L’Agrume is a small restaurant located in the 5th arrondissement of town. I was still looking for a place for dinner with mom and it wasn’t easy. I found this place to be highly recommended by many diners and it appears in the guide Michelin and open Saturday night so we decided to give it a chance, especially with the 5 course tasting menu for 39 euro, looks like a good value dinner!

I really enjoyed the atmosphere, the waiters were nice and welcoming, the decor was warm and cozy. The menu looked interesting. I developed my expectations right from the first step inside this place. It turned out that the 5 course tasting menu is only available for the whole table to order. And it seems like all other tables went for that menu with no exceptions. We were a bit disappointed because we are used to sharing dishes and that way trying more things and also 5 course for the two of us, after having lunch, seemed a bit too much! We asked to have one tasting menu and one main course a la carte but we got an explanation it’s impossible because the chef is alone in the kitchen and it’s too complicated for him. They were willing to change some of the dishes if we have any allergies or whatever. Mom being pre-diabetic we asked to change the risotto with a vegetable and the dessert course with a fromage and our request was accepted. All this conversation I managed to do entirely in French!

The daily tasting menu

Then we got to the food.

Sea bass and scallop tartar with crab meat, granny smith apples and lemon grass vinaigrette

The first course was lovely presented and sounded promising. The execution was a bit lacking. Raw sea bass is nice but raw scallops were not adding anything, maybe it’s just me that prefer her scallops at least a bit cooked. The crab meat was more dominant in the mix. The problem was that the vinaigrette was very light and did not get enough flavor to the delicate meats and the worst part were the apples, which were tasteless as if they were treated to be drained from their tartness. This dish had potential but was missing a punch line.

Creamy risotto with smoked eel and pine nuts

Does that sound good or what? It does but sadly the risotto wasn’t cooked well. It was under-cooked and swimming in milk. It’s well known that rice is not the French strong suit but instead of convincing me otherwise it made the point stronger. The smoked eel with pine nuts was very tasty both the sauce and the flesh and I wish it would be served alone and not drown in a huge pool of bad rice pudding.

Diabetic version - cooked potatoes instead of risotto

Funny enough was getting the “non rice” version with potatoes instead – another diabetic no-no. But we can’t complain about that, it was a nice gesture to change it in the first place. And it was a better version, the potatoes were cooked well, the sauce was shining, but I was the one to eat the potatoes here 🙂

The waiter pouring the Bouillon over the red mallet dish

Poached red mullet, leeks, mushroom and shellfish broth

A closer look

This was an okay dish. The vegetables at the bottom were leeks and green beans which were very nice. The fish was slightly over cooked and the broth for me wasn’t that good combination with the fish.

Braised paleron (chuck) of veal, carrots and grapes

The meat dish was the most disappointing. The carrots were tasty and well cooked and the grapes were a nice touch but the meat itself was boring, kinda dry with a bit of sauce on top. We asked and were told that the meat was sous-vide and cooked for many hours.
Unfortunately it didn’t help make this dish more appealing.

Fontina (I think) Italian cheese with granny smith apples, rocket leaves and pine nuts

The cheese plate mom got was an Italian version of the French Comté. It was a nice cheese but again we encountered the same granny smith from the first course.

Confit of grapefruit and blood orange, chocolate ganache and crusty maple tuile

This dessert was a pretty simple chocolate mousse in fact. It was a rather mild tasting mousse and the citrus fruits underneath (just regular orange, no blood orange for us), which held the name of the restaurant – L’Agrume (the citrus) were just filleted but not confit as the description wrote. The crunchy tuile was the best part. I didn’t feel satisfied after that dessert.


It was hard to believe but the chef is indeed alone in the kitchen during service, together with a dishwasher, doing it all by himself! As impressive as it is, after eating his tasting menu I believe it’s to his disadvantage. The pros: being unpretentious, using interesting ingredients. The cons: trying to do everything by himself didn’t seem to work, the proteins of every dish were not perfectly cooked. Many good ideas that had not yet come together. Unrealized potential.

The young chef Marchesi-Grandi in the kitchen, doing it all on his own

Tagged with →  

4 Responses to L’Agrume

  1. Ema says:

    פתאום יש שם מישהו מאחורי השף אז אולי הוא לא כל כך לבד כמו שהם הסבירו לנו…..

  2. Nachman says:

    I think you meant “accepted” vs. “excepted” (which is almost the opposite)

    also it looks like you where brought a “shellfish broth” and not a “shellfish brought”

    let me know if I should stop pointing out the typos…

    I don’t know, but – it all looks yummy, maybe you are just too picky or maybe you should go to dinner more hungry?

    • Mashav says:

      will correct, thanks. weird that I copied the description from the english menu with the mistake.
      About your comment, sometimes the plate can “look yummy” but won’t live to its looks. otherwise I am picky but it’s only fair you have to be good to get a good review, isn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *