My report for lunch:
Coming in, the first things i have noticed are :
- nicely human sized room where everybody seems to be "sharing a meal"- red velvet comfortable "banquettes", on one side with mirrors at the back ( i guess to make the room look wider). The rest of the room is equipped with simple tables and chairs. If you don't like to be seated next to others, this place will not be for you!
-you hear and see the very busy kitchen and staff, moving and working in perfect harmony.
- being greeted very quick and placed immediately, i took a peek around and everybody looked happy with smile on their faces and also very quick i have noticed that we were not the only ones to have just landed there. People waiting for their order to be taken, most likely ;--)
Here also you have to plan a good 2 hours lunch., if in a hurry, you ll get stressed out! Because you don't get the full waitress attention all the time!
After looking around, i realized that we need to take charge if we want to get something on our table. i catch one of the waitresses to get drinks. And 2 minutes later they are on the table indeed. Mission accomplished.
at that point i know that they are so busy that i need to play and have a good attitude, asking for what i need to be happy! but at the same time it s fine with me as i like to explore the menu in detail, watch the other tables and their plates. And i have to be honest i am well seated : i can take a good look at the kitchen and Bruno Doucet's meticulous and speedy hands plating, the incessant steps of the waitresses going back and forth and the most important, i can stop them everytime i need to ask a question. And they stop, answer or serve us more drinks and go. It is difficult to define this service : i think i might be used to it because i lived in Paris but my guest (from Germany) is surprised that every time i asked for something, i still got a smile from the waitress and the execution "on the way". She told me that most of the time in this kind of overbusy place, the staff gives her the attitude and the "look". Well here, they are nice, it is just long to get stuff because they are very busy. And it is not like they are seating and doing nothing, you feel that everybody is doing their best to give you the best experience possible in their house.
20 minutes after our entrance, a nice surprise landed on our table. The housemade pate, the bowl of cornichons and delicious crusty baguette. My guest is totally in love. Well i dont have the chance to try it because i don't eat pork! She does not stop eating this terrine, with noises of satisfaction. i am a little worried as i wanted to try the whole lunch menu! maybe she will not be hungry after all! Suddenly our neighbors get their plates and now we pretty much know what we will order as our starters (from the left neighbors) and the main dish (from the right side). We hesitated a thousand times before ordering the potimarron soup (kurbis) with some bacon...and the crusty seared tuna pastry puff (feuillete) Heaven has a new definition. I even hear my neighbor reserving again for the same week just because of that soup! We are excited about this place and feel just happy. Adrenaline effect?
Main dish is a continuation of awakened senses : a perfectly deliciously cooked cochon fermier with lentils and my cabillaud servi avec des haricots de paimpol, tomates. Maybe on the salty side (maybe the chef is in love) Certes and a priori heavy traditional food but an explosion of tastes. we know that the portion is too big for us but we keep on getting the next fork until almost the end. We need to keep some space for the dessert.
She gets truffles and chocolate dessert, i get the pot de creme a la vanille avec des fruits des bois. And i am not convinced about the "too simplistic" way it looks. after the first spoon, it is simply the right pot de creme texture, the fruits are nicely prepared, marinated and combined ; not melting, holding pretty well and wow! those 2 pots i underestimated ended up empty!
It is 3:00 pm and the Regalade slowly gets down, the lively vibe gets to a more silent level. We decide to pay and go. We want to keep the same picture in our brain, not the one of a complete empty space. My guest does not stop praising this place and suddenly feels she understood the parisian way of life! she wants to get the same place and experience back home! We are now on our way to Café Verlet for another adventure.
I feel it was a unique experience for me. i am not sure when ill have again this opportunity. but i am already thinking of coming back to share it with my friends and family!
Or maybe with Dr T as i know he loves it here too! I have to say i mostly dedicate this humble empiric report to him and Layback because everytime i needed some help they were always great and dedicated time and expertise to help me find my way! Merci