Destinations Magazine

Zero De Conduite in the 18th: the Streak in the Quartier Stops Here.

By Johntalbott

Apr-may 2012 017
1.0 (and I'm being generous in awarding points for the welcome, decor and location), Zero de Conduite aka Restaurant0 de Conduite aka Rest 2DAY, 44, rue Joseph de Maistre in the 18th,, is where the former Sourdine and before that Le Cercle and before that - a place with Royal Air Force plates and polished Brit silver and good chow - was situated - but how does that have anything to do with today's meal, John?  It doesn't but i had to fill in some space since my report will be so sparce.

Apr-may 2012 018

I got there a bit ahead of my multi-authoress (is that really a word?) buddy who'd listed this on her possibilities and I chose it over a sandwicherie.  The carte was astonishing - 3 courses for 14 E, 2 for 12 E and wines for 4 E a glass.  My heart sank; how can they do gambas and boeuf bourgignon for those prices unless they got the stuff from Metro?  Bingo!  I had a quick Chinon while awaiting Madame.

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She was smart and ordered scrambled eggs (whose egg carton was clearly visible on the shelf of the American/California kitchen and thus guaranteed to be fresh) while I had the giblets and smoked duck breast salad which was OK despite being drenched in faux Balsamico dressing.

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For mains, she was smart again and ordered the entrecote, which couldn't have been frozen/Metro or could it, while I was naive and ordered the sauteed gambas on a mound of pureed carrots - I'm not sure which was worse, the frozen soggy thawed out Metro gambas or the yucky carrots.

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For dessert she ordered the tarte Tatin, which wasn't half-bad but I thought the chocolate mousse might be like that at Bouclard a few meters away - Wrong!

We had a bottle of Graves and a glass of Chinon, no bottled water, but 2 coffees and our bill was 59 E, a season's record if only the food weren't so dreadful.

Go?  Why not go to Metro yourself instead, defrost a few crappy dishes and force your friends to eat it all?  It's really too bad since I wanted to gloat about how all these new places (Sens Unique, Clocher de Montmartre, Lui....Insolite) were cropping up in MM.

PS Because we were behind a pillar of salt, we couldn't see either of the staff and they didn't look around it, so we were stuck with "poor service."

PPS For the curious, the name of the place - Zero de Conduite - is of course that of the famous film of the same name that was suppressed/repressed/banned for 10 years for reasons still not clear to me; when have adolescent schoolboys not rebelled against authority?

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