Destinations Magazine

Les Enfants Rouges in the 3rd: Oh, No, Not Another Japanese Chef Cooking French Food? Yes, and Well Done Too.

By Johntalbott

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7.6 Les Enfants Rouges, 9, rue de Beauce in the 3rd, (Metro: ah Arts & Metiers, Republique), has recently been acquired by a Japanese couple (he having spent 6 years under Yves Camdeborde) from the famed Dany Bertin-Denis, ex of the Moulin a Vin in Montmartre, who ran a booming business in wine with a side room for eaters.  Well, the balance has shifted - now it's a booming restaurant with not much going on at the bar, except food writers resting their tushes.
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The place is tiny, as it always was, and with 30 some seats and no noise dampening was deafening (86.6 dB) when all the foreigners started talking (no English, except as a common language, mainly Japanese - how did they know - the first day?).  In any case, they served us a very filling amuse of a mousseline of smoked haddock with fish eggs which we snapped our heads back at.  Then my friend, who works in the industry and knows his stuff ordered something I never would - smoked salmon - I was sure it would come with some creamy stuff and salad but no, it came on a bed of shredded beef in brown sauce - outstanding idea and execution.  And I had 3 mini-quenelles of cod brandade, which with its fluffy sauce, I polished off with pleasure.

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At this point he said "This is going pretty well, isn't it?"  "Right."  He then had a piece of cod perfectly cooked and skin crisped but too salty for me and I had perfectly cooked sweetbreads with a ton of early fall vegetables which were most excellent.  As a topper he ordered a very generous platter of cheese which between us we demolished before photo-ing.

Any problems?  Yes, this first official day, there were long waits between courses and I think Madame needs help at the front of the house and they need to get some sound dampening and their Credit Card machine didn't work so my Franco-American-Canadian friend had to go out in the rain to find a cash machine.

Our bill?  With no bottled water, superb (Thierry Breton) bread, superb (Illy) coffees and one bottle of Crozes-Hermitage the damage amounts to 113 E a couple.  Pas mal!

Go?  If you can get in, indeed.

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