 with sloppy service and 12/20 food and a quick menu at 22.90E.

The RestoaParis website recently reviewed four places:

Marc Mitonne, 60, rue de l’Arbre in the 1st, 01-42-61-53-16 with traditional french food, e.g. foie gras, escargots, joue de boeuf and an Auge scallopini or pig’s knuckle. Cost = 30-35 E.

Vent d’Ouest, 69, rue des Dames in the 127th, 01-45-22-03-03 serving Breton specialties such as a cassolette of mussels, roast bar with herbes, seaweed butter (from Jean-Yves Bordier, the best butter-maker in France in 2003) and fresh St-Malo cheese with poached apples and caramel sauce. All for a formula at lunch of 11 to 16 E ; 23-29 E for dinner.

Auberge et Compagnie, 23, rue Clauzel in the 9th, 01-48-78-74-40, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday. They especially note their terrine de confit niçois and gnocchis au camembert. 32 E menu carte.

I dug out one more Spring copy of Where and found a relatively new restaurant mentioned briefly by Alexander Lobrano – Le Vin de Zinc, 25, rue Oberkampf in the 11th, where Thierry Coué moved back to a “traditional menu,” e.g. blood sausage, grilled meat, etc.; different fare from that he served up at Les Amogenes.

In August’s Gourmet, there is an 8-page article on Corsica accompanied by a list of restaurants, also written by Alexander Lobrano, listed (by me) by city:

In Ajaccio:

U Stazzu

Le Floride

Brasserie Diamant

Near Sartene:

L’Auberge Santa Barbara

In Porto-Vecchio:

Le Grand Hôtel Cala Rossa

L’Hôtel Casadelmar

Near Aléria:

Aux Coquillages de Diana

At Corte :

U Museu

L’Auberge de la Restonica

In Bastia :

A Casarella

In Canari:

U Scogliu

In La Balagna:

Chez Charles

In Calvi :

L’Auberge-Relais La Signoria

U Calellu

In the July 31/August 1 issue of the Financial Times Weekend section, David Applefield recounts eating with Brice Lalonde, cousin of John Kerry and the mayor of Saint-Briac, Brittany, at Les Voiles Rouges, owned by the ex-“herb and spice specialist” for Olivier Roellinger’s Les Maisons de Bricourt. He liked the oysters and bar. In another article, Richard Milne notes that L’Ambrosie, 9 Place des Vosges, in the 4th, is open in August (although all my guides show it closed) and also recommends getting a falafel sandwich at L’As du Falafel, 34 rue des Rosiers in the 4th

Expatica, the online resource for expats in France, had a slew of compendia articles still listed on their August website that take up the slack left by Timeout’s abrupt departure from the weekly Pariscope scene. In one, Maryanne Blacker covers brunch places, which while not my idea of how to spend Sunday mornings, may appeal to others. They include:

Café Jacquemart-André, 158 boulevard Haussmann, 8th,

404, 69 rue des Gravilliers, 3rd,

Viaduct Café, 43 ave Daumesnil, 12th,

Le Loir dans la Théière (“the dormouse in the teapot”), 3 rue des Rosiers, 4th,

Ladurée, 16 rue Royale, 8th, and

“Asian, Belgian and Anglo French” brunches at

Asian, 30 ave George V, 8th,

Le Pain Quotidien, 18 rue des Archives, 4th and

L'Alcazar, (Terrence Conran), 62 rue Mazarine, 6th.

Yet another by Rosa Jackson, mentions places serving lighter fare:

Delicabar at Bon Marché,




Cosi, and then moves on to eat on the run places:


Pasta Linea,

Bar à Soupes,

Epicerie Hédonie, and for noodles:

Higuma and

Laï Laï Ken, and finally three offering sit-down lighter opportunities: the

Café des Délices,

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and


Carol Brick-Stock lists her favorite late night spots as:

Au Pied du Cochon, 6, rue Coquillière in the 1st,

La Tour de Monthléry aka Chez Denise, 5, rue des Prouvaires, ditto,

L'Ecluse, 15, Place de la Madeleine in the 8th,

La Coupole, 102, boulevard du Montparnasse in the 14th,

Le Select, 99, boulevard du Montparnasse, ditto,

Korova, 33, rue Marbeuf in the 8th, and

Le Dépanneur a diner at 27, rue Fontaine in the 9th

And finally, yet another compendium that is so old it lists prices in francs, covers yet another list of outside dining places and its author, Maryanne Blacker lists:

L’Alivi, 27, rue du Roi-de-Sicile, 4th,,

Les Caves de Bourgogne,14, rue Mouffetard, 5th,,

La Palette, 43 rue de Seine, 6th, 01,

Bistro Mazarin, 42, rue Mazarine,

Bistro de Breteuil, 3 pl de Breteuil, 7th,,

Cercle Ledoyen, 1 ave Dutuit, 8th,,

Le Prè Catalan, route de Suresnes, Bois de Boulogne, 16th,

I have just chanced on yet another website called Secrets of Paris which covers restaurants among other things. In her June posting, Heather Stimmler-Hall visits Le Petit Baigneur, 10, Rue de la Sablière in the 14th, which has been around for a while and which she recommends and calls “a typically old-fashioned Parisian restaurant” where she had rabbit with prunes and a lemon tart at 11.50 E while her friend Don Smith (of www.visitparis.com), had boeuf bourguignon; it’s closed Saturday lunch and Sundays. No reservations. In her latest newsletter, she revealed something new for me, that is, that the Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon, which was mentioned above, packs lunches for 19.50 E.

Patricia Wells, in Friday’s IHT, waxes absolutely rhapsodic about Christian Etienne’s restaurant in Avignon facing the Palace of Popes, 10 rue de Mons, 04 90 86 16 50; email at contact@christian-etienne.fr; web: christian-etienne.fr. It’s the sort of review that makes your mouth water and makes you want to leap on the TGV this morning in time to make it for lunch. She’s especially fond of his 7 course all-tomato meal; gazpacho, tomato tartare, warm tomato with snails, brandade with tomatoes, lamb with eggplant and tomatoes, a zucchini dessert and tomato sorbet. To savor a sampling of Ms. Well’s ire when rubbed the wrong way, read the last paragraph on the behavior/ignorance/arrogance of the two sommeliers at the restaurant. The restaurant is open all days but Sunday and Monday, menus are 30 E at lunch and 50-95 E at dinner.

N.B. that while the tomato menu will only last as long as the tomato season, she is equally respectful of Etienne’s use of fresh local products all year long. And note that she mentions all the varieties of heirloom tomatoes served there and available in France, most of which (my addition) are also served inside and sold outside Rouge Tomate {now Rouge St Honore} in Paris, for those unable to get to Avignon.

Please post comments in the the discussion thread and not in the digest thread.

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The weeks of August 16th and 23rd, 2004

In Bonjour Paris, which only gives you a teaser unless you become a premium subscriber there’s a bit about La Chassegnette (which could be a misspelling of La Chassagnette, which is also a resto near Arles) by Taylor Horton. It is reportedly the “first certified organic restaurant in France,” whatever that means, and serves tapas and other delicacies.

In August’s Where, Alexander Lobrano lists several types of restaurants, most of which are well-known to our readers who can search prior threads for more info:

The third Robuchon place:

La Table de Joel Robuchon

Hotel places, which include:

Les Ambassadeurs

Le Bristol

Le Cinq

Alfresco places:


Cafe Faubourg

Le Safran which is new, at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe

La Cour Jardin

Les Paillotes in Ville d’Avray

Place du Marche St-Honore spots:

Point Bar

Rouge Tomate


In case you were wondering where the national dailies’ food critics eat during vacation, I’m not sure, but they are filing from interesting places, e.g. Jean Miot of Le Figaro was in Martinique and reported August 24th on two restaurants there: Chez Fofor and Chez Tante Arlette which he has very good things to say about and August 27th reviewed Lard et Bouchon in Saint-Emilion. Likewise, Francois Simon was in the Moriban in La Roche-Bernard where he had good things to say about several (but not all) aspects of L’Auberge Bretonne and August 26th covered La Poularde in Gien. Finally, Alexandra Michot reviewed Le Café des Arts in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence August 28-29.

N.B. When I started this Digest I stated I would primarily cover French restaurants in Paris, but summer presents a problem for me and an opportunity for you who vacation outside the peripherique; my suggestion: search the Figaro site using the city you’re near using Miot, Simon and Michot as well as “Vivre l’été,” the name of the section they file “La Table” pieces in during the summer, but it’ll take some searching since they’re not listed in the usual “Cuisine & Vins” category.

I’ve received some flak from readers about reporting Patricia Wells’ columns since some folks feel she is too close to some chefs and more a promoter of restaurants than a critic, although she certainly dished it out to Hiramatsu a few months ago. Anyway, with a grain of salt, I report that August 27th she reviewed with enormous enthusiasm Robuchon’s two latest efforts: L’Atelier de Joêl Robuchon and La Table de Joêl Robuchon whose coordinates have already been widely disseminated.

Finally, I hope on a lighter note, the throw-away freebie newspaper Metro, taking a page from the Starbucks/New York Times deal in the states, will henceforth be available at McDonalds in Paris.

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The week of August 30st, 2004

Monday, August 31st, François Simon returned from the summer to Le Figaro Entreprises with a review of Bioboa, 3 rue Danielle Casanova in the 1st near the Opera, He calls it a bio fast food place where a busy businessperson can eat in 2 or 60 minutes. Simon gives it 3/5 across the board, praising its salads, sandwiches and irresistible creamy desserts. He gives no prices but I scoped the chalkboard the next day and sandwiches started at 6E. The décor is strictly comme chez Lina. Strangely, his compatriots at Figaroscope only awarded it one heart earlier.

Tuesday, A Nous Paris arrived at my Metro stop with news of La Table de Joêl…., which they gave a 4/5 and has already been reported here adequately, where they noted the only fault was that without a queue as at L’Atelier de…., it cost more. Also noted was Le K, 72ter, route de la Reine in Boulogne-Billancourt,, which they rated 3/5 and sounded pretty good (beef from “France’s best butcher” – André) costing 30-55E. With La Blanchisserie in B-B getting 2 hearts from Figaroscope in March, it makes you wonder if B-B’s not the new “hot” quartier, albeit a schlep.

Wednesday, Sébastien Demorand of Zurban, reviewed 10 restaurants. The longest review was dedicated to La Cigale Récamier, a soufflé place in the 7th, mentioned above and in my review in July. He goes on to discuss Mezzyana 8, rue St-Lazare in the 9th (that’s right, same address as Chez Jean; it’s an upstairs mezza/nem offshoot of what Pariscope’s Time Out’s bunch rated the “best modern bistro” in Paris) (same number too, don’t panic); Il Sardo, 17, rue Georges-Bizet, (I said I wouldn’t discuss other-than-French restaurants, but Sardinia is close to Corsica and I loved the restaurant in its first location); Le Soleil which I’ve also covered in a prior review, but which apparently now has truly turned over its chef, which I was led incorrectly to believe when I reported on it; Le Vieux Chêne, 7, rue Dahomey,, in the 11th, a place I’m not aware anyone else has discovered, far less reviewed where the dishes sound Asian-influenced and despite salt and fish-cookedness issues, he found not bad (“pas mal”=pretty good), formula at lunch=13E and à la carte 30-35E; and Le Duc de Richelieu, already discussed by John Whiting and myself. I’ve got to say that any reviewer who can eat at and write reviews on several restaurants in a week deserves our attention - maybe Zurban, which I believe is only four years old and I’ve only quoted once, will fill the trou left by Pariscope’s Time Out’s departure. My gratitude to eGulleteer Le Zouave for pointing me to it and its yearly guide that provides handy maps by arrondissements, not seen by me since the Bottin 2002-3 map and Guide des Restaurants a moins de 80 francs plans (1997).

Wednesday, Where’s Alexander Lobrano reported on several new places. Already mentioned here were Les Ormes which he especially loved, Le Sot l’y Laisse for the côtes de boeuf and Le Duc de Richelieu, “a carnivore’s feed,” but he tested several established places that have new chefs: the Café Faubourg, 15 rue Boissy d’Anglas in the 8th,, Le Marsagny 73 ave Parmentier in the 11th, (evidently incorrectly reported by me the week of May 24th not to have a new chef; they were overlapping), and Le P’tit Panisse, 35 rue de Montreuil in the 11th (which Figaroscope only gave one heart to). He also included in the small box at the bottom of the page two places he termed wine bars but which were reviewed comme restaurants earlier this year in Figaroscope: the newly renovated Taverne Henri IV on the Ile de la Cité and the new Temps au Temps, in the 11th.

