Saturday, February 27, 2010

Paris - Clos des Gourmets

Went to Clos des Gourmets last night with my friend Andy G. My wife and I had been there with friends for New Year's Eve and enjoyed it, but I wanted to return on a normal night to give it a more realistic test.

The welcome is warm and the recently redone interior stylish, signaling good things to come. The food is classic French, well prepared and reasonably priced. There is no à la carte selection, just the 35-euro three-course menu which, it must be admitted, contains many dishes carrying supplements, generally 9.50 euros. We stuck with the basic menu and were not disappointed.

I started with a delicious cream of lentil soup with a soupçon of truffle oil and some delicious thin bellota ham chips on the side. Rich and tasty, with earthy truffle notes. Andy G had the terrine of the day - pheasant - which was fine but not extraordinary. The terrine varies according to the luck of the hunt, and I would have preferred a gamier catch.

I continued with a parmentier (mashed potatoes) of duck confit topped with a delicate mesclun salad. A beautiful and surprisingly sophisticated dish, where the three elements harmonized to great effect. Andy G had a perfectly grilled lieu (black cod) over an ethereally light puree of carrots.

Classic desserts followed: a feuilleté with salted caramel and an individual Paris-Brest, both excellent.

In sum, delicious, well-presented classic bistro fare - slightly modernized - with an amazing price/quality relationship. A bonus is the stupendous view of the Eiffel Tower from the Pont de l'Alma as you walk to the restaurant from the Métro (and on the way back).

Clos des Gourmets, 16 avenue Rapp, Paris 7ème (Métro Alma-Marceau), 01 45 51 75 61.

Bobby Jay

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