Destinations Magazine

Lucas Carton Under Julien Dumas: Beautiful Presentations; Big English-speaking Staff; but the Food is Not Yet up to the Old guy(AS)'s Standards.

By Johntalbott

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Lucas Carton has reverted back to its original name at the old location in the 8th but with a new chef, Julien Dumas who put in years with such creative chefs as Jacques Maximin and Alain Ducasse.  Colette & I recall coming in the late 1960's and having becasse held by its beak as it was roasted over an open flame.  Alain Senderens came to Paris and worked here from 1963-5, then at L’Archestrate, returning to Lucas-Carton in 1985.  It's gone through several business models since then and a few months ago Dumas arrived and has inherited the old wood, some of the old recipes but is clearly trying to set his own stamp on the place.

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The staff is large and English-speaking, the menus are in French & English and the only other table occupied had American-sounding voices.  As in days of yore there were two amuses - a gussied up madeleine and a broth with three ingredients I couldn't catch the names of.

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To start off we had scallops (pretty good), risotto with truffles (unpictured and untried at my request), mushroom soup (OK), a tower of tempured langoustines (disappointing) and foie gras done perfectly with an unusual accompaniment, flavorful beet-berries.

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For mains, Colette had the poule faisan (disappointing), two of us shared the duck (fine but the earth didn't move) and two of us had more of the disappointing crusty langoustines.

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To finish things off we had an apple-x5 palate cleanser, pear with ginger ice cream, floating island, chocolate and cherries, St Honore and two mignardises - of which only the St Honore and chocolate drew ooooh's.

Our bill was picked up by our gracious host so I cannot give it but for those planning to go, Pudlo gives the a la carte 120-200 E.

Go?  We actually voted and the results were: 2 Yes, 2 No and 1 Hesitation.  I'm afraid that despite the terrific staff, friendly chef and wonderful decor, the lack of "Wows!" and price-quality ratio rule me out as a frequent flyer.

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