Thursday/Friday, Le Monde’s Jean-Claude Ribaut, already scooped by eGulleteer fresh_a reviewed Le Chiberta, 3, rue Arsène-Houssaye in the 8th,, at great length. It’s hard to summarize it, but Ribaut says the menu is sober and readable, the offerings extensive (the best of the garden, sea and land), the desserts are like those of one’s childhood and while nothing explodes in your mouth, everything is done properly. He notes the menu costs 60E (lunch or dinner), a la carte = 80E and it’s closed Saturday for lunch and Sunday.

Friday, surprise!, Alexandra Michot also reviewed or at least wrote a piece on Le Chiberta in Le Figaro. She noted that Savoy wants it to be civilized and elegant but informal, a place where habitués can drop by for one dish and a glass of wine; in short “a club without a card.” It has “high chairs” like L’Atelier de…., 82 covers and serves everything from a - too complicated to describe here - cream of langoutines dish to a confited veal with a terrine of grapefruit with tea sauce. I recall a thread on Cancale on eGullet so I’ll pass on the info that she also reviews the Epices Roellinger, in that city; mentioning its good utilization of spices (eg chutneys, peppers, oils) with the seafood.

Just down the page, François Simon, resumes his news of chefs comings and goings in “Croque Notes: Derniers tangos à Paris.” He notes the following: Jean-Pierre Vigato has left Apicius; Gérard Faucher has remodeled his restaurant as a bistrot called 1,2,3 which will re-open mid-October; Phillippe Groult is moving to Montélimar after four more months at Amphyclès; Marc Marchand is moving from Le Meurice to Man Ray; Del Burgho (ex-Negresco, Gordes, Taillevent) will either go to Apicius or Moscow or Shanghai (hey, I just report it); and finally, Jean-Paul Arabian is about to finalize his (long-rumored) opening of the Russian Restaurant Dominique.

Another review, this in the Sunday supplement, “Version Femina” to Le Journal du Dimanche of Les Papilles, already well-noted above and in my review. Everybody likes this place for its simplicity, honesty (as befits the gastronomic children of Yves Camdeborde) and prices.

September’s Travel + Leisure has an article by Gael Greene, she ex of the New York Magazine, listing her favorite restaurants and bistros. Most are already well-known to eGulleteers and/or are listed in guidebooks, so I will not give their coordinates:

L’Atelier Maître Albert

Au Bascou

Chez L'Ami Jean

Aux Lyonnais

Chez Michel

Le Repaire de Cartouche

Three, however, are somewhat newer:

L'Absinthe, 24 place du Marché St.-Honoré in the 1st, reviewed by me here

Bistrot Paul Bert, 18 rue Paul-Bert in the 11th,

Pinxo, 9, Rue Alger in the 1st,, both just reviewed by me last week.

The Wine Spectator’s Honor Roll of Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in the August 31st edition, included:

Alain Ducasse

Au Crocodile

Georges Blanc

La Tour D’Argent

Le Cinq

Michel Rostang



Also in the same issue was an article (page 17) denying any link between Pascal Remy’s “exposé” on the Michelin guides and Director Derek Brown’s resignation (at 60). They do have a website but are way behind the mailed copies in posting material.

In addition, Metro announced that there’s soon to be a new “Petit Futé: Paris City Guide” for 10 E that lists many restaurants.

And finally, some lighter food news, just to see if anyone reads this far; running in the 7th race at Deauville, August 29th was a horse called Stroganoff, which is no big deal, but his/her rider was a D. Boeuf. They finished out of the money.

Edited by John Talbott (log)

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The week of September 6th, 2004

Wednesday, Le Figaroscope’s C’est nouveau resumed it’s regular publication after the summer with 5 reviews; they awarded 2 hearts each to Il Sardo and Mezzyana, which were both covered here last week after being reviewed in Zurban, as well as Le Murano, 13 bd. du Temple in the 3rd,, open only at dinner now. Métro : Filles-du-Calvaire. It’s a hotel restaurant costing about 80 E and serves foie gras with green tomato chutney, tataki of langoustines, veal with girolles and cream of pistachios with chocolate. They also gave one heart to Le Berthoud, 1, rue Valette in the 5th, open every day but Saturday lunch and Sunday. Métro : Maubert-Mutualité and a broken heart to La Place, 5, place du Maréchal-Juin in the 17th.

Le Figaroscope’s compendium, called the dossier, this week is devoted to desserts in mostly prominent restaurants: Natachef, Café Moderne, Flora, L’Angl’Opera, Les Magnolias, Toi, Café Panique and Spoon and frankly they sound and look great.

In that vein, François Simon’s Haché Menu covered La Suite, 40, ave George-V in the 8th, The chef trained with Pierre Hermé so the desserts here are reputedly very, very good. How he worked up a 179 E bill when he says you should get out for 100 E for 2 escaped me, but then as usual, he’s discussing food with words and phrases such as bazookas, Peugeot 404’s on the A6 and Darty bags and thus, usually he loses me.

Sébastien Demorand in Zurban also hit Chiberta this week (see last week’s post for coordinates) reviewing it positively; as well as going back to Le Bamboche (coordinates in the guidebooks) where Claude Colliot (who replaced David Van Laer) has apparently left (for where?) but it continues to be pretty good, although some items on the menu sound pretty weird to me, e.g. “glace aux” oysters and “cappuccino” of lettuce with veal sweetbreads and herbs “folle” (re-sic + rrron pchii – I swear I’m not making it up) as well as a néo-bistro L’Alchimie, 34, rue Letillier in the 15th,, which sounds small, local and has a 20 E menu.

NouvelObs also reviewed Chiberta see above, with a rather mixed review, from “brilliant” dishes to those that “don’t quite work.”

L’Express’s J-L Petitrenaud covers La Ferme Randanne in Le Bourg (63210 – Aurières) which he thinks is very good.

RestoaParis is promoting Vent d’Ouest, 69, rue des Dames in the 17th (Batignolles, Metro Rome),, an inventive place serving Breton food, e.g. bar, and its “coup de coeur“ is the Landaise restaurant Auberge et Compagnie, 23, rue Clauzel in the 9th (Metro Saint-Georges),, open M-F and Saturday evening; the menu-carte is 32E with beef from Sallers, Cahors wine, etc.

Well, I swear I already covered these “Hot nights cool cuisine” places compiled by Julie and Tim Baker from Parisvoice but I cannot find them above, so here’s another list for a hot September day or next summer:

Les Arts

Café Moderne

Goldenberg Wagram


Ching n’Ling

Zen Garden

Atelier Renault

FYI, the website has coordinates and reviews of restaurants as well as pretty up to date info on art shows, etc.

October’s Food & Wine has two articles of interest to Francophiles: on p. 130 as part of a section on “Wine: new regions” it features wines from the Côtes de Castillon and on starting on page 236 an article on Languedoc, featuring wines, food and restaurants.

Gayot.com lists “new and notable” restaurants but their dates of posting are not given, so I’ve edited out the older ones. The new list which has handy links to coordinates and reviews includes:


L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

La Suite


Seize au Seize

Maison Rouge

In September’s “Paris Bites” in Paris Notes, Rosa Jackson covers two restaurants either well-known or well-covered above: Le Dôme du Maris and Les Papilles, the latter being mentioned so often that I fear it will soon be impossible to get into.

September’s Gourmet on page 66 had a list of restaurants in Cannes prepared by Alexander Lobrano (who says good restaurants are hard to find there). They are: Zplage, Le Moulin de Mougins, Restaurant des Jeux, Le Restaurant Arménian, Mantel, Jouni : Atelier du Gôut. And on page 134, Kristin Hohenadel quotes Naomi Watts and Glenn Close (it’s a Movie and Food issue after all) as raving about le left bank restaurant Côté Seine, turned into a cantine for the filming of Le Divorce.

Louise Frégère, writing in the giveaway magazine Voyages d’Affaires featured two well-known places in its #86: L’Angle du Faubourg and Le Céladon.

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The week of September 13th, 2004

On the 11th (posted late), Jean Miot in “Propos de Table” in Le Figaro reviewed La Grande Cascade, that grand old restaurant in the Bois de Boulogne (coordinates in all the guidebooks) largely because of its cooking under Richard Mebkhout, the successor designate of Jean-Louis Nomicos, whose second he had been. Miot calls it a magical restaurant and says if you want to pretend you’re still on vacation, dine in this Belle Époque place. He calls the menu du Marché a happy innovation: it’s little langoustines poached with tomato jell or confited foie gras with truffles; Saint-Pierre or duck with spices; desserts are a cassoulet of Mirabelle cherries or a raspberry cake with zabaglione; but he touts also the “macaroni” of truffles and foie gras, pork cooked two ways, astonishing sweetbreads; summed up it’s a Bachian Goldberg Variation. Oh yes, he also reviewed La Forge in Lys-Saint-George,, with menus at 20, 25 and 32 E.

On Sunday the 12th, Elaine Sciolino in the New York Times Travel Section mentions “a gem of a restaurant,” the already well-covered, see above, Table de Joël Robuchon, where she describes his “painterly” desserts, 20 wines by the glass ranging from $6-12 and $180 discovery menu. Which reminds me that I neglected to mention last Sunday’s (August 29th) New York Times’ articles by Dale Fuchs on the Left Bank and Jacqueline Friedrich on the Right Bank, both of whom were spending only 200 E a day and both of which mentioned the restaurants they ate at, most already well-covered as well:

On the Left Bank:

Le Petit Zinc, part of the Frères Blanc group


Au Bon Coin and

on the Right Bank

Chez Imogéne, a creperie

Le Marsangy and

Aux Nègociants

As François Simon might ask:

Are the articles expensive (e.g. to obtain from the Times’ archives)? Oui!

Must one read them? Franchement, non!

On Wednesday, Sébastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed a new bistro, L’Ami Marcel, 33, rue Georges-Pitard,, in the 15th, Metro Plaisance and titled it “Bistronomically.” It’s a safe harbor in the area with a fine new team who know their staff. He calls it banal, in that it looks like what you’ve seen a thousand times. But the food, while sometimes familiar; e.g. Saler’s beef with big fries, is tops. There’s also a warm salad of beans, lisettes with cider and andouille rounds, tuna with fruits, confited lamb shoulder with onions and fruits, cheese from Marie Cantin, poached fruits with thyme and lemon. "Basta," he says, just go fast. It’s closed Saturday lunch and Sunday. He also has two French places in his “Casseroles” section that follows: Le Mûrier, 42, rue Olivier de Serres in the 15th,, which he describes as a little, tight café of the area serving food available in the market and friendly wines, all at reasonable (e.g. menú-carte 24.50 E) prices and Le Berthoud, 1, rue Valette in the 5th,, Metro Maubert-Mutualité which had a change of staff and serves food of the “terroir revisité;” “cake” of mushrooms, raviolis of tiny snails and veal’s foot, lamb shoulder with corn (with polenta a tad too watery), “gratin” of griottes, all he warns us, a bit feeble, not quite well enough polished but maybe with time…. The formule is 26.50 E and menú carte 29.50 E.

Also on Wednesday, François Simon in his Haché Menu in Figaroscope ate at Le Murano, the same place the Figaroscope team gave 2 hearts to last week, saying the food was NY-Paris-Tokyo. Simon rails against the Parisians but equally the smelly toilets there, a hallmark he noted in his book, of a place’s commitment to hygiene. He ordered the emblematic tataki of langoustines which in “error” the chef poached rather than serve raw inside/seared outside as in Japan. His cod was well made but in a small portion. The meal was 200 E for 2. Should one go?: If you want to be like everyone else, it’s perfect.

Figaroscope’s Dossier is entitled ”New Restaurants: To drink and to eat” and is authored by “the editorial staff.” (first time I’ve seen that). The introduction says the Dossier will cover new restaurants (some have been mentioned in prior parts of the Digest) but it also deals with changes, departures, rumors, etc. First, they mention the opening by Savoy of Le Chiberta, described as a nice homage to the 80’s, the taking over by Marc Marchand (after 10 years at Le Meurice) of Man Ray, a temple of food-biz, sushi, etc., which they judge to be pretty good, the opening of La Mezyana de Chez Jean, the upstairs addition to Chez Jean, serving midway between mezzes and tapas, Claude Colliot’s departure from La Bamboche to New York, succeeded by a chef who came from London via Rio and while not serving as original a menu, deserves a look, the Café Guitry, with skillful formulas and easy food, Il Sardo, a good reinstallation in the 16th, Dans le Noir, which presents a disconcerting and radical experience (this note must have been written by F. Simon, it’s in such convoluted language), Il Lotti, which reopened after several months’ work, having definitely lost its great Tuscan chef Gualtiero Marchesi, Wash by Arcaffe, another department store (Galeries Lafayette) café type place with the décor of a washomatic place of the 70’s, Curieux, a post-Baroque spaghetti-bar in the Marais, trouble at Apicius with Michel del Burgo not coming to replace owner Jean-Pierre Vigato who left to set up a place on the rue d’Artois with film director Luc Bresson, Hiramatsu, who will open a second place in December at Faugeron’s location, Kayser Odéon which will open their second sandwich restaurant-bakery in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Usines Ephémères, who are opening their cantine Point Ephémère to the public in the heart of Parisian bobo-land in October, Jean-Paul Arabian, ex of Ghislaine, the Palais-Royal and Zebra Square, who will open Dominique (when?), and Yves Camdeborde, ex of La Régalade, as reported here and elsewhere, is mysterious about where he will open his pension de famille at the end of the year.

