Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Last Supper? If So It Should Have Been Elsewhere..

For our last night in Paris, I wanted a place with some great rotisserie chicken. I had been hankering for some since our arrival and had yet to eat any. I pored over all of my various guidebooks and was enticed by a photo of chickens roasting over potatoes in the Time Out Guide. It was taken at L'AOC, a restaurant in the 5eme, known because all of the ingredients are Appellation d'Origine Controllee, meaning they must be raised/grown in a specific location and adhere to specific government standards. This had to be our place.

I reserved a table for 8 pm., on the late side for Izzy but I figured it would be okay for our last night, since it would help correct jet lag. When we arrived late, we were not greeted warmly and the sight of Izzy may have added a certain chilliness to the affair. He was not in the best of moods but fortunately was manageable.
As soon as we were seated, the waiter promptly removed all of the wine glasses from his clutches and the hostess kept eyeing us as if some disaster were about to ensue. I ordered a plate of Girolles (chanterelles) for him and some Bone Marrow on toast for myself. Both appetizers were simply seasoned. Izzy adored his mushrooms but I felt that my dish somehow lacked for flavor. I still had high hopes for the mains because everything on the menu sounded wonderful and when I glanced around the restaurant, all the diners were happily tucking into generously portioned platters of delicious looking food.

I ordered the Rotisserie platter and Alex had the Cochon Farci (roast stuffed pig). My rotisserie platter arrived with a piece of chicken, guinea hen and pork served over a bed of roasted potatoes. The potatoes were just the right texture and full of flavor. The pork was succelent and flavorful. The fowl was an entirely different story. The skin was not crisp and actually had an offtaste. I didn't want to say anything and I didn't get a chance to taste Alex's before he gobbled it down. He eventually admitted that his was not really that good either. Neither of us could understand what all the fuss was about. How is it that this restaurant has been so well-reviewed? Maybe we just hit an off night or the wrong dishes.. Whatever the case it was a truly disappointing end to our days of Parisian dining. We should not have traveled across town for this when we could have dined at Chez Robert and Louise right nearby..
Not only were we not thrilled with the food but this meal also provided more evidence that Parisian restaurants do not appear to welcome children. Not once did the hostess warm up to Izzy, despite the fact that he was a calm dining companion who ate up all of his food. As we walked home, I peered into numerous restaurants and there were no children in sight. If this is the case, how do the French raise their gourmands?

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