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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Le Galopin - 2 for 2

No sense rehashing my review from January.  Another visit last night and I can simply leave it at 'ditto.'  Me and Co., two for two - two great meals at Le Galopin.  Doesn't sound like much, but the maquereau, feve, and pamplemousse was awesome.

This would be the fixed menu - click and it gets a lot bigger.


Make that 3 for 3 - with Moose in tow for an early May, 
mid-week dinner, this may have been the best yet.  Here are shots of 
three of the dishes:


asperges et saint-pierre 


Monday, April 11, 2016

Anthocyane - Coulda Been A Contender

Following his visit back in early February, Paris restaurant blogger John Talbott concluded that the new restaurant Anthocyane in the 14th was 'not yet ready for prime time.  Give 'em a month or two.'  Co. and I did just that, only to discover that Anthocyane still isn't ready for prime time.  Talbott's assessment was based on menu items not available as soon as the restaurant opened for the day, a server who rattled off the dishes without interest in the customer's cognitive processing of said dishes, and other asundry 'kinks' in the service.  And my assessment - drum roll, please:  'ditto.'

It's a handsome restaurant with a tongue twister of an incomprehensible name - after all, wouldn't you want a name for your restaurant that people are actually going to remember?  (Okay, so maybe it does refer to a kind of red cabbage dye, so what?)   We were seated in the main room, within view of the kitchen, but not really positioned to see what was going on in the kitchen.  An open/closed kitchen?  Right off the bat, the owner took my coat, turned it upside down, and watched as my sunglasses fell out of the pocket. It was going to be that kind of evening. The aforementioned server was impossible to follow; maybe another robot could have grasped whatever he was babbling about the dishes, but he didn't appear to get the idea after I asked several times for him to repeat his remarks.

This is the room in the back where they (apparently) stick the noisier customers

The 59 euro menu degustation started off with two very nice amuse bouches.  I quickly gobbled down a rather unique brown tortilla chip and was about to dip into the two accompaniments when I noticed that Co. hadn't eaten a bite and bore perplexed look on her face - the look that says, 'I prefer wine when I eat.'  In fact, I had to ask a second time for the delivery of the bottle, the server apparently not capable of processing such a challenging request, thereby leaving it up to the owner, whom Co. suggested bore a resemblance to actor Oscar Isaac, for what it's worth.  Our 29 euro bottle of Bourgueil les Vingts Lieux Dits arrived and the consumption process (re)commenced.  At least at the start, I again had to agree with Talbott, who claimed that once the food started appearing on the table, those service-related peccadilloes began to fade.

Amuse bouche 1

Amuse bouche 2 - a creamy betterave concoction

The meal got off to a serious start with (apparently) one of Anthocyane's signature dishes, a poulpe croustillant preparation, which really looked great, but was underwhelming in terms of taste.  I really wanted to like this,because I really like poulpe, but there was nothing of  interest to pique the taste buds.

Next up was a scallop and potatoes serving.  I thought the rounded potatoes were kind of interesting, but the scallops weren't nearly as succulent as the ones I recently reported on at Prosper et Fortunee.

By the way, here's a little test for you:  can you identify what these first two dishes have in common?

Answer:  both dishes included a couple caper berries (at least I think that's what they are called).  This is an unusual - and very tasty - ingredient that I rarely see served in a French restaurant, yet - my god, what a coincidence - they appeared in two dishes IN A ROW at Anthocyane.  What this tells me is that chef Andrea Franceschi is pretty fond of those babies and will throw them into any dish, well, just because.

Find the berry in the two dishes above and maybe Anthocyane is your kind of place

Whatever love for Anthocyane that had entered our hearts at this point in the festivities essentially flew out the window with the next course.  I had earlier explained to the server that I do not eat lamb - a rather straightforward admission that the server initially had difficulty comprehending for whatever unfathomable reason - whereas Co. clearly revealed that lamb is one of her favorites.  So when it came time - now - for the lamb dish, both of us were served the fish alternative, and we were informed that 'if one customer has a dietary restriction, the rest of the table must suffer for it.'  This is where I decided that chef Franceschi was more emotionally challenged than Bradley Cooper's character in Burnt.  With the refusal to provide Co. with her eagerly anticipated lamb dish, I swear I thought I began to see smoke beginning to rise from her head.  Apparently, owner Jean-Paul da Costa recognized that he had a near crisis on his hands - Co. was seriously contemplating storming out - and returned to our table to inform Co. that, after all, it was not a problem and she could have the lamb dish.  Ha ha ha, just kidding bro!  Ta da!  And so it went.  Co. really enjoyed the lamb, and I was content with the fish, although I can't say we all lived happily ever after.

Is it lamb or is it fish?

Is it fish or is lamb?  And where's my caper berry, damn it?

When I related the story about the lamb to an American friend, he suggested that he often encountered that problem at restaurants in the U.S. ever since his wife went vegetarian.  Fair enough, but I have never, ever, in my many years of dining in Paris, experienced such a closed-minded policy.  So there.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we come to the dessert duo, a palette cleansing fruit dish followed by a chocolate, chocolate, chocolate sort of souflfle, the latter overly rich for my pardner but sinfully decadent enough for yours truly.

Bringing the evening's entertainment to a rousing finish, a plate of patisseries, and if you've been reading my other reviews, you know how a free plate of these babies at the end of a meal just makes me positively giddy.

Perhaps one day Anthocyane will indeed be a contender (for a Michelin star, that is), but it has a long way to go.  Co. was impressed by their unique looking spoons, just so I don't forget.  Two menu degustations, a bottle of wine, and one espresso brought the bill to 152 euros.  Anthocyane - still not ready for prime time.

63, rue Daguerre
75014 Paris
tel: 01 43 27 86 02
Closed Sunday and Monday

Monsieur da Costa (foreground) doesn't look like Oscar Isaac if you ask me, but Co. begs to differ

Window graffito on rue Daguerre

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