Further news: a fourth Cojean soup bar will open at 17 Haussmann in the 9th, 01.47. 70.22.65, a third Bel Canto will open on the rue du Commandant-Pilot in Neuilly, a second Bellota-Bellota tasting counter will open in Boulogne, the Café Renova will reopen at 32, avenue George-V in the 8th,, the Vieux Chêne has successfully reopened at 7, rue du Dahomey in the 9th,, and the mythic restaurants, Brasserie Lorraine 2, place des Ternes in the 8th, and La Maison Rouge 13, rue des Archives in the 4th,, have been revamped and reopened. Finally, the surprises: Gilles Epié has left la Petite Cour, where it seems he just arrived, to return to le Pavillon des Princes 69, avenue de la Porte-d’Auteuil in the 16th where he put in 20 years with François Clerc and where his challenge will be the tight prices (e.g. carte 50E with wine and menu-carte at 35 E at lunch), a bistot called L’Ami Marcel was launched by a guy trained at Lucas-Carton (Sébastien Demorand of Zurban reviewed it above) at 33, rue Georges-Pitard in the 15th, 01.48.56. 62.06, Sousceyrac, home of the cassoulet has been replaced by a lounge called Purple at 35, rue Faidherbe in the 11th,, Starcooker 2, a “resto-bar-brunch” for Bobo’s is opening at 32, rue des Archives in the 4th, as is DanBau, a cantine run by an authentic Vietnamese Mama at 18, rue des Trois-Frères in the 18th, Bread & Roses, a ”resto-boulangerie-épicerie” at 7, rue de Fleurus in the 6th, and Le Chapeau Melon, a wine bar/charcuterie/cheeseboard place run by Olivier Camus at 92, rue Rébeval in the 19th,

Yet more: two bistros à vins have opened: le Panta-gruel, 26, rue Berthollet in the 5th,, and L’Honoré, 13, rue Bosio in the 16th, 01.42.88. 12.12, an African place Eb N Lodge 11, rue de La Grande-Chaumière in the 7th, and a suburban place le Paradis 4, route d’Auvers in Pontoise, 01.34. 43.15.12. Yet again more : l’Orée du Bois will or has opened under the George-V group (Buddha Bar, Barrio), while the Costes open a second hotel in the Marais. And finally, finally, under “Rumors and Murmurs,” the news that: Le Pavillon Baltard, the dinosaur of a brasserie in les Halles, will relight its fires thanks to the French humorist Stéphane Collaro, Ghislaine Arabian will take over her new place in 2005 after two years’ “technical” layoff, Phillippe Contini, the “newlook” pastryman (ex of Pétrossian et Peltier) has signed the contract on a new place and Marc Veyrat (Annecy etc) will find a place for his “laboratory” around the avenue Niel in the 17th.

I assume there was a computer glitch this week because Figaroscope’s website reprinted last weeks’ reviews, while printing this week’s “Haché Menu” and “Dossier” above.

Jean-Claude Ribaut, in “Toques en pointe” dated September 16 in Le Monde reviews several places:

Restaurant W (in the Hotel Warwick), 5, rue de Berri, in the 8th, 01-45-63-14-11, where Franck Charpentier (trained by Dutournier) took over, apparently from Thierry Pelven, offering what sounds like a very nice choice of options, e.g. 6 entrees, 6 mains (duck, piglet), as many desserts, on a 44 E menú-carte and half-portion spread at 39E. It’s closed Sat & Sun,

Le Marsangy, 73, avenue Parmentier in the 11th, 01-47-00-94-25, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, which he likes for Francis Bonfilou’s respectful use of products, with a menu-carte of 20 E,

Le Chambord 17, rue Paul Chatrousse, in Neuilly, 01-47-47-73-17, open every day but Sunday, which is already serving the earliest game of the season, Scottish grouse, and coming up in mid-October, royal rabbit, menu-carte at 35 E, and

Issy Guinguette, (see above for other guignettes) 113 bis, avenue de Verdun in Issy-les-Moulineaux, 01-46-62-04-27, closed Sat, Sun and Monday night, for a simple, savory gourmand meal, menu-carte at 31 E.

Wednesday, Margaret Kemp in Bonjour Paris talks of Le Chiberta’s ex chef Philippe da Silva, who’s now moved to Callas where he serves up good food at the Hostellerie Les Gorges de Pennafort. In passing she mentions Marc Marchand’s move to Man Ray too.

Friday, Patricia Wells in “Bistros to dream on,” in the IHT reviewed Le Severo, 8 Rue des Plantes in the 14th, 01-45-40-40-91 which she calls a “model bistro.” She says it’s for meat eaters not vegetarians and she loves the beef William Bernet serves up from Limousin with fine fries as well as the sausages, andouilette and pork rillettes. The wine collection sounds impressive; specials on the chalkboard. Everything else sounds pretty good too. It’s closed Saturday dinner and all day Sunday. Cost = 35-50 E à la carte, no wine. She also reviewed Dominique Versini’s Casa Olympe, 48, rue Saint-Georges, in the 9th, 01-42-85-26-01 which is now serving simple Corsican/ Mediterranean food; eggplant, girolles and chanterelles, tomatoes, langoustine or duck raviolis and meringue bathed in fruit. À la carte, without wine, it’s 55-60 E. Closed Saturday and Sunday

RestoaParis this week touted l’Astuce, 138, rue de Vaugirard in the 15th, 01-47-83-29-52 that serves classics such as a terrine of duck, magret of duck with prunes and argentine beef as well as things like a thin philo pastry stuffed with chicken (there are tasty looking pictures on the website). The prices are mild; 8 E for entrées, 15 E for mains and 7 E for dessert = 30 E plus the house wine at 20 E.

ParisObs gives Le Chiberta a 14/20 for food and 13/20 for price/quality.

In the Summer 2004 issue of Gastronomica, the four-year old academic quarterly, there were several articles that might be of interest to our members. First was an article entitled “Power Meal: Craig Claiborne’s Last Supper for the New York Times, by Mitchell Davis. It’s an account of his famous meal at the late Chez Denis, then a “little known restaurant” where Clairborne and Freney famously spent 4,000 1975 dollars. It also chronicles the history of restaurant critiquing in the US or at least at the New York Times. The other items are book reviews: Pierre Gagnaire: Reflections on Culinary Artistry by himself plus B. Beaugé, J-L Bloch-Lainé, M. Comolli, Y. Pennor and F. Simon, reviewed by Phyllis Richman, dealing with the chef’s thinking and execution of dishes, Camembert: A national myth by Pierre Boisard, translated by Richard Miller, reviewed by Gary Genosko, which gives the history and major issues, principly, that of pasteurization, of the famous cheese, and Le grand marché: L’approvionnement alimentaire de Paris sour l’Ancien Régime by Reynald Abad, reviewed by Kyri Watson Clafin entitled “The Insatiable City.”

Edited by John Talbott (log)

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  • 2 weeks later...

The week of September 20th, 2004

Sébastien Demorand in Zurban starts his lead review off by asking what is the best bistrot in Paris. He suggests the list includes: le Paul-Bert, l’Ami Jean, l’Ourcine, les Papilles, le Baratin, le Repaire de Cartouche, l’Avant Goût, le Troquet, le Mesturet, Chez Georges, la Régalade. He then adds the bistrot/restaurant La Cerisaie in the 14th, 70, bvd Edgar-Quintet,, Metro Edgar-Quintet to the debate. He says that while its facade is nearly un-noticeable and it has only room for 20 covers, to get a good table you must be 4 and it is not a true bistro if that means serving such dishes as andouillette, but it is indeed one, by its spirit, its prices, its cave and its family ambiance; plus he(Cyril Lalanne)’s in the kitchen and she(Marysse)’s in the dining space. The market dictates the menu on the ardoise. He advises us to order the pastilla of veal sweetbreads if it’s available, great goose breast with roasted peaches or lamb flanked with purees and an interesting sounding salty-sweet chocolate tart or warm mirabelles with almond ice cream. À la carte runs 28-33 E, it’s closed Saturday lunch and Sunday.

In his section called “Casseroles” he covers three other places Curieux, 14, rue Saint-Merri in the 4th,, which he subtitles a “spaghetti bar” but which has guacamole and gambas as well, so it sounds more fusiony to me; Le Bélisaire, 2, rue Marmontel in the “formidable” 15th,, which he calls a néo-bistrot, Metro Convention, and recommends the raviolis of leeks, excellent sautéed foie gras with a tartine of peaches and the crème brûlée – summarizing that if you don’t like it you must be having a bad hair day, menu=18 E, menu-carte 28 E, dégustation 35E, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, and finally 1929, 49, rue Orfila, in the 20th,, which he calls a small café of the quartier where you can drop by for a coffee at 4 PM or have a not-bad-at-all and not expensive meal (formule with wine at lunch=10.50 or 15 E, à la carte 25-28 E) of terrine of chicken liver or an elaborate pureed blood sausage, Metro Gambetta.

This week’s “C’est nouveau” in Figaroscope, which did not appear last week because of the lengthy “Dossier” on new restaurants, etc., gave two hearts each to:

Le Pavillion des Princes, 69, ave de Porte-d’Auteuil in the Bois de Boulogne in the 16th, recently taken over by Giles Epié, ex of La Petite Cour and LA and before that Miravile with menus at 25 E (lunch) and 35 E (dinner), à la carte 50 E, where they liked the shrimp and lentil velouté, veal shank and coconut ice cream,

La Truffe Noire, 2, place Parmentier in Neuilly, with menus at 36 E and 72 E (all truffles), à la carte 60-80 E, which features the cooking of Patrice Hardy (ex Ladurée and Korova) with “crunchy” truffles, pork breast in a casserole and truffle ice cream (the latter for truffle-nuts only),

Chiberta, Savoy’s newest outpost, already much discussed above and in other threads, with a 60 E menu, à la carte 100 E, featuring crab with Granny Smiths and celery, rabbit stew with girolles and baba with rum and pineapple.

They also gave one heart to Dan Bau, the place they said last week was run by a Vietnamese Mama, 18, rue des Trois-Frères (near La Famille,) which has menus at 9.5 E (lunch) and 19.5 E (dinner) and awarded a busted heart to Starcooker2 which they call a precious nothing.

Figaroscope’s ”Dossier” was all about bio restaurants and included:


Biotifull Place

Rose Bakery

Il Bacello


Le Petit Vienne


Le Jardin des fees

Le Musée du Fumeur

Bread & Roses

Le Potager du Marais

La Bonne Heure

François Simon’s ”Haché Menu” was of Bioboa which he also reviewed in Figaro Entreprises three weeks ago. Saying it’s a bio cafeteria, he recommends you go see it at least once. His bill was 15.20 E.

In Thursday-Friday’s Le Monde there were several articles related to restaurants. The first is on the return of Gilles Epié to France (see above) after ten years in the USA; ironically at the same time that Americans are deserting the great restaurants and turning to bistros. In this very long and detailed article, Jean-Claude Ribaut recounts the history of Las Vegas from “Bugsy” Siegel, Meier (sic) Lansky and Lucky Luciano thru Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Junior and Frank Sinatra to Alain Ducasse, Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Daniel Boulud and Charlie Trotter; but you don’t want to know that; what does he think of his cooking at the Pavillion des Princes? Well, he says Epié’s first try incorporates some of his familiar dishes from Miraville, eg the thick salmon in oil à la herring, as well as new ones such as a sausage of duck with mangoes and green apples, that cast an eye toward both California and Asia. The menu-carte is 35 E; there’s a nice Crozes-Hermitage for 30 E and wines are served by carafe and glass although the cellar is still in the process of formation and the bread is by Poujauran. But you’re left in the dark about Ribaut’s opinion of his cooking.

In “Toques au Pointe,” Ribault discusses several other restaurants. Under Bistrots Campagnards, he reviews two places outside Paris – Le Grand Pré in Vaison-la-Romaine and La Goccia d'olio in Cassis; under Gastronomie, he mentions what he admits is the well-known Italian restaurant Sormani and under Brasserie(s) the even better-known La Closerie des Lilas.

