La table d’Aki, Paris, 4/13/19

buidling
building

We last visited La table d’Aki in February 2013, before I started this blog.  It’s a tiny place with about 8 tables for 2.  They do 2 seatings each night.  Classical music plays in the background and the small tables are very closely placed.  They are set with white tableclothes and nice sized cloth napkins.   The end of the room is the small kitchen where chef prepares all the food and cleans up too.  Each table has its own little light on it.  Near where the wall hit the floor was a piece of wood to prevent chairs from backing up too far and dinging the wall behind them. Chef is very particular and you can see him re-arrange things to his liking.  No tweezer action here but the food is precise yet simple.  It is good food but not earth shattering.  It is honest, clean tasting without dots, smears or 15 ingredients on one plate. It is only seafood and there are no amuse bouche or final treats.  The room has little ambiance and the staff spoke fairly poor English.  Everyone in the restaurant has the same tasting menu.  Pacing is rapid and portions size is on the small end of the scale. Continue reading

Coretta, Paris, 4/13/19

building
building

Coretta is a medium sized restaurant located near Martin Luther King Park, thus the name.  Two sides of the room are large windows to the outside.  The modern room has lots of wood accents and the small tables are of wood based with a metal tops set with leather chairs.  Some of the tables are high top and there is outdoor seating.  It was nice looking but not the most comfortable the way the legs on the table hit your legs.  Modern music plays in the background and an opening on one wall looks into the kitchen.  The menu is a la carte or sold with a 3 course or 2 course price.  Certain picks do have a surcharge for this method.  Some of the food was quite good but none of it great, however it is a very pleasant place for lunch.  Service was friendly, efficient and they spoke great English. Continue reading

Restaurant Alliance (update), Paris, 4/12/19

building
building (you can see chef through the window)

It’s been 2 years since we visited Restaurant Alliance, a small one star Michelin restaurant with Chef Toshitaka Omiya at the helm – someone who seriously knows how to cook.  If you have the opportunity to get there, do.  I give it solid thumbs way up.   The food is wonderful combinations of really flavorful ingredients that will leave you wanting more and then they’ll bring the next course that is just as good or better.  They offer 2 tasting menus, one a 7 course surprise menu selected by the chef or a Harmony Menu of set courses.  They do offer a smaller tasting menu at lunch but go at dinner if you can because you don’t want to miss any of the dishes this chef turns out.  Pacing is good, no lags and portion control great.  There are only around 7 tables in between the windows to the street and the large window looking into the kitchen.  Shades of gray and cream along with lower lighting provide a peaceful, cozy ambiance along with some cool circular overhead light fixtures.  Service is stellar, with welcoming and helpful staff that all spoke great English.  We were warmly greeted by  the chef and manager Shawn Joyeux, who is great at finding you a fun wine at your chosen price point. Continue reading

La Condesa (update), Paris, 4/12/19

building
building

It’s been just over a year since we visited La Condesa and this trip we tried lunch instead of dinner.  It is a really small one star Michelin restaurant that has been open about a year and a half.  There are about 8 closely set small bare wood tables.  The use of mirrors helps make the place seem bigger but it has a cozy atmosphere.  Music is in the background and the chef Indra Carrillo is in the kitchen but makes frequent trips to the dining room to bring food and check on diners.  The menu offers tastings of 3, 4, or 6 courses and wine pairings are available.  We chose the 6 course menu and ordered our own wine.  Portion control and pacing are both good and the staff is all super friendly, helpful and speak great English.   Continue reading

Restaurant H, Paris, 4/11/19

building
building

Retaurant H is a small place of about 8 well spaced tables.  Soft music plays in the background, one wall has windows to the un-busy street and the back wall has a window into the kitchen.  The bare topped tables are set with lovely large napkins.  The modern room has wallpaper on some walls and others are decorated with arty photographs.  Decorations are minimal.  The menu is tiles in a box where you can pick how many courses you want.  They offer tastings of 3, 5 or 7 courses with wine pairings available.  We chose the 5 course omnivore menu and ordered our wine.  Service was exceptionally friendly and servers spoke great English and were helpful. The chef, Hubert Duchenne came out to visit with diners.  The restaurant currently has a one Michelin star rating. Continue reading

Cézembre Restaurant, Paris, 4/10/19

exterior
exterior

Cézembre is a small restaurant of about 10 tables that serves only a 5 course set menu at dinner.  For lunch they serve a 3 course menu.   There is no a la carte menu.  The small varnished wood tables are set closely and with paper napkins.  Painted beams in the ceiling, lowered lighting and pop music in the background set the tone.  Mirrored walls make it feel larger than it is.  The staff was super friendly  and spoke good English.   This is a very nice place with good food in a cozy setting in the heart of the tourist district. Continue reading

