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DIGEST: 2004-6 Paris Restaurant News + Reviews

John Talbott

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The week of November 29th, 2004

François Simon’s “Tables d’Affaires” in Monday’s Figaro Entreprises reviewed the established Willi’s Wine Bar from the standpoint, as usual, of a business-person; thus one can get in and out in under an hour and have the 3-antipasti formula at 12 euros; his decision is a bit split, 2/5 for the welcome and food; 3/5 for the price-quality and atmosphere. The regular menu had roast cod with an eggplant “marmalade” and duck with fresh figs.

Tuesday, in the Metro (at least my Metro) came A Nous Paris with 3/5 blocks awarded to two hot places right now: Le Café Guitry and La Table Lauriston, coordinates in prior posts. {Questions: How does the Guitry do both pre-theater quickies and regular “bistrot” stuff? And how can they manage a price (25 E) of the formula at the Lauriston, unless it’s one of those forced choices of crudities/terrine and salmon/chicken - with wines beginning at 45 E to make up; Answers: in my post (9 New…..” yesterday.}

Wednesday Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” featured two restaurants at 2-hearts each; Le Roland {i.e. Roland Garros}, 2 bis av Gordon-Bennett in the 16th, where the famed chef Marc Veyrat’s recipes are used, with a tariff of 60 Euros à la carte, no menus, open all the time except Sunday dinner; and Les Coteaux in St-Mandé, coordinates above, which offers classic “3rd Republic” fare. Rated with one heart were: the Boucherie Roulière, 24, rue des Canettes in the 6th,, serving largely meat, e.g. a côte de boeuf, closed Mondays, à la carte about 35 Euros; Elamar, 38, rue Jacob in the 6th,, a North-African place running you about 25 Euros; and Fine’s a “restaurant-sandwich shop-gallery” in the 8th.

In their “Dossier” the Figaroscope equipe covers “Hot Chocolate” places where you also get pastries and other nummies, of course. The list, with their usual pluses and minuses, is:

Jean-Paul Hévin



Café Lenôtre

La Maison du Chocolat

Christian Constant the chocolate one not the chef,

L’Heure Gourmande

Les Cakes de Bertrand

L’Artisan des Saveurs

Au Pain Quotidien

Kayser, not forgetting:

Aux Deux Magots

Rose Thé

Cacao et Chocolat.

In that line, François Simon had a hot chocolate and the house special, a Mont-Blanc for 12.40 Euros, which he felt was a good buy, at Angelina, 226, rue de Rivoli in the 1st.

Figaroscope’s “Quartier” this week covered the Vavin district in the 6th and mentioned:

Le Timbre

Eb’n Lodge

Mercerie Mullot


Parc aux Cerfs


Sébastien Demorand, in this week’s Zurban devoted his major review to Le Boeuf Gros Sel, 120, rue des Grands-Champs in the 20th,, which is, as the name suggests, a carnivore’s delight; beef stew, steak and frites but also replete with traditional (pre GaultMillau) dishes, e.g. terrines, rillettes, herring, chocolate mousse, etc., closed Sundays and Mondays; menus=11 E at lunch and 22 E at dinner. His smaller reviews covered: La Table Lauriston, coordinates given above, a place that he, as with the reviewers from the other publications, loved; Pierre, 10, rue de la Bourse in the 2nd, {Note; it is neither Pierre au Palais-Royal (Arabian’s place) in the 1st nor Pierre a la Fontaine Gaillon (Depardieu’s place) in the 2nd} which features colorful chairs, wines from all over the world and salads and cold-cuts, of which the Italian ones are good; they’re closed Sundays and have formulas at 13,50 E and 18 E and brunch for 19E on Saturday; L’Ampère, already mentioned here, where Phillipe Detourbe has made his comeback.

Where magazine’s Alexander Lobrano featured several places:

Le Carré des Feuillants where Alain Dutournier has presided for quite a while; three places (also around for a while) for game:

Le Petit Colombier

Le Repaire de Cartouche

Le Petit Marguery; two revived brasseries:

Brasserie Lorraine

Brasserie Stella; and his list of “old-fashioned” bistrots:



L’Ambassade d’Auvergne

La Baracane

Au Saint Pourcain

D’Chez Eux {in the 7th, not to be confused with plain Chez Eux in the 17th}

Aux Lyonnais

La Poule au Pot

Le Repaire de Cartouche

À la Tour Monthléry

Au Trou Gascon

La Truffière

Le Vieux Bistro.

My downstairs (eGullet) neighbors shared with me a new food magazine: Régal, whose first issue (Nov-Dec) has mainly recipes, etc., but one Paris restaurant: L’Ami Marcel, a much raved-about place this fall whose coordinates can be found above.

This month’s “Secrets of Paris,” written by Heather Stimmler-Hall has a section entitled “Dining Out: The Bad, the Good, the Excellent” in which she reviews the following, the first two of which seem totally unknown by the food guides:

La Commerce Brasserie at Les Halles which was bad,

Le Carpé Diem Café, on the Rue des Halles, which was “excellent,” and

Le Bistrot Papillon, 6, rue Papillon in the 9th,, an “old-fashioned French restaurant” which was good - where she actually had ostrich on Thanksgiving; it’s open weekdays for lunch plus Saturday nights and has a menu at 27 Euros; a la carte is about 30 Euros.

John Talbott

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The Week of December 6th, 2004

Wednesday December 8th, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed Le Square, 227 bis, rue Marcadet in the 18th, Metro Guy-Môquet. The formula at lunch is 13€; the menu 17€; a la carte = 35€. It’s a new neighborhood “neo-bistro,” where he loved the magret de canard with parsley roots and the other dishes sound interesting: a galette of chestnuts with Serrano ham, shallots and pancetta “tatin” and chopped pork with white raisins. His other reviews were of the quite well-established restaurants Flora + L’Ebauchoir as well as the wine shop/restaurant/take away/epicerie Autour du vin, 21 rue de Trévise in the 9th, at Metro Grands-Boulevards or Cadet; closed Sundays; the carte is about 15€ for “lovely wines, charcuterie and cheese.”

Wednesday, Emmanuel Rubin et al, in Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau,” awarded two hearts to 123, 123, avenue de Wagram in the 17th,, open everyday at Metro Wagram serving such fare as warm oysters with sorrel sauce, lobster raviolis (which were too salty) and vacherin (which was bourgeois). If that’s not enough, they charge 38 € for the lunch menu, 70 € a la carte and 8 € to park your car. They also gave one heart each, for reasons that vary; not enough cooked in the first case, too much olive oil and sauce in the second, to two bistrots: Cinq Mars 51, rue de Verneuil in the 7th, open everyday but Saturday lunch and Sundays at Metro Rue-du-Bac and Honore 13, rue Bosio in the 16th,, open everyday at Metro Michel-Ange-Auteuil as well as one heart each to two ethnic places: Shri Ganesh 1, rue Guillaume-Tell in the 17th, open everyday at Metro Porte-de-Champerret and Lao Viet 24, bd. Massena in the 8th, open everyday but Tuesdays at Metro Porte-d’Ivry, reviewed two weeks ago by Sebastien Demorand.

Their “Dossier” this week is of a mixed bag of places offering what is essentially winter comfort food, e.g.:

Chez l’Ami Jean for game

Atelier de Maitre Albert for the chimney

Le Roi de pot-au-feu for it’s eponymous dish

La Mosquee de Paris for its hamman and couscous

Les Deux Magots for mulled wine

L’Ambassade d’Auvergne for aligot

Le Chalet for fondue, and

Andy Whaloo + Favela Chic for hot stuff

Francois Simon, in the same vein, reviewed Le Coin de Verre 38, rue Sambre-et-Meuse in the 9th, open from 8 PM til midnight, closed Sundays, no credit cards; costing 104 Euros for its not clear how many, wine was 6-10 Euros a glass. He suggests that at the price you can treat a bunch of friends to a plate of pork goodies and beef with onions and sit in front of a warm fire with a black & white TV as background.

Figaroscope’s Quartier this week is the Place des Vosges; if interested in restaurants in the area you must pay to view.

Thursday/Friday Jean-Claude Ribaut in Le Monde was very busy. In his “Toques en Pointe: Gouts,” he reviewed two brasseries:

the Café du commerce, 51, rue du Commerce in the 15th,, open every day but Christmas, which he says is in good shape with commendable steak and frites, pot au feu of pork (21 €), country cheeses and desserts from olden days (Paris-Brest, Saint-Honore, etc.). Gourmet menu at 26 and 50 €, New Year’s Eve at 170 € with performances and a la carte, about 40 €.

L’Alcazar, 62, rue Mazarine in the 6th,, open everyday; he singles out the Gillardeau and Marennes-Oléron oysters and their newly implemented 39 € dinner featuring a terrine of wild duck among the five entrees to choose from, bass filets or scallops, chicken or confited shoulder of lamb and a new house sausage with chestnuts and potatoes; desserts are a baba, moelleux au chocolat and crumble; the lunch menus are 17 €, 24 € and 28 € and a la carte count on 45 €.

He also writes up one restaurant in Lyon: the Restaurant Nicolas Le Bec, 14, rue Grolée in the 2nd,, closed Sundays and Mondays.

In addition, in an “Arts de vivre” article “To each his bouillabaisse,” in which he contrasts the Martigues and Marseille approach to this venerable fish soup, he uses as examples, two books that might be of interest to readers:

“La Bouillabaisse. Un plat, un emblème, un art de vivre” by Brigitte Poli and Dominique Sammani. Ed. Benezet, 146 p., 42 €. (It sounds not only like a fun read but has serious stuff of an historic and ethnographic nature.)

"Le Grand Livre De Cuisine D'Alain Ducasse. Méditerranée" by Alain Ducasse and Franck Cerutti. Ed. Alain Ducasse, 1 078 p., 215 €. (It has 500 recipes and is considered by Ribaut to convey an “aristocratic” approach to Mediterranean cuisine.)

Finally, the self-same Ribault in another “Gouts” article, entitled “A red label for good bread,” writes of the “club Le Boulanger,” which certifies the best bread products. Of interest, of the 14 millers and 103 bakeries so designated, only two are in Paris: Maitre Pain, 225, rue de Charenton in the 12th and Miss Manon, 87, rue Saint-Antoine in the 4th, plus one in Sceaux.

I’m behind in picking up an review in Liberation by Vincent Noce, published November 26th, due to late posting on their website, of the restaurant La Table de Michel, 13, quai de la Tournelle in the 5th, with a lunch menu at 19 € and diner one at 27 € which despite the chef’s origin from near Metz, is decidedly Italian. He also wrote about a flour mill southwest of Chartres in Perche that for two years has been perfecting a quality baguette that merits the nearby natural park’s designation, a first in France.

Another catchup I think I missed before is in the October “Paris Insites” by Linda Thalman who touted Le Provencal, 94, rue des Grands-Champs in the 20th near Metro Nation,, lunch menu at 12 €, dinner at 19 €, closed Sundays and Mondays which has what sounds like great food (mussels, shrimp, custard) for the price.

The similar sounding “Paris Insights” in the Discover Paris December newsletter has an article on pairing wine and holiday dishes, everything from birds to foie gras, cheese and Christmas log cakes.

The web-based Expatica.com has an article on cyber cafes, listing:

Cyber Café Latino, 13, rue de l'Ecole-Polytechnique in the 5th, Metro Maubert-Mutualité, 01/, web site

@cidnet Cybercafe, 15, rue Daval in the 11th, Metro Bastille, web site

Easyeverything, 31, boulevard de Sébastopol in the 3rd, Metro Chatelet,, web site

Cyber Square, 1, place de la Republique (passage Vendome) in the 3rd, Metro Republique,, web site

Web bar, 32, rue de Picardie in the 4th, Metro Filles du Calvaire,, web site with a brasserie and bar

Jancis Robinson’s husband Nick Lander wrote about Arpege on her web site in a piece called “Prices difficult to stomach” as well as recounting the much publicized three-star Michelin chef meal last month.

L’Express had an exhaustive list of restaurants in their October 2nd 2003 edition which while old is interesting:



Chez Catherine

Chez Jean

Le Bourdonnais-La Cantine des gourmets

Gastronomic Bistrots:

La Famille

Le Bistral

La Table de Lucullus

Cafe Constant

L'Ami Jean

Au fil des saisons


La Cerisaie


Not forgetting the pioneers:

La Regalade


L'Epi Dupin

Le Café des delices

And outside the city:

Auberge des Glazicks

Le Grenier a sel


La Cape

La Cote 108

La Cabotte

Le Jardin aux sources

Au fin gourmet

Lou Capetout

Rosa Jackson’s “Paris Bites” in December-January’s Paris Notes writes a paean to Taillevent which she thinks under Alain Soliveres is better than ever.

December’s Gourmet has a squib on Eric Kayser’s newest, his 8th place, Boulangerie Odeon in the 6th , a soup and salad and sandwich type place.

The December 31st Wine Spectator features an article on the “next generation” of restaurants and chefs in Burgundy. They include:

La Bouzerotte


La Cabotte

Le Benaton

Le Charlemagne

Le Chassagne

Le Gourmadin

Le Jardin des Remparts

The freebie airport magazine Voyages d’Affaires featured another report of L’Amphycles in the 17th as well as the restaurant of the Hotel Trianon Palace in Versailles.

John Talbott

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The Week of December 13th, 2004

In the Figaro Magazine last weekend, Maurice Beaudoin and Francois Simon with Sebastien Lapaque and Alain Sarraute wrote an article entitled “These restaurants are worth a detour.” In it, they list:

Le Cafe d’Angel, 16, rue Brey in the 17th,, closed Saturdays and Sundays with menus at 19 and 22 Euros for lunch and 38 for the menu-carte at dinner, a la carte 38. They subtitle the review “the waltz of flavors," and note that the chef Jean-Marc Gorsy, is a "magician,"

Les Trois Salons in Uzes

Jouni Jouni in Nice {it may just be Jouni}

L’Envers du decor in Saint-Emilion

A l’Abordage in Saint-Malo

In an article in the New York Times Sunday Travel Section entitled ”Boutiques and Cafes Where Chocolatiers Raise the Bar”, already posted by SethG, Jonathan Hayes lists top chocolate places in Paris:

Jean-Paul Hevin in the 1st

Angelina in the 1st

La Charlotte de l'Isle in the 4th

Pierre Hermé in the 6th

Christian Constant in the 6th

Michel Chaudun on the 7th

La Maison du Chocolat in the 9th

Octave in the 5th

Le Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat a “shadowy….invitation-only” club.

Monday, in what I assume to be a bizarre mistake, Figaro posted a “Croque Notes” by Francois Simon dated November 12th which has got to be new. In any case, he discusses several places he thinks reveal sparkling new talent:l’Auberge de l'Esplan in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux near to Valence in the Drome,, under its new young chef Cedric Denaux; Musichall, 63, avenue Frankin-D.-Roosevelt in the 8th,; Metro Saint-Philippe-du-Roule, where despite the sound (noise really) and clientele the food was very 8th Arrondissement-ish and desserts by Yvan Lepape were inventive yet humble; Apicius under Jean-Pierre Vigato, whose removal to a maison particulaire owned by Luc Besson at 20, rue d'Artois in the 8th near the Champs-Elysees, was a “total success,” and; Herve Thys about whom a thread is currently running, whose “constructive cuisine” combats “deconstruction.”

Also Monday, “A Nous Paris,” now speed-rabbited to the “Digest” by Felice, reviewed La Can Tin’h an Asian place in Boulogne as well as publishing a tribute to Eric Frechon of the Bristol, ex from the deepest 19th entitled “The man who’s worth three stars”. As Felice reported already, the awards were:

Best bistro Mon Vieil Ami

Best cellar to eat in Les Papilles

Best quicky canteen Les Vivres

Best public fooding place L’Ourcine

Best interior Ploum

Best of the best Les Ambassadeurs au Crillon

Wednesday December 15th, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban also enthusiastically reviewed Music Hall, see above, a “brand-new, hip” place with dishes the likes of crab with coconut, veal-tuna tartare, tempura of lotte and duck with cocoa. If that’s not enough, he says if you’re tired of the likes of moelleux of chocolate, try the funny “destructured” desserts here. It’s closed Sundays and Mondays and the lunch formula is 21€; the lunch menu = 27€; and a la carte is about 60€. In his three “Casseroles” he reviews Le Pot Lisson a less than adequate Lyonnais place in the 17th, the well-known Beurre Noisette and the one more couscous/tajine place Elamar.

Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau" has three two-hearters; L’Autobus Imperial, 14, av Mondetour in the 1st, open everyday, Metro Les Halles, featuring a young chef from the Christian Constant empire, formulas at lunch for 12,5, 14,5 and 16,5 € and a la carte=25 €; Le Square, 227 bis, rue Marcadet in the 18th,, open everyday, Metro Guy-Moquet with a “youthful” menu at lunch for 13 €, a la carte 35 €, and Phenicia a Lebanese place at 97, av. de Villiers in the 17th,, open everyday, Metro Pereire. {Reader beware, “everyday” sometimes means every week day in Le Figaro.} One heart went to Le Resto, 10, rue Castellane in the 8th,, open everyday but Sundays, Metro Madeleine, running 30-40 € {which sounds like iut got only one heart due to the bad décor not bad food} and L’Attimo a pizza/pasta place at 105, rue de Prony in the 17th,, open everyday, Metro Pereire.

In Figaroscope’s Dossier this week, they listed places to go for New Year’s Eve, aka Les Reveillons de St-Sylvestre;

Less than 100 €:

Le Pavillon des Princes

La Bleuetière

Le Cafe Moderne

100-200 €:


Mon Vieil Ami

La Cuisine

Chez Clement

Blue Elephant

Cafe de la Paix

Les Ormes

Le Cafe du Commerce

Le Cabaret

Park Hyatt Madeleine

La Suite

200-300 €:


Helene Darroze

Les Elysees du Vernet

Meridien Etoile

300-400 €:

La Table du Lancaster

Pre Catalan

Le Bristol

More than 400 €:

Murano Urban Resort

Hotel de Crillon

Le Ritz

Friday/Saturday in Le Monde’s Toques en Pointe,” Jean-Claude Ribaut reviewed three more restaurants for New Year’s Eve: Le Celadon at the Hotel Westminster for 290 € without liquids (normally menus are 48 € and 62 €, with wine at lunch, and a la carte is 110 €. Michel Rostang, 300 € without wine (normally the lunch menu is 65 €, others 175 € and 230 € a la carte = 150 €. Les Elysees du Vernet, 295 € without drinks or 395 € (with champagne and great wines), normally it’s 60 € for lunch and a la carte, about 120 €.

Back to Le Figarocope Wednesday, where Francois Simon’s ”Hache Menu” is along the same line with a rapturous review of Le Jardin at the Hôtel Royal Monceau, 35, av. Hoche in the 8th, with a New Year’s menu of 400 € without liquid items.

Finally, Figaroscope’s Quartier this week was Asnieres in Department 92 for those interested in paying for such info.

Jean-Claude Ribaut in “Gouts” in Le Monde Thursday-Friday, wrote a piece entitled “The Stars of Santa Claus” in which he specifically lauded two restaurants, Jean-Pierre Vigato’s Apicius + Michel Chabran in Pont-de-l'Isère. In addition he mentions the “fooding” awards already posted by Felice, notably the “Prize of Excellence” which went to Jean-François Piege, the chef at les Ambassadeurs at the Crillon.

Please post comments here and not in the digest thread.

John Talbott

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Week of December 20th, 2004

Last week, December 11th, in Le Figaro’s “Propos de Table,” Jean Miot wrote up the Lillois restaurant Le Bistrot de Pierrot and the Parisian one L’Ami Jean, 27 rue Malar in the 7th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, menu at 28 €, a la carte = 35 €; not a new restaurant by any means, but a glowing tribute to this ancient second of Yves Camdebord’s, serving Southwestern fare such as confited duck, goose breast, chicken eggs Basque style and sow’s ham as well as pushing the menu farther towards Spain. He also has an all game menu at 48 €.

On December 17th, in Le Figaro Alexandra Michot interviewed George Blanc of the famous Vonnas restaurant, subtitling it “First, start with good products.”

December 18th the Financial Times’s Weekend Edition had an Article about Jean-Luc Naret's taking over the Michelin empire. He’s quoted as saying "That's what's interesting, the authentic, individual place, where the chef puts all his passion into the food he cooks. We'll continue to pay special attention to new talents and if the food is of exceptional quality, we have no problem giving a star to a restaurant where the chef himself brings the food at the table."

Wednesday, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban devoted his major review to a Thai place Mum Sabai in the 6th and one of his three pots in ‘Casseroles” to L’Enoteca an Italian wine bar in the 4th, but also covered two well-known French places: the crusty old Au Roi du Pot-au-Feu, 34 rue Vignon in the 9th,, Metro Havre-Caumartin or Madeleine, closed Sundays, a la carte = 20€, serving “pitiful” meat and the slightly less old Terrasse Mirabeau, 5, place de Barcelone in the 16th,, Metro Mirabeau, closed Saturday lunches and Sundays, menu-carte = 36€ with a formula at 28€ serving delicious sounding game, scallops, bass, leeks vinaigrette and French toast with caramelized quince.

Wednesday, in Le Figaro Alexandra Michot wrote about places to reserve on New Year’s Eve from Lille to Monaco (for outside Paris see here) for the whole family or overlooking the Seine, including:

le Café du Commerce, 51, rue de Commerce, in the 15th, for 175 € a person with wine

l’Auberge de Cendrillion in Disneyland Paris, for 110 € for parents and 30 € for kids

Toupary at la Samaritaine, 2 quai du Louvre in the 1st, – no prices given

le Ciel de Paris, 56th floor of the Eiffel Tower, for 285 € with champagne

Friday, Christmas Eve, Adrian Leeds of Parler Paris fame ate a “sumptuous dinner” at the restaurant in which Gerard Depardieu and his partner Carole have invested money and ideas: La Fontaine Gaillon, Place Gaillon in the 2nd, Metro Opera,

In an article in Sunday’s Travel section of the New York Times in an article entitled “Looking for Elusive Powder in the French Alps,” Christopher Solomon gives several places to eat in the Serre Chevalier region. They are: Le Montagn'art, Place de l'Église in Le Monêtier-les-Bains,, Le Caribou, 11, rue St.-Eldrade, also in Le Monêtier-les-Bains, and Auberge de la Paix, 3, rue Porte Méane, in Briancon,

The Fall issue of Gastronomica featured two articles and two book reviews of interest; all related to culinary and cook books; “M.F.K. Fisher in France: The First Insouciant Spell (1929-1932),” which is about Fisher’s first stay in France, by Joan Reardon, whose first full book devoted to Fisher will be available any day and; “Desperately Seeking Edouard: A Passion for de Pomiane” by Margaret McArthur, about the famed Polish gastroenterologist turned French “cookery writer,” only two of whose books (“French Cooking in Ten Minutes: or Adapting to the Rhythm of Modern Life” and “Cooking with Pomiane”) are now available in English; “When Champagne Became French: Wine and the Making of a National Identity,” by Kolleen Guy, reviewed by Amy Trubeck and “La France Gourmande: A Food Lover’s Guide to French Fairs and Festivals,” by Marolyn Charpentier, reviewed by Beth Marie Forrest.