Patricia Wells in Friday’s IHT also gets on the Chiberta bandwagon. She uses words such as “perfect,” “loved,” “luscious,” “successful,” “excellent,” “stunning,” and “honestly priced.” Who needs more? But if you do, it’s all here.

Remember in the late 1960’s when we eagerly awaited news of new restaurants in the annual Gault et Millau Guide and later hung on each issue of their monthly magazine for what they judged to be wonderfully innovative places? With that in mind, it’s kind of sad to read the September-October issue of the Magazine which, buried among glossy ads and wine listings, presents three restaurants in Paris, respectively already well-reviewed (in the dailies and weeklies) and even written up (e.g. in the NYT) as well as listed in food guides (e.g. Lebey.)

La Table de Joël Robuchon 15/20

La Braiserie 14/20

Le Marcande 12/20

In Saturday-Sunday’s IHT, which I’m noting here because it has an IHT not NYT copyright and thus you may not see it in the US, is Thomas Fuller’s article, ”The Grapes of Wrath” which tells an intriguing story of how 70 years ago, wine made from vines imported largely from Long Island, such as Isabella, Clinton, Noah and Jacquez varietals, was banned, supposedly because of higher levels of “toxic” methanol. Anyway, now some older wine makers want the ban lifted because they still produce decent enough wine from the vines. To be continued….

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The week of September 27, 2004

Monday, François Simon, in Le Figaro Entreprises, reviewed L'Ourcine, already well-noted above and in other threads. He felt he had a solid and lively meal, awarded it 3/5 stars for the cuisine and 4/5 stars for the quality/price ratio and ranks it with L'Avant Gout as one of the best places in the area.

Meanwhile, Monday, in A Nous Paris, Philippe Toinard gave Le Point Bar, also already well-covered above, 5/5 blocks, commenting that many locals eat the 15 E lunch with a main, glass of wine and coffee, that chefesse Alice Bardet makes miraculous food and that the menu changes weekly according to the market - except for a few items. Jérôme Berger’s review in the same paper, of the well-known restaurant Le Bamboche, under its new team (Serge Arce and Philippe Fabert replacing Claude and Chantal Colliot), notes that they’re turning the heads of both the Americans and locals who frequent the place with dishes in both the new and old style; e.g. ”hamburger” vs. shredded duck with Sichuan pepper, and awards it a 4/5 blocks; menu =35 E, now only closed for Sunday lunch. I neglected to note that in the September 6-12 issue, he also reviewed the Italian restaurant Fuxia, 69 place du Docteur-Felix-Lobligeois in the 17th, Metro Rome and awarded it 3/5 blocks; it’s open 7/7 for lunch and dinner.

Wednesday’s Figaroscope “C’est nouveau” gave 2 hearts to:

La Lorraine AKA Brasserie Lorraine, 2, place des Ternes in the 8th, open 7/7 and newly renovated, where they noted their oysters and crépes suzettes and formulas at 45 and 55 E.

Chez Eux, 13, rue Denis-Poisson in the 17th (M Argentine), closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, with 20 and 26 E formulas which has a new chef and offers raviolis of cèpes, sirloin a la plancha and brioche of French toast.

Chapeau Melon (trans=bowler hat), 92, rue Rébeval in the 19th, who has a passionate selection of wines and serious collection of European charcuteries – Cost = 15-25 E depending on your appetite and which wine you select.

They also awarded one heart each to:

EK Odeon, 10 rue de l’Ancienne-Comédie in the 6th,,, open 7/7. EK=Eric Kayser, “Wonder boy (sic) de la baguette,” who opened this resto-boulangerie serving tapas and sandwiches; menu = 30 E, formula 16.5 E.

Curieux, 14, rue Saint-Merri in the 4th,, a flower of the Marais, rock ‘n roll restaurant with spaghetti & meat balls (sic), cost 15-25 E.

François Simon in his “Haché menu review of La Régalade, coordinates well-known, who entitles the piece “Ooof, it’s still good!,” says it’s one of the “best surprises of the rentrée” and that at 30 E, the menu-carte is impeccable. Given all the words posted on eGullet on it, I’ll not say more.

Finally, in their “Dossier” in Figaroscope, the team gives it’s annual list (with short reviews) of restaurants around 30 E. Most are new (over the last two years), well-reviewed, etc., so I’ll just list them:

Le Temps au Temps

Le Sot-l’y-laisse

Le Bistrot des soupirs

Le Vin dans les Voiles

Le Timbre

Vieux Chêne

Le Duc de Richelieu


L’Ami Marcel

Restaurant du Marché

There’s a small box that give some tricks to avoid traps in these places;

(1) Go at lunch for the bargains.

(2) The menus are a better bargain than the cartes.

(3) The 15th is cheaper than the 8th.

(4) The carafe is a better deal than the bottle.

(5) The glass of wine is even better priced.

Also Wednesday, Sébastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed Radis Roses, 68, rue Rodier in the 9th (Metro Anvers),, a place featuring “now” food and that of the Drôme region (minced pork and green veggie sausage, local goat cheese and syrah) open only Tuesday-Sunday evenings. While he had a false start, he went back several days later and liked the meal, albeit labeling it for “Bobos.” In his “Casseroles” section, he reviewed two well-known French restos: L’Ardoise in the 1st where he notes that the chalkboard choices are so numerous that it would take you 8 days to work through them and Chez Michel in the 10th, which he notes one must revisit from time to time plus Dan Bau, a Vietnamese place in the 18th already covered here.

Saturday in Le Figaro, François Simon in “Croque Notes” mentions that J-P Vigato will quit Apicius around November 10th but has already taken up residence at a hotel particulier on the rue Artois in the 8th which is arguably the “great new thing of the Fall.” He also touts the Amboise restaurant Le Pavillion des Lys, which joins le Château de Choiseul + le Manoir des Minimes as places to go to there. He also says that Michel del Burgo has finally settled on going to Moscow and that there is a serious guide to Japanese restos in Paris by Jiloshi Gracamoto (15 E) that likes two valuable places: Kinugawa + Azabu and several others: Simon’s favorite Isami and Hyotan, Tagawa, Akai, Totoya, Zenzen + Tsukizi.

In the same issue, Alexandra Michot wrote about the 2nd annual Festival of Food, initiated by Guy Martin of Grand Véfour and taking place in several cities until Sunday night – more here. Also, in “Toques” she interviewed Michel Trama of the Loges des L’Aubergade in Puymirol who was named chef of the year by Le Chef.

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The week of October 4, 2004

Sunday, Le Journal du Dimanche had several items: first a set of reviews of Restaurants and Mode/Styles by Astrid De T’Serclaes in which she reviewed La Table de Joël Robuchon + Le Comptoir de Thiou already well-reported here. Not much new; and “A Table Avec…..Guy Savoy” in which he listed his favorite affordable Paris restos: Le P’tit Bouchon, Le Rendez-vous + Le Montefiori; and finally ran an interview with Hervé dos Santos from Languedoc who (as I said before) will be cooking at Ducasse’s as part of his young chef who are “rising stars” presentations.

Wednesday, Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” awarded two hearts to Le Bamboche, 15, rue de Babylone in the 7th, open every day but Sunday for lunch, Métro : Sèvres-Babylone after Claude Colliot’s departure. They note the prices are pricier: about 60 € (à la carte); menus: 28 et 35 € but advise you to see for yourself. They also gave two hearts to Il Lotti suggesting you take Jane Fonda (who stays there) and one heart to the Café Loom, Marché Malassis. 142, rue des Rosiers Saint-Ouen;, open every day but Tuesday from 8 AM to 6 PM, Métro : Porte de St-Ouen. Broken hearts went to Renoma Café + Piace Caffé.

François Simon’s “Haché Menu” in Figaroscope reviews Les Papilles; subtitled “sparkling,” already mentioned here, a charming sort of resto-in-a wine space place where the cases and bottles of wine surrounding you are available for a corkage fee of 6E. After the usual Simon-speak, this is the most enthusiastic review I’ve read of his in a while. I won’t summarize the food because everything is different from what I had only a few months ago, so it’s obvious the chef is constantly renewing the carte.

Figaroscope’s “Dossier” this week concerns itself with wine.

First off they list places from which you can “doggy bag” (sic) your wine: Clément, les Brasseries Flo, Bofinger, Vaudeville, Terminus Nord, Coupole, Balzar, Julien, Bœuf sur le Toit, Bistro Romain, Androuët, Chai 33.

Then they list places that serve “organic wines:” Le Verre volé, La cave du Chapeau Melon, Le Vin de Zinc.

Third, is a list where “wines are explained” (it sounds like you’re told more than you need to know): Pierre, Market, Le Vin dans les Voiles.

Then, places where “wines are less expensive” usually because you choose them from the shop and pay a corkage fee (5-20 E): Le bistrot-cave Pétrissans, La Muse Vin, Les Papilles, Le Zinc des Cavistes, La Cave de l’Os à Moelle, Lavinia, Couleurs de vigne, Les Domaines.

Fifth are places where you can get “wine by the glass:” Lucas Carton, L’Atelier et La Table de Joël Robuchon, Ledoyen, L’Angle du Faubourg, Spoon, Chai 33.

Then, places where the sommelier will “daringly open great wine” (but not very great) bottles for a glass, charging one-fifth the bottle price: Les Muses, Le Meurice.

Finally (feminists hold your noses), places with “wine for women:” Lavinia, La Grande Epicerie de Paris.

Mercifully the remainder of the “Dossier” covers rumors and murmurings, etc.: e.g. the return of Philippe Detourbe, (he of the whipped sauces) by the end of 2004 and Philippe Conticini (ex-Table d’Anvers), who is opening a restaurant in the 17th; the take-over of Bon by the Copenhague-Flora Danica bunch, ironically returning it to it’s pre-Bon origins which was called Olson’s which served herring and acquavit; the “re-launching” after two closed seasons of the “mythic bar-club” Le Baron; the emergence of another (after La Plage du Batofar, Le Fooding ) ephemeral place run by Pierre Gagnaire and Christian Ghion – Le Printemps de la Maison, bd Haussmann in the 9th from only October 30th to November 13th; in the flea-market of St Ouen, two side-by-side restos: La Puce, 140, rue des Rosiers serving sandwichs and bruchettas and Le Café Loom, 142, rue des Rosiers, a 100 place cantine-of-the-1950’s style serving lox, foie gras etc; the return of Dramanda an indo (bird of Vishnu, whatever that means)-lounge resto-bar on the rue Bernard-Palissy in the 6th; and Faucher retrofitted from a Michelin-starred restaurant to a smart bistrot.

Wednesday, as well, Sébastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed a Japanese restaurant Takara first but then three French places: the Bar Fleuri, a corner café at 1, rue du Plateau in the 19th, 01 42 08 13 38. Metro Buttes-Chaumont where the carte is about 15€ and the food matches the 1950’s M. Hulot décor, eg oeufs á la mayonnaise, rillettes, brandade, roast chicken, etc.; Le Troquet, coordinates pretty well known by those reading this, which he compares to his review last week of Chez Michel; thus another “not new but well worth revisiting” place;” and La Truffe Noire, 2, place Parmentier in Neuilly-sur-Seine, 01 46 24 94 14. Metro Sablons or Porte Maillot closed weekends where the menus are 36€ and 72€ (a truffle feed) a la carte is about 60-70€. The chef is Patrice Hardy, ex of Korova, who serves such things as “croque monsieurs” with truffles, pork cheeks, raviolis of lobster and waffles with caramel. Apparently it’s a hit with the Japanese and quite BCBG.

Thursday-Friday in Le Monde Jean-Claude Ribaut wrote wrote in “Toques en Pointe” about a bistrot, La Table Lauriston, 129, rue Lauriston in the 16th, 01-47-27-00-07, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday where the chef, Serge Rabey, who trained with Bernard Loiseau and Guy Savoy and came through Le Soleil in Saint-Ouen, has been cooking since June; sample dishes depend on the market – e.g., a salad of cepes, terrine of game, chicken in vin jaune; 25 € at lunch; à la carte, figure 45 €; the famed brasserie Le Marty, which apparently is now chef’d by Thierry Colas ex of the Tour d'Argent and the resto Les Vieux Murs in Antibes. He also wrote an article about the food eaten by Flaubert and Colette, discussing “L'Education Gourmande de Flaubert,” by Gonzague Saint-Bris (a writer) and Eric Fréchon of Le Bristol and Colette’s favorites prepared by Emile Jung at Le Crocodile in Strasbourg.

