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My take on Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill


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My take on Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill

JunieB | | Aug 15, 2014 02:46 PM

Ate there last night for the first time. Went on a whim and they were booked but we were able to eat in the jazz lounge. The music was pretty good but I would have preferred sitting upstairs so we could have talked with our company. I must be getting old! Will make reservations next time.

I have mixed feelings about the food and the experience, but first let me say that I had the Steak Frites and the steak was amazing!! It has been a really long time since I had a steak that had me daydreaming the following day about the next time I would have it. It was very flavorful; perfectly cooked, and so tender that it barely needed chewing. I seriously think I could have cut it with a butter knife. I hope this was the rule for their steak and not an exception.

Unfortunately the rest of the meal didn't live up to the steak. The potatoes were good but it was as if I got the dregs from the bottom of the fryer. After 3 or 4 regular sized frites, the rest were like crumbs, perhaps a quarter to a half inch long. Unacceptable.

I started with the roasted beet salad served on a bed of watercress. The beets were okay but nothing to write home about, not even cut uniformly, and the watercress was served with the long stems left on the greens (I'm talking about 3 or more inches of stem!), and there were two thick slices of raw carrot on top. I love watercress and I serve it frequently. When I do, I break off most of the stem (I'm talking about the small-leafed watercress that has bare stems) to make it easier for dinner guests to deal with, and also because it makes the salad taste better! It's awkward trying to stuff stems in your mouth, and just as awkward trying to cut them with a knife and spear them with your fork. The raw carrot was ridiculous. Who wants two big half-inch slices of raw carrot the size of a silver dollar in their salad? Not me. Blanched carrots would have added a whole other dimension to the salad; otherwise they should have just left them out. It seemed lazy.

This is just picky, but when the waiter re-set my silverware after the salad he put my steak knife on the right side of my plate with the blade turned away from the plate, and he put my fork to the left of my knife! As I said, that's picky, but to me it was another lack of attention to detail.

The three other diners had shrimp cocktail and crab and avocado salad to start, and I didn't hear any complaints. There was complimentary bread for the table. I didn't have any but one of the diners said it was pretty bad. That surprised me because Philadelphia is full of good bread and there is no reason to serve anything bad, but I trust the diner's opinion because he's a bit of a bread aficionado. One person had the burger and he liked it. The only complaint was that it was messy. Salmon cakes and scallops were two of the other entrees and they looked pretty good, although I thought the presentation could have been better. Two of the diners shared a cauliflower gratin and the complaint was that the cauliflower should have been cooked more than it was. I had a taste and it was indeed nearly raw, which is not what you expect in a gratin.

We skipped dessert because the food was pretty filling.

I will go back, if for no other reason than to have the steak, but I can't wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant. I will say - it was booked up on a Thursday night so people must like it. I didn't have a really bad experience but I hope I have a better one next time.