The most anticipated visit in this restaurant marathon was the famous Le Chateaubraind. People have been mentioning it and talking about it since I came to Paris, Shane and Fabrice recommended me about the most amazing meal they had there, so many praises made this place a must visit and raised my expectations. It’s a bit pricey (60 euro per person without wine), but for 8 amazing dishes, I thought it was probably worth it. But sadly, I left the restaurant Wednesday night disappointed.

I booked a table with Elizabeth two weeks before (maximum possible time ahead to reserve at Chateaubriand) originally on 21:00 but when we changed the reservation for a table of six, it was only possible in the earliest service of 19:30 for a big table. Like all Parisians I prefer late dinner but there was no other option so we went for it.


This place is another very modest restaurant, simple interior design. In fact, it looks as simple as possible.

Take the tap water bottle, it’s way prettier than the mineral water bottle.

The menu, printed on a regular plain A4 is over simplified, few words describing the main ingredients of the dish and the matching wine for every course if you choose the menu with wine (120 euro). It’s a fixed menu, no options here, all the diners get the same that night. The only thing to choose is either a dessert or fromage.

We were one of the first tables to be seated. The table, naked of table cloth and very narrow. We were eager to have an evening of culinary surprises, as the Chateaubriand is located in the 15th spot of Pellegrino’s top 50 restaurants in the world!

The main problem I think we experienced was a logistics problem. We reserved for 19:30 for 8 dishes meal and they reserved that same table for 21:30 again. This caused the staff to be anxious and make us feel the same by rushing our dinner to the extent that new dish was served before its previous finished. I already felt the affect of rushing us out from the moment we sat down. We were not given almost any time to sit comfortably and read the menu, the waiter explained briefly about the courses of the meal in a way that can not be truly understood, and then the menus were taken away. I asked to leave the menu so that we can tell what we’re eating during the meal. The waiter said he needs them so we can ask for the menu after we finish our meal, but I insisted for one copy to stay by the table and I was allowed to keep it finally.

The somelier suggested a sparkling roséas an aperitif and we took a bottle and so we didn’t even take a good look at the wine list, we didn’t have time for another bottle of wine anyway.

I liked the sparkling rosé, it was light and very dry. Not usual as an aperitif.

Amuse Bouche: 

First thing on the table were these small bites of cheese puffs with poppy seeds.

It was nice and puffy but I couldn’t understand it as a start of a meal..

Next we got a shot of ceviche: white raw fish in acidic marinade. This little opener was a very good one. It’s fresh and intense but has just a small bite of gentle raw fish in it.

Very nicely presented and welcoming to try. I loved the juice, it reminded me of the ceviche I had in the streets of Cusco, Peru.

And finished with a light bite of the fish with an edible flower.

Third AB, we had to send the waiter to ask what it was and found out it’s lamb with pickled eggplant (There’s no description of the AMs on the menu)

Another dish I appreciated very much. It was very balanced, the fatty lamb (a little bit like bacon) over the “meaty” but very refreshing tangy eggplant. Put both of them together and it’s something completely different.

After this beginning I was very excited to taste the rest, it was a rather good start.

4th AM was where things started to be confusing. A salad of Salicorne, salmon eggs and red fruits. I love this vegetable (I just mentioned it in my article about Septime) but this dish was too salty. Salmon eggs – very salty, salicorne – very salty. Not enough red fruits to break the saltiness and overall I think it did not do justice with this great vegetable.

5th AM was even more disappointing. It was a booyabase, fish soup, with a scallop. The soup was thin and tasteless. I wanted to ask for salt but it wasn’t worth it. Even dipping the sour-bread didn’t help. The sad thing about the soup is that before leaving the restaurant I saw the waiters serving this soup to another table and it looked a lot better, thicker and dark red color. I think we got to taste a bad batch.

The scallop inside kept whole with all the gills, liver and all the other organs which are normally not eaten. I liked this change because it wasn’t classic scallop flavor, but I saw some other members in the table trying to remove the black bit. It had a very soft texture.


Encornet, Angélique, Petit pois
Squid, Angelique, Peas (green peas and fava beans)

I like squid and usually these dishes are a success but altogether I think this one wasn’t. First, after reading about the Angelique flower and leaves, I’m pretty sure what we had is the leaves of capucine. Also this green paste was very bitter and I didn’t like it, it reminded me of the watercress jelly I did in Ledoyen and it’s not my favorite.

The creamy white sauce was sour cream or white cheese I’m not sure, I liked it together with the squid and the smokey crumbs.

Unfortunately I left all the bitter green paste on the plate, and Jacqueline left the white cream on the plate as well because she didn’t like it.