Sunday’s New York Times’s Travel Section had an article by bureau chief Elaine Sciolino on “What’s Doing in Paris” where she mentions several French restaurants: L’Ami Marcel, Chiberta + La Table de Joël Robuchon, already covered here, plus an Argentinian steak and an American brunch place, Anahï + Sir Winston respectively.

The October Paris Notes’s section “Paris Bites,” written by Rosa Jackson reviews the 10-table, single chef’d resto Pétrelle, 34 Rue Pétrelle in the 9th,, which has a 25 E “no choice” lunch (that day it was raw marinated sardines, rabbit with rosemary and poached figs) and is about 60 E à la carte (the choices included langoustine tails with cepes, duck three ways and a chocolate terrine.) The chef, Jean-Luc André, buys his food at Rungis himself and the veggies sound special.

In the October Gourmet is an article by Alexander Lobrano on Route 7 which runs from Paris to Nice. For those making this blue road trip, he lists: L’Auberge des Templiers in Les Bezards, La Poularde in Gien, Les 200 Bornes in Pouilly-sur-Loire, Le Central in Roanne, Restaurant Nicholas Le Bec in Lyon, La Pyramide in Vienne, Pic in Valence , Le Jardin de Quai in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and La Bastide St.-Antoine in Grasse.

Catching up on back issues, I encountered the Sept 6 New Yorker article on Jim Harrison and 11 others 37-course “meal” at Marc Meneau’s place in L’Espérance; I’ll let you judge its value to you and/or other potential diners.

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The week of October 11, 2004

François Simon’s Croque Notes” appeared Monday. In it he discusses the “virtual” absence of Alain Ducasse from the Plaza Athénée and the passage of its cooking from Jean-François Piège to Christophe Moret, who returned its tone towards “classicism,” which Simon says is closer to his boss’s intent, albeit perhaps pushing the envelope a bit much. Lovers of Simon-speak and A.D. might want to read the original.

Also Monday, in Figaro Entreprises, Simon reviews La Cerisaie already well covered in/by eGullet, and subtitles it “It’s so good,” for once telegraphing his opinion rather than forcing you to divine it. 20 covers, full in 10 minutes, prices are reasonable (8 E entrees, 13.80 E mains, 7 E desserts), and the menu depends on the market and season. He will go back.

Wednesday’s Figaroscope listed in their usual C’est nouveau 3 restos of 2-heart quality: the Café Guitry in the Théâtre Edouard-VII, 10, place Edouard-VII in the 9th, open every evening until 9 PM, Métro : Madeleine-Opéra, menus at 24 and 28 E (a la carte 35-40 E) and mention the rabbit terrine, tartare and nothing-to-talk-about cheesy dessert with caramel; Ploum , 20, rue Alibert in the 10th,, open every day, featuring “neo-nippone” cuisine (e.g. tartare of “chinchard” {yes, I had to look it up too, it’s also called saurel, scad or horse}, Kobe beef, tiramisu with green tea) at about 35 E, Métro : Goncourt; and the Café Moderne, which by my calculation turned over chefs in under a year, and they think it’s better than before (it sure did nothing for me last December), menu-carte at 20-35 E, with fried soft-boiled eggs, creamed spinach, confit of lamb with apricots and a “soupe” of pineapples. One heart each was awarded to Le Petit Moulin, 4, rue Saint-Merri in the “saucy” Marais/4th,, open every day, Métro : Hôtel-de-Ville with an “honorable” quiche lorraine, chicken tandoori and not bad tarte du jour (then why did it get only one heart?) and High Noon, 38, rue de Berri in the 8th, a fast food place open every weekday from 10-8, Métro : George-V.

Figaroscope’s ”Dossier” (with the usual long description of each followed by pluses and minuses which you can check out yourself) is of Restaurant-Epiceries:

Les Vivres

La Crémerie aka Les Caves Miard


Da Rosa

Les Papilles

Aux Pipalottes Gourmandes

Terres de Truffes

Rouge Tomate


Finally, in Figaroscope this week, François Simon’s “Hache Menu” covers Pasta Linea, 9, rue de Turenne in the 4th,, closed Mondays but open other weekdays 11-9 and weekends 12-8, which features Italian ham, etc. He says “Go.”

Also on Wednesday, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed Les Caves Miard, 9, rue des Quatre-Vents in the 6th, – also mentioned in the Figaroscope Dossier summarized above which specializes in Italian products suitable for eating with your aperitif. In addition, he revisits Au C’Amelot, coordinates well-known, whose menu (albeit a bit limited) changes rapidly and whose appeals to an international clientele (“franco-japano-danois”) as well as Cibus + Cok Ming, respectively, Italian and pan-Asian restaurants. I usually do not dwell on foreign food here but Demorand’s description of the dishes served at the former sounded wonderful (carpaccio, langoustines, parmesan, courgettes, etc.).

Thursday-Friday’s Le Monde’s Toques en Pointe featured Jean-Claude Ribaut’s take on: the Brasserie Le Congrès Maillot, 80, avenue de la Grande-Armée in the 17th, 01-45-74-17-24 open every day which features the usual oysters as well as confited lamb cheeks with olives Thursday and loin of lamb on Sundays, menu at lunch = 26 E, a la carte 45 E, plus restos Silk & Spice, 6, rue Mandar in the 2nd, 01-44-88-21-91, open every day 12-3 and 7:30-12 MN, a Thai place and Fontana Rosa, 28, bd Garibaldi in the 15th, 01-45-66-97-84, an Italian place open every day.

October’s Gourmet has a small photo and little blurb entitled “A New Bistro Has Le Tout Paris Talking,” about L’Ourcine, as I predicted in July. A few pages back, there is another piece by Alexander Lobrano on “theme restaurants,” which have been mentioned by myself and others already on eGullet. They include: Pomze, Rouge Tomate, Bellota-Bellota + Ballon & Coquillages.

France, the US not the UK version, has an article by Alexandre Lazareff about “Imagination on the Menu” in which he reviews many places already well-reported on eGullet. They are:

Hotel Restaurants:

Le Crillion

Le Meurice


Le Lancaster

Le Vendôme

New Addresses:

La Table de Joël Robuchon



Le Chêne Vert

Le Libre Sens now occupying the Korova space at 33 Marboeuf ( 40 E, described as less flashy and more professional and

La Petite Cour in which he has Gilles Epié still there (no longer true.)

In L’Express, J-L Petitrenaud’s “Saveurs” reviews Au Rendez-vous, 14 avenue de Wagram in the 17th, 01 42 27 23 57, notable for its fig alcool, couscous, bekaila (beans, spinach & beef), etc.

Gayot.com has listed DeVèz, 5, pl de l’Alma in the 8th, as “New and Notable.” It serves Aubrac beef 12 ways (shades of Le Duc….) from tapas to rotissed.

RestoaParis.com gives its Coup de Coeur to La Tourelle, 5, rue Hautefeuille in the 6th, 01-46-33-12-47, Metro : Saint-Michel, open 11 AM to 10:30 PM nonstop weekdays and 7-10:30 PM Saturday. Menu at lunch and dinner at 10 and 14,50 E respectively.

Qualifying as good food news, Alexandra Michot announces the welcome arrival, as of October 4th, of scallops and Jean Miot the opening of the game (partridge, wild duck, wood-pigeon, grouse and le lièvre à la royale) season at Le Relais d'Auteuil, 31, boulevard Murat in the 16th,, closed Saturday and Monday lunch and Sundays. Menus : 48 (lunch)-105-135 E, à la carte : 70-100 €.

Finally, since this was “Food week” in France, I think Friday’s report from French word a day qualifies as news and those interested in expanding their French can get it free daily here.

P.S. Late-breaking news – R.W. (Johnnie) Apple, chief politico-foodophile for the NYT will hold his 70th birthday party in Paris next month and the weekend FT reports that Calvin Trillin will write it up in Gourmet; I’d advise those on Apple’s A-list to sign up soon for a great feed.

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The Week of October 18th, 2004

François Simon, a few days back, in his October 15th “Croque Notes,” writes in an article titled “A real restaurant” about the Le Montrachet, in Puligny-Montrachet, which features charolais beef, escargots, foie gras, pigeon, lobster, pork; all Burgundian writ large, plus attentive service from the 1960’s.

Monday, in his usual “Table d’Affaires” spot in Le Figaro Entreprises, he also reviewed and gave 3 of 5 stars to Chez Serge, 7 bd Jean-Jaures in St-Ouen,, which he calls a “solid” and smart address serving foie gras, steak, pork shank, red tuna, tete de veau, veal liver, shrimp salad, clafoutis and fondant of chocolate for about 30 E (business menu=22 E); closed Saturday and Sunday. His sole reservation – too many men.

Alexandra Michot, on her part, is talking about the foods of autumn, such as scallops at the Hyatt Madeleine + 59 Poincaré, mushrooms, specifically cepes, at Michel Rostang, Chinoiseries, + Crillon game at La Traversière, Relais d'Auteuil, Guy Savoy, Chamarré, + Chambord, sole, turbot, sweetbreads, tripes at the Atelier de Joël Robuchon, L'Absinthe, Pré Catelan, + la Poêle d'or and millefeuille at the Pré Catelan, Café Moderne, l'Hôtel Meurice + Guy Savoy.

Monday’s A Nous Paris gave three/five blocks this week to both Le Diogène, 89, bd de Courcelles in the 8th, where they feature eggs in red wine, etc sauce, marinated tuna and prune clafoutis, menu at lunch 16 E, à la carte 40E, open 7/7 and Dans le Noir, 5, rue Quincampaix in the 4th,, the place already mentioned in eGullet where you’re literally “in the dark,” but where you choose your dishes in the light from an ardoise running 23-35 E or from the surprise menu at 21-37 E. They liked and could readily identify the fish and baba au rum but were less enthusiastic about other items. Last week’s issue had another 3-blocker, Frugier 137, av de Versailles in he 16th, which has been getting some good press since it opened; featuring Chef Frugier’s (ex of the Terrasse Mirabeau) one man bistro show: veal ribs with ginger, gambas and green beans wok-prepared and tartlette with caramel; menu = 29 E, closed Sunday and Monday. The week before they featured a “Tour de Monde in a plate” with: La Mezyana de Chez Jean, Fogón, Saint-Julien, Wally le Saharien, Au Petit Paris a Croatian place, and Les Délices d’Aphrodite; all 4/5 except La Mezyana 3/5 and Au Petit Paris 2/5. Of note, as well, is A Nous Paris’s monthly “Coups de Coeur” in which they feature Le Point Bar, coordinates already given and praised by others, including me.

Wednesday, Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” had scant news of must-go-to French places: they gave 2 hearts each to a Thaï place Mum Sabai and to an Italian one Taverna de Gli Amici and one heart each to a wine-charcuterie-cheese destination Chez Pantagruel, 26, rue Berthollet in the 5th, 0147.07.09.85; a “b.a.-b.a.” bistrot, Les Bouffes de l’Hôtel de Ville where everything was over-something, eggs overcooked; girolles overlimp;” and Man Ray, under its new chef from Le Meurice who’s raising the level of its dishes and apparently also their prices (27-35 E formulas and a la carte 60 E)

Figaroscope’s “Dossier” reviewed “Business lunches” for the following types:


Chez Françoise

Tante Marguerite

Ferme St-Simon

Maison de l’Amérique Latine


Le Divellac

Le Dôme

Chez Ramulaud



Relais Plaza

Zébra Square


Le Divellec


Cap Vernat

Table d’Anvers

Fashion and Show-Biz:

la Suite


Grill du Park Hyatt Vendôme

Rue Balzac

Pierre à la Fontaine Gaillon









Rotonde Montparnasse




Orient Extrême

Gaya Rive Gauche



Closerie des Lilas

Big Bosses:

Les Ambassadeurs

Le Meurice

Alain Passard



La Salle-à-Manger



I Golosi

Le Soleil

La Cave Gourmande

Wednesday, in his “Haché Menu,” François Simon reviewed one of the above, Le Dome, the famed fish place on the Boulevard Montparnasse. Bottom line: no need to return. The reasons: (1) his 6 belons (costing $5 each and one of which stank) arrived “dead from cold” sitting on a platter hastily composed of seaweed, and when he complained the waiter seemed not to understand, “not good?, not good?, and left; (2) his sole was soaked in a villainous and murderous sauce. His bill = 182.30 for two.

