as we all know, one meal sample sizes are only that. our company at Septime made the meal delightful. the food was quite good, but hard to say if the cooking surpasses some of our other Paris meals. service however, was in the style we prefer the most, informative, straightforward, positive, and the value was exceptional. the two excellent bottles of whites totalled 36€', and the three course lunch formula with a few choices for each was a flat out bargain -- we'd never expect to find a meal like it in calif for $40 incl. tip.
to appreciate Chez l'Ami Jean, more than one meal is probably requisite; for a bistrot of it size the choices on the lunch menu are very extensive. the chef uses very bold combinations in some of the dishes, and his choices probably aren't aimed to please all. we enjoyed his terrine de compagne that was larded with chunks of cooked foie, but the lovely large tasting portion of seared foie gras he gave us at the request of the charming 'hounds seated next to the kitchen was just too close to raw for our palates. there was a seafood element, anchovy would be my guess, in my partner's veal cheeks, that to my taste needed just a shade of tempering or blending to be a touch less obtrusive. again, the choices are so many and the gifts of the chef are unmistakeable, so repeat visits are called for to find what one best likes. if we should be so lucky to return to what has become our favorite city.
after walking for hours through rain on the following day, we took refuge in the Italian-themed place on the first floor of le Grand Epicerie. for 50€ we really enjoyed the restorative benefits of a grilled chevre salad(the cheese atop grilled veg, a small raw veg salad next to it) and a big bowl of fresh tagliatelle w. leeks and mild,crumbled sausage, with a demi pichet of simple plonk, a Montepulciano.