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Jadis – Paris, France

June 7th, 2010 · No Comments

Jadis - Paris, France Jadis - Paris, France Jadis - Paris, France Jadis - Paris, France Jadis - Paris, France Jadis - Paris, France

This was the last of our visits to one of the prix-fixe restaurants in the NY times. Jadis is busy and reservations are highly recommended although somehow our reservation for 5 people at 7:45 pm somehow was changed to a reservation for 6 people at 7:30pm so calling the day before the reservation might be worthwhile to confirm (and yes, two French-speaking people from our party called to confirm the reservation). Also, we tried e-mailing them to the address on their website but never got a response.

With the prix-fixe menu, the servings were large but the food just seemed to miss the mark too many times. I don’t know what it says about a meal when the most appealing of the appetizers at the table was almost like a charcuterie plate consisting of boiled ham, asparagus, and peas with some green (pureed vegetable) sauce. The green apple salad with camembert foam was overpowered by the flavours of the camembert. The fish pâté appetizer was like a disc of dense, vaguely flavoured jellied fish product with some greenery on top – this was like no other pâté that I’ve had the pleasure of eating in France.
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For the mains, the gateaux foie blanc (smooth and delicious chicken liver pate) with the langoustines and greens was the best main although required a 3 euro supplement. The 3 langoustines served on a bed of cooked peas were absolutely perfect, and by far were the best part of the meal. Unfortunately, the rest of the dish came in a nondescript, gravy-like brown sauce and the plate was accented with more peas and beans. The pork belly with lentils and escargots and the white fish on a bed of mushrooms were well-prepared and tasty but the former was a dish (except perhaps for the escargots) that one could have had almost anywhere – and one of our (French) fellow diners noted he could taste/feel some sand still in the escargot he tried.

The desserts were at least the most interesting courses. The rhubarb panna cotta topped with a shocking pink tangle of sugar – similar to cotton candy, but this tangle was like a tangle of little sugar splinters that were sharp, and somewhat difficult to eat. The panna cotta was fairly soggy and had little flavour, but by mashing the pink sugar into the panna cotta at least the dish became edible. Definitely this dish got points for its interesting appearance, but not as much for the flavour. The chocolate dessert was a take on a mendiant (a chocolate with nuts and fruit) with small cubes of pistachio product (?meringue) and some fruit in a bowl with the chocolate “soup” poured over the concoction at the table – great presentation but not as great in taste – the pistachio bits became completely soggy and while the act of pouring the chocolate soup out of an elegant glass decanter was interesting, the result was leather-brown chocolate soup with nondescript, somewhat flavourless things floating in it. While the chocolate-lover in our group appreciated the dish, I tried some and wasn’t overly-impressed.

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The service was fast and efficient, although the two waiters who served us came across as slightly angry/disaffected young men; when I realized at the end of the meal that our waiter had undercharged us by €20, and let him know, his facial expression and body language seemed to indicate that I was somehow inconveniencing him.

Overall, we didn’t have a great experience at Jadis. The dining room has grey walls with little adornment and isn’t particularly interesting or welcoming. It’s on a very busy street with quite a bit of truck traffic, and sitting next to the open door of the restaurant, I was getting the roar of the trucks going by a little too often. The service was cold and certainly didn’t add anything to the meal. We had problems communicating with the staff on the phone. The food ranged between some flashes of brilliance but overall the plates were not terribly well-constructed, some of the food wasn’t particularly well-cooked.

I’m generally someone who is more willing to err on the side of caution, giving people the benefit of the doubt if something isn’t right; when one waiter isn’t friendly – hey, maybe he’s having a bad day. But when two are lousy, and you mix up the reservation – and you screw up the bill – you have a staffing problem. When you take a classic dish like pork belly and lentils, and add in some snails to give it some new flavours, some new textures – hey – that’s great – but not getting the sand out just doesn’t make the grade. And when you want to make shocking dishes – these are more than welcome – the whole idea of giving the diner a ‘shock’ is to bait with the shock but you have to make sure that they are shockingly pleasant. Eating sugar splinters that have the initial consistency of fibreglass doesn’t qualify as a pleasant surprise.

Verdict: your money will go farther at other restaurants in Paris. Jadis needs to do better to compete.

208 Rue de la Croix Nivert
75015 Paris, France‎
Tel: 01 45 57 73 20‎

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Tags: France · French · Paris · Prix-fixe

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