Cabillaud, Pomme de terre, Fenouil
Cod, Potato, Fennel

This dish came covered with a massive amount of deep fried dill. It was interesting to taste it deep fried for the first time but I’m not a big fan of dill so it was just too much. The fish was cooked to my liking but generally I don’t like the cod just like this without any interesting sauce (or dip fried as fish and chips). Fish with potatoes is one classic French dish which I generally just don’t like. This dish didn’t change my mind. It was edible but boring

All the dill left in my plate


Veau, Tomate, Jus de citron grillé
Veal, Tomato, Grilled lemon juice

There were three types of tomatoes here, green, red and yellow. The Red and yellow cherry tomatoes were grilled and the green was fresh. Also there were blanched raw almonds and mache (the greens).

Another dish which was just okay. I would be happier to see this dish as an entrée maybe because it was cold and very light like a salad. But nothing to exciting, the grilled lemon was not memorable and nothing about it shined. I was hoping for a “grande finale” in the meat course but that was underwhelming.



A cherry sorbet with two partially cooked cherries. The waiter explained it was made from the cherries with their pits so it’s bitter than usual. For me it was a scope of sorbet, very one note, nice as a palette cleanser.

“Tocino del cielo” – surprise dessert.
It was an almond cookie with salted caramel and a whole egg yolk brulée with sugar on top.

The waiter explained we have to eat it in one bite. I followed the directions and loved the outcome but wished I could eat it more slowly because it finished in one bite. This dessert is very creative and when I ate it I thought it’s too bad the whole meal was not that creative and nicely put together like this one little bite.

Than we got this apricot with Indian candied fennel seeds. Totally redundant to my opinion.

On my way to the toilets I saw there’s a half open kitchen (for the people standing in line to use the toilets) so I came back with my camera

The kitchen Is rather small!

It was not even subtle, we were kicked out of there by 21:30 with a line of dozens of people waiting just above our heads. It felt very uncomfortable. Our table is the one just cleared at the center. I  had to take this picture in a hurry, everyone’s waiting for me to get out of there.

It was probably very unpleasent for all these people who reserved a table for 21:00-21:30 and had to wait in line for 30-60 minutes to get in

But…. French people love waiting in lines so maybe it’s a positive aspect.

The bottom lines here are that first, there’s a technical problem with how they make the reservations of the tables: greedy to book as many tables as possible, even overlapping, not considering the time it takes to eat a 9 course meal and enjoy it. As well as the food, changing daily was very unstable in its level, giving some very memorable nice dishes (ceviche, lamb with eggplant, egg yolk dessert) but some just boring dishes (cod, veal, cherry) and some even a complete failure which apparently was accounted for trying to improve during the night (booyabase). All this with the constantly raising price of the meal which used to be 45 euro not long ago and seemed to increase by 5 euro every few month. Not to mention, we didn’t have any dish made with the Chateaubriand, the best part of the tenderloin cut of beef.

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4 Responses to Le Chateaubriand: The Good, The Bad and The Boring.

  1. Ema Irit says:

    כשהמחיר יקר מצפים להרבה יותר, מכיוון ומצפים כבר מצפים להרבה יותר… וכרמת הציפיה כך גם עלולה להיות רמת האכזבה

  2. Nachman says:

    I love the title. It is a perfect fit for the post. But the only fitting quote from “the good, the bad and the ugly” I could find (for the last photo) is: Tuco: “One bastard goes in, another one comes out. ”

    “great expectations” would have fit too – so from that book:
    “Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”
    – Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

  3. Al says:

    I love the details and quality of foto taken the angelic are called in english nasturium it’s more peppery than biter,the mache is actully purslane and the veal dish.I though you are very critical and rather to discover each dish you said what you don’t like I guess English people are like this.Most of the people are more picky with other than with themself.If you have a great product (fish,meat,veg)why whould you have a sauce or a poach egg.Le chateaubriand is rank in the top 20 best restaurant since 3 years, maybe you are just boared.

    • Mashav says:

      Hi Al
      Thank you for this comment. First of all – I’m not English, I’m Israeli. I am very critical, I admit it. I think it’s a virtue when you are writing a critic. Now to the point: this restaurant being ranked in the 50 best restaurants list is very nice but made my expectations rise. I was underwhelmed with both the food but mostly with a very nasty atmosphere of getting kicked out of the restaurant too fast. 6 courses take their time and you can’t expect us to rush the meal because of the queue outside. It wasn’t even outside, people were standing over us. Not pleasant. I guess we should have gone for the 9PM second seating with no reservations so that we get better attitude. Bummer.

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