Please post comments here and not in the digest thread.

John Talbott

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The Week of December 27th, 2004

Last Wednesday, Figaroscope published its year end tear-out “Best Of” review of

restaurants which are only available as an insert and are not online. This is not its traditional listing with marks from 0-10 but rather a series of brief descriptions that include the following restaurants:

Les Ambassadeurs

Le Murano

Caffe Minotti

Mon Vieil Ami

La Table de Robuchon

L’Atelier des Chefs


Drugstore Publicis


L’Ami Marcel

Dans le Noir


La Table du Lancaster

Le Regalade

Le Roland-Garros

Les Papilles

La Table Lauriston

Le Temps au Temps

Les Vivres


Cafe Guitry

Pavillon des Princes

In addition, Francois Simon’s “Hache Menu” reviews Apicius post-Vigato. His amuse-bouche was too hot, his jellied diced crustaceans were impeccable (35 Euros) but he faults the fish and likes the chocolate souffle. The bill for two was 224.00 Euros and in answer to his habitual question “Should you go,” says “Yes, if it pleases you.”

Another article tucked into this supplement discusses future restaurant openings:

ex-Les Ambassadeurs’ Dominique Bouchet’s new place at 11 de la rue Treilhard in the 8th

La Famille’s new cantine in the 18th

Le Safran’s Caroll Sinclair’s new bio-bistrot annex in the 1st

ex-Le Regalade’s Yves Cambdeborde’s planned place

Krug Room established by the champagne maker

l’Hotel Sezz in the 16th, l’Hotel Griffe in the 3rd and Fouquet’s Hotel in the 8th, currently without a full restaurant

La Table de Lucullus’s fate post-Nicolas Vagnon’s departure from the 17th

Apicius’s future post-Vigato’s exit

Totem, Bermuda Onion (15th) + Beauvillier’s similar situation

a new Hotel Costes in the 16th

Marc Veyrat’s actual new address in Paris

And finally, wine news,

Wine-bars in which to enjoy wines off the shelf at a good price:

Verre Vole


Cave de l’Os a Moelle

La Muse Vin

Chapeau Melon

Places in which to try “natural” wines:

Verre Vole

Chapeau Melon

Caves Miard

La Muse Vin

Autour d’un Verre

Places in which to drink less wine of better quality by the glass:

Atelier de Robuchon

Table de Robuchon

Chai 33

Places offering “doggy-bags” for your unconsumed bottle:

Les Papilles

Chez Clement

Brasseries Flo

Tuesday, Liberation published another list of places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Since the restaurants are well known and listed in the guidebooks, I will list most of them by name and price:

Carré des Feuillants menu at 260 € without wine

César Ritz Place Vendôme menu 590 € with wine

Hôtel Crillon Les Ambassadeurs menu 670 €

Castel menu 220 €

Cabaret menu & entrée to the club 180 €

Vip Room menu and club 150 €

La Mezzanine de l'Alcazar dinner 175 €

Le Piccolo Teatro, 6, rue des Ecouffes in the 4th,, vegetarian dinner at 7 PM = 38 €

Le Cinq at the Hôtel George V, menu = 650 € without wine

Also, just in time for New Year’s eve, Sebastien Demorand has devoted his major space in Zurban to places to go that won’t break the bank as might the Bristol’s 560€ menu without drinks. Demorand does a lot of phoning around and comes up with these three ideas:

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

Chez Jean, 8, rue Saint-Lazare in the 9th, for 70€ without wine

Les Ambassadeurs, 10, place de la Concorde in the 8th, for 670€ for dinner but only 70€ for lunch (as he says in the subtitle, the reveillons are ten times more expensive than lunches).

In his “Casseroles” he features a Japanese place, Momotaro in the 1st, an Italian one Da Gigi la Romana in the 14th and one French place, the “trendy, arty and ‘Bobo’” Les Lucioles, 102, boulevard Menilmontant in the 20th,, Metro Menilmontant and/or Pere Lachaise whose menu is 11.50€ and a la carte runs about 25€, serving fare such as an entrecote with sautéed potatoes.

Thursday-Friday, Le Monde’s Jean-Claude Ribaud’s ”Toques en Pointes” covered three places: Pearl, 53 bis, bd Arago in the 13th, which used to be Les Marrionniers,, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday dinner, under new owners and a new chef with an eclectic palette (French/Italian/Moroccan/Viet Namese), the pleasureable menu is 35 € and a great lunch menu costs 17 €, plus wines are reasonable, Mavrommatis, 42, rue Daubenton in the 5th, 01., closed Mondays, whose owners are described as the best defenders of Greek cuisine in Paris, and the Chateau de Candie in Chambery-le-Vieux.

The December-January GaultMillau gave two toques to Hiramatsu, 52, rue de Longchamp in the 16th; one toque each to La Terrasse Mirabeau, 5, place de Barcelone in the 16th,, La Table de Tournet in Saint Maur (94th) and Villa Marinette in Gazeran (78th); and no toques each to La Breteche in La Varenne-St-Hilaire (94th), l’Auberge de Beauregard in St-Jean de Beauregard (91st) and Le Troubadour in Fontainebleau (77th). They also announced their Chef of the Year was Pascal Barbot at l’Astrance. Finally, in an article called “Paris Magique” they give their favorite places in several categories:

Mythical restaurants: la Tour d’Argent, Lasserre, Le Grand Vefour, Taillevent, Lucas-Carton, Maxims;

Cult places: La Coupole, La Closerie des Lilas, Le Pied de Cochon, Brasserie Lipp, Julien;

Best views: Kong, Le Jules Verne, Maison Blanche, Le Ciel de Paris, Le Georges; and places to go before plays: Le Rubis, Le Moi, Tante Louise, La Petite Auberge, Beurre Noisette, L’Ami Marcel, Paparazzi, Le Grand Café, Café Guitry, La Piece de Boeuf, Au Boeuf Couronne, Chez Vincent, I Galossi, Aux Lyonnais + Angl’Opera.

The November-December Paris, the free publication distributed byM. Delanoye to mailboxes, disclosed that the best baguette competition was won by Pierre Thilloux, 23, from “La Fournee d’Augustine,” 96, rue Raymond-Losserand in the 14th.

Margaret Kemp of Bonjour Paris wrote about the Point Bar, 40, Place du Marche Saint-Honore in the 1st, Metro Pyramides calling it a jewel-box that serves “light modern dishes” for 2O Euros.

Following up last week’s mention of the Depardieu/Bouquet resto La Fontaine Gaillon, Place Gaillon in the 2nd, Metro Opera,, this week’s Gastronomie.com says they’ve opened a second one L'Ecaille de la Fontaine at the same address.

Rosa Jackson, writing in the Star tells of “Fast Food, French Style” – a category that stretches to include Delicabar, Starbucks, Lafayette Maison, Be (Boulangepicier), Publicisdrugstore, Cosi, Frascati, Pasta Linea, Bar a Soupes, Hedonie, Higuma, Lao Lao Ken, Cafe des Delices, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon + Pinxo but not La Licorne.

Elizabeth Mahoney in The Herald discusses many of the “snackbars” mentioned in the paragraph above and also has another take on Dans le Noir, 51 rue Quincampoix in the 4th, where she had the not so terrific 35 Euro “Surprise menu.”

I’ve chosen to put this list of recommended books at the end, because while appearing in the Figaroscope mentioned above, some readers may be experiencing reading fatigue at this point. In any case, the books that might interest members (in French and available from Amazon.com through our eGullet link or Amazon.fr or your friendly local libraire) are:

“Merveilles, Delicieuses Recettes au Pays d’Alice {in Wonderland}” Ferber, Model & Winkelmann,

“Cru” P and L Mikanowski,

“Par Monts at Par Vignes” Gentilhomme,

“100% Epices” Choukroun {Café des Delices},

“Brasseries de Paris” Vlamos,

“Le Meilleur du Chocolat” Villemur,

“Grand Livre de Cuisine d’Alain Ducasse, Mediterranee,”

“les Recettes de Babette” {Creole cooking}de Rozieres,

“Cru” Trotter,

“Bordeaux Grands Crus Classes,”

“Tout Sushi” K and C Masui,

“Quotidiens Gourmands, Solo & Co.” Martin {Grand Vefour},

“Vins de Fete” Leygnier & Barbieri,

“Les Petites Toques Salees de Lenotre,”

“Cuisine et Peinture au Louvre”Pinard & Quoniam,

“Cocktails Classiques, Cocktails Branches” Gage,

“Thierry Breton, de Terre et Mer” {Chez Michel}.

That’s about it for 2004; Happy New Year! See you soon in 2005.

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Edited by John Talbott (log)

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The Week of January 3rd, 2005

The new year started off with Francois Simon in Le Figaro in his “Croque Notes” bemoaning the incapability of 97-98% of French gastronomes to tell the difference between fresh products and frozen/preserved/powdered products and going on to suggest a book by someone who does know his stuff: Francois Audouzde who wrote “Carnets d’un collectionneur des vins anciens.” He does then suggest two restaurants that readers have touted him onto via his direct telephone number (; one moderately new French one, La Poele d’Or, 37, rue de Miromesnil in the 8th,, closed for lunch except Tuesday and Wednesday and dinner Saturday and Sunday, a la carte = 80 Euros and an Italian place Dell’Orto, 45, rue St-Georges in the 9th. The remainder of the Gastronomie page was devoted to Galettes des Rois, listing all sorts of such, e.g. traditional, unusual, chocolate, brioche-type, etc; detailing the feves enclosed this year and interviewing Christophe Felder, ex of the Crillion, now making his galettes at the Boutique Bernardaud, 11 Rue Royale in the 8th.

And on Monday, the selfsame Simon, in Figaro Entreprises reviewed Le Soleil, 109, ave Michelet in St-Ouen (flea market area), (post the departure of Serge Barbey to La Table de Lauriston). While he gives the food a 3/5, the price/quality merits only a 1/5 and for once, one doesn’t need to read between the lines to see where he’s headed; dirty glasses, a padded bill and slow service, all forgiven because of good scallops and risotto of octopus. A la carte is 50 Euros, open every day for lunch but only Friday and Saturday nights.

Sebastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed L’Ecume St-Honore, 6 rue du Marche-Saint-Honore in the 1st,, a 6-year-old fish store which he several times reiterates is just that and not really a restaurant – however he raves about the “enooormous” scallops and “enooormous” oysters as well a fish ranging from bar to tuna, which one can eat at the bar or in a rear room; open 11AM-7 PM weekdays but 7AM-10 PM Fridays and Saturdays, formulas from 9.90 Euros and a la carte = 25-30 Euros. In his “Casseroles” section he reviews three others: Au Grain de Sel, 13, rue Jean-Beausire in the 4th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday nights and Mondays, formulas at lunch are 20-30 Euros and a la carte is about 35 Euros, where he says to go if you live nearby (the Bastille) and the frig is empty; l’Armandie, 2 bis, rue Petel in the 15th, a familial brasserie in a nice neighborhood (Metro = Vaugirard), open every day, formulas at lunch for 14.90-21 Euros, 20.80-21.80 Euros and a la carte about 40 Euros, whose only saving grace apparently are their Perle Blanche oysters; and the newest branch of Bon at 25, rue de la Pompe in the 16th,, another Philippe Starck-designed outpost, where the menu was 29 Euros, a la carte 50 Euros and where he felt dishes were pricey but not bad for what they gave you, but were a bit too sweetened up - except for the marinated beef.

Thursday-Friday Le Monde’s Jean-Claude Ribaut reviewed several places in his “Toques en Pointe;” the venerable old (1952) bistro Chez Germaine, 30, rue Pierre-Leroux in the 7th,, which sounds like the place to send friends who want all the classic dishes as they were in 1952, e.g. everything from herring with potatoes, through pot au feu to pear poached in wine, the lunch menu = 13 Euros, soup at night = 3 Euros (not a misprint), a la carte = 20 Euros, closed Saturday night and Sundays; the already very well-recognized brainchild of Antoine Westerman, Mon Vieil Ami, 60, rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile in the 4th,, with a menu-carte at 38 Euros and plat du jour at 15 Euros, closed Mondays and Tuesday lunch; and the 15 year-old Guy Savoy inspiration, now reviewed again apparently because its space has doubled and spaciousness increased, La Butte Chaillot, 110 bis, avenue Kleber in the 16th,, closed Saturday lunch, menu at 32 Euros, a la carte = 42 Euros.

Patricia Wells is in China, but Friday’s IHT contained an article by Elaine Sciolino about galettes de roi, in three parts; the announcement, previously reported in Le Parisien Tuesday, that Francois Vacavant of Pain & Passion won this year’s award for the best galette in Paris; a description or photo of the galettes sold at Dalloyau, Fauchon, Bon Marche, Laduree, + Lenotre; and a portion on feves and their collection. As of this posting, the article was not up on the IHT website but it is now on the New York Times one.

Figaro’s Saturday-Sunday edition was replete with food news. At the top of the Gastronomie page, available on the website only by paying for a subscription, Alexandra Michot provided her periodic recounting of changes in the restaurant world. She noted the places with new chefs: Gael Orieux, ex-second at Le Meurice will start January 17th at Auguste, 54, rue de Bourgogne in the 7th , Didier Elena, ex-Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in NYC will take over at Les Crayeres in Reims, David Tissot, best worker of 2004 takes over at the Terrasses de Lyon in that city, the celebrity duo Bouquet/Depardieu open a second place L’Ecaille de la Fontaine at 15 rue Gaillon in the 2nd, Vincent Maillard returns from the Savoy-Ducasse world to l’Hostellerie de Levernois near Beaune and ex-Crillon chef Dominique Bouchet heads up his own place at 11, rue Treilhard in the 8th; then notes the places with new décor: Restaurant Regis Marcon in St-Bonnet-le-Froid and Taillevent in the 8th; after recounting that Alain Ducasse has announced the names of the six new young chefs who will cook for two weeks each at the Relais Plaza and then says that three places have new brunches: literary brunches at the Hyatt Madeleine in the 8th , a “detox brunch” at the Blue Elephant in the 11th, and a “world brunch” at the [Crillon in the 8th; that Krug will affiliate with the Park Hyatt Vendome in sponsoring 250 Euro market meals with champagne; and finally in a section titled “Rumors,” that Philippe Groult will leave Amphyclesfor a place unspecified in the provinces, that Marc Veyrat in addition to setting up his Paris “laboratory” dreams of setting up a resto here, that a new chef will be replacing Pierre Dominique Cecillon, taking his well-merited retreat from the Prince of Galles, and that we await the return of Phillipe Conticini and Yves Camdeborde.

Then, Jean Miot in “Propos de Table,” semi-reviews two places: first he writes that the well-known Les Trois Marches, 1, bd de la Reine in Versailles,, closed Sundays and Mondays with menus at 58 € (lunch), 160 and 180 €, a la carte = 150 € is still notable because they change preparations like Bach wrote the Goldberg variations and L'Auberge de Thenay, 23, rue René-d'Hellingue in Thenay,, closed Sunday dinners and Mondays, menus = 19-24 and 50 €, a la carte = 25 €, where Pascal and Marie-Jeanne Orain, returning from 22 years in the UK via Bertie’s in Paris, to set up a “country inn.”

Not sure what wine goes well with a galette des rois? Laure Gasparotto suggests either wines from the Jura or a Tokay. The article gives specific names and prices.

Finally, in his “Croque Notes” Francois Simon mentions a resto near Aix, les Sarments in Puyloubier, where the full menu is 28 € or 22 € for a main and a dessert. It’s run by Jean-Sebastien Gentil who passed through several fine kitchens and Simon gives a long list of dishes that he offers that sound interesting, excepting the desserts, which he describes as “banal” – see the details in the article. Finally, he vents his spleen at the Café de la Paix in Paris where he felt he was poorly seated and treated.

January’s Where had no real food article, but did highlight the renovation of the well-established Stella Maris which the anonymous writer says deserves a macaroon. It also listed several well-known “Warm and Cosy Restaurants:” A la Pomponette, A La Tour Montihery aka Chez Denise, Au Bon-Pourcain, Au Trou Gascon, Aux Lyonnais, L’Alsaco, L’Ambassade d’Auverge, L’Ami Jean, Chez Paul, Lescure, Le Petit Marguery, La Poule au Pot, Le Repaire de Cartouche, Le Roi du Pot-au-Feu, La Truffiere.

Adrian Leeds of ParlerParis suggests that Paris’s “biggest restaurant bargain” is the several years old Le Domaine de Lintillac, 10, rue Saint Augustin in the 2nd, where you can start with a Kir, have three courses of fine Périgourdine cuisine (foie gras, confit de canard, etc.), their best wine and coffee for about 20 Euros. {For first-timers, be aware that it’s heavy in meats, thus some women find its fare very “Zone unfriendly.”}

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The Week of January 10th , 2005

In the January 8th Weekend FT, there was an article by Michael Steinberger entitled “US leaves a bitter taste” about one of France’s premier food critics Francois Simon, reporting on his disappointing trip to the US. One has to pay to view the article online. (Note: it was also summarized and discussed at greater length in this thread.) Steinberger writes that since Simon is so critical of the “complacency of the French culinary establishment,” he (Simon) expected to return with a “glowing report.” Not true. Steinberger writes that Simon ate at Bernardin, Restaurant Daniel and Per Se in NYC and in Steinberger’s words, they “fell substantially short of [his] expectations;” there was “nothing….fantastic”… “something [was] missing.” He then went down Route 66 from Chicago to LA, expecting to find good food, and apparently was ‘so disappointed” that he will not even write it up the several week trip for French audiences. The reasons I’m posting this here and not on a US thread is that: (1) Simon is probably not as well-known to US readers as those in Paris and (2) Simon had hoped to explain to French audiences that food in the US had made great progress and they shouldn’t think France is the be all and end all, and (3) it would probably tee off eGullet members in the US.

Vincent Noce in last Friday’s Liberation wrote up Le Jardin, 37, avenue Hoche in the 8th , (actually, it’s in the Hotel Royal Monceau),, menus at 60 and 110 Euros, closed Saturday, Sundays and Monday lunch. 75008. 01 42 99 98 70, Menus 60 et 110. He called it classic and demanding food by a new 35 year old chef in a renovated place that he admits has seen chefs come and go over the years. I won’t quote all the dishes mentioned but they sound grand, the service is good and it boasts one of the best sommeliers in Paris.

Sunday the Journal du Dimanche published a page pegged to Eric Frechon of Le Bristol who named as his favorite restos: Le Repaire de Cartouche, Villaret + Chez Vincent. There was also an article on Yves Camdeborde, with no news of his date or place of reimergence.

Monday, Francois Simon in Figaro Entreprises’s Table d’affaires wrote up a place in Nantes – Maison BL, 33, rue de Rieux,, closed Sundays, lunch menus = 15-18 Euros, 25 at dinner.

Monday as well, “A Nous Paris,” now arriving grace a Felice, gave “Six Sure Values” as its “Coups de Coeur;” Les Papilles, Le Temps Au Temps, La Table Lauriston, Mon Vieil Ami, La Cuisine + Le Point Bar.

Wednesday, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban devoted his big review to Les Nouveaux Robinson 57, rue Robespierre in Montreuil,, Metro Robespierre on the #9 line, closed Sundays, open for lunch only from 8 AM – 8 PM, menu 14 Euros. This is a tiny bistrot in “biobioland” which neighbors “boboland,” that is an offshoot of an organic supermarket, thus the veggies are the best part but the rest sounds pretty bad, e.g. dry entrecote and chicken without a hint of salt or pepper. He likes the copper-cooked items at Auberge & Cie, 23, rue Clauzel in the 9th,, Metro Pigalle, closed Saturdays at lunch and Sundays, which has a nice sounding menu-carte (cassoulet, confit de canard, escargots) at 32€ but caution: it only takes credit cards with bills of 50€ or over. Also he likes the cosy, neighborhood neobistrot Le Saint Amour, 8, rue de Port-Mahon in the 2nd,, Metro Opera with a menu-carte at 32€ as well plus a lunch formula for 18,90€. Ironically it was also reviewed by Figaroscope this week; he liked the snail fricassee, oysters, scallops and Cotes du Rhone. Finally he mentions the well-established mega wine store Lavinia 3-5, bd de la Madeleine in the 1st,, Metro Madeleine, lunch only every day but Sundays, a la carte about 45€ and enormous plates (of say charcuterie) which run 15-20€. Wine is of course what it says on the shelves.

Wednesday, as well, after several weeks of silence Figaroscope re-emerged after its holiday slumber. In “C’est nouveau” they gave two hearts to the Press’café, 89, rue Montmartre in the 2nd,, Metro Bourse, run by the ex chef at Boucoleon with cheese raviolis, steak tartare he “yums” at, chocolate mousse, running 20 Euros a la carte and Le Saint-Amour (see coordinates above) run by the ex chef of Guilvinec with neotraditional cuisine; plus one heart each to the Hotel de Sens + Trema in the 8th and 10th respectively, the former expensive (50 Euro) and light, the latter as Scandanavian as IKEA; and finally, one broken heart to the Italian place in the 8th – Ziti.

In a somewhat strange “Dossier” this week , the folks list places that are open early or late, are light or heavy, etc etc. saying you can now choose a resto like a piece of clothing. Here’s their list:

Le Fumoir smoking

Sale & Pepe no smoking

Colette water bar

Melac wine bar

Auberge Le Quincy very slow food

Les Elysees de Vernet very fast food at the zinc

Les Fables de Fontaine all fish

Severo all meat

Rue Balzac caloric

L’Opportun light food

Chartier small budget

Terre de truffes big spender

Laperouse discreet

Murano Urban Resort show off

Chez Denise late

Café Guitry early

La Petite Sirene de Copenhague north

La Boule Rouge south

And finally, Francois Simon eats at Music Hall 63, av. Franklin-Roosevelt in the 8th,, open every day from 11 AM to 6 AM, except Sunday and Monday), serving “charming” dishes (lieu jaune with coriander a la vapeur; young carrots) and inventive but “humble” desserts, but it’s pricey he notes – 134 Euros. Should you go? “One hesitates” he suspects.

Saturday, in Figaro’s “Croque Notes” Francois Simon writes one of his most lyrical pieces about a generation “C” of chefs whose association of that name has started a monthly called Omnivore . One can see the first issue’s cover and/or subscribe (apparently it’s only available by subscription; 10 issues for 80 Euros) at their website . The site says they’re the children culinarily speaking, of Bras, Gagnaire, Ducasse and Veyrat. Anyway, he speaks of a “new spirit in the kitchens,” a “profound” change in the world – and that the mammoths are dying, replaced by the new guys who are just having fun making food. He says one no longer needs guidebooks (bibles) with this new religion {OK so he mixes a few metaphors} because the public can find good food themselves these days. As he said last week, people give him tips or ask questions via his direct line ( Examples: a brunch for 20 Euros at le Relais Lagrange, 17, rue Lagrange in the 5th,; a great table in Questembert called le Bretagne,; and a great dish at l'Orée des Champs in Epineau-les-Voves, near Joigny, where the menu is 20 euros. You want to know who Pascal Barbot is? Chef of l’Astrance Ditto Jean Chauvel at les Magnolias in Perreux-sur-Marne; and Jacques Décoret at Gramont in Vichy. But he singles out as the best price/quality ratio the same place Pudlowski 2005 did: l'Abadache, 89, rue Lemercier in the 17th,, {which I’ve referred to before in the Digest and my reviews} and calls its dinner menu of chicken in aspic with herb salad, bar with cannellonis of piquillo peppers and chocolate fondant - “stunning”.

