Paris meal report 2023 - week 2: Jeanne-Aimee, Jacques Faussat, Chez Alan Miam Miam, [Pantagruel,] [L’Ami Jean,] Jouvence, Caractere du Cochon, Perception, Parcelles

Upon our return to Paris at the end of May from our detour to Rome, we were joined by our younger daughter. First up was dinner at Jeanne-Aimée, where we’d been first last October. They still had the “choose any 4 or 5 dishes” format, but prices had already risen steeply from 52E/62E to 75E/85E for our visit (per others on this board, I understand they have since moved to a more expensive, tasting menu only). Overall I quite enjoyed the food, but I’ll note that my otherwise usually adventurous eater daughter did not, nor did my more picky eater wife.

The night’s carte:


I thought that the oyster and Camembert cream dish “worked” well this time, unlike the version last fall.

Fish dishes:

Lamb and chicken mains:

Desserts / mignardises:

While I’d continue to go back with this previous menu format even despite the price increase, I doubt we will return if it remains a tasting menu only.

Jaques Faussat for lunch the next day, apparently among the lowest priced 1-star restaurants in Paris.

We really liked the room:

We had the very reasonably priced 60E lunch menu, though we paid supplements for one potato millefeuille and foie gras and 2 strawberry soufflés. If you go I strongly suggest doing the same, as these two house specialties were far and away the best things we ate there; the potato dish was one of the best foie gras preparations I’ve had in years. The rest of the food was very good, and all was beautifully plated. We had nice wines by the glass, and other than the champagne I thought they were reasonably priced.




Dessert / mignardises:

We will certainly return, just perhaps not every year.

Dinner that night was (mostly) oysters at Istr; covered separately.

Lunch the next day was sandwiches at Chez Alan Miam Miam. I covered this here when we were there last fall. The sandwiches are excellent. It pays to get there early to beat the long lines later during lunchtime. A large sandwich feeds two people easily and is a bargain. Note that if you purchase from the stall in the covered market rather than their shop across the street, it’s not at all easy finding someplace to sit and eat your food.

Dinner that night was at Pantagruel, probably the most expensive meal of the trip. having for once eaten responsibly earlier in the day, I decided to splurge and added both the lobster course and the cheese. Since the meal at Pantagruel has so many plates, I posted the report here given the number of pictures, so the folks who are not as keen on food porn pics will have less to scroll through in the post.

Overall we definitely enjoyed the meal, and some of the food was quite impressive. I certainly recommend anyone interested in it to check it out. Not sure how quickly we’ll be back, only partly because of the cost (which rose another 20% soon after we were there at the end of May).

Went to L’Ami Jean for lunch the next day. I described the meal here; it was not at all like any of our previous visits.

Almost everything was different here - good and bad - versus prior trips:

  • The service was wonderful.
  • The portions were not gut-busting, and most of the food not “heavy” at all.
  • Plenty there appealing for my “picky eater” wife


  • The terrine de campagne was not good at all, below average for all of Paris, and light years worse than on each previous visit
  • The mains (salmon and pork for us) were fine, but IMO not up to the level of previous visits.
  • The rice pudding was fine, but nowhere even close to “wow” like each prior time.

The terrine:



The rice pudding:

I’d still go back to CLJ, but I’m not rushing to do so, and will stay way from the terrine de campagne as opposed to look forward to it.

Jouvence was another Parn rec, one I was looking forward to based on the description of “star-quality” food at great prices. I didn’t find it so. The prices are indeed very very reasonable, but I thought the food was just fine (with the sweet potato asparagus gnocchi dish being meh) We did like the warm madeleines with orange cream.

Artichoke and crab tarte starters:

Sweet potato gnocchi and trout mains:


Because Parn’s recs are usually on the mark in terms of what we like, I’ll probably give Jouvence another try, but based solely on our dinner that night, I’d see no reason to return.

We got sandwiches at Caractère de Cochon (another Parn rec). @Trish has some great pics here. They ask you what kind of jambon you want for your jambon-beurre, and I got a delicious one with garlic, rather than the usual jambon de Paris, which helped make it the best jambon-beurre I’ve ever had. Added some Comte to part of it back at our apartment.

They also had petit jamon Iberico sandwiches that day with some kind of sun dried tomato spread on a crisp seeded baguette, which was also delicious.

The sandwiches were so good we went back again twice more before we left, once to get sandwiches for the plane ride home.

If Parn failed to get a hit with his Jouvence rec, he knocked it out of the park with his recommendation of Perception. If anything, this one he undersold a bit. It was neck and neck with our Alliance lunch for our favorite meal of the trip, and definitely my favorite in terms of the food.

