You and I both know the Michelin Star system is severely broken. We’ve all spent way too much money on three star Michelin restaurants that left us hungry, disappointed, and a little bit in debt. However, sometimes…they do get things right. This is the case with Jacques Faussat in Paris (17th Arrondisement).
To be honest with all of you, we picked this restaurant because it was close to where we were staying & the lunch menu was (relatively) a value (€38, taxes and service included per person).
We were the first guests to arrive. I think that the biggest issue for the restaurant is its location. One walks in and reception is towards the back (where the bar/kitchen entry/bathroom are located). This forces guests to either wait awkwardly in the front or walk to meet a team member towards the back. A lovely young lady greeted us and showed us to our table, which was missing a chair…we had to point it out (and she blushed at not having noticed this small error).
Having just dined at Lameloise (3 Michelin stars or amazing food and service) I may sound too rough on this place, so please remember that things are all relative. I loved the food, and actually really liked the staff. My negatives here are more constructive, because I think this restaurant could easily go up one star with some very minor (and I mean minor) changes. I recommend this restaurant and would go back in a heartbeat.
For an amuse bouche we got a rillette of duck. This is where I started falling in love with this restaurant. The rillette was simple country food, comforting, tasty. I could easily have had this a week ago in Burgundy. At this moment I was not thinking Michelin (you know…la technique…but really good French comfort food). I was not prepared for the trip this meal was about to take me on.
I started with the spiced raw salmon. Holey smokes, this was gorgeous. La technique was there 100%. Imagine a gorgeous piece of fish surrounded by aromatic spices. Then, greens (including edible flowers and dandelion greens) joined by what was either the lightest whipped butter I’ve ever had or creme fraiche peppered with roe. The dish was seriously advanced, kinda gorgeous. It made me remember that I need to fine tune my palate so I can recognize every ingredient in a dish. Simply – wow.
Antonio chose a potato and foie gras terrine. Originally we imagined a nice, comforting country dish. What we got was a plate of sophistication. I must say the temperature of the dish contributed to its flavor. It was at just the perfect temperature so that when you bit into it, both potato and foie melted in your mouth like cotton candy. This dish should be heavy, but it felt light and sophisticated. We had left “la campagne” and arrived in Paris.
I had been eating some quite heavy dishes in Burgundy, so I figured a fish dish would break the cycle. I ordered what was simply described as “fillets of mullet”. This dish was insane. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what was in it. This may sound insane, but it tasted like those blue bathroom disks….but in a totally good way (I swear I am not insane). Lemongrass, spice (I want to say yellow banana peppers, but I am not quite sure), there were even eggs in this dish (every dish should incorporate eggs). This dish played with your mouth like it was foreplay…you were always excited and always guessing.
So, yeah…Antonio got the “Poulet Fermier roti”…he usually does since he is allergic to shellfish. This was the “safe” choice, but it was the winner for the evening. I was seriously jealous that I had not ordered this dish. I understood why the Chef had served the rillette as an amuse bouche. He was showing off his skill, showing how French comfort food could be taken to a higher level. The chicken was deboned, stuffed and roasted. Unassuming, yet gorgeous. I wanted to marry this dish.
Did I mention that our lunch included dessert? I chose the pain perdu. It is usually quite similar to French toast, but here it was closer to creme brulee…no…this was the love child of French Toast and Creme Brulee. I had to seriously fight myself not to finish this.
Changes I’d make:
– Hire one more person for front of the house. The ladies that were there were simply lovely, but they needed one more person on staff
-Change the silverware before each course
– Give more than one amuse bouche
– Re-organize the dining room….this is definitely a challenge since the space is so tiny…
– Noise – we heard the phone ringing, saw the FOH staff putting dishes in the dishwashers and heard the kitchen
This being said, the food was amazing, the staff was lovely…and I may go back this week. DO NOT HESITATE TO GO TO THIS RESTAURANT…GO BEFORE THEY MAKE THESE CHANGES AND GRAB MORE STARS AND BECOME MORE EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!
Highly Recommended 54 Rue Cardinet, 75017 Paris 17e, France