Sunday, the New York Times “Check in – Check out” article in the Travel section by Seth Sherwood covered the Murano , summarizing its menu as “surprisingly unadventurous.”

Alexander Lazareff and Natalie Radolinski’s “A Table” in the winter issue of France , the American not the Brit version, discusses Wine bars all over. Of interest to us are the ones in Paris he selects: Juveniles, L’Ecluse, Jacques Melac + Lavinia .

January’s Gourmet has an article about Herve This about whom a thread was recently running. It indicates that his first book in English” Casseroles and Eprouvettes: Pots, Pans and Test Tubes” will be published this fall by Columbia Univ press.

Margaret Kemp, who writes about food in Karen Fawcett’s Bonjour Paris, (which one must subscribe to), lists her “Best of Buzz 2004” as follows (coordinates given on those lesser known places):


Dans le Noir

Les Fables de la Fontaine


Pasco, 74, bd de la Tour Maubourg in the 7th, Metro Invalides,, running 15-24€ a la carte, serving Mediterranean food

Le Murano

La Table de Robuchon


La Poele d’Or, 37, rue Miromesnil in the 8th, Metro Miromesnil,, her favorite place, closed weekends

Dominique Bouchet, 11, rue Treilhard in the 8th, metro Miromesnil, closed weekends

Les Ormes

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The Week of January 17th, 2005

Friday, Alexandra Michot in Le Monde’s “Toque” interviewed Emmanuel Renaut who has worked besides Marc Veyrat and cooks at Flocons de Sel in Megeve, He talks of Savoie cuisine and products as well as inventive cooking and chefs in Megeve.

Monday, A Nous Paris reviewed two places and gave each 3 of 5 possible blocks. First was Le Saint Amour, 8, rue de Port-Mahon in the 2nd,, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, reviewed last week in Zurban + Figaroscope, so I won’t go into dishes this week, menu-carte at 33 E, 18 E for a main, dessert and glass of wine, 01 47 42 63 82, Metro = Opera. The second place is Au Grain de Sel, 13, rue Jean-Beausire in the 4th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday dinner, Metro Bastille, lunch menus are 20 and 30 Euros, a la carte 29 to 45.50 Euros, where they serve classic bistrot food (eg roast cod with olive oil and smashed potatoes) and give you your little pot of salt as you exit {nice touch}.

Wednesday, Sebastian Demorand published his usual four reviews in Zurban.. Two sound grand, the lead one: Bourse ou la Vie, 12, rue Vivienne in the 2nd ,, Metro Bourse, only open at lunch, except Thursdays, a la carte = 25-30€, which he describes as a “strange bistrot with a fabulous patron" Patrice, enormous veal kidneys swimming in a sea of cream (he advises the reader not to come expecting a feast of vegetables instead of a ton of cholesterol) that he loved, fried potatoes which were cooked correctly the second try and a devilish granache of chocolate and the last one in his “Casseroles”: L’Ecaille de la Fontaine, 15, rue Gaillon in the 2nd,, Metro = Quatre-Septembre, closed Saturdays and Sundays, a la carte about 40 Euros where he loved the huge bigorneaux (winkles). It’s next to La Fontaine Gaillon Gege & Bouquet’s {trans = Gerard (Depardieu) & (Carole) Bouquet} other resto which opened just a bit ago. He says the menu is oysters, oysters, oysters – but there are also crab, bulots and langoustines. The other two are a bit of a letdown: 123, 123, avenue de Wagram in the 17th,, Metro: Wagram, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, a la carte about 50-60€; it’s the old Faucher space which despite renovation and lower prices, sounds worse and Ciel et Sable, 56, rue de la Sabiere in the 14th,, Metro Pernety, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, lunch menu = 11,80, a la carte 20-25 Euros which is a Japanese cantine.

Wednesday as well, Figaroscope delivered its usual three items. In “C’est nouveau” Emmanuel Rubin assessed five places and gave L’Ecaille de la Fontaine, coordinates immediately above, two hearts, the photo and lead, serving all manner of things from the sea. He estimates that the a la carte is 30 Euros. Another two hearts went to Can Tin’h, 5, rue de Vanves in Boulogne,, open everyday at lunch (except weekends) and open Thursday for dinner, described as a Vietnamese cantine two steps from TF1. One heart each went respectively to a Japanese, Basque and Indian place: Kokohana, 1bis, rue Jean-Mermoz in the 8th,, open everyday but Sundays, Metro : Franklin-D.-Roosevelt, la Pibale-Club 308, 308, rue de Charenton in the 12th,, open everyday but Saturday lunch and Sundays and Mondays for dinner, Metro : Porte-de-Charenton, menus are 22 € at lunch and 30 €, and Merveilles de l’Inde, 57, rue des Batignolles in the 12th,, open everyday but Monday lunch, Metro : Place-de-Clichy.

For their “Dossier” entitled “Oeuf mayo, Tete de veau, Gigot” the team reviewed places serving several “cult” dishes created by inspired chefs:

Herring with Potatoes:

Josephine AKA Chez Dumonet

Hard boiled eggs with Mayo:

Le Voltaire

Bacon and Eggs:

Les Deux Magots

Matchstick potatoes

Chez Georges



Beef tartare:

Closerie de Lilas

Leg of lamb:


Coq au Vin:

Le Coq de la Maison Blanche

Scallops in White Butter:

La Grille

Sole Meuniere:

Gaya Rive Gauche

Fish tartare:

Le Duc

Beef Pot au Feu:

Chez la Vieille AKA Adrienne

Pork Pot au Feu:


Tete de Veau:

Caves Petrissans


Le Souffle

Baba au Rhum:

La Table Lauriston

Petits Pots de Crème:

Bistrot d’a Cote all three

Granache au Piment:

La Famille

Malabar ice cream:


Hot chocolate:


And to wind up Figaroscope’s offerings this week, Francois Simon reviewed Publicis Drugstore Champs-Elysées for pasta shells with truffles and ham, which despite the mere 160 Euro bill for four, he says not to go, largely because the deluxe budget food is served in a cafeteria where its difficult to talk because of the blaring music.

Thursday-Friday, Le Monde’s Jean-Claude Ribaut’s “Toques en Pointe” reviewed three truffle restaurants and one “gastronomic” truffle one. The ordinary truffles are to be found at: Casa Olympe, 48, rue Saint-Georges in the 9th,, closed Saturdays and Sundays, menu-carte at 37 € (truffles are supplementary); Armani Caffe, 149, boulevard Saint-Germain in the 6th,, closed Sundays with truffles at 4,50 € a gram; count on 45 € (70 € with truffles from the Piedmont); and the Relais de Sevres, 8-12, rue Louis-Armand in the 15th,, closed Friday night, Saturdays and Sunday, menu = 110 €, business menu with wine = 70 €, a la carte count on 90 €, serving truffles with a lot of dishes. The “gastronomic” review, but also of a place that serves truffles, was of Apicius, 20, rue d'Artois in the 8th,, closed Saturdays and Sundays, a la carte count on 100 €, degustation menu = 130 €; where he loves their stunning desserts.

The Weekend FT had an article by Nicholas Lander entitled “Sight to behold, tastes to savour” about the restaurant he feels is in a “class of its own” – Taillevent. Lander et al came for the famed pressed duck at a family dinner but he comments on the great view, the quenelles of pike with a 95 E Reisling and 109 E Gevrey-Chambertin they had with the other mains (lamb, brill and beef with foie gras); the bill for 6 was 1030 Euros, which he notes was less than a disappointing meal they had at Arpege.

Margaret Kemp, in Bonjour Paris recounted that Dominique Bouchet, of the resto of that name in the 8th at 11, rue Treilhard, Metro: Miromesnil,, closed weekends, which is her favorite place, was awarded the Legion of Honor. Ex of the Crillon, he serves 40 covers with a seasonal menu; on the carte the day she ate there was chestnut soup with truffles, a terrine of Beaufort cheese with artichokes, ham and salad, scallops on mache with parmesan, five fish dishes and a seven hour lamb. Also in Bonjour Paris shortly thereafter, Lee Ann Cornelius paid a visit to Dans le Noir, 51, rue Quincampoix in the 4th, Metro = Rambuteau,, open everyday, bill from 29-35 Euros without drinks, {Ed Note: it’s already been reviewed by others but this is one of first detailed reviews in English and reveals that it’s more of a sensitivity “experience,” eg, of what its like to be blind, than a culinary one.} They liked the shrimp and octopus served on polenta and chocolate-caramel with vanilla-pepper ice cream.

On the website for RestoaParis, appeared a note about a sort-of “Resto U” called La Terrasse de la Cité Internationale, 17, boulevard Jourdan in the 14th, Metro Cite Universitaire, that serves a dish at 10,50 Euros or a starter and main for 13,60 Euros but a review January 14th only gave it 1 of 3 stars {it sounds like the place to send your hitchhiking young relatives who want cheap eats}. It’s near the “U’ but is open to the public and has separate tables and actually looks quite nice.

Heather Stimmler at Secrets of Paris recommends a “lovely wine bistro” La Robe et Le Palais, 13, rue des Lavandières- Ste-Opportune in the 1st near the Chatelet, with over 250 wines and one wine of the day. She loved the pumpkin soup.

The website for Expats, Expatica.com has yet another article on Dans le Noir the resto in the Marais that’s pitchblack.

Jean-Luc Petitrenaud, in ”Saveurs” in L’Express, writes about a wine bar: Le Petit Verdot , 9 rue Fourcroy in the 17th, serving big plates of sausage, rillettes, parsleyed ham, etc, a la carte 19 Euros.

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The Week of January 24th, 2005

Saturday, Francois Simon, Le Figaro ’s crack critic, writing in “Croque Notes” authored an article entitled “Pierre Gagnaire: a continent apart.” Several times he used the number 1000, stressing not only Gagnaire’s range but also number of offerings, at the price of the customer’s leaving the table stuffed. While giving Gagnaire a great deal of praise and utilizing words or phrases such as brilliant and replete with fireworks, Simon notes that the bar was too sauced and the orange dessert overdosed with sugar. His bill for two was 588 Euros with a “small” wine and shared dessert.

Jean Miot, Saturday in Le Figaro ’s “Propos de Table” wrote an article on the food fusion “Summit” in Barcelona this week. I’m including it here because it tells who from France participated, to wit: Gaston Lenotre, Pierre Herme et Daniel Giraud, as well as Antoine Heraah from Le Chamarre , who’s considered to represent a prime French example of fusion cuisine (he’s from the Ile Meurice). (FYI, Miot also says that Madrid-dwellers consider the best nearby restaurant to be El Bohio , 25 km on the route to Toledo, run by the 38 year old Pepe Rodrigues, a student of Martin Berasateguy, and mentions his pot-au-feu with extra-ordinary flavors, pig’s ear, bull’s tail and langoustines.

Saturday, also in Le Figaro , Alexandra Michot published an interview with Dominique Bouchet , of the eponymous restaurant located at 11, rue Treilhard in the 8th,, already mentioned in the Digest. He says he hopes to equal the quality of cuisine at the Crillon , using 90% of the same suppliers, without the necessity of charging as much. Following the formula for new restaurants used by new chefs in her article summarized below, Michot says Bouchet offers only five each - appetizers, fish, meat courses and desserts. In addition, he serves wine by the glass, carafe and bottle.

Monday, Alexandra Michot and Laure Gasporotto wrote an article in Le Figaro entitled “The recipe for new restaurants,” using the opening of Auguste , 54, rue de Bourgogne in the 7th, as an example. They says that restaurants tend to be open the same hours, aim to fit the niche between chic bistrot and “semi-gastronomic,” have short menus (3-5 starters, mains & desserts apiece) with great ideas and dishes that change with the seasons (thus they are not only savory and continually test the chef’s inventiveness but they’re cheaper) and they seat 30-50 in order for the chef to have contact with the diners. The decor is soignee but not sophisticated; the service relaxed but professional; the staff like the chef are of good provenance. The wine list is broad, reasonable and it’s available by the glass. They are champions of a good price-quality ratio. Now to the place they used to anchor this article, where the 32 year old Gael Orieux, ex of the Meurice opened his first place on his own exactly a week ago, assisted and encouraged by his ex-boss and mentor Yannick Alleno, who holds two stars. Wines start at 14 Euros; he uses practically the same suppliers as the Meurice; and meals include beef and onion raviolis, leek cannelloni and pure chocolate souffles. At the opening lunch, several critics were already there and by the next day he’s modified his prices to include a formula with an appetizer and main or main and dessert for 35 Euros and wines for 4-5 E a glass. A good decision, say the writers, because that day, practically everyone orders the formula.

This week’s “A Nous Paris ’s” Jerome Berger gave a compendium of soup places that included:

Zoe Bouillon 4/5 blocks (stars), 66, rue Rebeval in the 19th, Metro Pyranees,, closed Sundays, soups 4-8 Euros, a la carte 10 Euros.

Le Bar a Soupes 3/5, rue de Charonne in the 11th, Metro Ledru-Rollin,, closed Sundays, soups 3.60-5.40 Euros, formula = 9E, a la carte 10 E.

Bar a Soupes et Quenelles Giraudet , 5, rue Princesse in the 6th,, Metro Mabillion, closed Sundays, soups 5.20-6.90E, a la carte 15 Euros.

Ching N’ling Noodle Bar 3/5, 6, rue Gomboust in the 1st,, Metro Pyramides, closed Sundays, soups 6.50, formula 9.30, a la carte = 15E.

Soup & Juice 2/5, 54 av Kleber in the 16th, Metro Boissiere,, closed weekends, soups 4 & 5E, formulas at lunch 6-8.50 E, a la carte 10 E.

A bit farther back in the “Coups de Coeur du Mois,” i.e., the Best of the Month they select Le Curieux Spaghetti Bar , 14 rue St-Merri, Metro Hotel de Ville,

A small blurb in “A Nous Paris” 10-16 January notes that the following places will train part-time cooks: Ze Kitchen Galerie, Lenotre + l’Hotel Plaza Vendome.

I was wondering how to include a useful compendium of restaurants under 30 Euros authored by Sebastien Demorand in Zurban that I missed last week because it was not in the usual “Tables” section, but this week’s Figaroscope ’s “Dossier” published another list of reasonably priced places, so here they are side by side:

Zurban Figaroscope

Juveniles L’Autobus

Naniwa-ya Le Mesturet

L’Ambassade d'Auvergne Le Pamphlet

Les Enfants rouges Le Pre Verre

Fleurs de thym Midi-Vins

Frascati L’Affriole

Le Pre Verre Bistrot Paul Bert

Breakfast in America Les Jumeaux

Le Timbre La Regalade

Aux Charpentiers La Cerisaie

Chez Germaine Aux Marches du palais

Kokohana L’Hermes

Autour du vin Les Allobroges


Le Coin de verre

Le Verre vole

Le Temps au temps

Les Craneuses


Chez Regis


Le Café du commerce

La Table Lauriston

Duret Mandarin

F. Landeau

Le Petit Chavignol


Au Bon Coin

Lao Siam

Bar fleuri

Chapeau melon

Le Boeuf gros sel

Le Baratin

Also in Zurban, Vanessa Zocchetti revealed that Pierre Herme, noted patissier, will give 5 days of classes lasting 35 hours costing 1800 Euros for a limited period of time – open to professionals only. She hopes they will occur again - open to all.

In his usual space Wednesday, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed on his main page: the Mediterranean-oriented (i.e., Spain, Marseilles, the Camargue) Les Don Juan, 19, rue de Picardie in the 3rd,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, Metro = Republique, in a cute, trendy looking loft-type setting, formulas and lunch menu, 11.50-14 Euros, a la carte = 30 Euros, where he talked of the pimentos of piquillo stuffed with basil(?)-infused squid, lamb and beef with anchovies. In his “Casseroles” he covered three French places (unusual for this internationally-minded critic): a sort-of brasserie L’Autobus Imperial ex-Royal Mondetour, 14, rue Mondetour in the 1st,, closed Sundays, Metro= Les Halles, (the photo shows gorgeous furniture) formulas at 12.50-16.50 Euros and a la carte about 30 Euros, serving impeccable squid and great, tasty desserts; the trendy looking but retro cooking Le Resto (he plays around with the name a bit like Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first,….etc.”), 10, rue de Castellane in the 8th,, closed weekends, Metro Madeleine, a la carte about 35-40 Euros, where he thought the lentil salad with sausage was better than expected but the salmon worse and in sum says only go if you’re passing by; and the relatively-new La Cabane, 96, rue de Levis in the 17th,, closed Monday nights, Metro Villiers, with formulas and lunch menus at 14-21 Euros with wine, a la carte 22-36 Euros, where it’s shellfish, esp. oysters from Noirmoutier, all the way. If you’ve not had enough, Demorand also reviewed a book “Gouts et tabou 2005” which seemingly deals primarily with restaurant toilets; it cost 19E if you’re interested.

In Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau," Emmanuel Rubin et al gave three hearts to a place I’ve already mentioned several times in prior weeks and above: Dominique Bouchet, 11, rue Treilhard in the 8th,, closed weekends, Metro Miromesnil, serving what they call “old French food” for 50-60 Euros a la carte; two hearts each to Chez Euzebio, 11, rue Hegesippe-Moreau in the 18th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, Metro La Fourche, serving tapas and paellas, Les Don Juan {Ed Note: which someone misspelled in the print version}, 19, rue de Picardie in the 3rd,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, Metro = Arts & Metiers, serving lamb stew with dates for example, and La Gare, 19, Chaussee de la Muette in the 16th,, Metro La Muette or RER Boucainvilliers, open everyday {Ed. Note: this wonderful looking place is just across the park from the Marmottan} with a new chef ex-Plaza, but prices are 1/3rd there, for example, the formula is 15, menu-carte 27-32 Euros, open every day {caution: brunch on Sundays,} serving things such as a good tartare and generous fries; and finally a broken heart to a Chinese/Thai place Le Dragon in Neuilly-sur Seine.

Thursday, Pierre Charles in ParuVendu, in yet another free newspaper that seems to be making a run on A Nous Paris had several fairly up to date restaurant recommendations (coordinates can be found in this or prior Digest posts); this week: Le Cinq Mars, Le Curieux Spaghetti Bar, La Can Tin’h, Le Music Hall, + Le Café Moderne and he reminds us that Bruno Chartier has moved from Le Guilvinac to Le Saint-Amour, that the first female maitre d’hotel at Le Train Bleu has moved to the Grain de Sel, that the fairly recently opened resto at Roland Garros will now fall under Savoyard Marc Veyrat’s hands, that Bon has a new chef and team and that Restaurant Michel (in the 16th, not the 11th) will henceforth be called Aux Marches du Palais.

Thursday-Friday in Le Monde we had a bounty of food news. First, Jean-Claude Ribaut wrote a very thoughtful comparison of two of the premier three-star chefs in Paris - Alain Passard and Pierre Gagnaire – almost in answer to Simon’s tribute to Gagnaire five days before. I cannot do justice to it, so I urge all of us who have dined with both masters to read the original, while it’s still up and free. For a cheap guy like me, who ate with both when the dollar was king and they were both young, the idea of “80 euros” for starters and “143 euros” for mains is off-putting, but hey, someone’s paying it. Ribaut’s task sounds much like Craig Claiborne’s then seemingly excessively expensive $4,000 dinner at Chez Denis, but then I’m showing my age.

On the other page, Ribaut’s “Toques en Pointe” covers several places. First he reports on the place I noted above: Auguste, 54, rue de Bourgogne in the 7th,, closed weekends {Ed Note: I’ll report my take on it next week,} where Gael Orieux, ex-Yannick Alleno at the Meurice opened his homage last Monday to the father of modern cooking - Auguste Escoffier; in sum - it sounds great (endives with smoked ham, pink tuna with ginger and an “unctuous” chocolate souffle), the menu at lunch is 35 € and a la carte : 55 €. Second is La Truffe noire, 2, place Parmentier in Neuilly-sur-Seine,, closed weekends, already well reported, where the new guy, Patrice Hardy, ex-Martinez, chef at Ladurée, the one on the Champs-Elysées, and at the “fleeting” Korova, now plays with truffles {well, give me a better translation}, the dinner truffle menu = 97 €; menu is 36 € and a la carte, 55 €. And finally he writes up La Lucarne aux Chouettes in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne,, closed Sunday nights and Mondays (Americans take note; this is the ruined building Leslie Caron, of “Gigi” fame breathed new life into); Ribaut calls the food simply and tasty, lunch menu = 20 €, menu-carte = 38 €. OK.

On Saturday Le Figaro devoted two pages to things gastronomic. Most prominent was a story on the “8 lines of page 382” of the Michelin Red Guide for Benelux that jumped the gun on rating a not yet opened resto in Belgium; an event that had ramifications here in Paris, despite its involving the Benelux edition, coming after a very strong critique of the guide’s practices. Indeed, Francois Simon’s “Croque Notes” led off with some comments on the scandal. Then, though, he discussed what seems to be his new obsession, people calling on his direct phone line to give him good and bad news; a 15 Euro menu near Vonnas, the lack of good places in the 16th and the opening of Auguste. Then he details five errors Robert Parker and Joel Robuchon made in their infamous trip to Japan; (1) including to many people (20); (2) opening the wine at the last minute; (3) opening the wine vertically with a plan old tire-bouchon; (4) having Joel R smell the wine before it had a chance to “breathe,” thus allowing the smell to go from “putrid” and “dead” to “perfection” and (5) to carafe the wines, thereby “breaking their intimate structure.” {Ouch! and Wow!} There was also in interview with Jerome Gangneux, ex-Apicius, of the trendy place called 6 New York, which is its address, in which he says the Michelin scandal reveals that “annexes” of places, which the Ostend Queen was, are judged differently than the mother-ships and rarely seek stardom. Finally, aside from a piece on chefs’ Congresses, the “peg” being the recent “SIRHA,” already noted above and elsewhere on eGullet.com, the 9th World’s Cup for Pastry was won by the French team consisting of folk from the hotel Plaza Athenee, Pic, + a pastry shop in Thonon-les-Bains.

In the JDD’s Version Femina this Sunday, Astrid De T’Serclaes wrote up an Italian place Cibus, which has been around for a while. In the regular newpaper, Alain Dutournier chef at Le Carre des Feuillants selected his three favorite affordable restos: Fish, la Boissonnerie, l’Alcazar + le Train Bleu. Resonating with Jerome Berger’s article, summarized above, in “A Nous Paris,” Yann Philippin in JDD discusses the return of soups to the menus of great places like l’Arpege + Guy Savoy but even lowly restos like Le Bar a Soupes and notes that sales are up almost 6% and Campbell’s accounts for 45% of the market.

Edited by John Talbott Feburary 1st to eliminate redundancies.

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Edited by John Talbott (log)

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The Week of January 31st, 2005

Monday, Francois Simon, in Le Figaro ’s “Entreprises” reviewed La Poele d’Or, 37 rue du Miromesnil in the 8th,, closed weekends, Metromesnil, a la carte 80 E (per Pudlowski). He says here’s a resto that’s escaped the banal environment (I assume he means of the deadly 8th) and presents spirited food. He doesn’t say what he had but recounts the menu (there is no prix fixe despite that statement in the article).

