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La Gazzetta – Paris, France

May 17th, 2010 · 1 Comment

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Another night in Paris, another prix-fixe dinner. This time, at La Gazzetta, a charming restaurant in the 12th, again with dining pros B and A.

We arrive a bit early, are welcomed to our seats and offered cocktails, a nice change compared to the previous dinner at Le Chateaubriand. I start with a Campari and Soda and D has a small glass of muscat, a great replacement for Lillet, as it wasn’t on the menu here. Inside, the restaurant is very nice, very stylish. It has an art deco-themed decor that has a surprising warmth that I don’t usually associate with deco – also, it’s quiet – even when the restaurant fills, it is easy to have a conversation with your table mates.

B and A arrive shortly; two of us order the €50 menu and two order the €70 menu – no hassles about the table having to all order the same thing. The first course comes – an interesting mix of a small slice of pizza and celery soup. Both are actually delicious. The pizza is mild-tasting white pizza with a sprig of a delicious (although one I can’t identify) herb on it, and the celery soup is warm, redolent of celery flavour without the bitterness that celery can have, and is a nice way to star the meal.

Next up is delicious asparagus with lentils – the asparagus is cooked perfectly, as are the lentils. As a North American, I’m only used to seeing lentils used in South Asian cuisine, so these are a pleasant surprise. Firm but not undercooked, with a fun pop as you bite into them – they compliment the asparagus in both appearance and taste. Next up are langoustines (shelled, thankfully) with meringues in broth with fava beans – a tasty dish, but one that due to the mix of textures I find a little hard to get behind. The meringues (soft) don’t really add very much and with the uncooked/barely cooked texture of the langoustine, you end up mashing up everything just to cut through the langoustine to get a bite-sized piece on your fork. Next is charred red snapper with green onions – the fish is unfortunately a bit dry and underflavoured – I never expect much from this fish, but this dish just doesn’t do it for me. The meat course comes next – veal with herbed potato – well done in most respects (although a touch more au jus on the place would have helped with some of the dryness to the meat); not full of flavour, but reasonable.

Finally – dessert. These were well done. The first course is bleu d’avergne (cheese) served on a biscuit with radish – and this totally works. The cheese is at a perfect temperature, the biscuit is only semi-sweet, and the paper-thin radish slices add a cold bitterness to the mixture to compliment things perfectly. I’d have this any time. This is followed by two more small plates, one with meringue foam, a dollop of chocolate, spiced rhubarb and sheep’s milk cheese – definitely interesting – not exactly what I look for in a dessert, but my dining companions all enjoyed it. The second dessert I forget and didn’t snap a picture of, so unfortunately I can’t tell you what it is, but I do remember enjoying it.

The service was very pleasant and efficient, and at the end of the meal we all agreed it had been an enjoyable experience. Because of some of the same ingredients, and the fact we had been at Le Chateaubriand two nights before, the inevitable comparison came to our mind – but really I think these restaurants are very different. I would go to La Gazzetta with anyone – it’s service, decor, ambiance, and food will make for a good meal. I would go to Le Chateaubriand with foodies who don’t care about anything else.

Verdict: good food, nice atmosphere. Nobody’s socks will be blown off; nobody will be offended.

La Gazzetta
www.lagazzetta.fr
29 Rue de Cotte
75012 Paris
Tel: 01 43 47 47 05


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Tags: France · French · Paris · Prix-fixe · Western Food

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