Saturday, July 16, 2011

Le mignon Filet

ok so le filet. yes. yes. yes.
small plates. expensive. trendy but chill.
see and be seen kind of vibe.
mount royal.
the food, the food.
small plates, mostly seafood.
we had a scallop dish with beets, to die for, the scallops were raw i believe, tender as fuck and just so delicious. like butter.
the colours made me think of le chateaubriand in paris.

tuna tartar with seaweed crisps. amazing.

morue with bits of chorizo. very good fish dish, would of enjoyed a bit more sausage.

gnocchi-like pasta with veal cheek and foie gras melted in.

octopus, my least favorite, a little charred...


(Jean Paul Gaultier apprently enjoys this place too)

I just loved it. The service was decent, a lil cold and impersonal but the food was so good nothing else mattered.



Sunday, April 3, 2011

ze kitchen galerie

A few weeks ago we went to Ze Kitchen Galerie in the 6th arrondissements because of the consistently fabulous reviews given by John Talbott, opinionated and well-respected food blogger in the parisian anglo online food community. “Never disapoints” is how he put it but this restaurant not only disapointed, it offended. I was shocked by the all around low level of quality . There are so many problems with this place i dont even know where to begin.

The concept is french asian fusion flavours in a minimalist contemporary art setting as the name suggests. The ambiance was extremely cold and kind of awkward actually. I instantly disliked the space but I tried really hard to give the food a chance and not judge preemptively.

All the entrees were priced at twenty something euros and the mains on average went for 37.

Pigeon (I'm not even gonna say what it looked like...)

The service was deplorable for any restaurant, but especially for a michelin star rated establishment. The waiters lived up to the parisian stereotype and acted as though they couldn’t be bothered to look at you, they were unattentive and blasé, a little snotty and just generally careless. They were more interested in chatting with their colleagues in the kitchen which was exposed behind a glass wall at the back of the restaurant then by serving their clients. One would expect professional behaviour from the cooks if they are on display for all the patrons to see. And hear. The conversations we were overhearing and their work method was simply unprofessional and downright tacky.

Raviolis (4 to be precise, drowned by the sauce, very forgettable)

When my mother asked the waitress about the wine we had picked she looked a little annoyingly at the bottle and tried to find the info to answer her question on the back of the bottle and then gave up. “Je ne saurais vous le dire” was the best she could come up with.

They didn’t even have a sommelier and for this price point, in Paris, you would expect knowedgable courteous taff.

St-jacques. (decent scallops, chewy squid)

The menu was uninspired, mostly boring sounding dishes with ginger glaze vinaigrette.

These people should be ashamed of themeselves. It also makes me wonder what level of standards people in this city have as the place was packed. Perhaps, like me, they were induced by John Talbotts and other reviewers' praise which i truly am completely baffled by! These famous food bloggers guide visitors on their culinary adventures in a city where good food is abundant. This was by far the worst food experience I've had in Paris.

Cod (actually they got the name of the fish wrong, they couldn't even tell us what it really was)

No one in this restaurant seemed to care. The young waiter barely knew what was on the menu and he wasn’t embarassed by his lack of knowledge either.

Anyone with any sense could see right through this joke of a restaurant. There was no passion, it lacked innovativeness and especially the quality that the high prices demanded. It makes you wonder if certain prominent food bloggers and reviewers are being paid off... it was that bad.

From the uncourteous and unprofessional waitstaff to the bland over-priced food, this restaurant was an all around disaster.

Save your money. You’re better off at any random brasserie.

Salty treats and tea salons

Le Sévigné
So the first time I walked by this charming resto in the Marais, the tartes salées on display in the vitrines caught my eye, particularly the spinach one that was two inches high with a MASSIVE slice of melted goat cheese on top. I had to try it.

So I came here with my parents on a sunny sunday afternoon, sat on the terrasse which gives out onto the quiet street next to a children's playground and ordered some wine and the spinach tarte. The pie was simple and hearty just as I had hoped it would be. And so my obsession with tartes salées began.

