Thursday, July 30, 2009

More restaurant explorations

Frenchie: 5 rue du Nil, 2eme
Went with: Michael on a Tuesday night
Had: A beautiful chilled beet, raspberry and creme fraîche soup (wow!); salmon, served on pureed root veg, with buttery carrots, topped with shaved fennel and dill.
Impressions: Super fresh and inventive. The menu changes daily and offers just two appetizers, two entrées and three desserts. Another are-we-in-New-York? dining experience. Cozy and clean, tucked down a side street in my very own neighborhood. This place is still new and soon to be on everyone’s radar.

L’Avenue: 41 avenue Montaigne, 8eme

Went with: Ogilvy folks for lunch
Had: The largest, most succulent piece of cod I’ve ever eaten in my life with a tasty side of haricots verts. The meal started with une coupe de champagne, progressed with lovely white wine and ended with an espresso to go with the macarons.
Impressions: Avenue Montaigne location ensures a crowd of beautiful people. A Costes establishment, it’s a see-and-be-seen place, for sure. Loved the house dog. Purple and gold interior feels dated but is still cozy. And all I’m saying is it’s a good thing I wasn’t paying.

Hotel du Nord: 102 quai de Jemmapes, 10eme

Went with: Melissa on a Saturday night
Had: Chinese chicken salad and chevre ravioli.
Impressions: I was so happy to have a different kind of menu and the salad in particular hit the spot. The bartender was high on either crack or life, literally bouncing off the walls. Normally cool crowd was tainted by B&T element. The cozy, candlelit atmosphere is going to be calling my name when it gets cold out.

Spring: 28 rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, 9eme

Went with: Alex on the special all-day-lobster-rolls Saturday
Had: A meaty, delicious lobster roll and goose fat French fries dusted with orange and lime zest. Sigh.
Impressions: Teeny-tiny, clean, contemporary spot. Bright, airy and friendly. Just like New York, the price of a lobster roll here is steep (23 or 24 euros?), but the portion was generous and, bottom line, it was delicious. Seated right by the open kitchen, we got to chat with Daniel—who’s a great guy—as he made the sandwiches.

Bistro Paul Bert: 18 rue Paul Bert, 11eme
Went with: Michael on a Tuesday night
Had: Warm, grilled squid salad—exquisite—and gosh, this is bad, fish for an entrée but I can’t remember what kind?! Finished off with baba rhum for two.
Impressions: This is one I’d been wanting to try for ages. One of the “new Left Bank” bistros. Great, great stuff: classic ambiance, good crowd, typical menu, but delicious food. My squid salad was superb. And we got to dress the baba rhum ourselves with a bottle from the bar.

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