Les Jumeaux means twins and this restaurant is run by twin brothers, one running the front of the house and the other the chef. I arrived around 9:30pm and entered a rather sedately decorated restaurant. Pale walls decorated with pictures of pretty women and sports pictures that looked like out of focus Leroy Neiman. The server spoke excellent English and presented the menu written on an ardoise (slate) This is one of the growing numbers or prix fixe only menus. The menu is short but interesting as is the wine list. After consideration, I chose Soupe de Poitrin au reblochon; Paleron de Bouef de sept heures, braise, aux espices, gratin dauphinase; and crepes aux zestes d'orange, sirop d'erable (which the server recommended as new to the menu; in other words: pumpkin soup with reblochon cheese, braised beef, with spices and scalloped potatoes and orange pancakes with maple syrop.
The Amuse was four slices of very nice salami with delicious bread--good but nothing to write home about, even though I am sort of doing that now.
Soupe de Poitrin: I really liked this dish. It was served very hot (unusual in Paris) and of a perfect consistancy for a puree--the chunks of cheese melted into the light orange soup to form lovely white streaks, and it was topped with a few croutons for texture.The mild cheese was a good foil for the poitrin. Potrin is translated as pumpkin, but quite honestly it does not taste like squash or pumpkin in North America as it has a more subtle taste and sweetness.
Beef: I am a stewfanatic so this dish was just up my alley. After 7 hours (or so) of braising the meat was falling apart in its lovely and winy sauce. It tasted wonderful with the creamy and firm textured gratin. But the best part of the dish, was the crispy, crunchy hilltops of the beef--reminded me of ends of a great barbequed brisket. It was served in a black cocotte . I used the fabulous sour dough bread, crunchy on the outside, chewy and holey on the inside to mop up the lovely sauce.
Crepes: Not really a winner as a new dish to the menu. It may need work. To me the crepes tasted very bitter and the maple syrop was flat and tasteless--I don't know where Europeans get theirs from. It was served with homemade vanilla ice cream (saved the dish from complete blah). I suspect the chef had been in America and enjoyed pancakes at IHOP and wanted to reproduce. Next time I go, I will order my more usual tarte tatin or something of that ilk. Since dessert is my least crucial course, it did not spoil the meal in any sense.
Wine: I had a 1/2 bottle of Chinon--Jeunes Vignes Domaine Charles Joguet 2003. It was quite nice--full body, mushroomy and woodsy with an undertone of fruit and a nice dark colour. It was a little rough in the finish and maybe needed more age as it had too much tanin. It did improve in the glass and went quite well with the beef. I am not a wine expert, except I have been drinking it for a long time and I have friends with a fabulous cellar, so I have quaffed some great wines and can tell the difference, if not in the correct wine speak.
Price: Menu: 33 Eur.
Wine: 14 Eur.
Tip: 3 Eur.(rounding up)
Overall: I would recommend this simple and casual place. The cooking is straight forward and unfussy; that is, there are not 50 ingredients and 50 garnishes piled on the plate. Yet at the same time, there is a refined subtlity to the food. Go and enjoy.
Les Jumeaux--73 rue, Amelot, 11th arr.
01 43 14 27 00