Restaurant Antoine, Paris, 4/10/19

street
exterior

Antoine is an enclosed patio with about 10 well spaced tables of various sizes.  Those tables nearer the windows to the outside were smaller whereas the ones along the kitchen wall were larger.  However those at the windows could have a view of the Eiffel tower and/or the museum across the street.  There is music in the background and the tables are covered with nice white clothes and set with good sized white napkins.  You are greeted at the table with the champagne cart – a wheeled “figure 8” table with the ice bucket of champagnes on top (later on it carries the cheese selection).  We were there at lunch time and they did have a special lunch menu as well as an a la carte menu and a 4 course lunch surprise tasting.  Wine pairings were available and they are known for their seafood.  We chose their 4 course lunch with our own bottle of wine.  They currently have a one star in the Michelin guide.  Servers spoke good English and were friendly and helpful.   Continue reading

Restaurant PAGES, Paris, 12/1/18

entrance
entrance

Restaurant PAGES only has 7 or 8 tables with much of the room being taken up with the open kitchen.   They have one Michelin star.  White clothed tables are widely spaced and set with a wooden container of potato chips.  Pale walls with some exposed brick, a stone floor, and lots of stainless around the kitchen and on some of the walls and ceiling, set the tone of the room.  A display case is in the back with meats they are aging and soft music played in the background.  It felt very modern but I wouldn’t call it a fun ambiance.  They have been open 4 years and offer only a tasting of 8 courses.  There were 3 supplements available the night we were there, caviar, truffle and/or Wagyu beef.  We opted to include the last one.  There are no menus before or when you finish.  They did bring a nice warm cloth to wash off before you started. Continue reading

Le Bon Georges, Paris, 12/1/18

building
building

Le Bon Georges is in the lower level of a corner building and divided into 2 rooms.  One room, set a little lower, felt a tad bigger and had a tile floor whereas the second room also held the bar and service area with the door to the kitchen and had a wood floor.  I think the noise level was better upstairs than below.  Tables are small bare wood, set with a high quality paper napkin, and close together.  Walls are covered with signs, objects and windows to the outside.  It has been here for only 4 years but feels like a place that’s been here for a much longer time.  The menu is on a chalkboard brought to the table as well as a large wall written version.  Service is ultra friendly and helpful with the atmosphere being cozy and fun.  I would recommend putting this place on your agenda. Continue reading

Cobéa, Paris, 11/30/18

exterior
exterior

Cobéa is a smallish place that was really busy.  The setting is white clothes and napkins covering the small close tables, lowered lighting, no music, a wall of barred windows overlooking the garden and a small window serving as a pass through area for the kitchen.  The staff kept a frantic pace but seemed to be fairly inefficient in their service in spite of that, however it did leave me feeling rushed and yet I wasn’t.  There was lots of carrying things to and from the kitchen and the pacing quite variable, in addition the explanations of the dishes was poor.  The menu lists the items and you pick 4, 6, or 8 courses with the items already selected for the number of courses you pick.  There was little price difference in the tastings.  We chose the 8 course menu which featured both of the protein options.  Portion control was all right.  They have a one Michelin star rating. Continue reading

Le Clarence, Paris, 11/30/18

exterior
exterior

Le Clarence has been around about 3 years and is in the private mansion of Prince Robert of Luxembourg, who is also President of a wine estate in Bordeaux, Domaine Clarence Dillon.   The building has been meticuously restored and decorated to provide a ‘lived-in’ feel while still being quite elegant.  There are three small dining rooms, each with a different decor, and a large area upstairs lounge to relax and have cocktails or after dinner drinks if you prefer that to sitting at the table.    There are also some private party rooms.  Some rooms have windows to the street and other have windows looking over the courtyard toward the glassed in kitchen area.  Beautiful carpet is on the floors topped with large widely spaced tables draped with pale green satin underskirts topped with white cloths whose color scheme perfectly mimics the charger plates on the table (marked with the CD logo).  Chef Christophe Pelé works some 2 star Michelin magic on the 3 different tasting menus that are offered.  Wine pairings are available.  There was also a truffle supplement offered the day we were there but we opted to just have their longer tasting, Menu Le Clarence. Pacing and portion control were great as was the service.  Every need was happily attended to and afterwards they showed us around some of the other rooms as well as having a printed menu of what we had for me. Continue reading