Wednesday as well, Sebastien Demorand in new sized Zurban, wrote up Suave 20 rue de la Providence in the 13th,, which serves what sounds like pan-Asiatic (Vietnamese, Chinese, Thaï) cuisine and in his “Casseroles” section three other places, the Bistrot du 1er 95, rue St-Honoré,, closed Saturday lunch, Sunday and Monday night, which looks like an Irish pub and serves overcooked pasta and hamburgers; le Traiteur d’Italie 152, rue de Charonne in the 11th, serving good pasta; and 2P Cuisine 65, rue du Ruisseau in the “gentrified” 18th, where he had (one month after it opened and 3 weeks after I reported on it in eGullet {Ed. Note - pretty impressive speed!} a terrine of lamb with dry fruit and nearly blue-cooked duck with honey, mint and citrus fruit.

Wednesday, coincident with Zurban’s arrival, the October-November GaultMillau arrived in my mailbox without a single review of a Paris restaurant (what a change in a few decades and how sad). However, for those who follow the formation and meanderings of chefs there was an article on ten top ones, showing their ages and past histories:

Gilles Choukroun, 38 Le Café des Delices + “Angl’Opera - (La Truie qui file)

Inaki Aizpitarte, 32 La FamilleLe Café des Delices

Phillippe Tredgeu, 35 L’Entredgeu - (La Pérouse + Chez Casimir)

Thierry Blanqui, 36 Beurre Noisette - (La Tour d’Argent, Ritz, La Marée, Opéra Grand Hôtel + Ledoyen)

Yohann Moraccini, 27 De Lagarde - (La Table d’Anvers, Tante Louise, Armée, L’Arpège + La Braisière)

Sylvain Danière, 29 L’Ourcine – (Closerie des Lilas, Fauchon, Harrods, Phillippe Detourbe, Café Royal, Plaza Athénée, La Régalade + Le 70)

William Le Deuil, 39 Ze Kitchen Gallery - (Ecole de Commerce, Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Française + Guy Savoy)

Bertrand Bluy, 32 Les Papilles - (Auberge de l’Eridan, Troisgros, Barbacane, le Bristol + Taillevent)

Stéphane Jégo, 32 L’Ami Jean - (La Régalade)

Nicolas Vagnon, 29 La Table de Lucullus - (Le Bamboche, L’Assiette, Les Olivades + Le Bon Acceuil)

And they credit also Yves Camdeborde and Gilles Choukroun as founders of the “new trend” as well as give a nod to Alain Ducasse, the brothers Pourcel, Joël Robuchon and Antoine Westermann.

Friday, Patricia Wells in the IHT reviewed a butcher in the 14th: the Bucherie Hugo Desnoyer, 25 rue Mouton-Duvernet in the 14th, which she entitled “Butcher to the best,” her editors corrected it to “Butcher to the Stars,” in any case that tips off her views.

Friday as well, Francois Simon’s “Croque Notes” in Le Figaro was entitled “The Grandeur and Humility” and discussed several things/places:

L'Arsouille , 17 rue Paul-Bert in Rennes, where Simon had a good meal with suitable wine;

L’Ampère 1, rue Ampère in the 17th,, where Philippe Detourbe, ex of the resto in the 15th has been cooking for 2 years, recharging his batteries; and

L’Ami Marcel, 33, rue Georges-Pitard in the 15th,, which he calls the address of the moment {and which is beloved by everyone but me.}

Champs-Elysees, the audio teaching tool, had a piece this month on La Fontaine Gaillard, Place Gaillon in the 2nd, 01 47 42 63 22, Gerard Depardieu’s place that has been open for a while, indicating that it was the buzz of high society. The actor is interviewed by Evelyn Pagès and talks more about his “companion,” the décor and his chef than the food.

Zurban, October 6th, published a little note, indicating that (1) the Mayor has designed stickers for places that says “établissement sans tabac” and Liberation said there is an internet site that lists no smoking places all over, including a list of 80 such restaurants in Paris.

Finally, December 6th, the Restos du Coeur begins its winter soup-kitchen operation which serves over 600,000 meals a day from over 2000 centers; donations can be sent to Restaurants du Coeur 75515 Paris Cedex 15.

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The Week of October 25th, 2004

On Monday, A Nous Paris’s Jerome Berger, doesn’t so much review (e.g. giving no blocks) as wax rhapsodic, as have others, about the cooking and history of Chef Eric Martins of L’Ami Marcel whose coordinates have appeared in prior posts.

Wednesday, Figaroscope’s “ C’est nouveau” had only one 2-hearter - Le Jardinier, 5, rue Richer in the 9th,, open everyday except Saturday lunch and Sundays, where the menus at 11-19 E and a la carte food at 40 E and their shrimp, risotto with rouget and apple tart pleased Emmanuel Rubin and team. The one-hearters were Le Diogène, 2 P Cuisine, Tadoussac and Wash by Arcaffe. {Ed. Note: recently Le Diogène got 3/5 blocks from A Nous Paris, 2 P Cuisine got a good review from myself and Zurban, and Wash by Arcaffe frankly sounds like a bad joke; my point: “go figure!”}

Figaroscope’s “Dossier” reviewed rice places in several categories:

Rice Crispies:

Murano Urban Resort


Fogon Saint-Julien

La Paella

Black rice:




Byriani Indian:


Cantonese rice:


Hainan rice:

Le Palais de Choisy


Waly Fay

Risotto with cepes:


Paolo Pétrini

I Galosi

Caffé Minotti

Rice pudding:

Café Constant

Mon Vieil Ami

Chez Michel

La Régalade

Chez l”ami Jean


And don’t forget:

Les Délices d’Aphrodite for stuffed grape leaves

La Poule au Pot for chicken with rice

Les Charpentiers for a blanquette of veal with basmanti rice

Moissonnier for a rice cake

Passiflore for rice à l’Impératrice.

Wednesday, also, in his “Haché Menu,” François Simon reviewed the Armani Café , which, to cut to the chase, he describes as redundant, e.g. butter with foie gras and had a bill of 175.50 for two (he notes that readers are often shocked by the size of his bills). “Should you go?,” he asks as always; “Yes, if you wish,” he replies.

Finally on Wednesday, Figaroscope’s “Quartier” mentioned places in the 11th most of which are new, have been well-reviewed and are interesting:


Bistrot Paul-Bert

L’Écallier du Bistrot the fish and esp. oyster offshoot of the above

Le Temps au Temps

Au Vieux Chêne

Purple Café


Pure Café which figured in the movie “Until Sunset.”

Wednesday as well, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban, wrote up Murano Urban Resort which is getting a lot of press this fall for its edgy décor and chic clientele; the food, well, Demorand uses the phrase “il faut” four times and “il ne faut pas” once. As for his facing piece, “Les Restos à la Casserole,” he mentions a Japanese place, Ploum and a Sicilian one, the Café del Gattopardo, as well as one French wine-barish type place, Les Crâneuses, 72 bis, rue Jean-Pierre-Timbaud in the 11th,, seemingly (if I can decipher his elegant prose) aimed at women. À la carte it’s 10-15 E. Also of note, on the 3rd floor of Le Printemps, Pierre Gagniere has had a hand in (but not provided products such as langoustines, truffles or game that he serves at the Mothership on Rue Balzac), thus the easier prices, e.g. 20-35 E.

Thursday in Le Figaro, François Simon had an article on the legal process between Pascal Rémy, author of “L’inspecteur se met à table,” (see thread on the book) and Michelin about his layoff from the company; the decision will be handed down December 14th.

Also Thursday in Le Figaro, there was a little squib in “Personnages” about the new edition of the Lebey “Guide 2005 des restaurants de Paris” in which Lebey features cafés of yesteryear where the boss serves you a glass of wine at the bar and the madame prepares the daily special. It mentions two places as examples: the Café Constant + Les Papilles. Also, this year’s Lebey gives its highest rating to L’Astrance where Pascal Barbot serves 26 souls who reserve weeks in advance.

Thursday-Friday, in Le Monde, Jean-Claude Ribaut wrote about a dinner for 47 three-star Michelin chefs held at Alain Ducasse’s where he served langoustines with caviar, scallops with cèpes and truffles, bar de ligne with veggies & fruit and rabbit. Ribault singles out three for comment: Ferran Adria of El Bulli for his explosive palette, Philippe Rochat, the magician of Crissier, Giradet’s most faithful and most talented follower and Gérard Rabaey from Le Pont de Brent in Brent, close to Vevey on the heights of Montreux who embodies Giradet’s spirit in French cooking.

Thursday-Friday as well, Le Monde’s Jean-Claude Ribaut‘s “Toques” covered Ploum + La Table de Joël Robuchon see above and a fish place, Dessirier, 9, place du Maréchal-Juin in the 17th,, now renovated under the aegis of the Rostang group – count on 60-80 E; open every day.

Saturday/Sunday was a busy day in Le Figaro. First, the top news is François Simon’s “Croque Notes” article, which he subtitles “ The Farce of the Food Guidebooks,” in which he notes the following: (1) “the surprise of the century” - that Bottin will demote the “number one” (sic) Le Plaza Athénée whether run by Alain Ducasse or Christophe Moret (no matter which) from four to three points (e.g. stars) while promoting Jean-Georges Klein of L'Arnsbourg in Baerenthal in the Moselle and Eric Briffard of the Elysées du Vernet in the 8th, (confirmed by AFP Sunday in a Voila.fr posting), (2) that Claude Lebey’s new “2005” Guide will give the dates restaurants are visited (shades of the critics of the “Michelin Red Guide”), (3) that the Guide Peugeot by Marc de Champérard will feature 11,900 addresses to “eat well every day,” (and if I understand Simonspeak, they adhere to the ISO 9000 standards, which perhaps some native will explain how quality standards for autos apply here), and (4) that Fooding, guided by Alexandre Cammas and Emmanuel Rubin (of Le Figaro,) which to my knowledge appeared first last year, will be an annual publication.

But there’s more: in addition Alexandra Michot wrote both an article on and interview with Game’s Numero Uno in Paris, Gérard Besson, he of the eponymous restaurant located at 5, rue du Coq-Héron in the 1st, No real surprises about game here, except that several restaurants, including his (which is traditional in serving hearty Burgundies), will be featuring game & interesting, some might say bizarre, liquids that are strong enough to counter the gibiers. They are:

Game and single malts:


L’ Elysées du Vernet

Pavillion Montsouris

Relais D’Auteil

Guy Savoy


La Place, in the Radisson SAS Hôtel Champs- Elysées. 78 bis, av. Marceau in the 8th,

She also wrote an article on traiteurs for large events, accompanied by three recipes by Phillippe Legendre, Guy Martin and Pierre Hermé. Finally, a three page ad was published by the trade association of tripiers listing hundreds of restaurants featuring tripes, liver, tongue, kidneys, etc. I mention these articles and ads, which as of now are not to be found on their website, sorry, so that if you’re interested in the subjects, you can get the Saturday-Sunday, October 30-31 issue at your bookshop or the Figaro office or chase it down at the Bibliothèque National Mitterand reading room (which is a wonderful resource).

In the October Where, Alexander Lobrano lists his favorite oyster places:

Ballon & Coquillages

Le Dôme de Villiers



Cap Vernet

Le Bar à Huitres

He also mentions that the restaurant at Le Meurice offers something I’ve never come across before: a do it yourself dessert trolley; you can add nuts, ice cream and sauces to your millefeuille choice(s).

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The week of November 1st, 2004

Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” awarded four hearts to Hiramatsu, 52, rue de Longchamp in the 16th,, open every weekday. Métro : Trocadéro. Menus at 130 and 180, à la carte about 150 € (see this thread for more.) Also, they awarded two hearts to the third Bel Canto, 6, rue du Commandant- Pilot in Neuilly-sur-Seine,, open everyday except Sundays and Mondays, Métro : Sablons, where the wait-staff sings OK operatic arias and the “lyrical” menu is 60 € (dinner only) as well as a new Bar à Huitres in the re-opened (for two years) Café de la Paix, Place de l’Opéra in the 9th,, open everyday until midnight (esp. convenient for those attending something at the Garnier). Métro : Opéra. Six oysters will run you from 12 € for the fines de Claire Number 4 from Oléron to 24 € for the spéciales creuses Gillardeau Number 1 and a “serious” plate of shellfish for two runs from 23-105 €. Finally, one heart each went to the bistro Au Grain De Sel, 13, rue Jean Beausire in the 4th,, open everyday except Saturday lunch, Sunday dinner and Mondays, Métro : Bastille, formula at lunch 20 €, à la carte 40 €. and a café-bar circa 1950 Le Cinquante, 50, rue de Lancry in the “bo-bo” 9th,, open everyday except Mondays from 5 PRM til 2 AM. Métro : République. Cost about 20 €.

François Simon’s Hache Menu covered Joe Allen, 30, rue Pierre-Lescot in the 1st, He asks “should you go?” You knew the answer: “No!”

Readers will be thrilled to learn that this week’s Figaroscope Dossier is all about Hamburgers.

