Monday, May 23, 2011

Bagatelle - Paris

Location, Location, Location
Rarely does the Paris-of-the-movies intersect with real life but on a recent afternoon, outside in sunshine filtered by leafy-green Bagatelle Park, they came together as one.  The evil me felt sorry for you.  You should've been there at Bagatelle, blowing off your afternoon meetings, sipping wine and taking small bites of prawn risotto with cuttlefish in veal stock.  I chewed slowly, glancing at the deep blue sky and felt happy knowing the weekend, though a day off, had already arrived.  The prawns had that perfect smoky barbecue aftertaste, drawing me further into summer, to the 4th of July.
As they say, it's all about the location.  That cannot be truer with Bagatelle because though the food is hit and miss, you simply don't care.  At least I didn't.  It's smack in the middle of the Bois de Boulogne on the western edge of the city.  I was sitting outside in the warm breeze, enveloped in a quiet rustle of leaves and was non-plussed by the lesser components of the meal.
I went two-for-three as my ravioles du Dauphiné were the perfect intro to the meal.  They're named after a region in Southwest France that traded hands many times but were Roman for a spell.  They're cheese ravioli in a cream sauce sprinkled with herbs.
The croquant de chevre chaud (goat cheese hot pockets?) were less impressive.  Slightly oily.
Not the case with the shrimp cocktail.  Fresh and tasty as was the avocado cocktail sauce that accompanied them. 
My colleague described the filet de bar (bass, I believe) as "tres bon" and she doesn't hand out compliments that often.  Between bites we debated Mr. DSK and as expected, we didn't quite agree on his innocence/guilt.
Generally speaking, where Bagatelle fails is in the dessert category.  We weren't that impressed with the pain perdu in the least.
Worse was the apple tarte.  Looks great doesn't it?  If I'd made this and took a taste test, I would've removed it from the menu.  Horrible.  Still, even with this as the final taste, I was happy.  I'd spent a wonderful afternoon that would score a 9 out of 10 on the frenchie scale.  It ain't cheap, but what a nice place for a meal.  They serve brunch on the weekends and I bet that is nice as well.  You better bring some extra duckets, it ain't cheap.
42 route de Sevres
Neuilly (Paris)

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  1. The apple tart looks good for sure. And the ravioli, too. I don't think you'll get that kind of grub in TX...

  2. The pain perdu actually looks yummy. Am surprise that it doesn't taste good.

    The setting reminds me of Maldives breakfast spot.

  3. @Sal - I woulda thrown the apple tart at the chef like a frisbee if I weren't trying to act sophisticated...

  4. @Dodo - it was nice, but not Maldives nice... Let's not get carried away, ok?

  5. This is a Pain Perdue (on the Upper West Side no less!) made using blowtorch’s-pain-perdu/

  6. @Niko, UWS? That's far, man. Just kidding.....