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Old 12-11-2012, 11:39 PM   #1
ehagerty
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Monsieur Paul - formerly known as Bistro de Paris

Just happened to have a reservation for tonight - opening night. I was not aware it was going to be opening night when I booked the reservation (Nov 19th, according to my email confirmation for BdP), but they did let us know when we checked in. Since I had no place I needed to be, I was totally fluid with however the meal was going to unfold. Besides, after years of delivering IT projects (where the stakes are usually VERY high for a successful launch, given the nature of these systems), it was kind of interesting (entertaining) to watch the last minute finessing of someone else's project - pulling the flowers out of the elevator and putting them on the stands, Philippe navigating the first two customers on electronic carts into the elevator, Jerome handing out electronic communication devices, etc. It was fun to be part of the start of something, for which I had no responsibility whatsoever!!

===============================================

For those who may not have already seen them, these threads may provide some context for the evolution of my experiences with this restaurant....

Bistro de Paris Pictures (December, 2011 and March, 2012)

French Regional Lunch - Introduction - Alsace (October, 2011 F&W event)

French Regional Lunch - Food

==============================================

In other words, I was a pretty big fan of BdP, and feared the worst when I heard that DDP was coming (which, I am sure, is a profitable business proposition for Disney, but generally has not had a positive impact on menu variety).

Be not afraid - it was great.

Waiting in the shop (out of the rain) for Monsieur Paul to open






Table setting






Center of Room






Menu and glass of champagne
- Nicolas Feuillatte, Brut NV (if I am reading my handwriting correctly)






.
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Last edited by ehagerty; 07-18-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:07 AM   #2
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Mise en bouche du Chef

Recognize these little guys? The escargot in brioche from F&W!






There was a brief discussion with my server about what the difference might be between Mise en bouche (Put in Mouth, Foretaste) and Amuse Bouche (amuse mouth, appetizer). She said they were the same, followed by the fact that this was her first night. I figured I could research online, which is what I have done, to the extent I have the energy for it at this hour.

For those who care to know:
Amuse Bouche (from Wikipedia): The amuse-bouche as an identifiable course arose during the Nouvelle Cuisine movement, which emphasized smaller, more intensely flavored courses. It differs from other hors d'Suvres in that it is small, usually just one or two bites, and preselected by the chef and offered free of charge to all present at the table.

Mise en bouche: well, there is no entry in Wiki - but what I've been able to deduce from google and what I was served for this course tonight is that it is an appetizer of the chef's choice that is not "free" but rather, included in the total cost of the Prix Fixe Menu.

So, the escargot in brioche IS the amuse bouche (everyone gets it, for "free"), and the Mise en bouche for tonight from my Prix Fixe Menu was the dish below. Of course, the "runner" from the kitchen had to walk around the dining room a couple of times with the plate after telling him I did not order it, before we figured this out. No problem - for me it was an unexpected, welcome, whole 'nother course!!

Lightly cooked marinated salmon, blinis, cucumber salad





As often happens, I would not have ordered this salmon, based on menu description alone. I was pretty hooked on the salmon pastrami, and this sounded more bland. My mistake. This is like the best sushi salmon. I would definitely order it again (although, I may have to try all the other appetizers, at least once, first), because I don't think I could make it myself. Phenominal piece of fish (not the slightest bit fishy, no gristle, tender, warm throughout, but only "cooked" around the edges - great!!!!!)


Also, somewhere between the deux bouches, I got a glass of wine (Pinot Blanc, Baron DeHuen 2010 - Alsace) and the classic, still crisp-on-the-outside, steamy-on-the-inside baguette.






.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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Lobster

Maine lobster, vegetable brunoise, crustacean bisque reduction






No brainer. Delish. I did ask the server what "brunoise" was when ordering - she said "like mirepoix". OK. Wiki again, because I was pretty sure mirepoix is onions, celery and carrots and I was pretty sure what I was tasting was carrots, parsnip and mushroom. (Later confirmed by Stephane)

Mirepoix - can be a combination of celery (either common pascal celery or celeriac), onions, and carrots. There are many regional mirepoix variations, which can sometimes be just one of these ingredients, or include additional spices. Mirepoix, raw, roasted or sautéed with butter or olive oil, is the flavor base for a wide variety of dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces. The three ingredients are commonly referred to as aromatics.

Brunoise : Brunoise is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is first julienned and then turned a quarter turn and diced again, producing cubes of about 3 mm or less on each side, or 1/8-inch dice. In France, a "brunoise" cut is smaller, 1 to 2 mm on each side, or 1/16-inch dice. Some typical vegetables for a brunoise are carrots, celery, leeks, and turnips. The diced vegetables are blanched briefly in salty boiling water and then submerged in salted ice water for a few seconds to set the color. The brunoise is used as a garnish in many dishes; it is often used to garnish consommé. A brunoise should be consistent in size and shape, as this helps to create a pleasing and professional presentation.