Salons de thé (tea shops) are some of my favorite places in Paris and I can't help but order these salty treats instead of pastries. I'm just not that into sweets. Except for fleur d'orangers macarons. Those are awesome.

Here are some of my favorite tea shops/places to eat tartes salées.

Mamie Gateaux (6e)
On rue du cherche-midi. I like this street. It's quiet and pretty and a little bit fancy. The tea shop is the same. Elegant but friendly and the tartes here are more delicate and refined. Sooooo delicious. Renata's favorite.

La fourmi (9e)
Not actually a tea salon, more like a bar. Always packed and at night there are tons of cool kids smoking on the sidewalks but surprisingly the tartes salées here were really good!! Did not expect that at all. Love coming here with Eliza.

Le loir sur la théiere(3e)
Super crowded, line-ups all the time. Lots of different variety and also quite good but they run out fast. Bric a brac furniture setup makes for a laidback, quirky atmosphere. This is where I go with Daniel.

That's it for now
More to come!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I have been wanting to try this restaurant (voted 11th best in the world by Restaurant Magazine) for quite some time now and was just waiting for the right partner. And then Renata came along. Not everyone is into paying 50 euros for a meal especially when you don't get to choose what you're going to eat and the reviews about the food are mixed. But I knew she'd be up for the adventure. Chateaubriand is known for their innovative dishes, with contrasting flavours as well as their hot scruffy waiters. But I hear you either love the place or hate it.

So we just showed up at Chateaubriand at 10pm, without reservations. The restaurant was packed and the couple at the bar told us they were to be the last seated that night. So we walked out extremely disappointed. But luckily one of the waiters ran out after us and said they would make room. Ren and I were both thrilled at having been chased back into the restaurant!

So we ordered some bubbly (5 euros a glass) and waited for a table to clear up. We ended up sitting at the only bar seats which gave us a good view of the whole restaurant and the bartenders.

We were promptly brought over the menu for the night and described in detail every dish we would be tasting. It all sounded lovely but I can't even remember what half of what we ate was... but it was all amazing.

We started off with these little salty bread nugget things and a liquid ceviche with a chunk of avocado we were instructed to take as a shot. I've never had liquid ceviche but it was surprisingly delicious.

I believe this was some sort of mushroom covered in seeds... Very good amuse-bouche as well.

Truffle something? I should have been paying attention to what the descriptions were but I was too distracted by the visual appeal of the food...

Rose petal endive mackerel salad...

Vegetable broth with a piece of foie gras

For the mains we had a pavé de cabillaud with asparagus and a mayo to dip it in

...and a blanquette de veau covered by a mushroom mousse

Then came dessert. A cheese platter...

Chocolate mousse

And a sorbet to top it all off

Everything was absolutely amazing!

I liked how a different cook brought out every dish and explained it to us. The service was excellent and the food was high quality, interesting and delicious. We had ten different plates which were all brilliantly executed. Definitely got our moneys worth.

I loved it, from beginning to end.
In every way, my type of place.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Italian in Paris

So ok i know my first Paris post has been a little delayed... and on top of that I'm starting off with an italian restaurant. The thing is I've been basically eating delicious baguette, cheese, charcuterie and wine instead of going out to fancy dinners. But tonight was my friend Daniel's birthday so we went to this little cozy Italian eatery in Oberkampf called l'Osteria dell'anima.
The menu consists of mostly fresh pasta dishes and as you walk in there's a little setup in the front where they prepare it as you order.

The lady who owned the place was absolutely amazing and offered us some bellini's because our reservation was a little bit postponed. Daniel ordered the lasagna and I had the mushroom, speck cream sauce pasta dish. Both were delightful.

When the hostess found out it was Daniel's birthday she brought us a few shots of grappa after we finished our desserts.

This place was so welcoming it basically felt like we were eating at our italian aunt's home where we were being forced to take shots and eat too much food.
A nice change from the typical somewhat stuffy parisian dining scene.

