Very Short Paris Trip Report (May 2019)

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Sh@n A
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Very Short Paris Trip Report (May 2019)

#1 Post by Sh@n A » June 1st, 2019, 5:21 pm

Thanks for the tips on the other thread. The trip was cut short with some flight issues, but it was a fun trip. Highlight of trip was Comptoir Relaise and La Dernière Goutte. Also bumping into a berserker at a restaurant and watching him clean out a local wine store is also fun. Identified two new producers of interest to me, Clusel Roch and Pacalet.

Also learned its much easier to buy wine from U.S. superstores, we are spoiled! Couldn't find some choice producers despite looking at a few stores, and ended up buying in the U.S. (with a small premium). Definitely cheaper to buy Rhone in Paris than in the U.S. it seems, however. Also a random observation... Domain Trapet was the only Burgundy producer I saw in every store/wine bar... I want to say I saw it 6 for 6 times I was scoping out a wine list/selection... what's up with that?

RESTAURANTS (in order)

1. Les Enfants du Marche. Cool vibe with hip hop music in a farmer's market. Many tourists. We were off hours so they only had a few small bites. Had seasonable asparagus and a white clams is garlic/butter, and sampled 2 white wines and 1 red (all Corsican). All natural wines. Had a hankering for the the Moroccan food next door (no good Tajines in NY) but didn't partake.

2. Vantre. Came for dinner. Food was good albeit very classic. Excellent service, including the wine service (big wine list, knowledgable, friendly... even asking if temp of wine is good). Spotted a fellow Berserker at Vantre and made a small world smaller.

- 2014 Clusel Roch Cote Rotie/"Classique" (2x French retail). Lighter/burgudian cote rotie, I picked up a couple bottles of the more serious bottles to cellar.
- 2015 Trapet Gevrey "Ostrea" (1.3x French retail). Light touch/leanness with some extra oompf from 2015. Good, but not something I would seek out.

2. La Cagouille. Fantastic sunny weather spot with seats on the covered patio, with more a local crowd. The clams amuse bouche and razor clams with orange zest were excellent; preferred both to Les Enfants du Marche. The fish were cooked perfectly. Dessert of creme brulee with prunes was excellent, and others enjoyed their desserts as wlel. I tried a half bottle of chablis, but alas, allergic.

3. Semilla. A hard miss and unpleasant experience. The appetizers fresh and vibrant with bolder flavors, and a nice change from the more traditional Vantre/Cagouille. But the 80 euro Cote de Boeuf was too tough to eat. My colleague ended up spitting out pieces into his napkin and discarding both food and napkin in the restroom. The somm here was a bad person (not sure if he wsa racist or what, but he was pretty much a prick). Enough bad meat at Semilla that I would pay a few bucks not to revisit.

- 2016 Guillaume Gilles Cornas (2x French retail and +30% US retail). Restaurant was warm (no AC or circulation in the early summer) and I thought the wine showed a little heat as it warmed up. Otherwise thought this wine had great concentration and good balance, but not one I am going to buy at US retail prices. Wine was not decanted as aforementioned Somm just ignored a request to give it some air, but I tried an open glass over 2 hrs.

4. L'as Du Falafel. Tourist trap. Average at best, despite a line one block long (!). We only had to wait 10 minutes. We spent the time reminiscing about our favorite falafels from other cities (HaKosem in Tel Aviv wins it for me).

5. Le Comptoir du Relais. What a great way to end the trip.... the anti-Semilla! Experience where the food, wine, service and experience all come together. We luckily were able to sit inside (given the smaller tables/and line of people waiting right next to the outside tables, I was happy not to eat outside). This was not the most fancy cooking -- but it was so thoughtful and flavors well executed with great ingredients.

The appetizer of spring peas was excellent, analogous to Mexican grilled corn with cotija cheese (you will understand if you try it!). The eggs mayonaisse were excellent with the burst of pickled onion acidity. The roast pork entree was fantastic, as was my wife's burrata and strawberry salad. The desserts were fantastic as well. An excellent coffee granite was overshadowed by a rice pudding, which was in turn overshadowed by a strawberries and cream.

- 2015 Philippe Pacalet Gevrey 1er La Perriere. Really good and above the earlier Trapet, having more red fruit, concentration and punchy acidity. Somm explained to me this wine is very low sulphured and is more approachable young. I'd like to cellar a couple bottles if I could, but seems like a difficult bottle to source. Glad I tried it off the list.


Only made it to one wine store on the trip, La Dernière Goutte in the 6th, which was a great experience. Such a small store, but I could have spent hours chatting with Thibault (pictured below at the wine store). Thibault was friendly, honest, informed and helpful. Made calls to Domaines to see if he could find certain bottles, and went above and beyond. Great selection of Rhones (although someone more educated than I would appreciate more) and selection of curated Burgundy. I bumped into another Berserker in Paris, mentioned the store, and was later informed he cleaned out a few of the Rhone. No master price sheet, unfortunately. But didn't stop me buy from buying burgs and burgundies.
/ @ g r @ \

Barry L i p t o n
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Re: Very Short Paris Trip Report (May 2019)

#2 Post by Barry L i p t o n » June 2nd, 2019, 12:35 am

Agree on Semilla (although no service issues).

Disagree on L’As du falafel but I guess it might be perspective as I didn’t like the falafel in Tel Aviv (I need parsley in my falafel).

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Re: Very Short Paris Trip Report (May 2019)

#3 Post by IlkkaL » June 2nd, 2019, 1:37 am

Yup, that’s La Dernière Goutte alright. Mirrors my experience 100%, although I did clean a healthy amount of those Rhônes too.
Last name = L u !V! !V! e

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