Because this is the e-Digest of Record, I’ll give them:

Original version:

Coffee Parisien

Breakfast in America

Planet Hollywood


Hard Rock Café


McCoy Café

The Adaptations:



Bombay Café

Thursday-Friday’s Le Monde’s Jean-Claude Ribaut wrote about the return of game to the tables. As an example he notes that Taillevent’s lunch menu Nov 8th will consist of caviar, lobster, partridge, cheese and orange dessert. The venerable restaurant is at 15 rue Lamenais in the 8th, 01-84-95-15-01, closed weekends and has a menu at lunch for 70 €, a tasting menu for 130 € and a la carte, count on 120 and 140 €. He also mentions that game is appearing on the menus of Gérard Besson, Le Pressoir, Lucas-Carton, Alain Dutournier, Michel Rostang, Guy Savoy + l'Astrance.

Last week, I summarized Jean-Claude Ribaut of Le Monde’s take on the Ducasse/Michelin fete; this week, Patricia Wells gives her similar tribute to him and the meal in an article entitled “A master class.”

J-L Petitrenaud of L’Express reviewed Auberge et Cie, 23 rue Clauzel in the 9th,, which serves snails, smoked pork with dried tomatoes, veal foot, eel stew and nougat all for he a menu of 32 €. In addition he has a link to a review of another place he likes in Boisset, the Auberge de Concasty .

November’s Where had an article by Alexander Lobrano concerning the reopening of Chiberta by Guy Savoy, already well-reported, in which he reports that their trademark “nouvelle cuisine,” which was revolutionary in the 1970’s is now “mainstream.” Lobrano also lists the fall’s hot places, whose coordinates can be found in prior posts above, in a piece entitled “Four Bistros & a Bakery”:

L’Ami Marcel


Le Temps au Temps

Le Vieux Chene

Boulangerie-Restaurant-EK Odeon

Finally, he too visited Murano Urban Resort and likes the “eye-candy service,” the air-kissing “sexy crowd” and the cooking which he describes as healthy and imaginative.

Heather Stimmler-Hall, in her “Secrets of Paris” newsletter writes up several reasonably-priced places she’s been eating at and likes: the brasserie Le Martignac , 109 rue de Grenelle in the 7th; 01 40 62 98 64, Metro Varenne or Invalides; no menu and just three specials a day on the ardois but an unbeatable 12€ bill, with coffee; the co-op Le Temp des Cerises, 18 rue Butte aux Cailles in the 13th, 01 45 89 69 48, Metro Corvisart with a no smoking room, 10 € menu and open everyday except Saturday lunch and Sunday; a “traditional” Basque café Chez Gladines, 30 rue des Cinq-Diamants in the 13th, 01 45 80 70 10, Metro Corvisart with “giant, hearty salads,” an “enormous” cassoulet and cash only policy, open everyday from 9 AM until 2 in the AM; the chili con carne, Chile-Columbia food-serving Tierra del Fuego , 6 rue Ste-Marthe in the 10th, 01 42 39 46 21, Metro Colonel Fabien or Belleville with a 12 € menu, open evenings only and (the place you’ve passed and passed up a hundred times) – the Café Leffe, 41 rue de la Bucherie in the 5th, 0143 54 24 52, Metro St-Michel, with a starter, main and ¼ wine for 19 €, open everyday 8 AM til 2 AM.

November’s Travel & Leisure had yet another mention of the “hipper-than-thou” Murano Urban Resort.

The November Conde Nast Traveller listed a number of “Truffle Tables” in Provence:

Chez Bruno in Lorges

La Beaugravière in Mondragon

Troisgros you know where and

Le Louis XV in Monaco.

The Voyages d’Affaires suggested three places for autumn:

the Bar Vendôme at the Ritz in Paris,

Tamarillos in Montpellier, and

Le Cyros in Deauville.

The November American Saveur had an article on the “Vintage Pyrenees” about the wines of Jurançon which mentioned two restaurants – Chez Ruffet + Le Goxoki.

In the November Gourmet, there were two items of interest. First, Reine Sammut of La Fenière opened a new restaurant, Le Passage, in Aix-en-Provence which is said to be quite popular and the ubiquitous Alexander Lobrano had an article on Brittany which listed: L’Amphitryon, Aux Peskud, L’Escurial, La Fleur au Sel, Maison de l’Huître, Olivier Roellinger, La Taupinière, La Tête de Lard, La Vielle Tour + Le Yachtman.

As a sign of their change, perhaps, the TimeOut website is a bit behind the curve, only now mentioning Joël Robuchon, Hélène Darroze, La Régalade, Chez Michel, L’Ami Jean + L’Entredgeu. I don’t mean to be unkind, because their section on this week is up to date, but restaurants seem to have suffered in their budget cuts.

The website Paris Voice has saved me a lot of work with Julie Baker’s compendium of places in which to sample Beaujolais Nouveau. They are:

Couleurs de Vigne

Taverne Henri IV

Aux Bons Crus

Le Baron Rouge

Le Sancerre

La Tartine

Le Rubis

Cave La Bourgogne

Bistrot des Augustins

And in 2004, she added:


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  • 2 weeks later...

The Week of November 8th, 2004

November 5th, Jean-Claude Ribaut in Le Monde’sToques en Pointe” reviewed the bistro Le P’tit Bougnat, 118, bd de Courcelles in the 17th, 01-47-63-97-11 with menus at 17 €-23 €, à la carte about 35 €, offering such game as: grouse, partridge, pheasant, wild boar, rabbit - with classic sides: celery purée, pears in wine, blueberries and chestnuts.

Monday, in “Croque Notes” in Le Figaro, François Simon wrote a tribute to Michel Guérard and his place near Eugénie-les-Bains, subtitled “The elegant pianist” (piano=oven), where he compares him to a jazz pianist who is precise, enchanted, melodious and yet simple and unpretentious.

Monday as well, A Nous Paris printed a compendium of largely well-known, hence I’ll not give their coordinates, shellfish places, the main ones being:

Ballon et Coquillages

Le Cap Vernet

Le Bistrot de Cancale

La Cabanne a Huitres

L’Ecailler du Bistrot

Charlot, Roi des Coquillages and not to forget:



Le Parc a Huitres


La Cabane

Sebastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed Tadoussac, 396, rue Saint-Honoré in the 1st, 01 42 60 12 77. M° Madeleine, Concorde, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, formulas at lunch for 10-20€; menus at lunch = 25€ and at dinner = 26-40€. It’s an oddity for Paris, being a Québécois place, serving not so bad food, however, such as salmon tartar with a kind of ketchup, duck from Lake Brome {Digester's note: which are, according to their website, world renowned} and venison steak. His smaller reviews covered the well-known brasserie Marty plus an Italian “sandwicheria” Frascati which he loved and an inexpensive Southeast Asian (e.g. Thai-Vietnamese) place in Belleville called Le Rouleau de Printemps.

Playing catch-up, I should note that last week, he devoted his major space to a story about the best sommeliers in the world; the three in Paris he featured were at the following places:

Le Cinq

Le Bistrot du Sommelier

Café Lenôtre

In his “Casseroles” section, though, he reviewed 3 restaurants: Press' Café , 89, rue Montmartre in the 2nd,, a corner café where the menu is 12,50€ at lunch, a la carte about 25€; he notes it’s embedded in the Journalism zone; Madame Tomate, 78, rue de Bagnolet in the 20th, 01 53 27 00 25, closed Sundays, a la carte between 15 and 20€ which despite it’s being in an out-of-the-way place for Americans and a “silly so-called provençal café,” serves up some classics and new stuff: e.g. daube of bœuf, brandade, marinated anchovies, omelette à la marjoram, tomato soup with pesto and sautéed chorizo; and last and in my book, not at all least – Le Temps au Temps, 13, rue Paul-Bert in the 11th, 01, closed Sundays with formulas from 10-12€ and a menu-carte at 25 serving cepes bordelaise style, stuffed clams, and Jerusalem artichoke soup; Demorand says if you don’t like it, he’ll reimburse your costs. {He won’t be reimbursing me, though, because I had a fine meal there two weeks ago}.

November 11th Jean-Claude Ribaut in Le Monde gave the ideal wines to serve with game as follows:

L'Échézeaux with lièvre à la royale at Gérard Besson

Grand-Échézeaux with the game at the Elysées du Vernet

Romanée-Saint-Vivant with a venison or partridge prepared at the Pré Catelan Richebourg with a grand veneur sauce with say venison

La Tâche with lièvre à la royale or the râble au vin rouge of Jean-Christophe Dumonet

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for the most delicate game, esp. bécasse

Montrachet, the only white, with a Bresse chicken à la George Blanc.

The December Food & Wine had an article on the restaurants of Courchevel: Le Cap Horn, La Saulire, Le Chabichou, Le Chai des Chartrons + Le Kalico.

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The week of November 15th, 2004

François Simon in “Croque Notes” in the November 12th Figaro reviewed two places: le Bistrot des Saveurs in Obernai, Alsace and the fairly well-known and by no means new Stella Maris where he bemoans its under-appreciation by Michelin despite its food: e.g. a game tart with duck stuffing, pheasant, venison and sweet potato and chestnut purée; lunch menu = 39 E.

Monday’s A Nous Paris reviewed two restaurants which are not really new but have new chefs: the Café Moderne around for about a year, badly reviewed initially {I agreed} but recently taken over by an ex-Rostang/Savoy chef has shot to a 4/5 boxes rating; given its price (26 and 30 E menus) and location (40 rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires) maybe we all should give it another shot; and La Cuisine 4 years old, also originally pretty unremarkable, now under new management by a “brilliant” new chef, shot to 5/5 boxes; and with its menus at 29 E for lunch at 49-70 Euros for dinner may be equally worth a revisit.

In “Zurban” this Wednesday, the day before the Beaujolais Nouveau was released, Sébastien Demorand devoted his major review titled “Il est arrive-é-é,” to a place where the patron who grew up in Beaujolais, returns one day every week. It’s called Les Coteaux in Saint Mandé, 8, rue Jeanne d’Arc {Digester’s note: 4 long blocks or a few stops on the #86 bus from the #1 St Mandé Tourelle Metro stop} 01 48 08 74 81. Note that the resto was previously on the boulevard Garibaldi in the 15th. He liked the selection of wines: Chiroubles, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly, Fleurie and Chénas as well as the food: sausages, cheese, head cheese, “polka terrine,” calf’s head like an andouillette with Mâcon-villages, which he posits puts 7000 calories in your belly bank toute de suite. The formulas are 24€ at lunch to 32€ with wine included; the menu-carte is 28€. It’s a great enthusiastic review.

The first of his three “Casseroles” is Au Petit Riche 25, rue Le Peltier in the 9th, 01 47 70 68 68 M° Richelieu-Drouot, which he calls a historic monument. It’s closed Sundays and has formulas at 22,50-25,50€ for lunch and a menu-carte at 28,50€; a la carte is about 50€. However, except for the oysters and red Loires, the rest sounds simply horrible. The second place is Lao Viet which serves 50-50 Laotian and Vietnamese dishes and the third is a “néo-rétro” type strictly local café L’Ange gardien, 189, rue des Pyrénées in the 20th, 01 43 58 59 97 M° Gambetta, closed Sundays with a carte running about 20€ which serves chopped steak, oysters, pureed sausage, camembert and chocky mousse. If he thinks it’s such a “no big deal” place, why does he make it sound so yummy?

On Wednesday Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” awarded 3 hearts and featured La Table Lauriston , 129, rue Lauriston in the 16th,, open daily except Saturday lunch and Sundays, Metro Trocadero, “dietetically incorrect” with a rabelaisian terrine of game with girolles, a virile entrecote with bone marrow, and an ENORMOUS baba au rhum. The menu is 25 E, a la carte 40-50 E. {Caution for those trying to find it on the Figaroscope website - there is a computer/composition glitch in that they omit La Table Lauriston and double list Madame Tomate.}

Figaroscope also awarded one star each to Les Crâneuses, 72 bis, rue Jean-Pierre- Timbaud in the 11th,, open every day but Sundays, Métro : Parmentier; Madame Tomate, 78, rue de Bagnolet in the 20th,, open every day but Sundays, Métro : Porte de Bagnolet; Autour D’un Verre, 21, rue de Trévise in the 9th,, open everyday but Saturday lunch and Sundays, Métro : Grands-Boulevards or Cadet and Qin, 20, rue Quentin-Bauchart in the 8th,, open everyday until 2 AM. Métro : George-V.

