March 30, 2005
GO:: Au fil des saisons had been on my to-try list for a while: I had been told good things about the chef, his use of fresh products and his "homemade everything" approach (including bread and sorbets). I had dinner there with my friend Marion a few weeks ago, when it was still remarkably cold -- hence the wintery menu choices as you'll see below.
The restaurant is located on a teeny tiny street off the Place de la République, and the room itself is very small too, no more than fifteen tables, in a "country inn" décor with bare brick walls and dark wood furniture. Not necessarily my first choice aesthetically speaking, but it is welcoming enough and goes well with the food.
EAT:: I started with the Aiguillettes d'agneau, purée d'aubergine et asperges: tender strips of lamb, a little mound of eggplant caviar and a few al dente asparagus. Perfectly seasoned and a great mix of flavors.
I went on with a Fricassée de pigeonneau, sauce au porto et au romarin: a pigeon stew in a porto and rosemary sauce, served with a delicious gratin dauphinois (potato gratin). The meat was very tender and juicy, and the sauce was aromatic enough to hold up to the strength and gaminess of the pigeon.
For dessert, Marion and I shared a Trio de fondants au chocolat: three small coquetiers (eggcups) filled with a velvety, semi-cooked chocolate cream -- crusty on top, liquid inside -- in white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. My favorite was the dark chocolate, the other two were a tad too sweet for my taste, but this was still the perfect dose of chocolate to end the meal. I even dreamt about these a few nights later -- that has to tell you something!
PAY:: Chalkboard menu. 26€ for two courses, 31€ for three courses.
FORGET:: I would have liked a little more warmth to the service: while it was efficient and diligent and professional, I like a few more smiles sprinkled on top. The lady was waiting on all the tables by herself and maybe it just wasn't her night, or I irked her with my curiosity and questions -- that happens. But we had a nice little chat with the chef before we left (he was sharing a post-service drink with a few friends) and this attenuated the impression.
REMEMBER:: The skewers of mini-loaves of homemade bread, fresh from the oven. The careful -- yet not showy -- plating. The deep and well-rounded flavors of all the dishes. The mix of tradition and creativity, the respectful use of quality products.
RECOMMEND:: A great place to go for traditional French with a twist (especially for meat-lovers) and an excellent value meal. Now I have to go back and see what Spring brings on the menu!
AU FIL DES SAISONS
6 rue des Fontaines du Temple
01 42 74 16 60
M° Temple ou Arts-et-Métier
Paris Restaurant Picks: Bones, Walaku, Jeanne B., Septime @ Wanderlust
Twelve Hours in Paris
Twelve Hours in Paris