This week’s “A Nous Paris ’s” Philippe Toinard wrote up Bon, 25, rue de la Pompe in the 16th, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, a la carte 33-52 E. Bottom line, the chef, Bruno Brangea possesses certain talent and he gives him 3/5 blocks but he disliked the unwelcoming and somewhat bizarre entrance.

In Zurban Wednesday, Sebastien Demorand reviewed very positively: Cinq Mars, 51, rue de Verneuil in the 7th,, metro Rue du Bac, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, lunch menu (a forced choice of 1st, main and dessert) at 21,50 E, a la carte 35-40 E, which he says is the sort of place he’d like to run once he gets tired of food criticism {me too}; he liked the classic French bistro dishes, e.g. the terrine de campagne, sausage with pureed potatoes, chocolate mousse, etc., {my take on the place will be posted soon). In his “Casseroles” he covered two forgettable places and another oyster/shellfish place: a North African resto Baya, 28, rue des Blancs-Manteaux in the 4th,, Metro Rambuteau, closed Mondays, a la carte 25-30 E closed Sundays, 25-30 E, which did not impress him at all despite the cozy surroundings, Colock, 131, rue du Cherche –Midi in the 15th,, closed Sundays, in the old Mauritius space, {a place my wife Colette has been watching undergoing renovation for years it seems, thinking it looked promising}; it’s not, according to Demorand; despite having low prices, its cooking is amateurish, in the American sense, {Ed note: if you’re in France now, get a copy of this issue of Zurban; he has a commentary by a couple exiting the resto that is hilarious,} and another oyster/shellfish place {how many have opened in the last year?} Six a huitres, 6, rue Crozatier in the 12th,, Metro Reuilly-Diderot, closed Sunday and Monday nights, lunch formula with wine = 18 E, a la carte 30-35 E, with nice "Perles Blanches," a nice owner, nice 30’s décor and nice reasonable whites.

In Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau”, Emmanuel Rubin gave three hearts to a place that opened two weeks ago and I’ll report on in my next “New Resto” post, Auguste, 54, rue de Bourgogne in the 7th,, Metro=Varenne or Assemblee-Nationale, formula at 35 E and a la carte 50-60 E, in the old Glenans space, he liked the endives and ham, bar and chocolate soufflé. He gave one heart each to: Regis, 5, rue de Montfaucon in the 6th, Metro=Odeon, open everyday but Monday 11 AM – MN, 15-30 E, but his comments about the oysters constitute a 2-heart type rating, a creperie Creperie du 2e, 54, rue d’Argout in the 2nd,, closed Sundays, metro Sentier, about 15 E, and a Japanese place Ta Sushi, 4, rue Etienne-Marcel in the 2nd, open everyday, metro Etienne Marcel about 15-25 E. Finally, he gave a broken heart to the Cafe de l’Homme, in the Musee de l’Homme, 17, place de Trocadero in the 16th, in the old Totem space,, open everyday, costs 40-50 E but the setting is impressive.

I’m ambivalent about relaying all the info about this week’s “Dossier” which concerns itself with things milky – i.e. creams, yogurt, milk-shakes and the like. You can go to the article or guidebooks for coordinates. They are:

Farm milk

La Ferme


Ty Breiz





Milky drinks


Haddock poached in milk

Le Balzar

Milk fed lamb


Milk caramels


Rice pudding


Panna cotta

Emporio Armani Caffe

Milk jam


Pastilla with milk

Au P’tit Cahoua

Francois Simon must have drawn the short straw because his “Hache menu” this week was devoted to milk in coffee at Starbucks, 26, av de l’Opera in the 1st (there are 7 now scattered around Paris). He paid 8.50 E for a big glass of OJ, a bad croissant and a cappuccino. “Should you go,” he asks? “You’ll have to some day,” he says, implying if only for the comfortable setting.

Thursday, Pierre Charles in ParuVendu, did two pages on bio food: the restos first, coordinates given if not in the guidebooks yet:


Les Nouveaux Robinsons, 57 rue Robespierre in Montreuil,

Il Baccello, 33, rue Cardinet in the 17th,

Le Jardin des Pates

Le Potager du Marais, 22, rue Rambuteau in the 3rd,


Bio a Croquer, 41, rue d’Amsterdam in the 8th,

The bio markets are bd des Batignolles (Sat 9 AM-2 PM), place Brancusi (ditto), and bd Raspail (Sundays same hrs).

Bakeries: Boulangerie Moisan in the 12th, Boulanger de Monge in the 5th, and l’Autre Boulange in the 11th.

The supermarkets are the three Nouveau Robinsons in Boulogne, Neuilly and Montreuil, Biocoop (www.biocoop.fr) and Naturalia (www.naturalia.fr).

Butchers: BCB in the 5th and Laudic in the 10th.

On Saturday Francois Simon’s “Croque Notes” in Le Figaro were teeming with info: Dominique Versini at Casa Olympe is turning out a fabulous cocotte of vegetables, the menu-carte is 37 E; Yves Camdebord, ex-Regalade will sign for his new hotel/restaurant that’s in the 6th on Monday; the team from De la Garde is moving to Beauvilliers in the 18th; the chef featured in M6’s Thursday hit TV show “Oui Chef,” Cyril Lignac, yesterday opened his new resto (which to some extent the show was built around) Cuisine Attitude, 14, rue Cauchy in the 15th, (closed weekends); calls keep flooding his direct telephone line, the latest one recommending the café Chemin de Fer in Sens, that has an exceptional stuffed cabbage, but one must call in advance to make sure they have it (; the astonishing 25 Euro menu at Temps au Temps {Ed Note: already noted in earlier Digests and resto reviews}; and finally, notes the publication of the Petit Lebey of Bistros this week.

Just below, Jean Miot highlights two places: Dessirer, 9, pl du Marechal-Juin in the 17th,, run by Michel Rostang, with good oysters, original foie gras; well it all sounds good; and La Ribaudiere in Bourg Charante (Jarnac) with an astonishing wine and cognac list. In addition, Alexandra Michot has a long article (pegged to the Chinese New Year) on chef Ping Wang and his 15 year old Chinese place La Nouvelle Fontaine d’Or in the 16th, 39, rue La Fontaine,

This month’s Where has little of note by the omnipresent Alexander Lobrano. He lists a bunch of Thai restos without real reviews, but I think in his favored order: Le Banyan, Blue Elephant, Khun Akorn + Mum Sabia. He also wrote a newsy note of Jean-Pierre Vigato’s move of Apicius, already noted in the Digest.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Week of February 7th, 2005

Monday, Francois Simon, in Le Figaro ’s “Entreprises” contribution was on the steadiness of le Relais d'Auteuil, 31, bd Murat in the 16th,, closed Saturday and Monday at lunch and all day Sundays, business lunch = 48 E. He gives it 4/5 stars on food; 2/5 on price/quality. He says several of the dishes have a formidable brio; but he did quibble about his 110 Euro wine which took too long to arrive and at the wrong temperature.

Tuesday, this week’s “A Nous Paris ’s Jerome Berger gave 3/5 blocks to Temps au Temps and as others before him have noted, the dishes are tasty and the prices gentle. His colleague Philippe Toinard, gave the same rating to Le Resto, 10, rue de Castellone in the 8th,, a la carte = 30-45 E, closed Sundays, which he summarizes as “it’s good, it’s well done, it’s classic.”

Sebastien Demorand in Wednesday’s Zurban devotes his primary review to the Southwestern La Pibale Club 308, 308, rue de Charenton in the 12th,, metro = Dugommier or Porte de Charenton, closed Saturday and Monday for lunch and Sundays, formula at 22 and menu-carte 30 Euros. Along with his Madiran, he liked the calamars like in the Bay of Biscay, the spicy pate, fantastic boudin, indeed pretty much everything. Sounds nice even though it’s a schlep for most folks; look at the map, it’s way out there in no man’s land. In his “Casseroles” he covers three places; a Thai-French bistro Yo, 10, rue Port Mahon in the 2nd,, metro= Quatre-Septembre or Opera, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, lunch formula and menu running 18-22 Euro, a la carte 28.50 E that does sound pretty good (pintade in a wok, ox tail terrine, shrimp toast; Les Couleurs, 117, rue Saint-Maur in the happening 11th,, metro= Rue Saint-Maur or Parmentier, always open for 20 Euros a la carte but stuff like calamars on pasta, gorgonzola on osso bucco; lots of cell-phones, tattooed rear ends and Bobos (if you haven’t been to Spoon this’ll substitute; and a Spanish place Chez Eusebio, 11, rue Hegesippe-Moreau in the 18th,, metro=La Fourche, closed Sundays and Mondays, a la carte about 25 Euros for ham, cod, calamars again, and paella.

Wednesday, Emmanuel Rubin in Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” dished out the hearts as follows: 2 hearts each to a Spanish place Casa del Campo, 22, rue de la Chaussee d’Antin in the 9th,, open everyday except Sundays 11:30 AM til 1 AM, Metro=Havre-Caumartin, which he calls a beautiful Iberian spot that while looking like a beer and tapas place serves pretty good food for only 10-15 Euros, and an Italian place Settebello, 9, rue Duban in the 16th,, open everyday except Sundays, Metro La Muette, serving a beautiful veal Milanese and good risotto with langoustines for 40 Euros; then 3 one hearters to Le Reveil Bastille, 29, bd. Henri-IV in the 4th,, open everyday except Sundays and Monday dinner, Metro Bastille recently opened by two 30 year olds serving eggs with mayo, entrecotes, etc., for a la carte 25-30 € and lunch menus for 13,50 & 19 €; Bwyty {just pronounce it and you’ll see}, 12, rue Pecquay in the 4th, no telephone, open everyday but Mondays - from 12 noon til 7 P.M. most days, but 12 noon til 10 PM Fridays and Saturdays, Métro : Rambuteau, for soups and sandwiches at 10-15 Euros and New York, British or Canadian brunches weekends, and l’Escargot Montorgeuil, 38, rue Montorgueil in the 1st,, open everyday but Mondays, Metro = Les Halles, a very old place taken over by new folks and charging quite a bit (e.g. 60 Euros) for not so great stuff; snails you should take Tums with, hollandaise on the turbot that was too buttery, etc.

The “Dossier” this week concerned itself with places to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day:

For up to 60 Euros:



Le Petrelle

Le Banyan

Aux Saveurs de Claude

Ze Kitchen Galerie

Cafe Moderne

Le Jardin d’Ampere

Café du Commerce

Bistrot Romain {my goodness}

From 60-100 Euros:

Tante Jeanne


La Place


Au Gourmand


Hotel de Vigny

Aero-Club de France

From 100-200 Euros:

Les Ormes

Les Muses

Les Trois Marches in Versailles

Les Bateaux Parisiens you can guess where

Park Hyatt Paris – Vendome

Over 200 Euros:

Cafe Faubourg

Michel Rostang

Hotel Ritz

Hotel Crillon

Right in line with those ideas for this fete, Francois Simon went to what he hoped was a perfect place for an intimate twosome – the Hyatt’s La Chinoiserie & le Cafe M 24, bd Malesherbes in the 8th,, where he had a special “black” menu available for the remainder of the month, e.g. scallops with truffles,” lotte cooked in squid ink, and great lamb “Satchmo” which was stuffed with black olives and trumpets of death and a trilogy of chocolate desserts – but “chancy” service where the wine (again) arrived late and the noise from the kitchen destroyed his hope for an intimate evening. It cost him 160 E and he looked at the bill with horror (there was indeed an error) - the menu is 58 E per person without drinks and 78 Euros per with a glass with each dish; bottom line: Should one go? Answer: Yes, but another night and straight to the main course.

Wednesday in the New York Times, there was yet another article? on Mireille Guilano and her book French Women Don’t get Fat: the Secret of Eating for Pleasure which doesn’t really inform this Forum of anything more than we’ve heard from others, including Francois Simon and Gilles Pudlowski.

Jean-Claude Ribaut was very busy this week. In Le Monde on Thursday-Friday, his Toques en Pointe covered two bistros: La Pibale, coordinates, prices and dishes served above and l’Ami Marcel, coordinates in the guidebooks, where he really liked the ex-Ritz chef’s dishes. He also reviewed the ancient and ancient-looking l’Alsaco {not sure why}whose coordinates, prices and dishes are also in the guidebooks. In a much longer piece, which included a recipe (fricassee of chicken with cream of morilles), he wrote what is really an essay on the birth of restaurants in Paris, featuring Le Polidor, 51, rue Monsieur-le-Prince in the 6th,, which started as a cremerie-restaurant in 1848, open everyday with menus at lunch for 12 Euros and at dinner for 19 and 28 E and a la carte 26 E, which is why it’s long been a favorites of students and Hemingway, etc. and takes cash only.

Friday, Francois Simon in Croque Notes calls his column “the syndrome of the little places.” First he mentions a restaurant in Beziers, already written about, run by two chefs, Fabien Lefèbvre et Olivier Bontemps, at 12, rue Boieldieu, cooking a short menu of regenerated nouvelle cuisine items. Now on to the little places: he thought of going to Mondragon, because a reader recommended Beaugravière, chef’d by Guy Julien, but wanted save room for dinner, so he ate at l'Auberge à…hold on, it’ll come to me, the name is exquisite Saint-Pantaléon-les-Vignes, where he had the 11 Euro menu with coldcuts, pate and ham, chicken and a crème caramel with wine and coffee. Finally, how about the Michelin 2005? It’s all too predictable concerning Le Divellec, Pourcel, Lameloise, Marcon, Barbot + Piège .

The Feb-March Voyages d’Affaires reports that at Orly Rungis, the Novotel has revolutionarily changed its “traditional bar” to a cafe, really a full-service restaurant. In addition the giveaway magazine recommend several restos in Paris: La Lorraine, l’Alcazar, + Le Stella, one in Lyon – Le Nord and one in Marseilles Le Julien.

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Edited by John Talbott 14 Feb 2005 for elimination of redundancy from week before.

Edited by John Talbott (log)

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The Week of February 14th, 2005

Monday, in Figaro Entreprises, Francois Simon wrote not so much a review as a note about Temps au Temps, coordinates and reviews already posted here several times. He calls it « a little pearl in Paris » with one of the best price-quality ratios (25 E for foie gras, roast partridge and mango crumble for example) he knows but one must reserve and smokers are{Ed note from my experience with this tiny room containing a bar where they congregate – still} a problem.

Tuesday, in A Nous Paris, there were three restaurants mentioned. Jerome Berger gave 3/5 blocks to l’Autobus Imperial, 14, rue Mondetour in the 1st,, closed Sundays, Metro Les Halles, where everyone raves about the ambiance, price (12.50 E menu) and dessert wagon {Ed. Note : except me, I seem alone in not loving this place}. Phillipe Toinard, for his part, gave 2/5 blocks to Le Titi Parisien, 96, bd de la Tour-Maubourg in the 7th,, closed Sat lunch and Sundays, Metro la Tour-Maubourg. There were three chalk-boards, largely of meats, not marked by provenance. Cold puree, strange service and nothing seemed to work. Finally they give their Coup de couer for the week to Au Grain de Sel, 13, rue Jean-Beausire in the 4th, Metro Bastille,, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday dinner which is small, has few dishes but they’re good. Lunch menus 20-30 E ; dinner 29-45.50 E.

Wednesday, in Zurban, Sebastien Demorand wrote up four places. The lead went to a place just opened with great fanfare by TV Reality Show Star Cyril Lignac called Le Quinzième, 14, rue Cauchy in the 15th,, Metro Javel, closed Saturdays and Sundays, lunch formula = 40€, dinner degustation menu = 80€, a la carte = 70-80€. The show was called « Oui Chef » and had lots of shouting of « Oui Chef » as Lignac trained his energetic, in-need-of-training, staff. Thus, Demorand’s review is entitled « Moui chef » but reading the review should have been titled « Bah - Non chef. » The long and short of it, Demorand thought the food was not disgraceful but not worth the prices. Indeed, the food doesn’t sound bad; eg dorade and mango tartare, foie gras and cepes raviolis, scallops with bacon and chestnuts but at those prices, ou la la. The other places included one French cafe-bistrot that did have a good price-quality ratio (eg 20 E), Midi Vins, 83, rue du Cherche-Midi in the 6th,, Metro Vaneau, closed Sundays and Mondays, serving interesting sounding stuff like rabbit’s liver with basil/garlic (eg pesto) sauce, loin of lamb with a lemon crust and an entire camembert for the table; a Swedish tapas {Ed note : what ?) place Trema, 8, rue de Marseille in the 10th,, Metro = Jacques-Bonsergent, closed Sundays, lunch formula at 12€, a la carte is 30-40€, where he especially appreciated the inexpensive champagne with chorizo and gravlax {Ed Note: OK}; and le Nouveau Nez, 112, rue Saint-Maur in the 11th,, Metro = Parmentier, closed Sundays, a la carte 10-12€ , yet another wine bistrot selling unsulphered wine plus cheese and cold cuts (charcuterie).

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Rubin et al covered much the same territory as Demorand this Wednesday in Figaroscope, leading off with the photo and description and two hearts to the XVe Cuisine Attitude, coordinates, etc above, where they also play with the “Oui chef” thing. The dishes described, attitude observed and reaction to prices parallel Demorand’s. {Ed note: did they eat there together?} Then, surprise, the next two hearts goes to Demorand’s next best place as well – Midi-Vins, again, coordinates, dishes, prices above. Rubin, however, notes that the Madame comes from Dix Vins down or up the street and the dishes included: lamb’s kidneys (rose in the center and well done), turbot which was over-cooked and tete de veau. Another two hearts go to La Bourse ou la Vie, 12, rue Vivienne in the 2nd,, only open for lunch, closed weekends, Metro Bourse where he liked the ham, scallops and kidneys with pureed potatoes for 35 E. And one final 2-hearter L’Actuel, 29, rue Surcouf in the 7th, open everyday, Metro = Invalides, where he had a terrine of leeks, with poached egg, poached/grilled quail with celery puree and a blanquette of veal with lots of cream sauce, a la carte about 40 €. And finally, the loser, getting one heart, is Un Jour a Peyrassol, 13, rue Vivienne in the 2nd, {Ed Note: can that be correct, just across from La Bourse ou la Vie?}, open only at lunch, closed weekends, Metro = Bourse where a truffle dished meal can run from 35-70 E and the best seat is in the cellar {there’s something wrong with this picture.}

Then the staff’s Dossier is all about rotisseries and lists:

Rotisserie du Beaujolais

Atelier Maître Albert

Le Pere Clause


Rôtisserie d’En Face


Le Louchebem

Chez Clement

Rotisserie de Neuilly

Bistrot d’A Côté Neuilly


L’Avant Seine

Les Broches à l’ancienne.

However, Francois Simon covers in his Hache Menu the resto at the tennis stadium supposedly overseen by Marc Veyrat of Annecy fame, Roland-Garros, 2 bis, avenue Gordon Bennett in the leafy 16th,, where I’ll not even describe his meal because it cost him 147 E and he says don’t go : when its bad food, it’s always too expensive.

In an article in the “Gouts” section of Le Monde’s Aujourd’hui, Jean-Claude Ribaut has an article entitled “Its the season for truffles.” He mentions several places to go in the south: the Maison de la truffe et du vin du Lubéron , place de l'Horloge in Ménerbes,, Michel Chabran, 29, avenue du 45e-Parallèle in Pont-de-l'Isère,, menus = 32 €, 48 €, 85 € and155 € and the truffle menu = 220 €, a la carte without truffles count on 95 €, and Auberge La Fenière, route de Cadenet in Lourmarin,, menus at 46 € and 72 € and the truffle degustation menu at 110 €.

In addition, he wrote in his Toques en Pointe, two other reviews of places in the south: Le Passage in Aix-en-Provence,, formula at 26,50 €, menu = 35 €, brunch Sundays is 28 €, the Bistrot des clercs in Valence,, closed Sunday nights, menu = 27 €, formula 18 €, plus the venerable (since 1923) Parisian place Thoumieux, 79, rue Saint-Dominique in the 7th,, open everyday, menu of Correze (tete a l’ancienne and veal’s head Correze style) = 33 € with wine, a la carte count on 45 €, where he mentions the cepes fricassee, herring and potatoes in oil, leeks vinaigrette, cassoulet, boudin, tripes, tete de veau, grandmotherly desserts, and excellent wine list heavily stocked with Bordeaux.

In his “Croque Notes,” Friday, entitled a cute “Piques et Pic” Francois Simon writes elegantly about the well-known restaurant Pic in Valence;, which despite its intimidating front, is one of the few starred places really worth a detour, especially for its supremes of chicken. He also mentions that the team from the Sainte Amarante, in the 12th has opened another place, the Chant d'Avril 2, rue Laennec in Nantes, open only at lunch, and offers a terrific formula at 15E.

In Jean Miot’s “Propos de Table,” his title is True or false bistrots. He starts by noting that le Lauriston, 129, rue Lauriston in the 16th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, lunch menu 25 E, a la carte 45 E., serves true bourgeois food, got Claude Lebey’s 2005 Parisian Bistrot of the Year Award. But he says we think of bistrots as aging elephantine places with rustic tables, where in fact they’re either false, mediocre bobo-bistrots or really fine restaurants, and this is the latter. He then says that changes in ownership are always fraught with anxiety but we should have no concern in the case of the well-known Spanish place, the Casa Alcalde, 117, bd de Grenelle in the 15th,, open everyday with a menu at 28 €, a la carte 40/50 €.

A full page of Friday’s Figaro is devoted to yogurt(s). Alexandra Michot wrote an article on yogurts in her “Products” section, which told me more about yogurt than I wanted/needed to know. To help one out, she wrote a lexicon explaining the difference between: yogurt, fermented milk and probiotic products. Then she interviews Alain Passard of Arpege in the 7th about yogurt’s utilization (in soups, vegetable soufflé, gazpacho, ice cream) and under-utilization in France and I’ll direct you to the story yourself. Finally, she has a piece on the Milk Exhibition in the Cité Nature of Arras, 25, boulevard Schuman from Tuesday to Saturday. Information at and their website.

Friday Patricia Wells wrote an article in the IHT on where she ate in NYC; for our interest it was Bellavitae, The Bar Room at The Modern + The Modern, Per Se, Cafe Gray, + Le Bernardin, the latter she calls “the best fish restaurant in the world.”

In Bonjour Paris, whose interesting content is only available by premium subscription, there are two recent articles on food of interest. First, Margaret Kemp, wrote about Music Hall, 63, avenue Franklin-Roosevelt in the 8th,, closed Sundays, open other days 11 AM to 6 AM; lunch = 27E, a la carte is 50 E at dinner plus the wine. The second article is by Clotilde Dusoulier and it concerns a glorified bakery with tarts, salads, scones, etc., the Rose Bakery, 46, rue des Martyrs in the 9th,, open only at lunch for12 E, where she’s never had a bad meal despite the fact that Madame is British.

FYI, Gayot has just added DB Restaurant to its list of ‘New and Notable” restos that also lists: Le Brunch du Crillon, l’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Le Murano, DeVèz, Le Pavillon des Princes, Maison Rouge, Delizie D'Uggiano, Kayser, + Flora.