Overall, had a great experience and would definitely come back again (if I didn't have a million other restaurants to try during my stay in Paris!)
ps. reservations are essential, about 10 couples were turned away during the time that we were there

Next week, wine bars!

Special thanks to Eliza and Daniel for the pictures!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Restaurant Jane

So i haven't posted in a while because I've been preparing my move to Paris. I came to study fashion business in the fashion (and food) capital of the world. The last week before I left Montreal we had one last girl gathering at new notredame west little burgundy restaurant, Jane. Their specialty is pizza although the chalkboard menu suggested interesting appetizers as well.

We all ordered different pizzas. I had the buffalo mozzarella, the red sauce was delicious and salty(I believe it was made with rock salt). Others chose the bianco which was a cream based sauce with mushrooms and pesto. Also very very good.

However the favorite amongst all of us was definitely the shwarza which consisted of smoked meat, pickles and mustard. It sounds kind of strange and a little bit gross but it was actually the most amazing pizza ever!!

(kristina looking very proud of her choice of pizza)

The prices were a bit high (all around 20$ for a pizza) but they’re huge and made with fresh ingredients. This is not your dirty Montreal street pizza. Totally worth it. And you can easily share one pizza between 2 people.

The drinks are made with homemade juices and are all very interesting sounding and some better than others (the favorites were the cucumber one and the beet juice one).

Overall we had a wonderful time, the food was great, the place is cute and comfortable.

I’m going to miss my friends so much but I’ll definitely be having more food adventures here in Paris.

I'll keep you posted!



Thursday, November 18, 2010

La gourmandise: mon peché préféré

Au cinquieme peché has been on my Montreal restaurants to try list for quite some time now. I've only heard positive comments about this little bistro on Mont Royal, near Bily Kun, so I was very excited when Renata decided to go there for her birthday dinner last weekend. The menu changes frequently depending on what's fresh and all the wine is what the french call vins natures (basically organically made wine).

This place is small, seating about twenty, and very charming and inviting. Our waiter for the night was superb! He was very helpful in suggesting wines and just patient and pleasant throughout our whole meal even though we're quite an undecided bunch especially when it comes to ordering wine to suit all our tastes. By the end of the meal, he even knew all our names! He also brought us a little taster of a dip that I can't remember the ingredients of...

To start, we all shared appetizers which included oysters, croquette de brandade and salmon gravlax. All three were delicious but my favorites were the croquette that were lightly fried and just so wonderful I kind of wish i didn't have to split it six ways...

As for the mains, I decided to do something uncharacteristic of me and not order the fish. Instead, I opted for a steak, rare, with mashed potatoes and bok choy that also came with a 2 hour braised paleron de boeuf ( beef shoulder). To cut this delicate meat all I needed was a spoon. It was one of those melt in your mouth experiences it was so tender. Amazing. Renata ordered the wapiti and according to her it was a rich texture for game but with a dry tenderness, like horse meat. She seemed to have enjoyed it.

My sister went for the sweet potato gnocchi and goat cheese which was just perfect. Claire and Kristina were the ones to order the fish of the day: a dorade served crispy with a chickpea polenta on the side. Everything was good but I woud say the winning dishes were my beef dish and my sister's gnocchi.

Oh and the desserts!! So we ordered all three to share: the nougat glacé, a little chocolate brownie like cake ( was it called suzie?) and the marron cheesecake. I'm very particular about cheesecake because I'm used to the home made variety that I bake with quality ingredients and minimal sugar. However, this marron cheesecake was one of the best I ever had. The little chocolate cakes were very good too and were scattered with pomegranates and other fruit. The nougat glacé was another crowd pleaser and we basically couldn't decide which was our favorite because they were all so excellent.

Au cinquieme peche was a great dining experience. The food was creative and high quality and the service familiar and professional. The prices were fair, it was about 70$ per person including 2 shared bottles of wine.

It was a great place for an intimate birthday dinner!