We have been dining at Papparazzi on our first night in Paris since our concierge at 'Le Grand' sent us there in 2004. We always loved the nice ambiance, the delicious huge pizzas and fresh salads at a reasonable price. Always a wonderful way to start your stay in France. Last time we dined there in the Fall...it was a bit off and we attributed it to a bad night. After last week,,,,as we still stay at 'Le Grand', I think we will have to find another perfect first-night restaurant. Papparazzi has gorwn to popular and is resting on the returns of all the clients, like us, who thought of it as their special little find for incredible pizza. It was also popular, and still is...with locals.
We arrived and although we had a reservation and the restaurant had not filled up...the bored hostess took us to table near the back near the kitchen There were several tables in the front in the window completely empty. Well....okay...you can tell we are not French but I am not sure she was ready for my 'American way' of dressing her down in French. I said "Listen. If you weren't born in Paris I am sure I've spent more time here than you and so can you explain to me..who taught you that you lead a polite couple with a reservation to the worst table in the house because we are not local? I guess you didn't expect me to ask you in French but as I have..I'll tell you that this table 'Ca ne me suffit pas' and I've sat in one of those window tables since I started coming here 9 years ago. She turned a bit white and obviously the manager heard me as she rushed over apologizing to me in French and led us to what should have been a table with a reservation.
Okay...I ordered some wine and let it go as I was really looking forward to that PIZZA! The waitress comes over and starts speaking in bad english and when i interrupted her and said French was fine if that was 'easier for her'..she replied 'Oh..I am happy you speak French. I hate that they make us speak in English. ' I think she thought we were German or Suisse (I get that question a lot because they never think of Americans as fluent) . In truth, I wouldn't have minded her comment but..she looked as 'over it' as the meal we were about to have. I told her we wanted to share one of the big salads (which had always been delicious) and then we each ordered our Pizza. We sat there for 20 minutes drinking our wine and nibbling our bread as the restaurant filled up and our waitress saw many of her 'neighborhood friends'. Of course...she showed up with the two pizzas and the salad at the same time . Again..no big deal...we love the food there and that is the most important. Zapped again! The salad was tasteless and had half the interesting ingredients that it always had before and the dressing was olive-oil dense. But quelle dommage! Except for the fact that the Pizzas are still gigantic and served on two plates, their was bare resemblance to the what I thought of as the 'Best Pizza in Paris'. It was tasteless...my jambon had a burnt flavor and i had to pull it off the pizza and most egregious, the crust fell apart from being so soggy. We were totally bummed . We so wanted it to be what it had been. Don't ever have the deconstructed tart citron for dessert. I don't know how one person raved about it on this post. It is a tiny dessert with that lemon-alcholic digestif (forgot the name) in a small cup....a tiny piece of hard pie crust..and some lemon like custard with a touch of cream in another small cup. It was the most over-priced and least satisfying dessert I've ever had in France. If I am wrong...please let me know. I guess Paparazzi had its 'Swan SOng' when it came to us as we left for the last time, last week. Yikes. It is sad when a once little 'gem' that got everything right lets it all fall through the cracks. Oh..the prices have gone up,too! 86 euros for Pizza! Don't go.
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