Destinations Magazine

L'Atelier Rodier in the 9th: It's Hard for Me to Come to a Decision on This One; Puzzling.

By Johntalbott

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5.1 L'Atelier Rodier, 17, rue Rodier in the 9th,, closed weekend for dinner and some weekday lunches, is a place that has been bumping through my cranium because it sounded like it could really be a hit and a not a faraway one at that.

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I made three reservations in the 9th this week and told several friend-dining-companions, but as memory, age and jet-lag would have it, I conflated at least two.  I should have realized this when I showed up at the Atelier and thay had no rez but seemed to recall my name and seated me despite being fully booked (and later turned 3 tables).  I waited, scoped the menu (18 E), waited and finally ordered, figuring my "date" was ill (which he, at the other resto I had reserved at, thought as well.  The amuse-bouches were a nice tapenade on hard/soft toast with an almost honeyish sweet butter and a veloute of chestnuts and foie gras.  Good but not perfect.

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For a first I chose croustillant langoustines on swooshes of carrots and cress; for a main, a merlan, I was told fried in the classic manner, with fritecut veggies and grapefruit (huh?); and for dessert a financier with whipped cream, caramel (supposedly but couldha fooled me) and chopped pineapple.  In all cases, the central ingredient/s - langoustines, merlan and financier - was/were quite good product/s and tasty, but the stuff around it somehow didn't complement or augment it/them.  I got the sense that these two talented chefs from Congo and Columbia, whom Alexander Lobrano indicates passed through the houses of "Robuchon, the Bristol, the Westminster and the Plaza Athenee,...the Raphael and Guy Martin" thought that these swooshes and add-ons were classy but I found them an inferior distraction.

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With pretty poor bread, 1/2 bottle of wine, no bottled water and an OK coffee my bill was 54 E (dB level seemed higher that 75.5 recorded too).

Go?  If Colette hasn't got too much on hier dance-card next visit, I'd like her to try it.

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