Chez L’Ami Jean

In a side street in the 7th arrondissement, Chef Stéphane Jego heads Chez L’Ami Jean, a rustic Basque restaurant covered with decorative details including wood panels, memorabilia from pelote, graffiti signs, strings of espelette peppers on the ceiling and random cartoon characters. Chef Jego, formerly taught by Christian Constant (Les Cocottes) and Yves Camdeborde (Le Comptoir du Relais) – plays along with similar themes of his 2 former Chefs.


Reservations are a must and I could only make one for 7 pm, considered quite early for Parisians. Entering the restaurant, it appeared a little desolate, but slowly it filled up quickly; by 9 pm, the entire restaurant was filled with dozens standing by the entrance. The restaurant dining room including the bar at the entrance is filled with tables that are elbow-to-elbow, barely allowing you to hold a private conversation and for more than one waiter to pass.




We opted not to order l’assiette de cochonailles (a gigantic and beautiful basket of charcuterie) as we would never have finished the meal. Instead, we chose from the 3-course prix-fixe menu at 42 euros – quite steep compared to other restaurants (I remember hearing it used to be fixed around the late 20s) but decided upon it anyways.


In terms of service, I found it to be a bit lagging in the beginning and the maitre d’ wasn’t very welcoming at first, ignoring many clients. However as the service picked up, we got to speak to some of the waitresses and they ended up having a very good sense of humor about it all. I quote: “the service is bad but the food is spectacular”…


Basket of crusty pain de campagne and a fish/shrimp spread. 




One each dish, Chef Jego throws around some paper thin bacon – changing the flavor of the dish completely. Loved the detail. 


Entrées


Bulots de céléri rave en service de deux…queue de boeuf mitonée de veau (Shredded and molded Oxtail with sea snails and shrimp with celeriac sauce)


Poulpe en fine gelée de foie gras, chipirons tempura, persil d’hiver…au vert (Octopus and Foie gras jelly with tempura of calamari and parsley sauce)




Plats


Pot-au-feu façon, de porcelet en chaud-froid, légumes de choix (Pot-au-feu: braised meat and vegetables with turnips)




Raie rôtie aux agrumes, huile d’olive vierge (Roasted sting-ray with citrus and olive oil)


Desserts


Pamplemousse d’ange…perles Japonaises…onctueux vanillé (Grapefruit supremes with tapioca in vanilla cream)


L’Ami Jean is also famous for their Riz au lait ‘grand-mère’ – a huge bowl of rice pudding…it just never seemed to end! It comes with a caramel beurre salé (but more like a beurre caramel salé – you could only taste the butter!) and roasted walnuts.

At the end of the meal (not like you had room in your stomach or anything)…they offered flavored mini-meringues: chocolate, caramel and pistacchio. 


Ending the dinner and going home was a real task as I was very stuffed; though I would like to return to this restaurant to see what Chef Jego brews up the next time!



Chez L’Ami Jean
27 Rue Malar, 75007
Tel: 01 47 05 86 89
Metro: La Tour-Maubourg (Ligne 8)

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  1. […] night, the dining room was not full which was good since I didn’t feel too clustered. Unlike L’Ami Jean, the decor here was subtle and minimal with a few Basque words painted on one wall and a long […]



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