Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Paris Restaurants, Fall 2013: Le Petit Jacob, Cuisine de Bar Cherche Midi, Garance, Bones, L'Arpege, Voltaires, Le Quincy, Semilla, L'Epicure at the Hotel Bristol, Septime, Le boeuf au Volant.

Le Petit Jacob

This is a charming very small resto with generally good food that specializes in tartines, French open faced sandwiches on wonderful toasted bread. A good place to stop for a quick lunch if you are in the area.

Eggplant puree topped with chopped tomato, accompanied by a delicious purple cabbage salad.

Sliced sausage on that same good toasted bread, accompanied by the same salad.

Cuisine de Bar Cherche Midi

Mashed sardines with horseradish, wine vinegar and herbs, on buttered, toasted Poilaine sourdough bread. I added a bit of olive oil, ground pepper and some of the cumin seeds (a great combo) offered with the 3 condiments on the table (below).

Cumin seeds, fleur de sel, pepper and sesame for seasoning the sandwiches. 


Garance is a relatively new restaurant with a promising chef.

Tete de veau, smoked sauce gribiche, capvein leaf and cep mushrooms. 

Heirloom Tomatoes, fennel, Iberian ham, almonds, a truly great plate, so good, we ordered it 3 times at this meal!

Incredibly tender pidgeon, properly cooked rare, with beet puree, radish, onion and reduced pigeon juice/stock.

The veg that accompanied the pigeon dish.

Perfectly poached shrimp and foie gras with shaved fennel and grapes. another marvellous dish (no photo).

Various red fruits with blackberries and blueberries, meringue, fromage blanc, rhubarb, raspberry sorbet.

Yogurt sorbet, mango sorbet, chocolate ganache with hazelnuts and almonds.

Garance is a restaurant that should not be missed when travelling to Paris, for me, another standard must do, like Semilla and Le Quincy.


A very young chef is head of this very small kitchen. The restaurant serves great butter with their bread.

Bonito sashimi on cappucine leaf, topped with grated botarga and elderberry vinegar.

Oysters, lightly smoked with hay, with coriander seeds.....delicious.

Bbq'd duck hearts topped with grated horseradish.

Prawn carpaccio with pickled onions and basil leaves and prawn vinaigrette. 

Octopus with grilled scallions, grilled red and green peppers and Chinese chives. 

Farmer's chicken with broccoli leaf, lemon aioli and potatoes.

Mixes greens and vinaigrette dressing.

Almond and prune ice cream and frangipane and coffee ice cream.

Mirabelles in honey with coffee spuma and almond frangipane. Such a truly simple dish, but, the epitome of flavour.


Home of renown chef Alain Passard, this restaurant ranks #16 of the San Pelligrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, and holds 3*** Michelin stars.

Cheese filled gougeres, crispy, light, very tasty bights.

Feuillete: parsley onion and spinach; spinach and zucchini with a touch of vanilla; bell pepper, onion and celery; apple with geranium.

Warm egg yolk with maple syrup, cherry vinegar and chopped chives.

"Fines ravioli potageres", multicoloured with various veg fillings such as red cabbage and beets, spinach and swiss chard, carrot and parsley leaf, all sitting in a very pleasant and intense vegetable consomme. Quite a tasty dish. The ravioli were remarkably delicate and a great, very intense tomato broth.

The presentation of my brother's lobster (homard blue), just cooked. It is taken out of the shell and served with an acidulated new honey sauce.

Mixed grill: rump of veal, veal sweetbreads, grilled farmer's chicken, grilled lamb and lamb kidneys (perhaps as good (and tender) as I have ever enjoyed), roasted garlic and pearl onions.

The final presentation of the lobster.

Various petit fours: corn cake (sweet and delicious); nougat; herb tuille; apple macaroon;

A tour de force: bouquet of rose apple.....a pastry tart with apple shave to look like roses.

A very good venison pate.

A welcome selection of tasty pickles.

