Friday, February 02, 2007

Urbane Restaurant Paris

The jury's still out on this 40-seater néo-bistro not far from the Canal Saint Martin, behind the up-and-coming Hopital Saint Louis district (judging from the amount of lofts and internet cafés scattered around the area..). The space is nice enough in a shabby-chic/lofty sort of way. Audrey, the Irish-born owner with her business partner Olivier, the chef (who did stints at Darozze and Choukroun's establishments) are very nice. But nice doesn't a quality bistro make, and they still need a little time to find their wings.

The 29€ (entrée/plat/dessert) menu was without great surprise, but there were spots of talent and interest: Saint Jacques with a rosepetal/balsamic reduction, green curry sauce and pilaf rice was delicious,the mi-chaud foie gras with Sechuan pepper was pretty classic, but the accompanying aromatic salad was great, fresh and invigorating on the palate, the aller-retour of tuna with an innocuous, tasteless green salsa sauce, excellent "spuds" with olive oil, was a good sized portion of well seared fish, and the brownie with pain d'epices ice cream (why did I take a brownie in Paris??) was without interest, although my dining partners frangipane "sucettes" was tasty.

Resumé: a little far to go when other excellent establishments offer better value for the price.

But, a few more months, and they might have a few surprises for us when chef Olivier starts to find his way.