Going Back

Say something once, why say it again? Which explains why I haven't posted for a while. As I gear up for some new venues, some obligatory return visits were in order. One of the hazards of a passionate interest in restaurants, not to mention restaurants in Paris, is that you discover places that are so good, once is not enough. Rather than belabor the point, and because I've reviewed L'Agrume, Le Chateaubriand, and Rino in previous installments, I merely intend to reproduce the tasting menus/ menus degustation that Co. and I experienced over the last few weeks, just to give an idea as to what some local chefs are up to as the chill of Autumn begins to envelop the Parisian atmosphere.

First up was Rino. Not exactly an old favorite, but the first visit there made me want to go back, though I couldn't exactly pinpoint why - maybe it was the terrific rouget I had there during visit 1. Once again, each of the offerings were satisfying - with the standout being a very unique appetizer of ravioli with onion confit and oyster. Nonetheless, I can't say I was particularly wowed by anything, and for that reason, I doubt I'll be returning in the near future. (Click on the menu to enlarge)

Next up, one of my favorites, L'Agrume. I earlier promised I wouldn't review L'Agrume again - in that case, twice was enough - so this isn't a review, just a quick glance. Out of our several visits, Co. & I found this visit to come up a bit short with chef Franck Marchesi-Grandi rather heavy on the light with the first two courses consisting of Burratina cheese and tomato pulp followed by a mousseline de topinambour. The highlight clearly consisted of the poached langoustines - small bloated but light langostines - a real marvel. Dessert was largely forgettable.

Finally, a second visit to Le Chateaubriand, and this did not disappoint. I really like this place, boisterous and noisy, a steady flow of diverse diners and energetic, witty and young waitpersons, and one surprise after another as the multiple courses ebb and flow before you. Highlights here consisted of the red tuna, turnip, and radish dish, as well as an apparently simple lait ribot which edged us into dessert territory. Unfortunately, reserving proved to be more challenging this second time around, and if there is one problem I have with Le Chateaubriand's multiple dishes is that once some dishes get your taste buds going, the offering is gone. In other words, sometimes copious is not a bad thing (hint).

There you have it, Le Chateaubriand wins the retro tour, with L'Agrume coming in runner up. You can't go wrong at either venue. And now, with the exception of a long overdue detour to Les Magnolias, out with the old and in with the new - coming next: JaJa and Septime!

46, rue Trousseau
75011 Paris
tel.: 01 48 06 95 85
web: www.rino-restaurant.com

15, rue des fosses St-Marcel
Paris 5
tel. 01 43 31 86 48

129 Avenue Parmentier
75011 Paris
tel. 01 43 57 45 95
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