In l’Express, Jean-Luc Petitrenaud reviews Grain de Sel in Cogolin,, menu at 33 E and Goupil, 4 rue Claude-Debussy in the 17th,, run by a 23 year old, where he liked the beef, potatoes, boudin noir, etc., a la carte 50 E.

In her Paris In Sites newsletter, Linda Thalman recommends Le Pyrene in Saumur,, closed Sunday nights and Mondays, serving regional specialties, a la carte about 28 Euros.

There was an article in the Paris Insights Discover Paris newsletter called “Warming the Heart, on hot chocolates, naming: La Charlotte en L’Isle, Le Rostand, Dalloyau Angelina Jean-Paul Hévin.

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The Week of February 21st, 2005

In Monday’s Figaro Entreprises’s Tables d’Affaires, Francois Simon reviewed the venerable brasserie Garnier, 111, rue Saint-Lazare in the 8th, opposite the station,, open every day, calling it “unsinkable,” serving honorable, consistent and fresh fish and shellfish. He gives it 2/5 in its cuisine and price-quality and 4/5 in atmosphere. He justifies writing it up, despite these mediocre marks, because of its authentic spirit of Paris and its fresh seafood.

Monday-Tuesday’s A Nous Paris as usual, featured their two reviewers covering two restaurants: Jerome Berger awarded Cinq Mars, coordinates above, 3/5 blocks and especially noted the entire wall devoted to a wine chalk board. Meanwhile, Philippe Toinard gave 4/5 blocks to Tokyo Eat, 13, av du President-Wilson in the 16th, It highlights “daring” preparations and location (perfect if you’re tired after touring the Palais de Tokyo Museums, Palais Galliera or Guimet). FYI, those who might be tempted to try Japanese food in Paris are advised to consult a book mentioned in “A Nous Paris,” the “Guide des restaurants japonais de Paris,” written by Jiloshi Gracamoto, who tested 300 such restaurants {Editor’s Note: wow}, publisher = Editoo.com. In addition, in their “Coups de Coeur du Mois,” they name L’Autobus, whose coordinates have also been given here before.

Other Book Notes: “A Nous Paris” also mentions a new book out called “Bistrots, brasseries et restaurants parisiens,” authored by M Flory and C Forissier, published by Ereme, 250 p, 39,50E with lots of pictures and a recipe per place. In addition, they and Zurban note that Cyril Lignac, of M6 TV fame, having opened his new place, Le Quinzième, coordinates given before, naturally has published a book too – “Cuisine attitude,” from Hachette pratique.

Other fait divers: Zurban notes that Ocean Spray Cranberry juice is available in France for the first time in the big and medium sized supermarkets for 1,49 E a liter.

Tuesday, Le Figaro published three articles that I’m not sure our members would be much interested in except to regret that at lunch time France resembles more and more the US, but I’ll mention them for completeness: The first is on “Metro-boulot-resto” food that keeps you thin; it’s here, The second discusses “finger-food” (sic) attitude, eg sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, frites, sodas, etc., here, and third, there’s to be a “snack salon” aka the European Sandwich & Snack Show, 2 March, 9 AM -7 PM, 3 March 9 AM -5 PM at the Palais des Congres, porte Maillot in the 17th . (I’m not posting this on the calendar because I cannot imagine anyone going, but to read about it go here.

Wednesday’s Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” gave two hearts each to La Chopotte, 168, rue d’Alesia in the 14th,, open everyday, costing 25-30 Euros a la carte, Metro=Plaisance which they call a “sincere” bistrot serving herring in oil, cold cuts, andouillette, veal ribs, clafoutise (sic), and moelleux of chocolate and Daniel Lounge, at the Hotel Daniel, 8, rue Frederic-Bastiat in the 8th,, Metro= Franklin Roosevelt, open everyday, 30-50 E a la carte, serving langoustines salad, scrambled eggs with truffles, mini-hamburgers. There were also two one heart places: I Virtuosi an Italian place in the 9th and Zenyama, a Japanese place in the 5th; plus a busted plate to Bistrot d’Helene in the 15th.

Figaroscope’s Dossier dealt with brunch:

Fine hotels:

Murano Urban Resort

Les Ambassadeurs

Le Safran

Park Hyatt Vendome


La Blanchisserie

Renoma Café Gallery

Bread and Company:

EK Boulangerie

Rose Bakery

At Museums:

Le Cafe de techniques


La Gare

Everyday (e.g. not just weekends or Sundays):

Le Village

The great classic brunch places:




Club Med World

Sir Winston

Mariage Freres

Blue Elephant


Café Jacquemart-Andre

Relais Lagrange

In that vein, Francois Simon had brunch at La Ferme du Golf in the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne in the 16th,, where he took (his) two kids, paying the entrance fees, tickets for rides, etc., and 72 Euros for his (32 E) and two children’s brunches (20 E each).

In this week’s Zurban, Sebastian Demorand leads off with a review of what is sort of an enhanced Perigordian wine bar, Un jour a Peyrassol, 13, rue Vivienne in the 2nd,, Metro=Bourse, open only for lunch except for private parties at night, closed Sundays and Mondays, a la carte 30-50 E depending on how many truffle-laden dishes you order. The other three places he covered in “Casseroles” are the swank but disappointing Auguste, 54, rue de Bourgogne in the 7th,, Metro-Varenne, run by the ex-Meurice chef, where he notes that even the American tourists were not impressed with the food, lunch formula= 35 E, but a la carte is 55-65 E, Les Crocs, 14, rue de Cotte in the 12th,, open for lunch only, closed Sundays and Mondays, metro=Ledru-Rollin where he discusses mainly the charcuterie, ham and sausage, a la carte 20E, and the Bistrot 13, 43, rue Esquirol in the 13th,, closed Sundays and Monday lunch a la carte 38E, Metro=Campo-Formio, which he subtitles, a small neighborhood café, serving over-cooked magret and OK entrecote.

Thursday’s Le Figaro discusses the premature release of the France 2005 Michelin Red Guide decisions. See the discussion thread here.

Thursday, as well ParuVendu gave a listing of places where the host/owner/chef loves rugby that included:

Guy Savoy

Le J’Go

Le Violin d’Ingres

Le Carre des Feullants

Le Café Constant

Au Bascou

Le Troquet


La Petite Auberge

Chez Michel

Les Copains

Le Stade

Le Pamphlet

(NB: Strangely, in Sunday’s JDD Version Femina they listed four of these places that Philippe Toinard (of “A Nous Paris”) likes and whose chefs are rugby-friendly, Le Troquet, Le J’Go, Le Café Constant + Au Bascou, as well as two tapas bars La Plaza del Toro + Pakito.)

Saturday, following up on his reactions Thursday to the Michelin 2005’s promotions and demotions, Francois Simon’s Croque Notes in Le Figaro’s takes issue with a few other Michelin decisions (e.g. not promoting Stella Maris but rewarding Helene Darroze and demoting les Elysees de Vernet of Eric Briffard, whose food he likes and which prompted him to go there to eat the night he learned of its loss of a star (see below’s JDD)). For the thread on the Michelin 2005, see here. He also does something I’ve not seen him do before; award an “Oscar” for the most disappointing dish of the week, a bar with poppy seeds stuffed with shrimp and saffron sauce at the resto of the Hotel Lotti, which he found practically inedible, but balances this by touting l’Anacreon, about which he received a telephone recommendation for its sincere and warm food.

Sunday, almost in solidarity with Simon and Briffard, the Journal de Dimanche dedicated its “A Table Avec….” to Eric Briffard and noted his three favorite affordable restaurants: Ze Kitchen Galerie, Le Bistral +Lai-Lai Ken. It also announced that the new young chef cooking with Alain Ducasse now is Jean-Marie Baudic from Brittany.

This Saturday, in “Vivre Aujourd’hui” in Le Figaro, coincident with the opening of the Salon international de l’Agriculture at the Porte de Versailles, Alexandra Michot has an article on funny products (e.g. catsup of cassis), temporary restaurants (e.g. Thoumieux and interesting culinary displays/demonstrations/etc (e.g. fruit sculpture and flavored milk).

GaultMillau in its Number 12 (February-March 2005) {strange numbering system}has brief blurbs {they’re really not reviews}of the following whose coordinates have appeared here before, exceptions noted, {EN: Reader beware, whereas they rate restos outside Paris on a scale of 10-20, inside the peripherique they don’t, except for the occasional toque, at least this month, in the magazine}:

Le Grenadin Gourmand 1 Toque

Cage M Hyatt Madeleine

Caffe Minotti 1 Toque

Autour du Mont

Le Roland Garros

La Table Lauriston

Café d’Angel

Margaret Kemp, in Bonjour Paris’s Premium subscriber edition, went to Auguste, coordinates given above, recently, and loved it. She notes that the chef, Gael Orieux, had worked previously at Le Meurice, Paul Bocuse, Lucas Carton, Taillevent, Les Ambassadeurs + Le Cinq. She also (it’s not clear what she sampled) applauds his “signature dish,” the cold cauliflower soup with an oyster. {EN: which my friends and I found lacking in zip, pazzaz, etc.) In any case, she clearly has great hopes for this place {EN: which unfortunately I cannot second.}.

Another food note in Bonjour Paris, is the news, I believe already reported here and elsewhere on the Forum, that Christian Constant, the restaurateur not the chocolatier, will give a cooking demonstration, March 7th, for 175 E at his flagship resto Le Violon d’Ingres. Info at cooking@parisperfect.com.

Also, Adrian Leeds, in her newsletter ParlerParis, wrote a review of Marie Edith, 34 rue du Laos in the 15th,, Metro = Cambronne, run by a husband/wife team, which has starters like rocket salad with snails, salad of crawfish tails and mains of bar, magret and andouillette. The 3 course menu = 28 Euros. {EN: Sounds pretty good.}

Edited by John Talbott to eliminate two errors.

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The Week of February 28th, 2005

Rosa Jackson in “Paris Bites” in Paris Notes starts off with a disappointing note about her burnt and fatty meal at L’Absinthe {Ed. Note: too bad she doesn’t read eGullet.com}and then goes on to say that she’s compiling a running list of “bargain” places, e.g. under 30 Euros without beverages and would like suggestions. To date it consists of:


Pre Verre


Mon Vieil Ami

Willi’s Wine Bar

In another column in Paris Notes, Roger Grody writes up the “hottest” chocolate places in Paris and includes: Patrice Chapon, Charpentier, La Maison du Chocolat, Michel Chaudun, Christian Constant, La Fontaine au Chocolat, Richart, Jean-Paul Hévin, Debauve & Gallais and Peter Beier Chokolade.

In Monday’s Figaro Entreprises’s Tables d’Affaires, Francois Simon reviewed the now maybe a decade old Violin d’Ingres. Because of its renoun and well-known menu, I won’t detail the dishes, but note that he mentions the menu as being divided into house specialties and seasonal items; the business lunch is 39E, menus at 80 and 110 Euros and he winds up giving it a 3/5 in cuisine and 2/5 in welcome and price-quality ratio.

Monday-Tuesday’s A Nous Paris featured two places already reviewed by others: Le Square, 227 bis, rue Marcadet in the 18th,, formulas at lunch 13 & 17, at dinner 25-35 Euros, closed Sundays and Mondays, where Berger or Toinard (it’s unsigned), seemed to have a better experience (4/5 blocks) than and I had {on a different occasion of course}, and Les Don Juan, 19, rue de Picardie in the 3rd,, menus at lunch 11.50 & 14, a la carte = 27.50-34.50 Euros, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, which he describes like a light lunch in summer and admires the vegetarian dishes, giving it 3/5 blocks. Also in the side-bar they mention, the Swedish Tapas place Trema, 8, rue de Marseille in the 10th, also already reviewed by others.

Wednesday, Sebastien Demorand, in Zurban devotes his primary page to the “troquet fusione,” e.g. fusion café/bistrot Indigo Square, 7, rue Marceau just on other side of the peripherique at the Porte de Bagnolet,, Metro=Galliéni, closed Sundays and Mondays, menu= 20 E and a la carte 30 E. He describes it as run by a Swedish woman who knows French and Asian cuisine and has a very reasonable menu and good wines {Ed Note: if it’s anywhere near as good as the other place he found way out there, Pibale 308 Club, it could be worth sampling.} It serves tempting sounding dishes like a “maki” of salmon and tuna with ginger and kiwi fruit, brochettes of shrimp with a saffron chorizo puree and beef tournedos with fennel and jasmine. Then he writes of the “reprise” of a restaurant called Barrathym, 2 rue Ramey in the 18th, Metro=Chateau Rouge,, open everyday, lunch formula = 12E, a la carte 20-25 E. He says it used to be called Le vin Jaune, serving specialties of the Jura, which Google confirms, but since I pass near there every day running I have no recollection of it and indeed the pix on the Pages Jaune site shows a place called “Le DISC UNT COLONIAL” {Ed Note: is everyone familiar with the site that allows you to see photos of Paris buildings? It's here? – it’s very useful to see where you’re going.} But back to the review; Demorand quotes dishes served there that sound quite interesting: foie gras with (false) mango chutney, sweet-sour frogs’ legs, entrecote and a Haut-Brion 1997 for 115 Euros. {Hummm}. Then he reviews what he calls a true-false bistrot, La Cafetiere, 21, rue Mazarine in the 6th,, metro=Odeon, closed Saturday at lunch and Sundays, a la carte 26E. It used to be Casa Corse, if you’ll recall, and it now serves more or less classic bistrot stuff (herring, boudin, mashed potatoes, crème brulee, etc). {EN: My take on it is here.} Finally, he reviews another lovely bistro (of which there once were 700 million in Paris), the Reveil Bastille, 29, boulevard Henri-IV in the 4th,, Metro=Bastille or Sully-Morland, closed Sundays and Monday evening, formula at 13.50 E and a la carte = 20-25 E. It sounds again like classic bistro food (terrine of rabbit with a compote of onions, etc), although not up to the snuff it should be (too greasy, sauteed potatoes with the tartare), served in a beautiful setting.

Wednesday, in Figaroscope, Emmanuel Rubin does his usual thing in “C’est nouveau.” Two hearts each go to what is an upgraded wine bar, Les Bas-Fonds, 116 rue Amelot in the 11th,, closed Sundays, Metro-Filles-du-Calvaire, 30-40 E, with things like “fingers” of shrimp, crab tempura, lacquered chicken, crumble with Nutrella and banana; and Cielito Lindo a Mexican Cantine in the 11th. He gives one heart each to EK Poincare, 43, avenue Raymond-Poincare in the 16th,, closed Sundays, Metro=Trocadero, another Eric Kayser “restauboulangerie;” Bel Ami Café, 7-11 rue St-Benoit in the 6th,, open until 10:30 AM for breakfast at 22 Euros; and Millesimes 62, 13-15, place de Catalogne in the 14th,, open every day but Saturday lunch and Sundays, Metro=Montparnasse, a “banal” brasserie, serving brandade, grenadine of veal with morilles on 19 and 24 E menus.

The Dossier covers one of my favorites, Cotes de Boeuf and mentions:

La Dinee



Boucherie Rouliere

Le Moulin a Vent

Le Cafe de Commerce


Titi Parisien

Le Boeuf couronne

In that vein, Francois Simon’s Hache menu covers: Le Severo, 8, rue des Plantes in the 14th,, closed Saturdays and Sundays where he says “Go” for the exceptional wine list and first class meat. I won’t quote him extensively, but in brief he glows about the perfectly seasoned, exquisite cote de boeuf, which came with rissole potatoes. He notes that it’ll cost you at least 50 E a piece and that’s before you’re tempted by the great wines.

In Friday’s Figaro, Alexandra Michot wrote about classic patisseries created by the top patisseurs is Paris. Her article mentioned:

Aoki Sadaharu





Pierre Hermé

Karen Fawcett, in her website Bonjour Paris is the latest to come across and like La Cerisaie, 70, bvd Edgar-Quinet in the 14th,, Metro=Montparnasse {indeed, it's practically opposite the Metro exit near C&A}, closed weekends, a la carte 30-35 E without beverages. Go now!, like L'Ourcine, Fawcett reports that it has been "discovered" as well by Gourmet and inevitably will show up there. In addition, in Bonjour Paris, Margaret Kemp has a nice article on Pyramide's history.

Jocelyn Carnegie in “Postcards from Paris” writes of a place difficult to find (except in Zagat’s) in the guidebooks – Café Charbon, 109 rue Oberkampf in the 11th,, Metro=Parmentier. I mention it because one dish she mentions sounds interesting and fusiony, lemongrass chicken; prices – 18 E formula, 24 E menu.

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The Week of March 7th, 2005

Monday, Adrian Leeds in Parler Paris related her cooking lesson/demonstration with Christian Constant which sounded quite wonderful.

Also on Monday, Kathleen Pedicord in “Postcards from Paris” detailed the two food opportunities in the more-or-less recently renovated Palais de Toyko, 13, av President Wilson in the 16th, closed Mondays, Metro=Pont de Alma; the first, a cafeteria serving dishes at about 9 Euros; the second, a full restaurant, reviewed in prior Digests, Tokyo Eat, featuring, for example a 12 Euro plat du jour such as a pot roast with veggies; they also have for dessert a “mango sushi” [sic] with white chocolate and sticky rice.

Sebastian Demorand, in Zurban Wednesday, devotes his major review to Le Titi Parisien, 96, boulevard de la Tour Maubourg in the 7th,, Metro=La Tour-Maubourg, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, with a lunch formula at 22€; a la carte about 50€. While they have lots of classic dishes (herring, andouillette, haricots verts salad), you really come here for the beef; in all its forms (tartare, entrecote, cote de boeuf (65E for 2)) with all choices of sauces (morilles, bearnaise) and accompaniments (your pick). His “Casseroles” section features: the Casa del Campo, a tapas place in the 9th; the new version of La Table de Lucullus, 127, rue Legendre in the 17th,, Metro=La Fourche, closed Sundays and Mondays, lunch menu at 16€, (a new) menu-carte = 26€ and degustation menu at 38€, which he subtitles “solid fish,” (from the l’Ile d’Yeu,) and thinks it succeeds at its 50% less cost than before; and the haute cuisine resto R, 6-8, rue de la Cavalerie in the 15th,, Metro=La Motte-Piquet-Grenelle, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, a la carte about 60€; he says you know the type of place: Parisian morgue-like service combined with the Asian-influenced type of cooking of carpaccio of bar with Japanese sauce and cod with fennel and chorizo served in a restaurant on the top of a splendid 1930’s building with a view of the roofs of Paris around the Eiffel Tower.

Wednesday, in Figaroscope, Emmanuel Rubin’s “C’est nouveau gave two hearts each to Meating, 122, av de Villiers in the 17th,, open everyday but Sundays and Mondays, Metro=Péreire, located where Apicius used to be {oh yah, now I remember}, a la carte about 60 € for carnivores although he describes it as a BCBG “steakhouse,” where the ceviche of scallops, cote de boeuf and sorbets were all good; and the old favorite La Dinee, 85, rue Leblanc in the 15th,, open every day but Sundays and Mondays, Metro – Balard where ex-Chabanel, the prices remain reasonable – 24 and 31 €, but he says despite the “good intentions,” the results are a bit feeble {my trans.} Then he awards 1 heart each to three places: Le Nouveau Nez, 112-114, rue St-Maur in the 11th,, open everyday except Mondays. Metro=Parmentier, yet another wine bar with the trimmings, costing 15 € and up; Le XVIIIe Barathym, 2, rue Ramey in the 18th,, open everyday, Metro=Château-Rouge {EN: Does this all sound familiar?, because Zurban reviewed it last week}, a bobo resto of the area, running 25 € except for the formula at lunch which = 12 €; and L’Arpent, 12, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 1st,, open everyday but Sundays, except for 2/4 Sunday lunches, Metro=Louvre, a pocket bistrot serving two daily specials like rabbit’s head and pork cheeks with mustard.

In Figaroscope’s Dossier, they call their listing “Resto-delis, Juice bars,” but there are really non-traditional places to eat of many varieties:


A Toutes vapeurs

Dans le noir

Eat with the Chefs

L’Atelier des chefs

L’École de cuisine d’Alain Ducasse

The Equipped



Les Vivres



Thematic places

Rouge Tomate


Terre de Truffes

The expansionists

The 3 S’s (eg Soups-salads-sandwiches)




The neo-oyster-shuckers

F. Landeau

L’Écaille de La Fontaine

Ballon et Coquillages


Le Chasse-Marée

Coffee houses

Starbucks Coffee

Colombus Café

New Parisian Wine-bars

Les Papilles

Les Caves Miard

Le Verre Volé

La Muse Vin

Couleurs de Vigne

Chapeau Melon

Ones you gotta follow

Ephemeral places

Juice bars

Soup & Juices

Et 54


Biotifull Place

And Also

Wash by Arcaffe

In the same spirit, Francois Simon’s “Hache Menu” is all about the onomatopoetic Mu, 7, passage de la Bonne-Graine in the 11th,, open only at lunch (except Sundays), where he urges you to go for their giant plate of veggies for 12 €.

Gastronomica’s Winter 2005 edition has two book reviews of interest to our membership:

“Cooking for Kings:The Life of Antonin Careme, the First Celebrity Chef.” Ian Kelly, New York: Walker & Co. 2004 $26.00 reviewed by Carolyn Chapman.

“Escoffier:The King of Chefs.” Kenneth James. London & NY: Hambledon and London. 2002 $29.95, reviewed by Alexandra Leaf.

In an article in April’s Food & Wine entitled “Affordable Paris,” (defined as a prix fixe menu running from $23-105 without beverages), Jane Sigal covers several types of restaurant in Paris in these categories:

Book a Table at a Grocer’s {Ed Note: I’d quibble with her calling these grocers}

Les Papilles


Da Rosa

Rouge Tomate

Follow the Young Proteges

Café Moderne


La Famille

L’Ami Jean

Eat at the Cooking School

L’Atelier des Chefs

Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise Ferrandi

Go to the Grand Restaurants at Lunch

Le Meurice

Le Grand Vefour

Le Bristol

Trust in Serendipity

L’Angl Opera

Edited by John Talbott for clarity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Week of March 14th, 2005

Sunday’s New York Times had an article in the travel section by the culinary author, Mark Bittman, on “affordable” Paris bistros, in which he describes at moderate length the following:

L’Os a Moelle

Café Moderne

La Regalade

Aux Lyonnais

Chez Denise (aka La Tour Monthery)

Monday, Francois Simon in Figaro Entreprises, reviewed the 10 year old or so L’Atelier Berger, 49, rue Berger in the 1st,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, lunch formula = 25 E, menu at 35 E, he gives it 3/5 stars for the food and price-quality ratio and liked the tartare of tuna with sesame and cuttlefish ink, lamb with herbs and lieu fish. {Ed Note: when Christiansen first opened the place, he was heralded (justly) as specializing in and doing superbly with his native Nordic fish dishes.}

Tuesday’s A Nous Paris had reviews by Philippe Toinard and Jerome Berger, respectively, of the several year old restaurant run by the British chef Chris Wright, Le Timbre, 3, rue Ste-Beuve in the 6th,, lunch formulas at 22-26 Euros, dinner menu = 31 E, closed Sundays and despite Toinard’s snide comments about Wright’s French (e.g le carte, la ris), he awards him 4/5 blocks for the “classic bistrot” fare; and the tapas plus place Chez Eusebio, 11, rue Hegesippe-Moreau in the 18th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, formula at 13,50 E (starter, main and 25 cl of wine), a la carte about 30 E, which serves everything from Spanish ham and chorizo to sangria and calamars, awarding it 3/5 blocks {Ed Note: Despite or because the local convivs were drunk, (I hope with joy) if I got that right}. As part of their “Coups de Coeur” of the month, last week’s A Nous Paris had a mini-review of Le Resto, 10, rue Castellane in the 8th,, closed Sundays, a la carte from 30-45 Euros, featuring fresh, daily-changing on the chalkboard yet “grand classic bistro” fare – e.g., entrecote, lentils and sausage, etc.