Le Vent D’Armor, Paris, 11/29/18

building
building

Le Vent D’Armor has been in business for 3 years and offers a surprise tasting or an a la carte menu.  It’s a small place with windows opening to the street and the other walls are decorated with cut out circles filled with various fabrics.  Music plays in the background, the lighting is low, the floor is a wide wood plank and white tableclothes and napkins are on every table – even the outdoor ones.  A middle column was cornered in copper as was the ‘wainscoating’ on the walls.  The noise level kicked up a tad when the room filled but the tables are set widely enough that it was never a problem.  The only odd touch was the use of plastic chairs but however weird they were to touch they were quite comfortable.  It’s a cozy place where we felt very welcome and enjoyed a fine meal.  The co-owners (who previously worked together as head chef and sommelier at Le Divellec) split the duties of the place with Nicolas Tribet  serving as chef and Olivier Friant managing the front of the house.  We chose to order a la carte and pacing was wonderful with the portions being generous.   The food was honest and very tasty and it’s a place I recommend you try. Continue reading

Guy Savoy (update), Paris, 11/29/18

entrance
entrance

It’s been 3 years since we were at Guy Savoy, a large 3 star Michelin restaurant.  Not much had changed in the physical structure but the feel was definitely of a tourist driven  machine.  We were in a room with mostly non-French speaking people and it was unsettling to hear the same “witty” remarks delivered to each table, like they were something new and personal.  Nevertheless service is well done with no need is too much to ask for.  The lunch special is not as good a deal now.  You are limited in your choices with it and the various lunch compilations did not appeal either, so we ordered from the regular menu.  Interesting enough the menu is printed in about 6 languages.  Chef Guy Savoy is still in house and makes the rounds of the tables but leaves early enough that I seriously doubt he was doing any cooking –  he is there just to be seen.  If you need to see him then I urge you to go but even though the food is really good you can eat better at a better price any number of other places. Continue reading

Le Radis Beurre, Paris, 11/28/18

exterior
exterior

Le Radis Beurre is a small place that holds about 30 people with no music, small close tables and a corner service area.  The dark, bare wood tables were decorated with various squash and there were pictures of chickens, wine and radishes on the walls. There were 2 windows to the street which let in lots of light in the daytime but the lighting was not overly bright otherwise.  The service people seemed to know many of the patrons and mostly French was spoken by the guests, i.e. not a big tourist spot.  However they were very welcoming and helpful with selections.   It felt cozy inside and there were a few small tables outside if the weather permitted their use.  There is no English menu only a chalkboard of options in French, with first, main and dessert courses being priced the same or a price offered for 2 or 3 courses.  Some items did have a supplemental charge.  A truffle option had a sign but they were out of it that day.  There was another menu on a mirror but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Continue reading

Comice, Paris, 3/24/18

exterior
exterior

Comice is a one star Michelin restaurant appointed with nice linens, comfortable chairs, pretty flowers, wood floors and purse stools in a leather that matches the chairs.  It is run by a couple with the wife, Etheliya Hananova serving as sommelier and front end manager and the husband, Chef Noam Gedalof running the kitchen.  She is from Canada which may be why American music plays in the background.  It is a lovely room that is nicely lit and noise level is not a problem as the tables are well spaced.  It is a very comfortable atmosphere that offers a la carte options or a tasting menu of 5 courses (4 at lunch).   Continue reading

Quinsou, Paris, 3/24/18

exterior
exterior

Quinsou is a small one star Michelin restaurant with about 30 seats that has been in business a year and a half.  A pop out window on the street wall lets in lots of light during the day and accommodates a couple of tables.  Otherwise there is long narrow bench seat along one of the walls topped with an aged mirror.  Light music plays in the background.  The menu changes slightly every day with major changes around every 3 months.   Chef Antonin Bonnet is in charge of the kitchen and a master of sauces, which were a highlight of each plate.  At lunch they offer a 3 course menu or a 6 course discovery menu that is basically a taste of everything on the menu.  We chose the discovery menu.  Service was excellent and proficient in English and portion control and pacing of the meal were good.   Continue reading

La Condesa, Paris, 3/23/18

exterior
exterior

La Condesa is a small place of about a dozen 2-top tables that has been in business about 6 months.  Soft jazz plays in the background, windows along one wall look out to the street and bench seating lines both walls of the rectangular space.  Painted wood walls wood floors and hard ceiling make the noise level moderate once the place is full.  They only serve a surprise tasting menu to all guests and no write up of the menu is available.  An informational sheet states that Chef Indra Carrillo, who just turned 30, and his team offer “creative combinations of world cuisines using the best available ingredients.”  Service was good as was the pacing of the meal.   Continue reading

