Josh, Anton, and I went to Nini, a restaurant that happens to be on the same block that we will be moving to next week! The menu was typical of many Kosher Meat restaurants in Paris. There was a large selection of meat dishes, two chicken options, several fish dishes, and various types of cous cous. The menu was expensive and the interior of the restaurant felt serene, classy, and upscale. Most of the customers were older couples and small groups dressed in business attire.
Before we ordered, they brought out a basket of bread and various salads. There was cucumber salad, israeli salad, olives, potato salad, and an avocado dip. The bread was not warm and the olives were extremely bitter and uneatable. The potato salad had good flavor, but it was very oily, and the avocado dip complemented the bread nicely.
There was only one white meat chicken dish on the menu. I ordered the chicken skewers with a side of frites and green beans. The chicken was extremely undercooked on the inside. I sent it back to be cooked through and when they brought it back, it was exactly as uncooked as it had been before. I tried eating most of it, but there were certain pieces that were just so obviously raw on the inside that I could not eat them. I sent it back a third time! When the waiter brought it back, it was cooked a little bit more, but still not enough. He did apologize for serving me raw chicken but rather, seemed annoyed that I sent it back. I have found this to be very typical of servers at French restaurants. I was less that satisfied with this dish. It had a middle eastern flavor, but the flavor was very bland so I dipped the chicken in the avocado dip. The green beans tasted as they do at most other Kosher meat restaurants- very salty with a soft, boiled texture. The frites looked kind of like the flat round potato chip fries at Burgers Bar, but they were less oily. The frites were actually very good.
Anton ordered the cous cous poulet, which came with a bowl of cous cous, a bowl of sauce to pour on top of the cous cous, and a plate of what looked like a boiled piece of chicken, some meat, boiled potatoes and carrots, and boiled chick peas. It really did not look very appetizing, and his not eating most of the dish indicated that the it didn’t taste any better than it looked. In fact, I tasted a chick pea and it was the least flavorful chick pea that I have ever eaten. We laughed because it’s pretty hard to screw up chick peas, but this dish succeeded to do so!
Josh ordered a steak with a side of frites and green beans. He really enjoyed his steak, although he struggled to cut it since they did not give him a steak knife. The portions at the restaurant are fairly generous and the ambiance is pleasant, however, the food is definitely nothing to write home about (unless you want to write home about how your chicken still succeeded to be raw after sending it back three times.) We contemplated ordering dessert, but the fresh fruit plate was 12 euro, and most of the other dessert items were different unreasonably high priced parve ice creams. As a disclaimer, I would like to mention that since we have eaten here, several French people have recommended Nini as an excellent restaurant. It’s possible that they were having an off night tonight. The only way to find out is to go back and try it again another time, which won’t be a problem since it is only a few doors down from my apartment, literally!