Wednesday, Figaroscope’s Emmanuel Rubin gave 2 hearts to three very different places {Ed Note: by me}; the resuscitated the old favorite Chez Les Anges, 54, bd de la Tour-Maubourg in the 7th,, closed Sat lunch and Sundays, about 45 Euros, which post-Minchelli et al, has re-emerged as a “neobrasserie” with the help of at least Madame from Au Bon Acceuil, serving raviolis of langoustines, sole, tete de veau, and a top-notch cheese trolley; a wine-bistrot, Le Louis Vins, 9, rue de la Montagne-St-Genevieve in the 5th,, closed Sundays, menus at 23 & 26, a la carte 35 Euros, serving pumpkin soup, blanquette of lotte, and rognons; and a bit pricey for a neighborhood bistro, Le Square, 227 bis, rue Marcadet in the 18th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, running about 35 Euros serving lamb “hamburgers” with mozzarella and polenta fries. He also awards one heart each to another wine bar Oh Bigre, 2, rue Lamende in the 17th, no telephone, open every evening, running 10-20 Euros and serving sausages and cheese from Alleosse; and a Japanese/sushi place Japi Keo, 39, rue des Dames in the 17th,, closed Sundays and running 15-30 Euros.

Figaroscope’s Dossier this week is devoted to Italian tavola calda’s that include:

Sale e Pepe

Olio Pane Vino

Pasta Linea

Chez Peppe

Lo Spuntino del Buco

Premiatia Drogheria di Meglio

Cucina Napoletana

As usual, Francois Simon’s “Hache menu,” in the same vein, covers Cantina Rossa, 3, rue Antoine-Vollon in the 12th,, open every day, which cost him 54,50 E for two, serving antipasti and pastas, which you should go to {only} if you live nearby.

Wednesday as well, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed first the boboish (eg Spoonesque) Les Bas Fonds, 116, rue Amelot in the 11th,, closed only Sunday noon with lunch formulas at 11-15 E and a la carte about 35 E, which he judges to be 50/50 (50% not bad=good, 50% not terrible) but despite his rapture about the wines, his description of badly smelling rougets and mysteriously smelling salmon, as well as mal-labeled dishes, tilts the balance {for me anyway}. He also reviewed {EN: less enthusiastically than others, including myself, have}, Dominique Bouchet, 11, rue Treilhard in the 8th,, closed weekends, a la carte 45-55 E, which he found too precious for the results, which for him weren’t great; a pho place Pho Bida Saigon, 44 av d’Ivry in the 13th,, open every day and costing a mere 10 E which he thought was very good authentic and inexpensive Vietnamese food in an uncharming surrounding; and the reborn but with the same chef, Sasso, now called Il Gallo Nero, 36, rue, Raymond-Losserand in the 14th, closed Sundays and Mondays, lunch formulas start at 13,50 E, a la carte 25-28E, where you should go for the pasta of the day special rather than the ambiance.

In Thursday-Friday’s Le Monde, Jean-Claude Ribaut reviewed: the Italian-influenced (the chef’s parents are Italian) bistrot Giufeli, 129, rue du Chateau in the 14th,, closed Sundays, where the menu changes daily (you can receive it by email at 11 AM) and the food is precise and tasty, a la carte about 20 Euros; the newly taken over Beauvilliers, 52 rue Lamarck in the 18th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, where he says the chef shows true talent, listing a number of delicious sounding dishes (fricassee of langoustines, foie gras with hibiscus jelly, lamb saddle with potatoes Anna, etc.), lunch is 35 E, degustation menu = 63 E and a la carte count on 70E; and the re-engineered Petrus, 12, pl du Marechal-Juin in the 17th,, open everyday, lunch = 35 E, menu = 42 E and a la carte count on 80 E, which has gone from a cremerie to a fish resto and now is attempting to expand its clientele with a more inexpensive lunch formula featuring 6 firsts and 6 seconds, in addition to its regular menu of classics, with two levels of wines as well.

Friday, in the IHT, Patricia Wells wrote about Joel Thiebault, the supplier of interesting and unusual vegetables, which can be found at the President Wilson market Wednesdays and Saturdays and the Rue Gros market Tuesday and Friday mornings, as well as in places like Gagniere, L’Astrance, Mon Viel Ami, Ze Kitchen Galerie, La Table de Lancaster, Le Severo, Jamin + Le Soleil. Two friends of Thiebault, Antoine Meyssonnier and Raimondo Briones, came up with the idea of also supplying the veggies each Friday in boxes costing 38-58 Euros, to average citizens. They also supply recipes to utilize their produce on the web. Thiebault’s website is here.

Friday, Francois Simon wrote in his “Croque Notes” in Le Figaro about the Breton paradox, that, despite a few exceptions, eg Roellinger, Thorel, Jeffroy, Breton food is not up to that in the rest of France. However, he does reveal his Parisian find of the week, a restaurant on the place St. Augustin called L’Evasion,, where he liked the roast pintade with sautéed potatoes and excellent Paris-Brest as well as wines from nearby Auge.

March’s Where’s Alexander Lobrano also features Dominique Bouchet, see coordinates above, as well as touting as “great little bistros:” Chez Casimir + La Baracane.

It seems like every season brings a new free tabloid sized newspaper to the Paris streets that contains restaurant reviews; the most recent is ENVILLE {get it, en ville?} Anyway, despite my doubts, it delivered some current, interesting, in depth reviews, all places already mentioned here, but not a bad spread at all. The reviewers, Francois Lemarie and Andrea Petrini, this month, covered the following: La Table de Lucullus {From which, after months of eGullet speculation, I learned where chef Nicolas Vagnon is eventually going – the Ile d’Yeu – which is one of the undiscovered treasures of France and where a lot of his and our tuna and other fish derive}, Apicius and Ze Kitchen Gallery {where irony of ironies I ate again very well that very day}, also the bio wine place Chapeau Melon and not necessarily bio wine place Les Crus du Soleil.

This week’s Postcards from Paris, Kathleen Peddicord talks about brunch at Le Pain Quotidien, several locations, for instance, in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th, which she calls the most “charming meal” she’d had for 19 Euros, with standard American brunch fare plus French bread, croissants and spreads. They also carry salads.

In Bonjour Paris this week, Margaret Kemp gives her take on "World" brunch at the Crillion. In brief, Jean-Francois Piège offers: oeuf en cocotte with a number of different accompaniments, smoked salmon, ham, three hot dishes, and a cheese board - plus jams, croissants, yogurts, fresh fruits, and desserts. Cost - adults 60E, children 30E. She also gives the disputed history (from 1860) of bunch and mentions brunch at the Jacquemart-Andre Museum (24 E) as has been noted above.

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The Week of March 21st, 2005

Monday, Francois Simon in “Tables d’Affaires” in Figaro Entreprises, reviewed the Bartolo, 7, rue des Canettes in the 6th, closed Sundays and Mondays which takes no credit cards but serves, in his estimation, one of the best pizzas in Paris (including one with truffles) and also a good pasta with garlic. He awards it only 2/5 for price/quality and gives no prices.

Tuesday’s A Nous Paris had a principal review by Jerome Berger of the resto - Meating {Ed. Note: the name says it all}, 122, av de Villiers in the 17th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, lunch formula = 29 E, a la carte = 60 E, run by the person who owns La Gare. He gave it 4 blocks out of 5; it serves things like a beef filet or carre d’agneau cooked over wood charcoal and finished in an American ceramic {whatever that is.} His colleague, Philippe Toinard gave only 3/5 blocks to Le Pictotin, 35, rue Sibuet in the 12th,, closed Sundays, lunch formulas 11,40 and 14,40 with a glass of wine; ordering things from the chalkboard runs 25-40 Euros. Good = an aperto offered, bad = not enough wines by the glass {it’s not clear why it got only 3/5 when the dishes described sound pretty good – e.g. duck and pistachio terrine, beef and rhubarb terrine with French toast.}

Wednesday, Figaroscope’s Emmanuel Rubin had only one 2-heart place to recommend: in the space formerly occupied by Yves Quintard, a ”franco-nippon” place, Harumi, 99, rue Blomet in the 15th,, closed Sunday dinner and Monday {heads-up, that means it’s open Sunday lunch, a rarity}, lunch menu = 25 E, dinner menus at 31 and 38 E, a la carte 45 E, serving ecrevisses with mildly hot Basque chili peppers and Thai basil, shellfish with citronelle, etc. Then he gave one heart each to the newly taken over Dix Vins, 57, rue Falguiere in the 15th,, closed Saturday and Sunday, menu at 20 E which is better than good and a la carte 25-30 E; a Thai cantine Chao, 20, rue de la Verriere in the 4th,, open every day, running 25-30 E; and Le Nouveau Paris-Dakar, 11, rue de Montyon in the 9th,, closed Friday noon and Sundays, running 30 E a la carte, with menus at 24 and 32 (with drinks). Finally, he gives a broken heart to the Jardin des Cygnes in the hotel Prince de Galles in the 8th which is wildy expensive (100E) for ridiculous dishes such as a carpaccio of beet root with old comte.

In place of the usual “Dossier,” Figaroscope’s Emmanuel Rubin gives out grades 1-10 (really 4-8) for the new restaurants of the season. Instead of listing them as he did in eight categories, I’ll do it in the rank order of their ratings:




Auguste, Dominique Bouchet


Music Hall, Meating, Cinq Mars, Bas-Fonds, Regis


L’Autobus Imperial, La Pibale, Chez les Anges, Le Midi-Vins, L’Ecaille de la Fontaine, Daniel Lounge, Hotel de Sers, Un jour a Peyrassol, La Bourse ou la Vie, Can Tin’h, Cielito Lindo


Bwyty, EK Poincare, Mu, Chez Eusebio, L’Ampere


Le Titi Parisien, Bistrot d‘Helene, Roland Garros, L’Escargot Montorgueil


Qin, 123, Café de l’homme


La Chopotte, Reveil Bastille, Dom Juan, Saint Amour, L’Actuel, Bel Ami Café, Bon, XVIIIe Barathym, Nouveau Nez, L’Arpent, O’Bigre, La Casa del Campo, Nouveau Paris-Dakar, Trema, Ta Suchi, Kokohana, Settebello, I Virtuosi, Ziti

Francois Simon’s “Hache Menu” deals with TV-starred Cyril Lignac’s (who was featured in the M6 series “Oui Chef”) new resto XVe Cuisine Attitude, 14, rue Cauchy in the 15th,, with the headline “Non chef.” That pretty much says it all - but to top it off he asks “Is it expensive? Yes. “Should one go?” No.

In another of its occasional series on the movements of chefs, etc., Emmanuel Rubin reveals the following, that:

1. The La Famille folks are opening a second place called Le Refectoire at 80, bd Richard-Lenoir in the 9th.

2. As has already been posted elsewhereon eGullet and elsewhere, Yves Camdeborde, as of April 1st, will be at the Hotel du Relais, Carrefour de l’Odeon, in the 6th.

3. As I noted above, Yves Quintard has turned over his place to a new couple who run Le Harumi.

4. The young chef from De La Garde has taken over Beauvilliers in the 18th.

5. The team running Fumoir + China Club will open a third one - La Gazetta.

6. The people managing A Toutes Vapeurs will open a temporary guinguette around la Villette.

7. Finally, William Ledeuil of Ze Kitchen Galerie will eventually take over the Table de Lucullus; and as usual there are rumors that Alain Ducasse et al., will restore Benoit in the 4th.

Wednesday as well, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban reviewed La Cave du Cochon, 18, rue Jacquemont in the 17th,, closed Saturday lunch, Sundays and Mondays, carte about 30 E (or much more depending on wine(s) chosen), the “wine cellar” of La Tête de Goinfre, that serves everything from a delicious looking garlic sausage to an enormous cote de boeuf (served with cold potatoes) and which, despite the broad range of wines one expects in a “cave,” served them at 82 degrees Fahrenheit, Chez Peppe, 30, rue Traveriere in the 12th,, lunch only Monday-Saturday, a la carte 10-15 E, that he subtitles an “epicerie” with an accent, e.g. it can be “hot,” serving antipasti, spaghetti, and other good products, the classic brasserie, Le Stella, 133 av Victor-Hugo in the 16th,, open every day, a la carte from 40-50 E, which you’d know if you grew up in the area and whose menu hasn’t budged one “iota” since then, and {EN: for us, a big disappointment, because Colette loved the bowl of flowers as you entered}, the wonderfully-sited Beauvilliers, 52, rue Lamarck in the 18th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, lunch formula at 35 and a la carte 60 E, that looks from the photo like, and indeed bears the caption of, pure kitsch, reprised by the De la Garde chef (see #4 above), where the food (escargot salad with violet potatoes, sweetbreads and millefeuille of chocolate & pralines) was easier to digest than the bill.

This month’s Gourmet had an article on Paris bistros by the ubiquitous Alexander Lobrano that included: La Cerisaie, L’Ami Marcel, Les Papilles, L’Ami Jean, Le Mesturet, Le Marsagny, Le Sot l’y Laisse, Au Vieux Chene + Le Temps Au Temps and adds on the {very bobo, but certainly not bistroish}, luxo hotel resto Le Murano. Interestingly, it was imbedded in an article by Calvin “Bud” Trillin on R.W. “Johnnie” Apple’s 70th birthday party at L’Ami Louis that probably will not add any information on Apple, Trillin or L’Ami Louis that eGullet members don’t already know.

Saturday, Francois Simon, in his “Croque Notes” in Le Figaro, wrote what is more or less Part II of his take on Breton restos that he began last week, singling out L’Amphitryon in Lorient, Tegwen Naveos aka Naveos at Guidel (Plages), and Le Vivier at Ploemeur-Lomener (5 minutes from Lorient).

In addition, across the fold, Alexandra Michot wrote an interesting article about how one goes about voluntarily giving up his Michelin star(s). She notes that one chef, Philippe Gaertner of Aux Armes de France in Ammerschwirh, wants to give up his Michelin star and convert his place to one stressing “terroir” {no translation} and that Alain Ducasse, thinks his restaurants in Monaco and Paris do not merit their stars according to the criteria. But Jean-Luc Naret, the relatively new director of the Red Guide, essentially says “We calls ‘em as we sees ‘em, if they’re listed, they merited it (them), they’re not Legion of honor awards and one can’t turn them in.”

Finally in an unauthored box at the top of the same page, it is noted that, as Emmanuel Rubin noted in Wednesday’s Figaroscope (#1) above, the La Famille offshoot, Le Refectoire, chef’d by Olivier Petit, ex of Lameloise, the Scribe + l’Oasis, is open for business, charges only 12 E for the lunch plat de jour (on Tuesday, stuffed tomatoes,) that the escargots with horseradish, red radishes and raviolis of shitake(i) mushrooms rates 20/20 and is “too good to be true” for 8 Euros and that there is a wine list with sage prices.

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The Week of March 28th, 2005

Tuesday (Monday being Easter Monday), Francois Simon in “Tables d’Affaires” in Figaro Entreprises, reviewed the restaurant L’Instant Gourmand, 113, rue Louis-Rouquier in Levallois-Perret,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, saying that despite the kooky décor and reliance on gastronomic rather than simple dishes, this chef from the Bristol can correct that and make the place even more sympathetic. He gives no prices.

Monday-Tuesday, A Nous Paris had an article you think you’d be aching to read, on unknown places. Well they are:

Prepared surprise:

L’Atelier des chefs in the 8th that got 3/5 blocks{which I’ve referred to before} and where you prepare your own food

Clear surprise:

Music Hall in the 8th, that received 4/5 blocks{which has also been reviewed extensively} where the hallucinogenic color and hours (8 AM – 6 AM) appeal to businessmen and Yanks

Alcoholic surprise:

Chapeau Melon in the 19th, receiving 3/5{ditto}, home to bio wines

Sitting all together surprise:

Cave de l’Os a Moelle in the 15th, meriting 3/5{ditto as well}, where you may sit cheek-to-jowl with others

Surprise floor:

Mum Sabai in the 6th, getting a 4/5 {mentioned before}, where it sounds like this Thai resto has adopted {what I think of as the North African style of} sitting on the floor and eating just a bit higher.

Wednesday, Zurban’s Sebastien Demorand reviewed Meating, 122, av de Villiers in the 17th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, lunch formula at 29 E, a la carte about 60 E, subtitling it “Steak and the City.” He also covered the reborn Chez Casimir, 6, rue de Belzunce in the 10th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, a la carte 28-30€ where he thought that the starters were good but the mains only so-so {Ed. Note: too bad, I always thought it was a great place for a pickup Friday or Saturday dinner under Tredgeu}, the 1930’s style, lovely Aux Marches du Palais, 5, rue de la Manutention in the 16th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, lunch formula with wine 18, a la carte 30-35€, the marches (steps) being those of the Palais de Tokyo, with many traditional (eggs with mayo, veal’s liver, crepes Suzettes) and some non-traditional dishes, and the plentifully stocked wine bar Oh Bigre , 2 rue Lamandé in the 17th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, only dinner now (6 PM – 2 AM), with small plates (Alleosse cheese, charcuterie from Meurdesoif) running 10-18€. The latter, did I mention before?, is an offshoot of the cave - Vin en tête.

Wednesday as well, Figaroscope presented their usual triple whammy. “C’est nouveau” awarded 3 hearts to the off-shoot of La Famille {in the photo, some of the faces are familiar}, Le Refectoire, 80 bvd Richard-Lenoir in the 11th,, open everyday (it says), which Rubin calls a true-false cantine, serving such delicious things as lieu in broche with veggies, a little over-cooked veal with licorice and amusing banana cake for 20 E at lunch and 45 Euros at dinner; 2 hearts to L’Auberge Bressane, 16, av de la Motte-Piquet in the 7th,, open everyday as well, where the young chef (28) reprises an old resto with lots of butter (caloric like the 1950’s), the menu is 24 E and a la carte 35, serving fried lake fish, quenelle de brochet and sole meuniere; one heart each to the pasta/pizza places Mezzomezzo in the 3rd and Pepato in the 9th and a busted plate to Iode, 48 rue d’Argout in the 2nd {EN: thank goodness, I was waiting for someone to finally pounce on this disastrous place.}

In the “Dossier,” they cover quite a few non-noble fish dishes.

Mackerel in white wine


Marinated or grilled mackerel


A slab of grilled mackerel

La Cagouille

Ceviche of sardines

Les Caves Saint-Gilles

A tarte of marinated sardines

Le vin au zinc

Grilled sardines

Chez Paul

Choucroute of haddock


And Francois Simon, stepping right up to the fish plate in his Hache Menu, reviews Kifune, 44, rue St-Ferdinand in the 17th,, which contrary to my policy, I’ll inform you, he thinks is one of the best sushi places in Paris, despite some middling dishes. He also says that 164 Euros for three, in this level Japanese place, is not bad.

In an article entitled “3 meals that were more than a chance for a rest,” Wednesday, in the New York Times, Bonnie Rothman Morris, in addition to noting that the Louvre has “fine food,” wrote, that Michael Batterberry, editor and publisher of Food Arts magazine found the environment at the Cristal Room at the Musée Baccarat in Paris even better than the “good” food served, and that two years ago, Dorothy Cann Hamilton, chief executive of the French Culinary Institute in NYC, on her quest for the perfect tarte flamblee, found one of the best at the Grand Prix in the Musée National de l'Automobile in Mulhouse.

In Thursday-Friday’s Le Monde, Jean-Claude Ribaut reviews three places favorably in his “Toques en Pointe:” the well-known bistrot La Fontaine de Mars, 129, rue St-Dominique in the 7th,, open 7/7, 23 Euros lunch menu, a la carte count on 40 E where, in the midst of andouillette, boudin and cassoulet, he quibbles about the eggs in red wine which weren’t poached but were fried, but loved the Morgon; the bistrot Faucher, 123 av de Wagram in the17th,, closed Saturdays and Sundays, serving often inspired food such as sautéed calamari, scallops and filets of fish as well as raw beef and beef with pepper sauce, lunch menu = 39, degustation menu = 89 and a la carte count of 65 Euros; and the relatively new and positively well-reviewed Au Vieux Chene, 47, rue du Dahomey in the 11th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, formula at 29 E, a la carte 35 E, serving excellent soup of Jerusalem artichoke, tete de veau and saddle of hare stuffed with foie gras and served with sautéed mushrooms.

Adam Sachs wrote an article in Conde Nast Traveler in which he did some biking (his partner made it up the Alpe d’Huez) and eating along some of the Tour de France’s 2004 route. He was disappointed by L’Esperance, thought Michel Bras had the best veggies he’s ever tasted, and did pretty well at La Grange du Mas, Lameloise, La Bastide de Moustiers + le Brasserie de l’Ile St-Louis among other places. Since I’ve found that their website lags print publication by a month or so, if you want a pleasant read, I urge you to buy it {Ed. Note of Disclosure: Sachs wrote me a note announcing the publication of this piece but since I’m a subscriber I would have mentioned it here anyway}.

This week, Margaret Kemp in Bonjour Paris, gives much kinder reviews than I’ve seen to date to Cuisine Attitude, Le Quinzieme, 14 rue Cauchy in the 15th, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, lunch menu = 40 E, degustation menu 80 E, a la carte 50-80 Euros and Le Roland, 2 bis Avenue Gordon-Bennett in the 16th,, closed Sundays, lunch at 45 Euros, a la carte 60 Euros plus wine.

In the April issue of Paris Notes, Rosa Jackson wrote up two existing places L’Atelier + Pinxo, in the former she found the food “fabulous” but pricier than last year, in the latter she found the food and prices about the same. In the same issue, Paul B Franklin mentions an interesting sounding woman, Laure Maso, 104 rue Oberkampf in the 11th,, who is bilingual and gives cooking workshops.

In Postcards from Paris, Amber Garrison says that the best sushi in Paris can be found at Kinugawa, 9 rue du Mont Thabor in the 1st,

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The Week of April 4th, 2005

Monday in Figaro Entreprises Francois Simon’s Table d’Affaires reviewed the venerable fish restaurant, whose dishes sometimes are a bit much, Goumard, 9, rue Duphot in the 1st,, open every day all year long {Ed. Note: except the beginning two weeks of August}, which he gives 3/5 stars for the cuisine and welcome, 2/5 for the price/quality ratio and only 1/5 for the (dull) atmosphere {which I disagree with}, luncheon menu is 40 Euros.

