Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A No Go...

Ah, yes, there are a few restaurants in Paris that you should avoid. There are obviously the touristy places that serve flavorless, poorly prepared classics, but there are also the locals' restaurants that can lead you astray as well. A woman, whom we met through a food tour blog we discovered online, who has lived in the 12th for years recommended La Gazzetta. We saw the restaurant itself after being in the neighborhood the week before and it looked charming and its menu changes daily, which is always fun and interesting...well, almost always.

At 20h45, we arrived on time to our reservation and were asked to wait for our table to be prepared. We sat there for quite a while before someone proposed we have an apperitif, but by the time they brought it to us we were already seated at our table for dining. The menu is set up so that one chooses between a 5 or 7 course set menu. The combination of flavors were adventurous and fascinating and we were ready to discover new things. We chose a Rose to accompany our meal as well as sparkling water whose bottle looked like a vodka bottle. The wine was the best part of our meal...

First Course - Raw langoustine with a veal broth a white beans...You could hardly taste the langoustine due to the broth and the beans were undercooked and dry. Very unpleasant.
Second Course - a white fish over, well, I cannot remember, but I remember this being bland, bland, bland!
Third course - half an onion marinated in olive essence with whipped almond ricotta and a slightly bitter lettuce on top. It's hard to explain these flavors all was too sweet to be in the middle of a set menu and once again, totally bland. Boring!
Fourth Course - Duck with red cabbage. Sounds like this would taste just lovely. Surprise, surprise even this was done poorly. The duck was lacking in duckiness and the cabbage was uninteresting.
Dessert - Chocolate gelato over homemade apple sauce. Lacked in creativity. And a lemon tart with a bergamot powder on top with a bit of lavender jam on the side - Way too strong and horribly paired all together. It took us a while to get the bergamot out of our palates! Ick.

Overall, it's simply a no go. They could learn a thing or two from Ze Kitchen Gallery about pairing interesting things together and how retaining simplicity within the new combos is what makes something delicious. It's all about balance!