We got the Menu 8 Temps, and I had the wine pairing.

The food was a mixture of French, French with a Korean flair, and a bit of French-Korean fusion.

For this meal it’s worth showing most of the courses:

I thought the wine pairings were all at least very good. I particularly enjoyed this wine served near the end of the meal. Not sure I’ve ever had Vaqueyras before. It paired particularly well. Looking on the Internet, the only bottle of it available now is the 2019.

Service was very friendly and I was pleased with it. It’s not on the level of, say, Alliance (few are), and to me that is the only possible thing that could hold it back from getting a star.

This was my favorite dinner tasting menu I’ve had in several years. Perception is near the top of our list of places to return.

Lunch the next day was at Parcelles. The food was very good - in particular, the sweetbreads - and I liked the room in the daylight. Wasn’t particularly keen on the service, though.

While I can definitely see the appeal of Parcelles, I don’t rank it as highly as many others on this board seem to do.


Thanks for all of this! Sorry you had poor service at Parcelles (hasn’t been my experience at all). Curious, where are you looking forward to a return visit? My guess is you’ll say Perception? But do you think the menu changes enough to return? I like the occasional tasting menu, but nowhere I can think of off the top of my head beckons a return such visit. I’ll keep thinking though!

I like the idea of returning to a place like Parcelles because it’s in my neighborhood, and then menu changes (except for those sweetbreads, which I think are a specialty). Reason I like going to a place like L’Assiette also. I will return to a place like Dilia because, even though it is a set menu, I have the sense that it changes frequently. Like you, I am not likely to return to Jeanne-Aimee due to the set menu.

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Great question. For me at least, timeframe matters.

Since we usually come back only once a year (even though going forward we plan to stay there longer each trip), I’d have no issue going back to both Perception (for dinner) and Alliance (for lunch) every year even if the menu remained completely static (which of course it won’t). OTOH, unless the menu turned over, I’d be unlikely to go to either more than once or twice a year.

If we lived in Paris full-time or even months on end, I’m pretty sure I’d go to Les Parisiens for lunch - for the fish, of course - every two or 3 weeks.

To answer your first question, Les Parisiens, Perception, Alliance and Pierre Sang Oberkampf are at the top of our must return list. While they are very different beasts, Breizh Café and Le Relais de L’Entrecote - and now Caractere de Cochon for sandwiches - in practice are always returns too, if there for at least a week.

At the moment, no other place we’ve been qualifies as a must. The ones that might be closest are KGB (now Oktobre), Clown Bar, Montée, Pouliche, Kubri, Virtus, La Condesa. Oh, and Istr for oysters. But of course the great thing about Paris is there are so many places, new and old, to try!


Sorry about your disappointment with Jouvence. I think Parn may have raised your expectations too high by calling it one-star quality. It is a bib gourmand in Michelin, and indeed a very good one, but in my experience, as with some other bib gourmands, they aren’t interested in doing some of the extra things Michelin would require to get a star, and so appreciate it for what it is.

Sorry that I wasn’t more clear. My “disappointment” with Jouvence was solely about the taste of the food on the plates that day. I had no issue with the service, and I liked the room. The “vibe” for our 8:00 PM, not that crowded Thursday evening beginning of June dinner with the sun still shining when we sat down was a neutral to small plus.

I’d say the restaurant overall was somewhat similar to Le Grand Bain, a place we went in the fall, also at Parn’s suggestion, where we liked the food much more. My only issue with Jouvence is I wasn’t that crazy about the food (other than dessert). The night we were at Grand Bain, out of 5 dishes ordered, 2 were really good, one pretty good, one fine and one meh. By contrast at Jouvence out of 5 dishes ordered, one (dessert) was really good, 3 were fine and one meh.

Since I respect both Parn’s opinion and yours, I’m very willing to believe it was just a one-day, or even a course selection, thing, and will likely give it another try.

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Thank you for this detailed and enjoyable report. I’m a little late to the game in commenting because R and I have been somewhat incommunicado since late September in Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks (where the scenery was sensational but the food obviously not memorable at all).

I’ve always enjoyed Pantagruel at lunch and planned to return for dinner. But at the current price of 150€ for a 6-course dinner I’ll probably go elsewhere. Lunch is still a possibility and a good deal, but there are a lot of business types at that hour.

Jacques Faussat is on my list for November and, thanks to your tip, I’ll make sure to order the foie gras and soufflés supplements.

Perception looks like it’s getting better and better since it opened in late 2021. From your and Ziggy’s reports we are looking forward to trying dinner there.

Jouvence has never been a favorite of mine. The service and room are fine but I’ve always found the food very mediocre. After a few tries, I’ve stopped returning.

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