Monday-Tuesday, A Nous Paris Jerome Berger reviewed the hot resto of the month: Le Refectoire, 80 bd Richard Lenoir in the 11th,, open everyday with menus at 12, 15 and 17 Euros. He gave it 3/5 blocks and everything he mentions sounds fun and good. As well, Philippe Toinard reviewed Goupil Le Bistro, 4, rue Claude-Debussy in the 17th,, count on 30-35 Euros a la carte, closed Saturday and Sunday, also meriting 3/5 blocks, chef’d by a 23 year old daring guy, trained by Jean-Pierre Vigato; downside, the kitchen opens on the dining room.

Wednesday, Figaroscope’s Emmanuel Rubin did his usual “C’est nouveau,” reviewing five places; he awarded only 2/4 hearts to Beauvilliers, 52, rue Lamarck in the 18th,, closed Sunday night and Mondays, which for the price seems a stretch (a la carte = 70; menu at 45E {NB a bit different than those given by Zurban’s Sebastien Demorand of a lunch formula at 35 and a la carte 60 E}) even for nice sounds dishes (which he describes as “not winning,” without emotion” and “wise.”) He also gave one heart each to the other four places: Harold, 48, rue de Prony in the 17th ,, open every day, lunch formula at 19.50 E, a la carte = 45-55E, where the dishes are eclectic (sushi, carpaccio, risotto) but inflated; La Cafetiere, 21, rue Mazarine in the 6th,, open everyday except Sundays and Mondays, menu-carte = 26 E {Ed Note: for my take see here} with things he describes as banal but good, De Mets, 26, bd Poissonierre in the 9th,, open everyday but Sundays 8:30 AM-7 PM, soups and sandwiches for 10-20E and La Tete Ailleurs, 20, rue Beautrellis in the 4th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, lunch formula at 13.50, a la carte 35-40 E, serving sardines with veggies and osso buco with too much risotto, {where even reading between the lines it’s not clear why it got just one heart}.

In Figaroscope’s “Dossier” this week, the gang covered Cafes with themes which are somewhat strange {EN: excuse my attempts at translations}:

Soul-mate search

Drole d’endroit


Le Blue Billiard


No Stress Cafe


Café des Phares


Café Psycho

For planning trips


Cairo-type cafe

Andy Whaloo

Writing workshops

Les Editeurs

La Belle Hortense

Parlor games

Apparemment Cafe

Drink prices pegged to the Dow-Jones (eg CAC40)


A mixture of antiques & books


In his Hache Menu, Francois Simon, on a rainy Saturday afternoon, takes {I assume his} two kids off to a magic performance and workshop at Double Fond, 1 pl du Marche St-Honore in the 4th,, performances Wednesday at 4 PM, workshop at 5:30 PM and Saturday performances at 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM, workshops at 3:30 and 5:30 PM. 9 Euros for each per person.

Wednesday as well, Zurban’s Sebastien Demorand checks in with his usual four reviews. First, he reviewed the re-incarnated Les Anges, 54, bd de la Tour-Maubourg in the 7th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, a la carte 45-50E, ex-Michelli, ex-Chez les Anges, with a chef and staff partially derived from Au Bon Acceuil and really likes it, from the haddock to the liver and kidneys, save for the banal desserts. He also loved, really loved – indeed, it’s his selection of the year in that area - a bistrot with great wines called Louis Vins, 9, rue de la Montagne-Ste-Genevieve in the 5th,, open every day, formula 23, menu-carte 26 E, but CAUTION - no Credit Cards taken yet. On the other hand, his review of Miss Betsey, 23, rue Guillaume-Tell in the 17th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, formula at 23 E, menu-carte at 27E, is tepid, despite their veggie oriented attempt at a neo-bistrot style. {I can’t get excited about yet another Mexican restaurant,} this one called Cielito Lindo, 17-19, rue de Lappe in the 11th,, dinner only, closed Sundays, a la carte 25-30E. He slips in here that his Zurban guide of restos and bistrots is finished and will be out by the end of April {good news; its maps and descriptions are very helpful.}

Also on Wednesday, the New York Times had an article by Craig Smith on steak (beef and horse) tartare, in which he mentions three places in Paris where one can get it: the Bar des Theatres, La Favorite + le Restaurant du Palais Royal.

In Thursday/Friday’s Le Monde, Jean-Claude Ribaut reviews three restaurants; Le Petel, 4, rue Petel in the 15th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, lunch formula at 18 E and a la carte 29E, a bistro recently reprised by Michel Marie with an original chalkboard, solid technique, serving fresh, South-West product and dishes (ox tail with sweetbreads in Cheverny wine sauce); Harumi, 99, rue Blomet also in the 15th,, closed Sunday evening and Mondays (eg open Saturday and Sunday for lunch), with a menu at 25 E and 31-38 E a la carte, serving classic cuisine (eg veal kidneys) with a light touch of Japanese products (wasabi, soy, citronelle, sesame, ginger); and Meating, 122, avenue de Villiers in the 17th,, (the ex-Apicius space), little formula for 29 E, a la carte about 50 E, with a young New York chef trained by Rostang serving Irish and French beef.

Friday, in the IHT, Patricia Wells reviewed Dominique Bouchet, 11 Rue Treilhard in the 8th,, closed Saturdays and Sundays, about 55 Euros without wine, and like almost everyone else, loved it. Of interest though, is the fact that she liked the Beaufort cheese appetizer (which Sebastien Demorand did not) and found the 7 hour lamb sauce over-reduced.

Then again on Friday, Francois Simon’s “Croque Notes” seems to be written {Ed Note: although with him, I can never be sure} to complain about the prices and non-currency of Alain Passard, 84, rue de Varenne, who when he should be serving the best of fresh Spring veggies, charges a lot for winter ones with truffles. He repeats each price twice, for example the gratin of onions with truffles is 80 €, eighty euros, etc, and suggests that, in contrast, one can get a bowl of soup at a Chinese place for 5 € on the Rue Ste-Anne. He got out for 410 Euros {for how many?} by avoiding the prohibitively priced wines.

Sunday’s New York Times contained an article by Ann Morrison as part of the “Frugal Traveler” series that mentions the Café Constant + Brasserie Le Cardinal. Also of interest is the 102 Euro room she found on the top floor of the Hotel-Dieu Hospital ( as well as the Hotel Wallace for $92.00/day (

Margaret Kemp, in the Premium Subscription version of Bonjour Paris, also reviews Beauvilliers, 52 rue Lamarck in the 18th,, closed Mondays, seasonal menu = 35 E, other menus 63-80 Euros, which she terms a “cantine for the rich and famous.” She notes that the menu is not expensive, {EN: in this she differs from Zurban} the chef (ex DelaGarde) uses flowers in the food, and has a completely different menu than under the prior regime. She loved it, calls the chef a “brilliant young talent,” and thinks the prices are good. I think I’ve been remiss in not citing another of her reviews in a prior edition. It’s the most venerable fish resto, La Maree, 1 rue Daru in the 8th ,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, with a 60 E menu and an anniversary lunch menu starting May 1st of 40 Euros. She mentions the langoutine starter and mains of sole and St-Pierre as well as the cheese from Alleosse.

In Postcards from Paris Amber Garrison writes up the Pure Café, 14 rue Jean Mace in the 11th,, 20-30 Euros, where she highly recommends the ostrich steak and chocolate fondue. {In case you recognize the facade, it was featured in Before Sunset.}

L’Express just published a group-written article on the 100 best bistros in France for under 30 Euros, that includes the following in Paris: Dix Vins, Le Calmont, L'Ami Marcel, Jacques Mélac, Le Réveil du Xe, Le Barricou, Au vin des rues, Le Vin des, L'Ami Jean, Aux négociants, Chez Michel, L'Ourcine, Le Temps au temps, L'Abadache, Le Rubis, L'Entredgeu, L'Equitable, Le Pamphlet, Café Constant, La Cerisaie, L'Epi Dupin, Le Beurre noisette, L'Affriolé, Le Père tranquille, Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Timbre, L'Opportun, Le Villaret, Le Baratin, Le Troquet, Le Bistral, Les Papilles, La Petite Auberge, Le Pré Verre, L'Ebauchoir, Midi Vins, 1929, Les Dessous de la robe, La Biche au bois, La Grange Batelière, La Famille, L'Avant-Goût.

Edited by John Talbott to correct info on opening days of Louis Vins.

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The Week of April 11th, 2005

Monday in Figaro Entreprises Francois Simon, in his Table d’Affaires reviewed Le Pavillion, at the Marriott Hotel, 70, av des Champs-Elysées in the 8th,, closed Saturdays and Sundays, where the approach to the place sounds horrid (silicone and sitcom), but the food while not gastronomically tops is good and the product fresh and well-prepared. No prices are given.

Monday/Tuesday, A Nous Paris carried an interview with Yohann Paran of Beauvilliers. Since no blocks were awarded nor judgments made about the food, readers will have to consult prior reviews.

Wednesday, Sebastien Demorand reviewed his usual four. First up was the offshoot of La Famille, Le Refectoire coordinates in prior Digests; they serve different things on different days for lunch at 12-15 Euros for the formula and 17 E for the menu, eg Mondays ravioli, Tuesday stuffed tomatoes, Wednesday ham and potatoes, Thursday fried veal scallop, Friday fish, Saturday chicken and chips, Sunday leg of lamb and haricots; dinners totally different = 30-35 E: his take: generally quite positive (staff, wines, inventiveness) albeit it was decorated by a guy on LSD and they may be taking themselves too “seriously.” In addition, he reports on two reprises, one successful, the other, not so. First the good news: l’Echappee, ex-Chez Jean (Jean has departed), 38, rue Boyer in the 20th,, closed Mondays (lunch is Weds-Fri; dinner Tues-Sun), menus at 18.50 E (lunch) to 23 E (dinner) (20e), 01 47 97 44 58, is back with good bio wines and “true” dishes such as a terrine, boudin and creme brulee with lavender. However, l’Actuel, 29, Rue Surcouf in the 7th,, open everyday, metro La Tour Maubourg, costing about 38 E a la carte, which has undergone its third change in fewer years (maybe the space is cursed), serves tuna salad with 5 spices, morue with smoked lentils and capers and apple strudel but it lacks zing. Finally he likes Naoki a Japanese place in the 11th for its prices (menus = 15-25 E, a la carte = 23-36) and variety, despite its delivery of food.

Wednesday as well, Emmanuel Rubin and/or Figaroscope did something that always puzzles me; give the lead, story and photo to a one-star, when there’s a two star in the second column. Anyway, the lead went to Le Standard, 36 bis, rue de Sablonville in Neuilly,, open everyday except Sundays, Metro = Les Sablons, costing about 35 Euros; with a young, amateurish but enthusiastic team in a nice setting serving scallops carpaccio with truffle oil and grilled salmon with a gratin of veggies. The two-stars went to La Dinee’s new offshoot - La Plancha de la Dinee, 85, rue Leblanc in the 15th,, open every weekday, Metro Balard, also about 35 E, serving a curried petoncle salad, lobster salad, confited duck, etc. The other 3 one hearts went to the {unrelated} place next door Chez Blanchette, 83, rue Leblanc in the 15th,, open everyday except Saturday lunch and Sundays, Metro Balard obviously, serving for 25-30 Euros eggs meurette, sirloin and beef tartare, La Cave du Cochon 18, rue Jacquemont in the 17th,, open everyday except Sundays, Metro = La Fourche {Ed Note : except for the 11th and 12th, this is the hottest new resto area}, an offshoot of the bistro La Tete de Goinfre, serving mayo eggs, cote de boeuf and chocolate mousse for about 30 Euros, and a Chilean “cantina” Santa Sed 32, rue des Vinaigriers in the 10th,, open evenings only Tuesday-Saturday, and costing 20-25 E.

In the “Dossier” this week, the editorial team chose places with “new” ingredients from A-Z, except it’s really B (butter that’s artisinal) -W (wasabi), as follows

Beurre Bordier

La Muse Vin


Music Hall

Eau Chateldon

Plaza Athenee + Ducasse annexes

Fleur de Sel

Thierry Burlot

Frites Maison

Relais Lagrange

Huitres Label

Belons de Cadoret

Jabugo Jambon

Cuisine Attitude

Pain Eric Kayser


Piment d’Espelette

Rue Balzac

Thon Rouge





Chez Pierre au Palais-Royal

Souris d’Agneau

La Rotisserie d’En Face

Vins Bio

Le Repaire de Cartouche



Francois Simon’s “Hache Menu” was devoted to the “oh so trendy” Murano, 13, bvd du Temple in the 4th,, where the bill was a very high 188 Euros for two for a mesclun salad in a glass [sic], open range chicken a la Hawaiian and a sugary dessert concoction, followed by coffee which they hadn’t ordered. As always, he asks “Must one go?” Reply: It’s commendable, but there are better places (clearly meaning for the price.)

In Wednesday’s Postcards from Paris, Amber Garrison noted that she preferred the take-out coffee from the French-owned chain Columbus Café to Starbucks {for what that’s worth to our members who I suspect would rather linger at a dingy zinc in the quartier}.

Sunday, Mark Bittman in the New York Times, wrote about the 98 Euro prix fixe meal at L’Atelier de Robuchon, coordinates already well-noted here. He notes both the good (“absolutely delicious” and fun) and bad (reservation policy, Woolworth-style counters and mashed potatoes) parts of dining there.

The Spring issue of France, which is devoted to Versailles, features an article by Alexandre Lazareff on the venerable Trois Marches, at the Trianon Palace Hotel, 1 bd de la Reine in Versailles,, weekday lunch menu at 58 E, tasting menu at 180 E, a la carte will run 110-180 E, now featuring a special menu food from Marie-Antoinette’s era: 7 courses are 200 E and it must be ordered 2 days in advance.

The April 4th New Yorker had an article by Adam Gopnik, ex-Paris correspondent for that magazine, on various books, one of which, in addition to eGullet's own Steven Shaw's "Turning the Tables : Restaurants from the Inside Out," (HarperCollins, July 2005)" is of interest to us on the France Forum. It is Rudolph Chelminski’s bio of Bernard Loiseau called “The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine” (Gotham, $27.50). Not too much is new to those who have read William Echikson’s “Burgundy Stars” and know a bit about Loiseau (e.g. his depression, fear of losing a star and ultimate suicide as well as concern that patrons love every dish), except his one flaw in the kitchen, which was an inability to make “basic sauces.”

Edited by John Talbott to eliminate bolding problem and make Gopnik reference more inclusive.

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The Week of April 18th, 2005

Monday, Francois Simon’s Tables d’Affaires reviewed the relatively (? 2 year old) new resto Histoire Gourmande, 46, rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs in the 1st, across from the Bank of France {Ed Note : if you’ve never been inside the Bank, it’s impressive in a horrid way},, closed Sundays and Mondays, serving peppers stuffed with vinegared cuttlefish, free range chicken breast with reduced olive juice, tuna « nuts » in sesame seeds. The formula is 26.50 and menu {Ed Note : I learned from Lebey}= 30 Euros. He gives it 4/5 stars on its cuisine and 3/5 on price/quality and calls it one of the hidden treasures {my trans}of the area. The subtitle of his piece is « Not bad at all ! »

Monday/Tuesday, A Nous Paris awarded 3/5 blocks to two places : Philippe Toinard liked Millesimes 62, 13-15, place de Catalogne in the 14th,, lunch at the bar = 13, market menu = 19 or 24, menu-carte 24 and 26E, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, whose name, one correctly infers, means there are lots of good wines by the glass, among them some fine 1962’s, also serving marinated tuna, gnocchis with parmesan, scallops with endives and creme brulee (Happy Hour lovers should note that between 7 and 8 PM one gets a free glass for every one consumed). Then, Jerome Berger similarly praised the reborn (it was Chez Jean) L’Echappee, 38, rue Boyer in the 20th,, formulas at lunch 11, 12 and 15 E, dinner at 16 E, a la carte = 30 E, closed Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday lunch, serving everything from tajines to boudin noir and terrine of chicken livers with piment d’espelette to creme brulee with lavender {isn’t that what everyone is doing this Spring ?}

In Monday’s Bonjour Paris, Margaret Kemp once again raves {rightly in my opinion} about Dominique Bouchet, in her ”Buzz” column.

Monday as well, Postcard from Paris’s Amber Garrison recommends the Ethiopian resto Godjo, near the Pantheon in the 5th, which is quite inexpensive (10 Euros per person), especially for large groups who can sit in the cellar.

Wednesday’s Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau”gave the lead, photo and 2 hearts to Le Vin de Soif, 24, rue Pierre-Leroux in the 7th,, open everyday, cooking classic bistro fare (sardines, andouillette, which was too lukewarm) with a great wine-cellar, cost = 35 E, lunch formula at 12 E; two hearts as well to Maoki, a sushi place in the 11th already mentioned here. Then there’s one heart to Les Colock, coordinates above as well, where Rubin had much the same take as Demorand –nice folks, too bad about the food; one heart also to le Bouquet des Archives, 31, rue des Archives in the 4th,, open everyday, metro Hotel de Ville, open everyday, costing 35 E for entrecote, fries, crème caramel under a new team’s direction. A broken heart was given to Ossek Garden in the 11th, a crypto-Korean place.

This week’s Dossier could be a godsend to folks who dine in their hotels or want to {Ed Note: because these links have expiration dates, I’ll print it out for future inquiries, even though it has no numbers or hearts or other ratings}. Anyway, here’s their list:


La Table du Lancaster

Café Faufourg

Les Muses

Les Orchidees – Le Grill



Also Pinxo, Murano Urban Resort, Le Meurice, Le Jardin des Cygnes, 234 Rivoli,

Les Elysees de Vernet, Le Belier, Le Jardin, La Place

The eclectics

Le Safran

Daniel Lounge

Hotel de Sers

Also Café Lenotre

The outsiders

Café de la Paix


And, as usual, Francois Simon gets to go to one, in this case: l’Obelisque in the Crillion, 10, place de la Concorde in the 8th,, Piege’s “second” (to his two-starred Ambassadeurs) resto. Is it good? Not bad; Must you go? Answer a Simonism; Is it expensive? Cost=89 E for one.

Wednesday, as well, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban devoted his major review to La Canaille, 4, rue Crillon in the 4th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, formulas at 12.50 (lunch) and 17 (dinner), menus: 15.80-26 E (lunch) and 21-29 E (dinner), in which he devotes 90% of his space to the owner’s history, the bistro’s 30 year old existence, the posters, etc.; and a bit to the food – Corsican cold cuts, fried shrimp, confit de canard, entrecote as well as good and abundant bio wines. His other three reviews are probably not of much interest to our members: a Kiwi {as in inhabitant of NZ not the fruit} place, Kiwi Corner in the 6th, another Japanese-fusion type place a la Carte Postales, Stella Maris, etc., Harumi in the 15th, and a place with an Italian name, Giufeli, 129, rue du Chateau in the 14th,, closed Saturday lunch, Sundays and Monday lunch, that Demorand {and an American friend living here} say is quite good, not totally Italian, non-smoking and quite reasonable (20E for the menu – caviar of eggplant, pork with honey and pannacotta).

ParuVendu, that occasionally distributed free newspaper had two sets of reviews of interest recently. March 31st they listed their favorite tables d’hotes (that is communal tables): Chez Denise, Grandterroirs, George, Mon Vieil Ami. April 14th they gave their favorite Paris bistros {EN: we’ve discussed this matter of what constitutes a bistro before, some here are elegant restaurants}: Auguste, Natasha, Le Coude Fou, Tokyo Eat, Terasse Mirabeau.

Thursday-Friday, Le Monde’s Jean-Claude Ribaut not so much critiqued, but reported positively on Regis Marcon’s resto Auberge et Clos des Cimes, 43290 in Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid in the Auvergne,, menus 95 E (2 dishes), 110 E (3 plates), 135 E (degustation = 5 dishes).

Saturday, Francos Simon, in Figaro’s Croque Notes returned to Auguste, 54 rue de Bourgogne, at the urging of a lady on the avenue de la Motte-Piquet who charged that the critics are too dependant on press releases and media buzz, in this case about the resto’s price/quality ratio. In any case, he had an OK meal among the suits, says it’s a place for certain types, and clearly was not only not dazzled but again surprised by the cost (35E for 2 dishes). He goes on to say the self-same lady recommended a place across the street with an impossible name with reasonable prices and that night he ate there with banal results, no coordinates given {Ed Note:but Goggling came up with Michel Courtalhac, 47, rue de Bourgogne in the 7th,, and the fact that it is much loved by Alice Waters.}

In Saturday’s Figaro, in a section titled “En bref,” there is yet another announcement that Yves Camdebord is is in business, which contradicts the buzz that said he would not be cooking until mid-May- NB: present tenses are used (e.g., “s’est installe, lui officie”), 20 covers, no reservations, 40E a la carte. Corrdinates = Le comptoir du Relais, 5, carrefour de l’Odeon in the 6th, no telephone.

Sunday – the JDD’s Astrid De T’Serclaes interviewed Gilles Choukroun (Café des Delices, Angl’Opera). I’m including it here because for those of us who like his fusion food successes, it’s interesting to see where he gets his spices and other products, eg, at: Izrael, Massis Bleue, La Grande Epicerie, Tang, Le Palais des Thes + Oliviers & CO.

Postcards From Paris’s Amber Garrison recommends an Italian place Sardegna a Tavola in the 12th .which she says serves the “most authentic Italian cuisine” in Paris.

And then, the appearance of Omnivore this week excited me, but unfortunately for me and this Digest, there was little on French food in France, although there is much on the Japanese-French connection as well as pieces on restaurants in Australia and Montreal and French wines in New York. There is an intelligent discussion by Luc Dubranchet, its editor, on the new Michelin Red Guide for 2005, but it’s hard to summarize. Eric Roux also has a nice article featuring the ephemeral products that are now available: eg., thyme, sage, rosemary, mint, tarragon and something known as “asperule oderante,” or “petit muguet” a relative of lily-of-the-valley it seems.

This is perhaps more than you want to know about penguins, but in the French government supported English magazine FranceGuide2004, one sees what the French, the French government and/or the ubiquitous English-writing food critic Alexander (sic) Lobrano thinks Americans will want to do on a weekend visit, including eating. Here they are, in the order he presents them : breakfast at the Cafe de Flore or Cafe aux Deux Magots, lunch at Georges or the Cafe Marly, dinner at a neighborhood bistro, next day’s lunch at a brasserie and dinner at one of the following : Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee, Pierre Gagniere, Taillevent.

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The Week of April 25th, 2005

Monday, Francois Simon’s Tables d'Affaires reviewed the non-new but non-ancient restaurant Le Celadon, corner of the rue Daunou and rue de la Paix in the 2nd,, formula with wine and coffee at lunch = 51 E, a la carte much pricier {Pudlo estimates it at 100-120 E), giving it 3/5 for welcome and cooking but only 1/5 for price/quality and atmosphere.

Monday as well, Kathleen Peddicord of Postcards from Paris wrote of a place, {we can send our backpacking relatives to} le Bleu Canard in the Place de la Madeleine where take-out is 10 euros for a salad or sandwich, drink and desert for 9 Euros. And on Thursday she told of two other places in the area (the publication just moved into the Madeleine quartier) – Le Relais Madeleine + Le Royal Madeleine, the first a classic brasserie that serves “classic crème brulée,” escargots, onion soup, cote de boeuf (for two), etc for 40 E (ironically, it’s less costly at night); the second much pricier.

