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April 9, 2017

Le Cinq, Paris: restaurant review


We hit it again in an amuse-bouche which doesn’t:
a halved and refilled passionfruit, the vicious passionfruit supplemented by a watercress purée that tastes only of the plant’s most bitter tones. My lips purse, like a cat’s arse that’s brushed against nettles. The cheapest of the starters is gratinated onions “in the Parisian style”. We’re told it has the flavour of French onion soup. It makes us yearn for a bowl of French onion soup. It is mostly black, like nightmares, and sticky, like the floor at a teenager’s party. | Life and style | The Guardian

Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 9, 2017 8:19 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

So, I had to go look at the article to see if they really said "vicious passionfruit". I assumed they meant "viscous", which is not the same thing at all. Doesn't anyone proofread any more?

Posted by: Uncle Kenny at April 9, 2017 8:37 AM

Quality food requires no adornment.
If you think it does you're taste buds are ruined and your system is contaminated.

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 9, 2017 8:46 AM

Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to follow Nick Taleb's advice, and check out a new neighborhood pizzeria. I splurged on a large pepperoni and artichoke on spicy red sauce, topped with a tangy pesto oil, which with tax, title and license, set me back $13.80 (or Є13.03). The Mrs and I gorged ourselves on pizza, washed down with half a bottle of $7 vinho verde, and I was proclaimed Heroic Husband with a damn good sense of what to put on a pizza.

I have no desire eat a meal involving vicious passionfruit.

And Є600 isn't a sane person's restaurant tab; that's my (somewhat extravagant) six-month auto insurance bill.

Posted by: Mike Anderson at April 9, 2017 12:03 PM

Never had a vicious passionfruit, and have neither a clue what that would taste like, nor any wish to find out. Particularly after reading that whole review. Ouch!

It's been my experience that beyond a certain point, which varies by locale and cuisine, more money doesn't necessarily buy a better restaurant meal. I've had perfectly-prepared steak or fish plus tasty sides, for under $30, sometimes less, sometimes a little more. For anything much above that, it's usually not food you're paying for. I eat out a lot, but I've learned that I don't have to break my budget to do so enjoyably. This can be a neighborhood restaurant (as Mike A. noted), or a well-managed chain. But $600 for a vicious passionfruit and an onion splat or whatever is just insane.

Posted by: waltj at April 9, 2017 5:53 PM

Well, I've never paid $30 for a single meal, ever.
Nor will I.
After all, it's just food...that ends up in the septic tank the next day like all food.

The whole routine of eating out is way over rated.

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 9, 2017 7:14 PM

Hi Ghostsniper. I mostly agree with you, but sometimes...

The Charthouse in Melbourne, FL is usually a little more than $30.00 per meal. They have an all you can eat salad bar with caviar. My wife likes it. But it's the view of the river and the boats and the birds. It's quiet in the way that only some places are quiet. Families talking, people sipping wine and watching. It's worth once every year or two.

Top of the Crown in Kansas City. Yeah it's sort of a gimmick I suppose and I don't think that they call it that any more but it's where the dearest woman that I know and I had our first meal as a married couple. I live in sub-rural Florida and it's ok to sit up high, eat good food and watch the sunset as the lights come on in the city. Maybe. Once every five or ten years. It's more than $30.00.

I just can't make a hard and fast rule. Anything over $15.00 to $18.00 is usually too much. But, every once in a while we just totally ignore the bill and go and sit where we want and eat what we want and enjoy. Rarely, but occasionally, it's over $30.00 per.

Posted by: Larry Geiger at April 10, 2017 7:29 AM

Larry, I like decent food, and I understand stuff like overhead and inflation, but I have my limits based largely upon my idea of value and benefit.

I've mentioned it here before, my favorite eating establishment is the Lazy Flamingo in Bokeelia on Pine Island, Florida. The mesquite grouper is the best thing I have ever eaten and I never tire of it.

It's not a fancy place but it is quiet, a stunning evening view directly out onto the sound and plenty of wildlife flitting about and the atmosphere inside is conducive.