Ken Kawasaki, Paris, 3/23/18

exteriorKen Kawasaki is a small place with just 13 seats around a low u-shaped counter that frames the kitchen.  Ken Kawasaki is the Japanese chef that opened the place and still is in charge of the menu but he is rarely there in person as he is usually in Japan.  Staffing is sparse, as it appeared that the assistant chef also was responsible for washing dishes and helping serve.  The greeter/waiter also helped with serving and clearing.  It was impressive what they could accomplish with so little staff, but it felt odd that they still merited  receiving one Michelin star.  The service was helpful, efficient and provided good pacing for the menu however their command of English was variable.   Continue reading

Table Restaurant, Paris, 3/22/18

exterior
exterior

Table is a one star Michelin restaurant that is run by Chef Bruno Verjus who started out as a food writer.  It has been in business 4 years and 9 months and is a good sized place that doesn’t seat many people, as seats are nicely spaced.  We were fortunate to get some prime seats at the bar counter where we could watch the kitchen action.  Other seats are in cozy booths and various sized tables.  Service is efficient and super friendly – they really aim to please. The menu is a la carte but they were willing to have the chef design a degustation menu for us and the sommelier helped chose 2 wines that complimented the many dishes.  The food here is fairly simply done but it uses only the best of ingredients that are available.  It seemed to stress flavor and that’s right up my alley. Continue reading

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

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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

Les Déserteurs, Paris, 11/30/17

entrance
entrance

Les Déserteurs is a tiny place that holds about 20 people at mostly 2-top tables.  When you enter you immediately notice the open kitchen on one end and benches lining the the two other walls.  They do supply you with plenty of bolsters that you can use for back support or as a divider between you and the next table’s guests.  Lighting is nicely lowered, but not too dark, and soft background music plays.  The windows on the back wall appeared to look out on a courtyard but it was too dark to really tell for sure.  They have been open about 4 years and are furnished with bare wood tables but lovely cloth napkins.  The menu is a choice of 4 or 6 courses and the menu denotes which courses are included in the 4 course.  They have a really nice wine list and the menu does offer a couple supplemental charge options.  We chose the 6 course menu and our own bottles of wine. Continue reading

Pertinence, Paris, 11/30/17

17634729_1311278148965357_41170642959506995_nPertinence is a very stylish small place with only about 10 tables, whose name means “food for all”.  The ceiling and back wall are lined with wood slats that morph into a seating bench, two other walls are covered with heavy vinyl drapes and the final wall is large windows looking out on the street.  Copper accents make up the window and door frames. There is a window to the kitchen on the wood slat wall where you can peek and see chefs Ryunosuke Naito from Japan and Kwen Liew from Malaysia create their excellently flavored foods.  Tables are bare at lunch (clothed at dinner) but do provide a generous lovely linen napkin.  Soft music adds a bit of background noise which was good.  A large brass egg  is on the table and hidden inside is additional silverware. The restaurant opened last spring and serves a la carte as well as a tasting menu.  I want to credit Pertinence for the use of their exterior and interior pictures, as mine didn’t work.  Continue reading

Restaurant MONTÉE, Paris, 11/29/17

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exterior

MONTÉE is a tiny place, seating less than 25 people, including a small second room.  It was not full the night we were there but they said lunch is their busy time and they have only been open one year.  It feels a bit spartan with no art, music or flowers (except one dried arrangement) and there is no signage out front on the quiet street.  It is run by a husband and wife team with Japanese chef Takayuki Nameura in the kitchen and his wife in charge of the dining room.  At night it is a tasting menu only which is printed in English and French on the table.  They were warm and friendly, even though their English is limited, and pacing and portion control were really good.   Continue reading

eels restaurant, Paris, 11/29/17

building
building

Restaurant eels has been receiving lots of accolades since it opened 6 months ago.  It has about 15 tables and and offers 2 and 3 course lunch menus where you choose your selection or a 5 course surprise tasting menu with optional pairings at lunch.  We chose the latter option and ordered our own bottle of wine.  The menu changes monthly and all the food was quite flavorful but the pacing of the service was varied, although the scaled portion size was well done.  The restaurant has lots of hard surfaces, including 2 walls with windows looking out on the street, as well as some background thumping music and thus noise can be a factor.  It is a fairly dressy crowd in the packed room.  Tables have moderate spacing and there is a copper tint to the lighting.   Continue reading