Monday/Tuesday, in A Nous Paris, Jerome Berger gave brief reviews of several established fish places : he awarded 4/5 blocks to l’Ecallier du Bistrot + La Table de Lucullus; 3/5 blocks each to La Cagouille + l’Ecume Saint-Honore and 2/5 to Chasse Maree.

Wednesday’s Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” gave out one-heart to only one French resto – l’Echapee, 38, rue Boyer in the 20th,, closed Tues, Sat and Sun lunch and all day Sunday, costing about 30 E but with formulas at 11, 12 and 15 E at lunch and 16 E at dinner which Rubin comments has “good intentions.” The other hearted places are foreign; 3 hearts to a non-sushi, non-sashimi Japanese place Isse in the 1st, 2 hearts to an Italian place Da Rosa in the 6th and a lebanese offshoot of Noura, Nai in the 8th. Rubin also gave a broken heart to a tart and quiche place, Chez Vous in the 4th.

In this week’s Dossier, the Figaroscope team covered veal in every form:

Tete de veau

Le Passiflore


Le Duc de Richelieu




Mon Vieil Ami


Le Pavillion des Princes


La Terrasse Mirabeau




Sweetbreads and Kidneys

Au Trou Gascon


Bon 2


Chez Rene

Tante Jeanne

Osso buco


And, as usual, Francois Simon reviews a place where he has veal in this instance, a cote de veau, at La Chopotte, 168, rue d’Alesia in the 14th, Asking himself – it is expensive? – he say’s 59 E (for a not very good meal, eg over-cooked daurade, tartar of salmon so bad they took it off his bill). Should one go? His answer [sic] “Humpf.”

Wednesday, as well, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban devoted his major review to Mémère Paulette, 3, rue Paul-Lelong in the 2nd,, closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, which has great wines, an inexpensive menu-carte (17.50 E) but whose food doesn’t quite measure up; Le Café Noir, 15, rue Saint-Blaise in the 20th,, closed Sundays, also reasonable (lunch formulas = 10, 14 and 17E) but where he went under the misimpression that the management had changed; Ici et la, 39, rue des Vinaigriers in the 10th,, closed Sundays and Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays only open til 7:30 PM, which runs about 15 at lunch and 25 E at dinner, which he subtitles “a girl’s deli” {my trans}; and Mon Marché, 31, rue Guillaume-Tell in the 17th,, closed Sundays and Saturday and Monday nights, a la carte about 28 E, which he calls a “bistro-cave,” has a very nice looking photo of charcuterie and serves classic bistro fare and good wine.

In Thursday-Friday’s Le Monde, Jean Claude Ribaut reviewed three places; the quite popular Refectoire, coordinates already given, which he notes serves “playful” cuisine; a South Indian place -Yugaraj in the 6th, and Michel Rostang, coordinates in the guidebooks, which {I guess he’s re-reviewing because it now} has a spring menu of asparagus (in consume, with langoustines, caviar, lobster, or sweetbreads) and creamed deboned Bresse chicken with morilles and wine; Spring menu = 175 E.

Friday, Figaro had an article by Laure Gasparotto on the 134 wine growing plots in the Ile de France, of which nine are in Paris. Please read the original if you’re curious about sampling them.

Friday-Saturday in the FT, Mike Steinberger had a diatribe entitled “Cooked Senseless” on places that serve too many (in at least one case, tasteless) dishes at each meal. He singles out El Bulli, where he’s never eaten, as serving 25-30 and the French Laundry, 9-10, where he notes Keller has never tasted his signature dish - “oysters and pearls.” What makes the article appropriate for this Digest is that he ends up contrasting this excess with a meal at Ducasse’s Louis XV, which started out with raw vegetables that were delicious, signaling to the author that he was in store for a meal featuring “flawless ingredients and simple preparation….no pink bubbles, foams or froths.” Another food news item was on page 1, column 1, entitled “EU farm chief plans to dry up wine lake,” about efforts to stem the over-production of wine, principally in France and Spain, by giving them 145 million Euros this week.

Saturday, Francois Simon, in Figaro’s Croque Notes, Francois Simon pulls his punches when talking about Refectoire, coordinates already given. On the one hand, he seems to be encouraging their young (adolescent) spirit that appears to impress their bobo clientele, but on the other, notes that something like lamb with a parmesan chantilly sauce with a nut waffle may sound good but doesn’t pan out (so to speak) on the plate. He winds up calling it “no-food” {cf slow-food I assume} which is superficial to bored adults. His second paragraph is devoted to the resto Lei Mouscardins - the best place towards St-Tropez. And third, he notes that l’Auberge du Pas de Vent in Pouillon serves a “moguette” (a vegetable apparently) of veal.

Sunday last, I omitted an interesting article for Illy Coffee devotees {mark me present and guilty} in the JDD – Illy , the “aristrocrat of espresso,” will go head to head with Starbucks, and soon will establish beachheads at Roissy and Orly.

In April’s Where, Alexander Lobrano praises Auguste, coordinates already given here; then mentions several brunch places: Café Jacquemart-Andre, La Gare, Rose Bakery, + Le Village as well as places near museums: Le Pre Verre, near the Cluny, Chez Omar near the Picasso, Le Dauphin, near the Louvre, George, in the Pompidou (Beaubourg) and Au Pied de Fouet near the Rodin.

The Spring 2005 Town & Country Travel had an article by Mimi Sheraton on her favorite bistros {which I seem to have seen a dozen times already} including: Chez l’Ami Louis, Aux Lyonnais, Benoit, Allard, {the latter very thoroughly criticized - see immediately below.}

In Secrets of Paris, Heather Stimmler-Hall wrote of her disappointing experience at that once-great place Allard, 41, rue St-Andre-des-Arts in the 6th, which was almost totally populated by Anglos, she had to wait even with a reservation for a lousy table and was charged 150 E for snails, oysters and Bresse chicken.

Postcards From Paris’s Amber Garrison recommends an Italian place Sardegna a Tavola in the 12th which she says serves the “most authentic Italian cuisine” in Paris.

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The Week of May 2nd , 2005

Monday, Francois Simon’s Tables a’Affaires reviewed Chez Flottes, 2, rue Cambon in the 1st,, open everyday, where he rates the cooking 2/5 and price quality 3/5. {Ed Note:So why did he write it up in this precious space largely regarded by business-folks? Apparently because the welcome and atmosphere are 4/5 and it’s as much a tonic as liters of orange juice.} It features cooking of yore (beef tartare, roast farm chicken, sausage, sole meuniere) and pricey wines and he wants to go back.

Monday/Tuesday, A Nous Paris’s Philippe Toinard gave 4/5 blocks to two places : La Chopotte, 68 rue Alesia in the 14th,, count on 20-45 E a la carte, serving typical bistrot fare (Salers beef, andouillette, tartar of beef, tete de veal, etc.), closed Sunday nights (eg open Saturday & Sunday lunch – not always easy to find in Paris), {for my views see here} and Le Petit Pergolese, 38, rue Pergolese in the 16th,, count on 35-50 E a la carte, closed weekends, serving filet of dorade royale, kidneys and crème caramel, where, while the name derives from the street, the dishes do have Italian twists – e.g. parmesan, risotto, polenta.

In his bigger space this week, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban, reviewed two wine bars; La cave a vin, 52, rue Legendre in the 17th,, formula at 12.50 Euros, a la carte 20 and Le Porte-Pot, 14, rue Boutebrie in the 5th,, about 25 E. The problem with the first was that despite their serving simple but not bad food, instead of using the best wine store in the area which is nearby, their stuff was selected by “winepassion.com,” whose website says they pick wines for the best restos in Paris {Ed Note:listing none of course}. On the other hand, the second place he liked better for both the food and wine. In his “Casseroles” he covered three places; a pretty good neighborhood bistro with good food and wine - Vin de Soif, 24, rue Pierre-Leroux in the 7th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, a la carte about 28 E; a new modern brasserie Harold, 48, rue de Prony in the 17th,, open everyday with a formula costing 19.50, a la carte 50-60 E, chef’d by a graduate of Ducasse’s, serving a lot of non-brasserie food (nems with Thai sauce, sushi, Italian-style calamari, Caesar salad with lobster) along with more traditional stuff (gravlax, veal liver, sole); and a Japanese place that says it serves tapas and tempura Isse, 45, rue de Richelieu in the 1st,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, menus running from 16-18 at lunch and a la carte 25-40 E for dinner, which is nice looking and has good food.

Wednesday, Figaroscope’s “C’est nouveau” was very disappointing with 5 one heart places, which I’ll really just list: a well-intentioned bistrot Miss Betsy, 23, rue Guillaume Tell in the 17th, 01., open every weekday; an intellectual nightclub jazz brasserie K, 3, rue du Sabot in the 6th,, open everyday, an Italian place Il Settimo, 57, rue Bellechasse in the 7th,, also open everyday, a neighborhood cheese shop cum resto la Tete Dans le Fromage, 20, rue de la Grangeaux in the 10th,, closed Mondays and a Korean BBQ place Gaon, 13, rue Dauphine in the 6th,, open everyday.

The “Dossier” is not much better, this week providing a bunch of tapas bars, et to go to for aperitifs in the happy hours between 6 and 8 PM:


Chez Carr


La Blancheisserie

Anis Gras

Le bar au Plaza

Le Music Hall



Casa del Campo

Da Rosa

Le Refectoire

La Tete ailleurs

As usual, Francois Simon writes up one of the examples of the above, in this case Le Bar Chinois in the Hotel Paris Vendome. He asks should you go and in English answers; “Why not?"

I don’t usually report on cafes, but the photo of this one in the gardens of the Palais Royal looked so great I’ll refer you to “Postcards from Paris’s” website. The place pictured is the Café Corazza, 12, rue Montpensier in the 1st, and Amber Garrison notes that it serves Sunday lunch for about 20 E in addition to the usual coffee and ice-cream. In addition she recommends a places for steak/frites, Le Relais de l'Entrecôte on the rue St Benoît, no reservations, which has only one menu for 20,80 Euros for which you get salad, steak and frites; desserts are 6 Euros more.

Sunday New York Times’ Magazine had an article by Christine Muhlke, entitled “Paris is Losing It,” that announces the new Karl Lagerfeld Diet Book that I haven’t yet seen mentioned in the French Forum. Remember to order it – if you do - though the eGullet link.

Margaret Kemp, in this week’s Bonjour Paris covers a lot of places along the Riviera to help those going to the Cannes Film Festival no doubt; because they’re not really reviews and outside Paris I’ll just list them: Le Vistamar, Hotel Hermitage, Restaurant Fuji, L’Oasis, Parcours, L’Ane Rouge, Lou Cigalon, Hostellerie du Vieux Moulin and if you want you can read the piece here.

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The Week of May 9th, 2005

Tuesday, most unusually, perhaps due to the holiday weekend, Francois Simon published in Le Figaro, his “Croque Notes” entitled “It’s not so easy on the Ile de Re,” on the subject of that island off Brittany. He started with a 1.80 E coffee at the Café du Commerce in Ars-en-Ré; then the nicely sited but offensively staffed Baleine Bleue in Saint-Martin-en-Ré for spring veggies at 28 E followed by a 60 Euro bar in crust (1960’s style covered in veggies and butter) for two at the Chat Botté in Saint-Clément-des-Baleines. He also mentions two other places in La Flotte: the Michelin starred Richelieu and L’Ecailler with perfect products (a big sole at 30 E) and an unbeatable lunch menu for 30 E. He also notes that as of May 15th, the fourth Ducasse inn, the Domaine des Andéols in Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt in Provence, will be chef’d by a member of the Ducasse team.

In the same issue of Figaro, Jean Miot’s “Propos de Table” concerned itself with two places: the Domaine des Hauts-de-Loire between Blois and Amboise, where the blending of Loire and Breton food and wine sounds very nice and Les Berceaux in Epernay, where he thinks Michelin will correct its motivation-less error by re-elevating this deserving place to stardom next year.

Tuesday the New York Times had an article by Craig Smith about French bar-tabacs, bistrots and brasseries with statistics previously unknown to or unobserved by me; 25% of them are owned and 50% of new ones are bought by ethnic Chinese, largely it posits due to the dawn-dusk hours.

The next day, Wednesday, Figaroscope’s Emmanuel Rubin in “C’est nouveau,” awarded three hearts to and announced that Pierre Gagniere had taken over the left bank fish resto Gaya Rive Gauche, 44, rue du Bac in the 7th,, open everyday, where 60-70 E will get you crab, risotto with langoustines, rum meringue, etc. They also gave two hearts each to the brasserie Rech, 62, ave des Ternes in the 17th,, open everyday but Saturday lunch and Sundays, which has been reprised by the ex-owner of La Procope, with a new chef who remains faithful to the place’s legends – including its wood paneling and camembert, serving Bresse chicken, baba au rhum, etc. for about 50 E, as well as to the combined wine bar-specialty shop-country inn Mon Marche, 31, rue Guillaume-Tell in the 17th,, open everyday except Sundays, where one can get honest terrines, perch filets, straw potatoes, etc., for about 30 E a la carte, formulas from 12-16 E. Finally, they give one heart only to each of two places: another mixed wine cellar-specialty store-bistrot Le Porte-Pot, 14, rue Boutebrie in the 5th,, open everyday but Sundays, about 30 E and yet another blend of cellar and specialty store, La Cave a Manger, 52, rue Legendre in the 17th,, open everyday except Sundays, about 20 E a la carte and 12.50 E formula at lunch.

Figaroscope’s “Dossier” this week features spring vegetables, which one can find at:


Le Montalembert

Publicis Drugstore




Casa Olympe

Les Allobroges

Bar a Manger

Blue Elephant

Mon Vieil Ami

Rouge Tomate

Cafe Etienne Marcel

They also mention an exhibition « Du Pois au petit pois ; a botanical and cultural history » in Versailles May 14 – June 19 ; a week of « Fraich’attitude » to inform consumers about the benefits of fruits and vegetables May 27 – June 5th – info here, the production of leeks from Nantes from May ‘til September; and three recently-published books dedicated to vegetables = “Petits legumes farcis,” “Un petite faim” and “Ma cuisine des fruits et des legumes.”

In the same vein, Francois Simon ventures to the Pre Catalan in the Bois de Boulogne,, where he describes his meal of veggies (42 E), pigeon (68 E) and an espresso. Summing up: he says that in the section of very expensive restos, it’s expensive, but one of the more affordable, yet his bill was 385 E, which made the enamel in his teeth jump off, however he notes there are also menus for 60 (at lunch, 135 and 175 E.) Should you go?: you bet - in good weather, have one dish, pay up and take off.

In his primary review this week, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban, went to two “top” ethnic places (which, given my self-imposed rules, I won’t go into in detail): Les Jardins de Mandchourie {Ed. Note: that is, Manchuria or the great Northeast of China, thus influenced by Korean and Mongolian cooking}, 32-34 allée Vivaldi in the 12th,, menus 10-12 E at lunch and 15-20 E, a la carte 20-25, closed Monday and Rio dos Camaraõs {EN: in Cameroon, Portuguese for River of Shrimp, thus African cuisine}, 55 rue Marceau in Montreuil-sous-Bois,, Metro Robespierre on the #9 line, closed Saturday lunch, Sunday and Monday night, a la carte about 28 E. In his “Casseroles,” he covered three other places; a nice wine bar Tandem, 10, rue de la Butte-aux-Cailles in the 13th,, closed Sundays, a la carte 28E, serving black sausage, sausage with peas and plates of cheeses and coldcuts {EN: for my take on it see here; a not terribly great sounding, largely vegetarian place Bam, 85, rue Lafayette in the 9th,, closed Saturday and Sunday and open only for lunch (except takeout), formula at 11, menu = 13.50 E, serving things like leek(s) vinaigrette, perhaps heated in the microwave (9e), and a Corsican “tavern” A Casaluna, 4, rue de Beaujolais in the 1st,, closed Sundays with a formula at 15 E, menu at 20 E and a la carte about 35-38 E, serving a great squid “salad.”

In Thursday-Friday’s Le Monde, Jean-Claude Ribaut reviewed three restaurants in his “Toques en Pointe” : the bistrot Millesemes 62, 13-15, place de Catalogne in the 14th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, bar lunch formula (dish, drink, coffee) = 13E, other formulas 19 or 24 E serving good products and a mixture of traditional and lighter dishes; the resto of the famous Lebanese pastry-shop Noura, Pavillion Noura, 21, avenue Marceau in the 16th,, open every day; and a second review this week (see above) of the Pre Catalan, in the Bois de Boulogne, where everything is classically perfect.

Sunday, Jacqueline Friedrich in the New York Times wrote up three “Quirky spots” in Paris that she says are places that Parisians keep to themselves. The first, Momoka, 5, rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle in the 9th,, open only for dinner, closed Sundays and Mondays, menus listed in dollars = 51, 56 and 72, a la carte about $130, serving what certainly sounds and looks like fusion dishes (largely Japanese or Japanese-French) and two others whose coordinates can be found in the guidebooks: the Café Panique, serving food she says might be found in Berkeley or on Amsterdam Avenue (e.g., NYC – West Side), menus 17 (dollars) at lunch and 38 at dinner, a la carte $120, and Chez Ramulaud which she likes for its wines and nostalgic music at Sunday lunch, which costs about $100 {for my take on it in 2001, shortly after it opened see here.}

In a MS NBC News article, Clothilde Dusoulier lists her favorite budget places in Paris: they are Cojean, Boulangépicier, Les Vivres, Rose Bakery, Delicabar, A Priori Thé, R’Aliment, La Cave de l’Os à Moëlle, Café Fusion, Androuët sur le Pouce, L’Ourcine, L’Avant-Goût, Bistro Vivienne, Aux Lyonnais, Chez Jean.

EatinParis, which posts favorites from time to time, endorses Aux Marches du Palais, 5, rue de la Manutention in the 16th,, giving it 3/5 stars across the board.

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The Week of May 16th, 2005

Monday, in her “BUZZ” column in Bonjour Paris, Margaret Kemp reviews Roland, 2 avenue Gordon-Bennett in the 16th (e.g. in the Roland-Garros Tennis Stadium complex),, chef’d by Patrick Cameron Darr, but overall directed by Marc Veyrat, where she admired the “healthy calorie-controlled dishes, delicious salads,….steak, …. best chips in Neuilly, and a stunning chocolate cake maison.” Menus from 13, a la carte 45 Euros.

Wednesday, Sebastien Demorand in Zurban, devoted his primary review to the Auberge Bressane, 16, avenue de la Motte-Piquet in the 7th,, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, menu at lunch with wine = 29 E, a la carte 50. He talks more about the atmosphere and traditional dishes (small fried fish, fricassee of snails, poached foie gras, côte de veau à la parisienne and chocolate souffle) than about superior fare {Ed Note: a view I share}. He summarizes by saying if the bill were in francs, eg 1/6th the price, he’d be at this museum everyday. In his “Casseroles” space, he reviewed two French and one Italian place: they are: Papille, 9, rue Godefroy Cavaignac in the 11th,, lunch formula and menu 16 and 20 E respectively, a la carte 25-28, which he calls a bistrotbar, serving good entrees but plain mains, which he finds curious; an Auvernate place, Bougnate, 2, rue Germain-Pilon in the 18th,, formula 21 E, a la carte 35-45 E, which had the same first/main problem but was kitchy albeit looking like a typical Pigalle tourist trap; and the trattoria-lounge-bar Settimo, 57, rue de Bellechassse in the 7th, lunch formulas 16-22 E, a la carte about 38, which despite the banal menu had OK dishes but where the music was jarring.

Wednesday, comes “C’est nouveau” in Figaroscope, and there was indeed much new. First, came two French two-hearters: Le Pub Saint-Germain, 17, rue de l’Ancienne-Comedie in the 6th,, open everyday 24/24, running about 25-40 Euros for fried calamari, wok-sauteed rice with shrimp, tartar of tuna; and Le Fin Gourmet, 42, rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile in the 4th,, closed Sundays, menus at 27 and 35 E (with a glass of wine and coffee), a la carte running about 40-45 E, for dishes such as mushroom raviolis and chocolate tart, and an Italian place l’Orto, Carrefour de la Croix-de-Noailles in St-Germain en Laye,, closed Saturday lunch, Sunday dinner and Mondays.. There was one French one-heart, Le Casque d’Or, 1, rue d’Eupatoria in the 20th,, closed Sundays, running about 35 E for ham, cheese, aligot, etc. and one Corsican one, A Casaluna, 4-6, rue de Beaujolis in the 1st,, closed Sundays with a squid salad, cheese and cold cuts, formulas 15 and 20 E, a la carte about 35E.

The « Dossier » this week was devoted to what might be translated as portraits of prominent restaurant characters. For example:

Geneviève Cullerre at La Grille

Lulu at L’Assiette

Francis Dubourg at La Cabane a Huitres

Bobosse at Au Quincy

Vincent Cozzoli at Chez Vincent

Gilles Bénard at Chez Ramulaud

Jacques Mélac at Chez Melac

And also :

At Omar

Dave Cheung at Dave

Claude Terrail at La Tour d’Argent

Eric Beaumard and Enrico Bernardo at the George V

Gérard Poulard at the Meridien Montparnasse

Michel Peitit at Benoit

Marilyn at Alcazar

Finally, sticking to this theme, Francois Simon takes the opportunity to introduce Alain Ducasse’s latest protégé Werner Köchler in his Hache Menu on the Relais Plaza where he spent 110 Euros on a meal he describes as irreproachable but whose price was “effarant” {I had to look it up (as so often happens with Simon), it means outrageous, mind-blowing}. Should one go? “If the descriptions sadden you, don’t, but it’s the most Parisian of restaurants,” he says.

In Thursday-Friday’s Le Monde, Jean-Claude Ribaut reviewed three restaurants in his ”Toques en Pointe” : l’Actuel, 29, rue Surcouf in the 7th,, open everyday, with a lunch formula at 17 E and menu at 21 and dinner costing 29 with several classic dishes, for example, a blanquette de veau and beef tartar as well as new ones – a croustillant of avocado, carpaccio of dorade and for desserts – fig tart and poached pear; Pont Alma, 6, ave de New York in the 16th,, closed Sundays and Mondays, menu at 35 E (lunch and dinner, glass of champagne and coffee included), a la carte = 50 E, with a good selection of white wines and dishes such as quickly-cooked tuna, mackerel on rocket salad, gaspacho with crab, sole, bar, and a host of other fish plates; and the Auberge d’Ostape in Bidarray where the Basque-influenced cuisine was designed by Alain Ducasse.

Friday, Francois Simon announced what has subsequently been widely reported (eg, in Le Monde and the New York Times, that Alain Senderens was giving up his stars at Lucas Carton to convert the space into a “restaurant de ville” (eg a deluxe brasserie), perhaps under another name. Prices will be cut by 1/3rd, that is, to 100 Euros.

Friday as well, Patricia Wells wrote an article in the IHT entitled “Food as Fashion” in which she suggests that anyone wishing to assess “food fashion” in France go no farther than three places whose coordinates are in the guidebooks and are already well-known to readers and adequately-endorsed by her: La Table de Joël Robuchon, Le Pré Catelan, + Pierre Gagnaire.

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