It was a tale of two side of the table.
We arrived without a reservation and luckily got the last table in the upstairs of the restaurant. We were looked after by a friendly Canadian waitress as the dining room hummed pleasantly around us. I suspect the couple next to us were having quite an entertaining conversation. I must have missed the French class at school where we learnt relationship vocab, so blocked it out and let it drift over me instead. Only coming to attention when M. (gently) slammed his fists onto the table.
As a starter we shared the bone marrow with a fresh salad of endive, green apple, carrot and red cabbage (EUR 12). It was only the second time I've had bone marrow and unlike Hix, where it came disguised under a gratin, this was three bones of pure unadulterated richness.
Slathering a bit of the bone marrow on bread dipped in the juices from the plate I had the flavour of fried eggs in my mouth. The freshness of the salad helped break up the richness. I wondered whether the salad could have had a sharper dressing or would that have over powered the delicate flavour of the marrow?
I definitely enjoyed the bone marrow, but was pleased we'd chosen to share the dish.
When the steak tartare arrived at the table I realised that I had made a tactical error. The onion, parsley and cornichon had already been mixed through the beef, but all of the rest of the accompaniments back on the side. I had no idea how to mix a steak tartare.
After a couple of bites I decided it definitely needed the extra seasoning. I split the tartare in half and added some salt, pepper, half a teaspoon of their homemade ketchup, six splashes of Tabasco and nearly a full dessert spoon of wholegrain mustard. It was amazing. Complete beginners luck.
The roasted new potatoes had an amazing flavour and the salad dressing on the lettuce cut through everything nicely.
When it came to the second half of the steak I attempted the same formula, but slipped with the ketchup and added nearly a full teaspoon instead. I had to boost the mustard and Tobasco to compensate and it ended up just a little too spicy.
I don't really understand how the most expensive dish we tried went so wrong. It made me feel guilty for having such a good time with my steak tartare.
101 RUE VIEILLE DU TEMPLE
+33 1 42 74 44 32