In the spring and summer Chez Janou is one of my favorite neighborhood places to dine outside. On a quiet corner in the Marais, the idyllic setting has giant Magnolia trees, emerald green and beige woven cafe chairs, and a oversized green awning, almost looking like a cliched postcard of Paris.
I forgot they have a formule for 12.80 euros for two courses and since it was sunny all last week,I thought it would be a great place for our story this month. We got there at 12PM, so we would guarantee we would get a table outside, since they only take reservations for inside.
There are only two choices for the entree and plat and one for dessert and I opted for entree and plat. The plat choices were either a whole catfish or faux filet steak, neither of them that appealing to me, so I chose the faux filet. The entree was a inventive dish of tagliatelle made of raw zucchini topped with bits of feta cheese and snippets of smoked salmon. It was light and refreshing with a taste of spring. I thought the plat would be an extension of the promising starter and I was disappointed: the faux filet (ribeye steak) was tough, fatty, and under cooked and roasted potatoes with mushrooms were good but not memorable. I felt hungry and deprived because most of the steak was inedible or fat. I recommended my favorite salad of shrimp, avocado, and red grapefruit to Lynn, which she enjoyed. The service was polite but not friendly and I was annoyed when I was choosing my dishes and the waitress said she would be right back and then disappeared for at least 5-7 minutes.
All that said, I would still recommend Chez Janou and I may have gone on an off day, since it's usually consistent. If the limited choices for the formule don't suit you, order off the menu, which has entrees from 8-11 euros and plats from 14-21 euros. Some excellent choices from the regular menu are the shrimp, avocado, and grapefruit salad which Lynn had, Brandade de Morue, risotto with St Jacques, toasts with St. Nectaire cheese, and a delicate salad of melon, ham, and mozzarella. A must is the chocolate mousse for dessert. It comes out in a salad sized bowl with a big spoon and you can have as much as you can spoon out. Be warned, it's so good you may not stop and when you pass out from the sugar coma and come to, you will realize you finished the entire bowl.
2 rue Roger Verlomme, 3d arr.
Metro:Chemin Vert or Bastille
Tel. 01 42 72 28 41
Open everyday for lunch & dinner
Reservations for dinner a must
www.chezjanou.com (watch the clever video on the site)
Coming soon: Eye Prefer New York Tours
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte’s professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com