Just looked at their menu http://www.lazyflamingo.com/ and the grouper is at "market price" but I believe the meal is about $12 or so and well worth it. When we do eat out I only drink water so as to not contaminate or influence the palate - nothing but the flavor of the food comes through, plus I'm not a big fan of alcohol and soft drinks are verboten but now and then a sweet tea is compatible.

If we eat out 6 times a year we're splurging.

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 10, 2017 8:33 AM

Ghost, for me eating out is not about the experience, it's about convenience. I live alone, so if there's any cooking and cleaning to be done at home, I'm the one who has to do it. That's fine, I'm a decent enough cook, know how to prepare the go-to recipes I like, and have no problem hand-washing dishes or tossing them in the dishwasher. But until a little over a year ago, I worked a job with long hours, lots of travel, and not much predictability regarding a schedule. Oh, and I was doing it in various places overseas. So, restaurants were a godsend at those times.

Now that I've retired from that job and have a position where I have worked precisely zero overtime (yay!), I can focus more on cooking, which I do. But sometimes, I just don't feel like it, or I want to try a cuisine that I have little expertise in preparing. So for me, $30 a pop isn't so bad, especially if the portions are large and I can take half of it home. Then, the price drops to $15 per meal.

The Lazy Flamingo menu looks great, BTW. I especially like the feature where they'll cook fish that you catch. Now that I could get into, especially for a ten-spot.

Posted by: waltj at April 10, 2017 3:58 PM

@Walt, right.
Head 30 miles out, set the gps, and when close turn on the finder and pay attention. Down about 90' or so is some of the finest eatin this country has to offer.

Wire up a 12/0 eagle claw to 8' of braided leader and 2 oz of lead and a fresh jumbo shrimp then over the side, and wait. Blackie will come a courtin' and he will ride. uh-huh

A 40lb grouper at the dock will cost you $200 but you can get your own if you have a pair and know the secret handshake. Trim it out right there on the boat and throw everything else overboard and head for home. I remember eating so much brand new grouper I was ready to hurl. Unbelieveably it has been more'n 11 year since I saw any.

Eat what you want when you want and pay as much as they ask, maybe a little more!

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 10, 2017 5:23 PM

I once had a brief conversation with a lady in the checkout line at a local grocery store. She was saying how she and her husband rarely eat out because her husband is a professional chef, and whenever they eat out, he can't help but think (and comment out loud), "Heck, I can make this myself at home for a fraction of the price!"

And he probably is right. But he is entirely missing the point. Which is, that you take your lady out to dinner so that you can give her your full attention for the evening, costs be damned, to let her know that she is the focus of your life, not some meal that you're working to prepare. (I could tell that she took her husband's behavior well, that she also seemed economy-minded. But I just hate it when these kids can't see the forest for the trees.)

Posted by: Grizzly at April 10, 2017 7:09 PM

If you're not appreciating your spouse EVERY. SINGLE.DAY. you'll never make it past the 7 year marker.

How long do you think she'll put up with your superficiality?

Come on Grizz, you can do better that. Forest/trees indeed.

Coming home from the metropolis yesterday I entered the house with a big paper bag under each arm and walked to the stairway and yelled, "Are you there? I buy'd you a sumfink!" then I went to the kitchen and waited.

In a nanny sec I heard the familiar "tap-tap-tappity-tap" coming down the stairs then she emerged from around the corner with a big look of surprise on her mug, like a 5 yo.

I reached into a bag and pulled out something and concealed it in my hand and held it behind my back.

I said, "What will you give me for it?" and a smile came over her face as she slyly slinked toward me.

Standing on her toes she threw her arms around my neck and while looking in my eyes said, "Anything you want."

I pulled back and held my open hand out to her, it contained an Oreo Easter Egg and she squealed with delight.

Then she scurried back up the stairs to her home office. Work must get done!

The pre-payoff to not buying an expensive meal later on to cover my guilt.

I knew she was mine before I ever met her, more than 34 years ago, and I'm hers til I die.

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 11, 2017 4:27 AM

ghost is a sentimental old fart, maybe even romantical!

The meal described is for people who have never been actually hungry.

Posted by: pbird at April 11, 2017 9:07 AM

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