Culinary lesson aside, this dish has everything I like - rich, complex, savory, and lobster.

.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:22 AM   #4
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Lamb

Herb crusted rack of Colorado lamb, Nicoise style tart with goat cheese, onions and arugula cassolette of flageolet beans

Tour Prignac (H. Medoc) 2008
(chosen to pair with the lamb by Stephane)












All so very good - ate all the beans, brought the lamb home for breakfast in my SSR room tomorrow!

(Note - make that "just had it in my room at SSR the next day" - tasty all over again - with a nice 2010 Arista Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast)



.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:26 AM   #5
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Dessert

Vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet in a meringue, whipped cream





Side view






I completely forget to take a picture of my B&B coffee (in a snifter, loaded with real whipped cream)!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:38 AM   #6
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Did you happen to take pictures of the menu? We are dining at Monsieur Paul on Dec 20th and your review has made me even more excited!
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:44 AM   #7
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Summary

Overall - If you liked BdP, you'll like Monsieur Paul. Same management, same chef, similar menu, same food quality, less formal. I look forward to many return visits and F&W next October! I am seriously considering bringing my travel party of 5 here next month for the Prix Fixe menu!

Notes:
1. The dining experience was smoother than I was expecting for opening night. Any minor observations I've made are merely a matter of start-up and I would expect everyone will know the drill and have confidence within a week or so. That said, management is there to troubleshoot if needed - don't hesitate!
2. It wasn't too crowded - I don't know if they limited the number of reservations (which would make sense for opening night), or if people just didn't realize it was open - but it allowed me to sit, party-of-one-windowside, from opening to Illuminations. That probably won't happen again!
3. There are some stated qualifiers (limitations) on the Prix Fixe Menu relative to DDP, for example "Prix Fixe menu DDP 2 entitlements +$30.50", but that is actually a confidence booster to me - because it suggests that they have their price points in line to be able to continue to offer attractive options to the non-DDP diners - like me.

Many thanks for a lovely evening to Jerome, Eric, Philippe and Stephane - and, of course, my compliments to the chef.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:47 AM   #8
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Thanks for the update and the photos. A. follow-up question If I may. What temperature did you request the lamb, as the photo shows lamb that is quite well done. If that is what they are passing off as "medium", I'd have to order mine less than rare to get what I prefer. Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:55 AM   #9
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Thanx for the review! Just curious - how relaxed was the atmosphere?
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle_325 View Post
Did you happen to take pictures of the menu? We are dining at Monsieur Paul on Dec 20th and your review has made me even more excited!
Not one that is readable - however I did bring one back to the room and can take a picture and post tomorrow - assuming it is not already available at that time.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyV View Post
Thanks for the update and the photos. A. follow-up question If I may. What temperature did you request the lamb, as the photo shows lamb that is quite well done. If that is what they are passing off as "medium", I'd have to order mine less than rare to get what I prefer. Thanks.
Actually, the server did not ask (and she should have). Usually when that happens, you get "chef recommends" and that should always be "medium rare" for this cut. I suspect that the camera flash affected the color of the meat (a common complaint among restaurant owners in discussion forums about amatuer-food-photos) - here is another view (taken with available light). Pretty sure the meat was delivered medium rare. At that point, I was already too full and planned to take it home. I did eat about half of one and it was very tender.






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Old 12-12-2012, 01:08 AM   #12
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Atmosphere

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herfnerd View Post
Thanx for the review! Just curious - how relaxed was the atmosphere?
I'd say very relaxed - tourists wearing what tourists wear to parks - servers wearing French-style aprons instead of tuxedoes - did that answer your question?
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:56 AM   #13
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Your food reviews are a delight to read. I so enjoyed the food primer for us less then foodies. please never stop reviewing the wondrful restaurnts you select for your dining adventures. Once again You are pure delight when posting your experiences.

Thank You
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ehagerty View Post
I'd say very relaxed - tourists wearing what tourists wear to parks - servers wearing French-style aprons instead of tuxedoes - did that answer your question?
Thanx - loved BdP in the past before they were involved with DDP and just curious as to how relaxed and "family friendly" they got. Looking forward to our January ADR.....
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:30 AM   #15
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Thank you so much for the review!! Can you tell me (cue debate), if they had a (I know, here it comes . . . ) children's menu? Yes, I said it.

Last edited by Marthasor; 12-12-2012 at 08:32 AM. Reason: had a question
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