Beef tartar that was a bit to fine in texture and too wet.

French fries, a bit limp.

There is a lot of very old french charm to this restaurant, the decor is warm and homey and the staff highly attentive, but it is my perspective that the dishes are tired.

Le Quincy

This is one of my favourite restaurants in Paris for very traditional French fare, all very well executed .

Very good complementary sausage.

A presentation table with their own house made garlic cabbage slaw.

The slaw.

The wonderful house made terrine. After ordering, one may help one's self as often as decent!

The house made terrine typically served with the cabbage and garlic slaw.

Tete de veau, as good as it gets.

Tete de veau on my plate. I love this dish.

House made cookies presented in a tin.

Cassis sorbet, again, as good as it gets.


Beignets de courgettes (zucchini) with zucchini puree.

Arrancini of snails, pickles and girolle mushrooms with slices of raw fresh cepe mushrooms. Loved the earthy flavours of this dish.

Veal tartar with green mustard and granny smith apples.

Tete de cochon croustillante ("crispy"....which it was not, but nevertheless a pleasing and delightful texture) with creme of cepes mushrooms, pousses (micro greens) and jus vinaigre (acidulated pork jus).

Duck from the Dordogne, roasted on the bone, with seasonal veg: baby zucchini, radishes, peas and grapes. A great simple dish with flavours of the moment, all perfectly cooked.

Caramelized plums and raisin tart.

Sable breton, vanilla flavoured farmer's cream, wild French blackberries. Another hit 

Questche tarlette with almond cream. Wonderful.

L'Epicure at Hotel Bristol

From the chef: tomato and watermelon lemoncello; smoked eel and foie gras with soy sauce, honeyed sea weed and pecans; frog's leg.

Sand sole stuffed with chanterelles, green asparagus, with a slightly creamed sole broth flavoured with vin jaune.

Baby zucchini and chanterelles.

John dory baked in the oven with fennel branches.

Loin of lamb with delicious and delicate lamb gnocchi flavoured with basil and parsley.

Bresse pigeon with spicy honey, compote of fennel with a cumin " a la diable" jus. Truly delicious and juicy.

Macarron, nougate and chocolate liquid.

Nyangbo chocolate, liquid cocoa, thin wafers and gold gilded chocolate sorbet.

Nyango chocolate, liquid cocoa, chocolate mscarpone, thin wafers and gold gilded sorbet.

Predessert: fresh pineapple and lime, jelly of capeirinha; coconut meringue with pineapple sorbet.

Assorted petit fours.


The following was from the "carte blanche" menu.

Baby squid, grilled and topped with lardo, cucumber, red onion, dill celery and an intensely flavoured tomato water infused with basil. the squid was buttery and tender.

Grilled ceps, black trumpet mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms, with almond butter and topped with a butter and wood smoked "yellow egg" made into a sabayon sauce and red oxalis leaves.

Hare with nasturtium leaves, watercress, cabbage, grilled baby leaks and tapenade.

Perfectly cooked roast guinea fowl with fennel, baby turnips, young carrots, carrot tops, petit pan squash, beets a fresh goat cheese.

Salted pecan sorbet, letta cheese which was very refreshing and the flavour so well complemented the sorbet.

Thyme, basil and shiso flavoured ice cream with peaches cooked in red wine and shortbread crackers.

Le Boeuf au Volant

Cutting the steaks and here we selected with the deckle.

A very good beef tartar made from USDA choice black angus. Very good texture and taste.

Bacon and egg, worth ordering for a "snack".

USDA prime black angus bavette, properly cooked rare, rated a very good 9/8/8 (taste, texture, juiciness). A dinner companion ordered the chuck flap, USDA choice rated 7/6/6.

Good frites.

Burger made from dry aged Spanish beef.

The burger was cooked perfectly and was very good with excellent flavour and texture and presented with very good, caramelized, scalloped potatoes.

A very good strawberry tart, with a very tasty light and flakey crust.

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