Figaroscope’s “Dossier’ this week is all about Beaujolais Nouveau. Its major section lists 10 with one-paragraph descriptions of each followed by their pluses and minuses, etc. They are:

La Taverne Henri-IV

Le Casier à Vin

Les Coteaux

Chapeau melon

Le Zinc des Cavistes

La Muse vin

Au Nouveau Nez


Le Poisson Rouge

Cercle Rouge

Then they suggest places to go to celebrate the appearance of the BN:

La Cloche des Halles, 28, rue Coquillière in the 1st

Juvenile’s 47, rue de Richelieu in the 1st

Willi’s Wine bar, 13, rue des Petits-Champs in the 1st

Le Rubis, 10, rue du Marché-Saint-Honoré in the 1st

Les Enfants Rouges, 9, rue de Beauce in the 3rd

Le Mauzac, 7, rue de l’Abbé-de-l’Epée in the 5th

Le Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, 19, rue Saint-Jacques in the 5th

Cave Drouot, 8, rue Drouot in the 9th

Mélac, 42, rue Léon-Frot in the 11th

Au Vin des Rues, 21, rue Boulard in the 14th

Le Baratin, 3, rue Jouye-Rouve in the 20th

And finally, they give a list of their “top ten” with descriptors of their best features:

Les Coteaux for Beaujolais and Lyonnais wines

La Muse Vin for bio wines and food

Le Casier à vins for potential and pleasantness

Pierre for rock-bottom prices

Chapeau Melon for selection, originality and forceful food

In addition, François Simon’s “Hache Menu” reviews Wine & Bubbles, 3, rue Française in the 1st, where his bill was 15,50 Euros and the cheese was a bit too cold, the wine a bit too warm and the clients smoking like firemen. He omits his standard question: “Should one go?” I suspect because it’s pretty obvious after those zingers.

This week’s “Quartier” section is on the area around the Porte Maillot in the 16th. The restos mentioned are:

Concord Lafayette

Le Ballon des Ternes



Chez Clément

Le Relais de Venise

Le Sud


Le Pergolèse

Les Béatilles

Bistrot de l’Etoile Niel


La Maison de Charly


Last week’s Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” awarded 2 hearts each to the following:

L’Ampère, 1 rue Ampère in the 17th, 0147.63.72.05, an “old” restaurant, with a new but well-known “ex wonder boy” chef, Philippe Detourbe, he of the fluffy sauces. It’s open every day but Saturday lunch and Sundays and costs 40-50 Euros a la carte and lacks a little something. It serve fried kippers, filet of beef with morilles and peanut crème brulée.

Giufeli, 129, rue du Château in the 14th,, a half-bistrot, half-trattoria with 15 and 20 Euro menus. Open every day but Sundays. The plates they list are a duck cooked two ways and tarragon crème brulée.

Music Hall, 63, Ave Franklin-Roosevelt in the 8th, open every day but Saturday lunch and Sundays with a dance hall dining room in a bar-restaurant-lounge-something-or-other, thing-a-majig. It offers a 21 E lunch menu; à la carte = 40 E. They serve oven-glazed eggs, duck with cocoa and a mint-cocoa feuilléte.

They also give one heart to Trendy’s a salad/sandwich place in the 17th and a broken heart to La Cabane D‘Erable, the Québécois place “Zurban” reviewed last week.

Last week’s “Dossier” in Figaroscope was devoted to SNCF/RER Railroad Station Restaurants, with their stations - e.g. le Gare de:

Le Train Bleu - Lyon

L’Ostréade - Montparnasse

Café Terminus – St-Lazare

Le Flandrin – Petite Ceinture ave Henri-Martin

La Gare - Muette

Tsé – Petite Ceinture Porte d’Auteil

Apollo – Denfert-Rochereau

Musée d’Orsay - obvious

And places near stations:

Le Terminus Nord, Chez Michel & Alsaco – Nord

Le Soleil d’Austerlitz, Au Coco de Mer & Le Quincy – d’Austerlitz

L’Européen, Au Duc de Richelieu & La Biche au Bois – Lyon

Le Sporting & Flo – Est

Garnier & À Toutes Vapeurs – St-Lazare

Le Montparnasse 25, Ty Breiz & La Cerisaie – Montparnasse

François Simon, in the same spirit, reviews Chez Françoise in the Aerogare des Invalides. He says the tuna was over-cooked and had to be sent back and the wait-staff rough and yet in typical Simon-speak he answers his “Should you go?’ question: “Bah? Bof… moui,” or “Oh, well, I suppose so.”

The “Quartier” section is on Orsay, which I figure few eGulleteers will ever visit, but if you wish to see it, you can pay per view in the Figaro website.

Back to this Wednesday, again; Adrian Leeds’ Parler Paris newsletter had another long list (24) of places to go for Beaujolais Nouveau in her issue called “A Lip-Smacking, Pleasure-Provoking Beaujolais Nouveau.” Due to eGullet’s policies and copyright laws, I will not list them but urge you to go to her website if interested.

Thursday-Friday, Jean-Claude Ribaut’s “Toques en Pointe” in Le Monde covered three boutique qua restaurants serving quite similar Russian products (usually caviar, blinis, salmon and vodka):

Petrossian with a lunch menu at 38€, dinner at 48€ and a la carte 90 €, closed Sunsays and Mondays

Maxoff with a lunch menu at 22€, a la carte 25 €, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays

Daru with lunch menu at 29, 30 and 34€, dinner is 50-60€, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays.

Saturday, in his “Croque Notes” in Le Figaro, François Simon write of the new Hiramatsu about which much has already been written. Although he uses words and phrases such as prodigious, elegant, clever, opportunistic, mixing Japanese & French, excellent service; he arrives at the end with the note = 286 Euros/2 which he calls bitter. In ”En bref,” the column of changes and news, they announce the reopening of the avenue Suffren Vin & Marée, closed due to a fire.

Sunday in the JDD’s “Version Femina,” Astrid De T’Serclaes reviewed La Cerisaie with a headline suggesting that you’d better reserve table and a review of Bioboa touting it as healthy, beautiful and good. In the body of the paper there is a page devoted to Joël Robuchon that gives his favorite restaurants (other than his own), a list; specifically Le P’tit Troquet, Le Passy Mandarin + Le Stresa.

John Talbott

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The Week of November 21st, 2004

Monday, back on the track, François Simon reviewed in “Tables d’affaires” in Le Figaro Entreprises the Café Guitry, 10, place Édouard-VII in the 9th, (it’s in the Édouard-VII theater), already mentioned in prior posts. He calls it a clever bistrot serving a fish tartare, scallops with lime and veal tagine with formulas at 24 and 29 Euros. Its open for lunch everyday but evenings from Tuesday to Saturday only when there’s a play on in the theatre it’s within. He gives it 3/5 for both cuisine and quality-price ratio. {Interesting, because his colleague, Emmanuel Rubin, gave it only 2/5 hearts 13 October}

Tuesday, A Nous Paris had one review by Jérôme Berger of a French place, the Boucherie Roulière, 24, rue des Canettes in the 6th,, closed only on Mondays, à la carte about 40 E. Although he talks of its abundance of grilled beef, he also mentions a terrine of queue de boeuf with a salad “fatiguée,” grilled veal kidneys and crumble, clafoutis, fruit desserts. He awards it 3/5 boxes; as does Philippe Toinard of a resto called Le Curieux Spaghetti Bar.

Wednesday, Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” gave three hearts to La Cuisine, the restaurant A Nous Paris reviewed so favorably last week, saying the chef brings exciting new ideas (e.g. langoustines with thyme, rabbit stuffed with veal sweetbreads) to it; they also gave 2 hearts each to:

Bon which has 2 new owners (ex of the Villa Barclay and Flora Danica in the Maison du Danemark and a new chef (ex of Gaya); the reviewers almost suggest that despite the resto’s sometimes poor cooking, it does give one a good excuse to see a remarkable décor, {Am I wrong in thinking that this several years-old, branché, Starck-designed place, has struggled to find its proper niche?}

Aux Marches du Palais, 5, rue de la Manutention in the 16th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, formula at 18 E and 30 E à la carte, which they term a retro-bistrot serving boudin-purée, “perfect” leeks, and a parmentier of duck, and

Le Petit Champenois, 6, rue Fourcade in the 15th,, also closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, with formulas at 14.50 E at lunch, and 17E; à la carte = 25 E, serving cassoulets, parmentiers and other “terrien” {untranslatable} dishes. Finally, they gave a single heart to the interestingly named Fin’s Herb a fast food place in the Marché-St-Honoré.

Figaroscope’sDossier” covers seafood in:


Brasserie Lorraine

Le Congrés

La Coupole

Chez Flottes

100% Seafood:



6 à Huîtres

L’Ecailler du Bistrot

On the fly:

F. Landeau

L’Ecume St-Honoré

Not forgetting:

Café de la Paix


Ballon et coquillages

Le Chasse-Marée

Le Parc à Huîtres

Le Bar à Huîtres

François Simon’s “Haché Menu” covered the Brasserie Lutetia, which I’ll cut to the chase on, by saying when asking “Should one go?,” he says “Only if you’re in the neighborhood with no idea of where to go.”

Sébastien Demorand of Zurban wrote a “two-fer” review of L’Osteria + L’Osteria dell’anima in his big review and his usual three small ones of a tapas, etc. place: Gusto, the well-known Hiramatsu and one French place, a bistrot-cave called Le Casier à vin, 51-53, rue Olivier-de-Serres in the 15th,, with wines from all over the planet, cheese, charcuteries, etc.

Thursday, the freebie ParuVendu listed 10 top restaurants that cost less than 100 Euros; they were:

Le Meurice

Le Cinq


Le Chiberta

Jacques Cagna

Café Moderne

Le Pavillion des Princes

Le Grand Véfour

Le Carré des Feuillants

Lucas Carton

In the “Goûts” section of Le Monde Thursday-Friday, Jean-Claude Ribaut reported on the appearance of the first wave of 2005 food guides; e.g. GaultMillau, Bottin, Peugeot, Cantines de Julie + Lebey. This edition of the GaultMillau, costs 29 Euros and introduces 250 places categorized as “BEB:” bistrots, ethnic and trendy; other Paris news: Pascal Barbot of l’Astrance is chef of the year, l'Ambroisie was dinged but les Ambassadeurs at the Crillon, went up. A new guide is the Cantines de Julie , at 6 Euros, with 250 places ranging from the “less classy to reasonably priced.”

Sunday, in the JDD “Version Femina,” Astrid De T’Serclaes reviews two established places: the Bistot de Marius, off shoot of Marius & Janette and another branch of the fresh-product, fast-food Cojean, this one in the 8th. In JDD’s “Gastronomie” they present another interview with a prominent chef, this week – Christian Constant - he of Le Violin d’Ingres, Fables of Fontaine + Café Constant. They also write up his favorite restos: L’Ami Jean, Chez Michel + La Cave de l’Os à Moelle.

Catching up, November 13/14 in the weekend FT, Sheryle Bagwell wrote glowingly about an Aussie chef, one of the few Anglo-Saxons with a Michelin star (and the coup de coeur in the 2004 GaultMillau), William Page at Le Lièvre Gourmand in Vailly-sur-Sauldre in the Loire, 2 hours from Paris.

Rosa Jackson, writing in November’s “Paris Bites” in Paris Notes, reviews Le Régalade, post-Camdebord, and found it a bit wanting, but still says it’s in her top 10 bistros, especially with its 30 Euro menu and Le Table du Lancaster which she loved, noting that it’s cuisine and 70 Euro bill per person (without wine) was in a different league.

November’s Saveurs promised on its cover to give reviews of 40 restaurants and indeed it has ample sections on Iranian, Brazilian, Mauritian, Japanese and Polish places. In its “Restaurants of the Month” though, it covers several established places with new chefs that have been reviewed by the sections authors (Pudlowski, André and Noce) in their familiar venues. They are:

La Méditerranée where the rooms have been renovated and a new chef, Denis Rippa, was engaged,

Le Bistrot Côté Mer, post departure of Caroline Rostang, which sounds like it has retained much the same menu and quality (good) as before under its new chef Jean-Pierre Abatane,

l’Amphycles ditto, under Robuchon-protégé Philippe Groult,

Le Man Ray, taken over in September by Marc Marchand and Jérémy Normand,

Il Sardo now in the 16th,

Chez Pierre for sometime under David Frémondière’s hand,

Al Dente, another Italian restaurant,

Le Cambodge, a Cambodian place at 10, ave Richerand in the 10th and the

Café Loom, 142, rue des Rosiers in St Ouen, with chef Laurent Le Guernic, ex of Ladurée assisted by a Sri Lankan gifted using spices; the one truly new sounding place, with menus at 22-26 Euros, closed Tuesdays, ergo open when the flea market rocks, , especially the weekends.

Edited by John Talbott 10h05, same day to correct two errors in typing.

Edited by John Talbott (log)

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