Small Bites readers: This is Arthur Bratone, owner of Bistro Rollin in Pelham, reporting on his culinary trip to Paris this week.
If it’s Thursday, it must be L’Epigramme!
Foie gras terrine.
Time is flying. We are out late, waking up kind of late, since it has been a little overcast everyday (but perfect walking weather) and the days are shorter here since we are further north than NY, which not everyone realizes. That plus the arduous work of eating and writing, eating and writing is just brutal! But, we do the best we can.
We had a superlative lunch today, as you know at Jadis and we are having drinks tonight at 6:30 at our friends Henri and Chantal Capdeville’s beautiful apartment on Rue Dante, off the Boulevard Saint Germain in the 6th.
Then dinner at L’Epigramme which is just around the corner. Our friend Marc Briké, who lives in the neighborhood as well is also joining us. So there will be six for dinner tonight. Our friends have never heard of L’Epigramme, so we are teasing them that they need to contact us for recommendations as to where to eat in their neighborhood!
We now know what to expect, a small unpretentious restaurant, with a tiny kitchen (which we never fail to point out to chef!) and a friendly staff, though as it turns out, not as friendly here as in some our earlier visits!
We settle in to a comfortable table for six, surrounded by stone walls certainly hundreds of years old.
The place in tiny, we count 30 seats at most. This seems to be a family operation with father, mother and daughter handling the dining room. Chef Pierre Neveuserve was not very welcoming to Paul and Manny when they were offered a look into the kitchen, Granted it was tiny, and a fairly busy night (though we waited until things had quieted down before even approaching the kitchen!) It is not possible that everyone could be as open and welcoming as we had been experiencing, and the dining room staff was pleasant and professional at all times.
We started off with some excellent appetizers. I had a simple dish of Squid over Pureed Potatoes that was beautifully presented and terrific eating. Absolutely fresh, perfectly cooked squid with lovely edible flowers, and greens. Excellent!
Paul, had the same dish and as you can see it was presented a little differently. A nice touch.
Marc and Henri and Chef had the Foie Gras Terrine and the consensus from both sides of the Atlantic was that is was great. I had a taste and couldn’t have agreed more.
Chantal had a Pumpkin Cappuccino Soup with Prawns that she was also very enthusiastic about. I didn’t taste it but she is a wonderful cook and knows her food!
We then moved on to the Main Course, Paul and I had the Breast of Duck with Beets (you can see that we were slipping from making sure we all always ordered something different) An attractive presentation, though the plate looked a little bare. Neither one of us was too thrilled with this dish. The duck breast was huge, and a little tough, that might be the nature of the bird more than anything else, but the big beet didn’t do anything for us and didn’t seem to complement the duck in any significant way.
Our friend Henri had the Lamb, as you can see a beautiful presentation and he liked it very much. It appeared to be cooked perfectly and was accompanied by an attractive stack of Mushrooms and a Celery Root Puree.
Chef had the Cod over Risotto with a Lemon Grass Foam. Great to look at but disappointing in the mouth. Again a very fresh piece of fish, but poorly seasoned so that the overall experience was bland.
For dessert I had a poached pear, because I love pears and we do one at Bistro Rollin, so I was interested in the presentation and the taste. It came out looking great and it was very good eating. The tuile cooking with it had chocolate woven into the mix and was delicious and pear was poached perfectly and nice fresh finish to the meal.
Chef had Chocolate cake with a Molten Chocolate center and Meringue topping. He thought it was excellent, and reminded him very much one they did at L’Absinthe in Manahattan where he was the Sous for several years. I tasted some of his and got a great chocolate jolt!
All and all a very good meal. We would all go back, though not up to the standards of Regalade, Saturne or Jadis, but all the same a meal that anyone would feel lucky to have had!
Bistro Rollin Goes to Paris: Lunch at Jadis: Wow! Worth a Detour
Bistro Rollin Goes to Paris: Chef Manny Lozano’s First Impressions
Paris Day 2: Lunch at Saturne.
Paris Day 1: Lunch at L’AOC and dinner at Le Régalade St. Honoré.
Paris: Massaging our Itinerary.
Paris: Our Itinerary.
Paris: Bistro Rollin Does 12 Bistros in 12 Days.