Tonight was my family’s last night in Paris with me and Josh. We were going to go to Yayin for dinner, but when we arrived at 8pm, it was completely empty. We decided to eat at La Fille du Boucher down the block since it appeared to have a more lively ambiance. Josh and I tried going there once at around 9:30pm when it first opened about 3 months ago, but the wait was over a half an hour so we decided to take a raincheck.
This is the new restaurant that all of the French Jews are talking about these days. The interior looks like a very nice French Brasserie. The restaurant colors, tables, and chairs resemble those in a classic French brasserie, and there is a long bar with stools in the center of the entrance to the restaurant. I have heard mixed ratings from people we have met who ate here ranging from “the best beef I have ever tasted” to “the worst steak of I ever had.” Despite the opposing slew of reviews, La Fille du Boucher seems to be the new hot spot in this area of town.
Since my American family is accustomed to eating earlier, we did not have a wait at all when we arrived at 8pm. We were immediately waited on by our charming, young, and good looking waiter. His English was almost fluent and he was extremely attentive in comparison to the service in Paris Kosher restaurants that I am accustomed to (“excuse moi?! excuse moi?!). Normally, I feel like I have to chase after the servers to get their attention. He even respectfully bowed after he took our orders.
My family are not big wine drinkers like Josh and I are now, but on the occasion of our final night together in Paris, everyone ordered a glass of wine and toasted. Glasses of wine were between 4.50 and 5.50 euros. We skipped over the entree section since none of the entrees looked particularly appetizing to our foie gras resistant and chicken loving group.
I ordered the fried chicken fillet with a side of frites and salad(17 euro) and my mom and sister ordered the grilled chicken fillet with a side of frites and salad (17 euro each). My chicken fillet was perfectly crispy and the cutlet was extremely thin, the way I like it. However, the flavor was extremely dull and not well seasoned. I asked waiter to bring me a side of honey mustard sauce from the Salad Chinoise (an item on the menu of every French meat restaurant which I frequently order because the sauce is always just soo good). I poured it all over the chicken to give it some flavor. Once I had the taste of the sauce to supplement the crispy and juicy texture of the fillet, the dish was significantly improved. My mom and sister both expressed thinking the grilled chicken was extremely boring. It did not taste like it was marinated in anything. My very food snob husband exclaimed “it looks nasty, like it was made right on a George Forman Grill!”
As has been the theme of dinners together on this trip, the women in my family order chicken and the men order steak. My dad ordered the Cote de Boeuf (22 euro) with spaghetti and marinara sauce. He said that his steak was fine. He wasn’t raving about it, but he doesn’t get nearly as passionate and or critical about food as Josh or myself do.
Josh ordered the Pave au Poivre- steak with pepper sauce (20 euro) with frites. He wanted to find out for himself if the steak here was the best kosher steak in Paris as so many of the French Jews we had spoken with over the weeks had exclaimed. He will tell you that his steak tonight at La Fille du Boucher was one of the worst steaks he has ever had in Paris (I think the only other steak that beat this one on Josh’s nasty steaks scale was his steak at Deloren Cafe). He thought that they overcooked the meat and that it didn’t taste like anything. The pepper sauce served on the side for dipping actually just tasted like strong black pepper liquid. I have tasted a few versions of pepper sauces at other restaurants, since Josh frequently orders the pave au poivre at French meat Kosher restaurants (more emphasis on THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME MENU). This was by far the least interesting tasting sauce of them all. He was so passionately disappointed in his dish that despite how hungry he was, he did not finish the steak. No one especially liked the frites either, as they were kind of dry and flavorless, and needed a ton of salt to bring out some flavor. the winning keyword of the meal this evening seems to be “flavorless.”
Everyone craved dessert, but none of the dessert choices on the menu seemed at all appealing to a majority of the party. The desserts options included parve sorbet, fruit salad, chocolate mousse, and nougat ice cream (also on the dessert menu of every typical French meat restaurant). It was a bit bizzare that there was not a single cake option on the menu. The only option that sounded intriguing to me was something called “du Pane sucre de la butcher- the sweet bread of the butcher,” but the waiter reported that they were not serving it tonight. Ultimately, my dad ordered the nougat ice cream for himself (7 euro) and we all had a nibble. It tasted like a very creamy and overly sweet mixture of parve ice cream and parve whipped cream and the raspberry drizzle had a gross cough syrup-like aftertaste. Definitely not my first choice of desserts, but my very easy to please father enjoyed it.
In conclusion, I would give La Fille du Boucher a thumbs up for overall excellent service (better service than 95% of the Kosher restaurants I have been to), an energetic environment, and a nice place to sit. Ultimately however, their food is very bland and nothing to write home about! It’s funny how a restaurant can become the local hot spot and acquire a strong reputation simply by word of mouth in a large Jewish community of Sephardic Jews!
By the time we finished our meal at 9:30, the servers couldn’t wait to clear our plates and turn over our table for the next party in the line of customers waiting outside. When we left, the restaurant was packed with groups of rambunctious people and there was a wait of at least a half an hour lined outside the door.