We wanted to have a good meal before catching the Eurostar without have to rush, so did some research on the Tripadvisor app (highly recommended) regarding restaurants in the Gard du Nord area. Having read copious reviews of the neighbourhood theirs was the first that was nearly unanimously positive, so we settled for it.
On arriving shortly after 7pm the place was empty save for a canoodling couple at the far end. The waiter acknowledged us but made no effort to seat us until my friend approached him - he seemed pre-occupied with serving that couple. And even as he gave us a table he did not pull it out of the banquette as if he expected one of us to squeeze into it.
He seemed to be the only waiter at the place and, at one stage, there was no staff there at all as he went out to bring some cases in . Curiously, as the place filled up he got friendlier and more efficient.
As for the food, the prix fix menu my friend chose was frankly boring - a slab of 'gamey' terrine (it was large) and a slab of meat. I decided to push the boat out and had the lobster salad, which was half a shelled lobster with mayonnaise mixed with ketchup - sorry, seafood dressing, and a few leaves served on a slate board. At €22 it was what it was, at least you could see there was half a lobster there.
I followed that with a confit de canard, one of my favourites and hard to do badly.
I was wrong. As I cook the dish myself I know it's usually pre-cooked and reheated before serving. But given the restaurant was still not very busy mine was so overdone in the frying pan that the meat on the outside was quite tough. When I eat this in a restaurant I often wonder how they make it tastier than mine but on this occasion, ironically in France of all places, it was worse than amateur. And at €18 it didn't stretch beyond a little puree potatoe.
A point about the decor. They've got some lovely chandeliers there, giving the appearance of a classy joint. I can't understand why they decided to add a couple of cheap-looking, oversized, unmistakably Ikea lamp shades.
Interesting that, given the consensus that there aren't many good restaurants in the area, there's Chez Michel and Chez Casimir virtually next door to this restaurant, and both have better reviews. Just our bad luck for settling!
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