Paris Trip Report, Part 2 - Pouliche, [Les Parisiens,] KGB, Liquide, Toscanino, Josephine Chez Dumonet

We had dinner at Pouliche 9/22. It is basically a no-choice menu, though you chose between two mains.

The first 3 starters came out together :
Eggplant with tahini- I didn’t like the sauce flavor, my wife did.
Burrata with raspberries - the raspberries worked well, but too much tarragon for us.
Sea bream carpaccio with lemon and (unpickled) ginger - really interesting accompaniment for raw fish.

Next came pumpkin soup. Not innovative, but well executed. I’d have liked it even better with somewhat less cream / more pumpkin flavor.

Beets, radicchio and smoked haddock - just ok. IMO it would have been much better with a lot more radicchio - the one bite with a whole radicchio leaf was substantially better than the others.

Sea bass with anise sauce and excellent haricots vert - my wife really liked it; for me it was decent but had too much anise.

The other main was filet of pork with zucchini and black olive tapenade - I thought it very good, and noted that it was a huge portion (in my experience, very atypical for “nice” Paris restaurants not named Chez L’Ami Jean).

Brebis with fig jam - very good, the jam was a perfect complement.

The desserts were figs with white chocolate mousse, and a hazelnut olive oil cake - both very good.

At 62E for the menu for dinner, it’s a very good value. We will return, and no doubt the meal will vary depending on what’s served, but it’s not (yet) a “must” for me. So count me somewhere between Parn and onzieme on Pouliche. [I *am* with Parn on two of his other chef crushes, including the next meal.]

Les Parisiens
Lunch the next day was probably my favorite of the trip. The fish dish was phenomenal, and the 38E lunch menu is a steal. We loved it so much I already wrote up our lunch separately, and we went back for dinner two weeks later just before the end of our trip.

Dinner that night was another place for oysters (Seulement Sea) that I’ll write up later.

KGB - kitchen galerie bis

This place has been on my list for a few years but we’d never been, and with a longer trip this time, thought having something that, while still French, was closer to “Asian fusion” might be a nice change of pace.

Tempura-ed vegetable with a “spicy” aioli as an amuse

The “Zors d’oeuvres” were what I came for, and they did not disappoint:

  • leeks with fish eggs and some kind of cream - absolutely fabulous
  • a nice green curry soup with eel - very good (I usually dislike curry intensely, but this was so mild not an issue)
  • fish carpaccio

The mains were chicken and the fish du jour - both good, neither memorable.

Overall I give the food and the place a higher grade than each individual dish. It’s a good value at lunch. We will definitely return.

Dinner that night was a la carte. I’ll keep this short, since I wasn’t a big fan.
The food I thought was just ok. Many of the dishes were “interesting”, but not all of them worked. The shrimp were overcooked. My fish dish was good, but of course couldn’t compare to Les Parisiens.

The place does have a nice vibe. But for me nowhere near as good a value as many of the others (Jeanne-Aimée, Pouliche; Montée lunch) just from our first week.

Lunch the next day was sandwiches from Toscanino, an Italian sandwich shop in the 5th. They have a few seats, but we got them to go. The sandwiches came on excellent scachiatta/focaccia.
The Fiorenza (porchetta with porcini cream, grilled eggplant, tomatoes and arugula) was particularly good and IMO worth a detour for a nice break from all French food. The Michelangelo (proscuitto, artichoke cream, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil) was also good.
I forgot to take pictures before devouring, so I stole these from their Instagram page:

Dinner that Sunday night was at Relais de L’Entrecote. It was the same as always, we always like the food and it’s a fun experience for us. My steak even more tender than I remember. But no one needs to see yet another review of Relais de L’Entrecote, so I’ll leave it at that.

Lunch the next day at Huitrerie Regis; I’ll write that up separately as well.

Josephine Chez Dumonet
Dinner Monday night was the last meal of the first half of our Paris trip before going off to Barcelona for a few days, at a place we’ve returned to almost every time we’ve visited Paris; our one trad French mainstay. I wrote about this previously in comments on a separate post, so I’ll keep this relatively short.

The room was cooler than it is sometimes, thank goodness. Chez Dumonet has finally come into the 21st century - we were able to book online this time, and they serve wine by the glass.

The foie gras starter was fairly bland; I will not order it again.

The beef bourguignon and the Grand Marnier soufflé were both very good, and still IMO the things to order here, though perhaps not quite as good as at previous visits.

I’d still go back, and would still recommend it to someone craving beef bourguignon, but I was less a fan this time, and JCD is no longer on our “must return” list.

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