Sunday, March 12, 2006

Le Pamphlet

Earlier this week I went to yet another bon gourmand restaurant, Le Pamphlet. When we called to make reservations, we learned that the Pamphlet is one of those restaurants that has only 2 services - one at 7:30 - 8, and another from 9:45 - 10:15-ish. Usually when this happens we go for the later service, because during the earlier service you can feel rushed. But 10 pm seemed a little late, even on Paris time, and so we told ourselves we would arrive perfectly on time to ensure a slow-paced meal. As we walked up to the restaurant at 7:30 on the dot, we glanced through the windows to see what it looked like. It was empty! Yikes. I hate being the only one in a restaurant, so we went to a lovely bar around the corner to have an aperitif. 20 minutes later, when we arrived, the restaurant was just starting to fill up. Amazingly, they have a separate room for non-smokers, which automatically segregated the tourists from the Parisians. This, and the fact there is more than adequate space between the tables made a good first impression.

So, the usual, the menu:
Pictured here is the "basic" 3 course menu at 33€, and the wine list. Not included is the insert of "supplements" - other choices for the appetizer and main dish that you can have for an additional 5 or 10€ - and the "surprise" menu at 55€. Neither the names of the plates nor the number of courses was listed - only the price - hence the name "surprise".

What I loved about the restaurant: the great service, the amount of space we had, and all the little things that came in between the courses. An amuse-bouche when you arrive is pretty customary, but they really outdid themselves. As soon as we arrived, we were brought a platter of charcuterie - saucisson, chorizo, and rilettes. Yum. After we had ordered, we had a delicious lentil soup, and before dessert an enticing platter of little petit fours:

(a fruit called "amour en cage", miniature financiers, mini almond tartes, and chocolate with liqueur on the inside).
Also, my friend LOVED his main dish, steak topped with foie gras (10€ supplement):
I really liked the homemade lemon sorbet. It wasn't quite sorbet - too creamy and thick - but it was the first lemon-flavored dairy product that I have liked, and it was great with the caramel crepes:

What I didn't like: the menu. There weren't that many choices, what was available was pretty "normal" fare, and the supplements were pretty steep. I understand that having a smaller choice allows the restaurant a certain amount of freedom, so I guess it's more about me than them. Any head or tongue or organ is automatically struck out; I prefer fish, and the fish choices were disappointing (not only the choices, but the plates themselves). Also, normal supplements are between 2 & 5€, so the 10€ supplement was a big jump.

*However* I would still recommend going there for a relaxed, slow paced meal with attentive service and a comfortable (non-smoking!) dining room. Only after my time in France could I complain about a restaurant as delicious and welcoming as this one!

The bar we went to beforehand (they have a great painted mural - full of characters from the neighborhood, I imagine, interesting "corkscrew" lighting fixtures, and their service was very friendly):
Le Bar' Bouille
13, rue de Bretagne
75003 Paris
01 42 78 42 52

I would recommend reservations:
Le Pamphlet
38 rue Debelleyme
75003 Paris
01 42 72 39 24


1 comment:

ParisBreakfasts said...

I love the idea of amuse bouche through out the meal...