Elmer Restaurant, Paris, 3/22/18

exterior
exterior

Elmer is a one room restaurant with an open kitchen that has been in business 2 years.  One side of the room has large windows to the street; bench seating lines another wall that faces small tables set fairly close together.  Above the bench is a shelf of decorative objects that add nice color and personality to the room.  There are a couple larger tables in the center of the room that appeared to be offered for community and/or single seating.  Another side is filled with the bar and service area with the final wall being a large opening into the kitchen.  Hanging fixtures light the tables, no music is in the background, no clothes are on the table but a nice cloth  napkin is placed for each guest.  Panels of sound absorbing material hang from the ceiling which works well to keep the noise level very acceptable. At lunch they offer a 3 course, fixed price menu (with a choice on the main course and a cheese option for dessert) but also offer a la carte but the 3 course is a much better deal.   Continue reading

Tomy & Co, Paris, 3/21/18

exterior
exterior

Tomy & Co. is a medium sized place with bench seating along the walls for the bare wood tables.  They have been open one year.  Background music plays but the overall noise level is low and the walls are decorated with wine bottles and some food artwork.  Subdued lighting is from hanging ball shaped lights and candles.  Tables are set with interesting glassware that all have a larger portion on the bottom of the glass.  It was different but I wasn’t sure it worked well for drinking.   Service is friendly, helpful and the staff spoke good English.  At dinner they offer a 6 course surprise tasting or you can chose a starter, main and dessert from the menu choices for 47 euros.  They offer wine pairings but we ordered our own bottles of wine.  We had the tasting menu that seemed to consist of options on the a la carte menu with slight variations.   Continue reading

Abri, Paris, 3/21/18

exterior
exterior

Abri is a tiny rustic place with the open kitchen taking a third of the space.  There is no sign but a menu is on the window.  Bare wood tables are set with a variety of chairs and artfully exposed wood under the wall plaster serves as a decorative feature.  Some music plays in the background but the place epitomizes minimal, almost bohemian.  Japanese chef Katsuaki Okiyama is in charge of the kitchen and he was present while there but did not interact with guests.  We saw other dishes coming out and inquired to find that the chef will send out different things depending on if you’ve been before.  Service is efficient but there is not much English spoken by the staff.  At lunch, during the week, only a 4 course surprise tasting menu is offered where you get to chose between fish or meat for the third course. On our visit the choice was cod or small chicken which turned out to be quail.   Continue reading

Signature by Pierre Sang, Paris, 12/2/17

exterior
exterior

Signature by Pierre Sang is a tiny dining room in the back of a large front room kitchen that has been in business for about a month.  It is only about 4 tables that all receive a surprise tasting menu designed by the chef, consisting of snacks, 2 appetizers, fish, main course, cheese and dessert. The cozy room is beautifully appointed with one of the walls being lighted wine storage racks – what better backdrop?  Another wall is copper with a large service area and another is stone.  There is a large skylight that would add natural light if you were there in the daytime.   This is the third of Chef Sang’s restaurants in the area but this is to be his high-end one.  All have a similarity though, in the surprise factor of the menu.  In fact they like to present the food with no explanation and then come back to see what you thought it was – just like his other place (Restaurant Pierre Sang Boyer) that Frankie visited on 12/5/15.  There is a great wine list and helpful staff to navigate it with you as well as attending to your every need.   Continue reading

Chez La Vieille, Paris, 12/2/17

exteriorChez La Vielle is named after the woman who started and ran it for over 30 years.  Now Daniel Rose (whose other restaurant is close by) owns the place which has about 8 tables in an upstairs dining room and a bar with a counter type tables downstairs.  The hours are limited.  The more comfortable upstairs has a couple windows that look down at the busy street but the tables are small and close together in the small space.   One good thing is the bathroom is on the second level which is nicely convenient.  Service was friendly and efficient but as the room filled the waiter was stretched to work the room alone.  The same kitchen services both areas.   It offers a small a la carte menu with many plates designed to be shared.   Continue reading

Virtus, Paris, 12/1/17

building
building

Virtus is a good sized place with soft lighting and background music.  The couple that ran Clandé, Chefs Chiho Kanzaki and Marcelo Di Giacomo, changed the name to Virtus about a year ago and then moved to a new space about a month ago where they moved in many of the same decorating fixtures into this location.  You’ll find a variety of chairs and light fixtures that were stylish points at casual Clandé.  Virtus seems to be a bit more upscale, with well spaced tables and a separate bar area that also includes some seating.  They offer a 7 course tasting menu priced at a point to challenge anyone from using the a la carte ordering items.   Portion control runs on the slight side and the meal pacing started nicely and then slowed to a crawl and fell apart as the restaurant got full.   Continue reading

Gare Au Gorille, Paris, 12/1/17

exterior
exterior

Gare Au Gorille is a good sized place that is simply decorated and very busy.  It is a long, narrow place with low ceilings and bare light bulbs and a really lively vibe.  You enter into a small bar area and then into rooms of tables ending in the kitchen.  Service is exceptionally friendly and helpful with most of the servers speaking good English.  We were there at lunch which has a different menu than dinner but in both cases there is a large moderately priced wine list.  We were offered a choice of 3 courses or 6, including cheese with two optional appetizers available and there was a glass of wine of the day. We opted for the longer tasting and ordered an optional appetizer.   Continue reading