Whilst reading some french food blogs in search of some good restaurants, I stumbled across a list of some ‘new age’ restaurants – those which have recreated traditional french cuisine with a youthful new flair. And that is how we decided to go to J’Go from this list, and also since it was the closest one to where we were staying in Paris.
Conveniently located at the beginning of a strip of boutique stores, J’Go is both a restaurant and casual bar to grab some drinks. Although it is relatively empty when we arrive (6pm-ish on a Friday night), we are advised we have to sit outdoors as all the indoor seating has been reserved.
Tonight, two of us opt for the Formule J’Go, which is their 3-course set menu for €36 whilst the other two opt for a la carte. To start us off is the usual complimentary bread basket, but this time we are also given a jar of capsicums soaked in vinegar. Thankfully I like vinegar and capsicum, but this should either be eaten with the bread or in small portions. It is extremely sour (as would be expected), but is definitely an interesting side dish I’ve never had before.
Lou Pastifret de noir de Bigorre et sa salade melangee / Salad with Pork Pate (part of Formule J’Go set menu)
Following this came the salad as part of the set course. We are presented with a bowl of leafy greens covered in olive oil with hints of vinegar, along with a jar of pork pate which is scooped out by our waitress. For this, I sliced up the pork pate into small bits and mixed it into the greens. The greens are quite oily already and the pork pate is also very fatty (you can see the congealed oil/lard) – this is perhaps one of the more flavourful albeit oily/unhealthy salads I’ve ever had. Regardless, it is delicious and a bit of fat does us well in the cold winter.
La piece d’Agneau fermier du Quercy du moment es ses haricots Tarbais / Lamb with lentils (part of Formule J’Go set menu)
Next comes the mains. My dish is presented quite plainly – a plate of lentils with pieces of lamb placed on top. The lamb is cooked to a good succulent consistency but I find the flavours lacking a bit in the actual meat. The lentil tastes like baked beans in a gravy sauce and actually holds more flavour than the lamb. Overall, this main is rather average tasting and nothing special.
Magret de canard en cocotte aux champignons / Duck breast with mushrooms in a casserole – €31
My other friends order a duck and lamb main from the a la carte menu. The French seem to love their duck and they sure know how to do it well. Here, the duck is served in large meaty pieces in a pot containing the original juices and sauces it was cooked in, with a side of potato mash. The duck is medium rare, juicy and extremely tender. It tasted best when sliced into thin pieces and dipped into the sauce, which is similar to a garlic and mushroom sauce. The potato mash is also the most creamy mash I have ever had; it is extremely smooth and obviously has high amounts of butter and cream in it. I also find the mash has slight hints of milk tea flavour, which just adds to the interesting flavours of this dish.
The other main which my friend ordered was another lamb dish. Cooked in either a broth or stock, it had a natural lamb taste and was very tender. It was served in a pot still containing the stock which was absolutely delicious when dipping pieces of bread into it. My only one criticism was that it was a bit salty, so it should be eaten slowly and definitely with bread!
Gratin de poire a la reglisse / Pear Gratin €9
Pain Perdu d’Huguette / Bread soaked in custard and fried in brown butter until caramelised €8
And now the part we’ve all been waiting for, dessert! As part of the Formule J’Go set menu, we are able to choose two desserts off the dessert menu (the prices quoted are a la carte). The pear dessert is a cool temperature but served on a warm plate. It is soft and served in a creamy, milky sauce – a delicious and interesting take on pear which I have never tried before. The bread dessert is warm with a crunchy exterior (burnt sugar) and soft interior. It tastes a lot like bread and butter pudding, but in bread form. After this (and other meals), I have come to the conclusion that the French definitely do their sweets a lot better than their savoury food.
Overall, J’Go is a delicious restaurant and although not serving up traditional French cuisine, it provides a modern approach with new, interesting flavours. It is quite popular with a good atmosphere (it was completely crowded when we left) and the service we received was fantastic (the waitress attempted to her best ability to translate the menu for us). If you happen to be shopping or staying around this area in Paris, I would highly recommend you come here over just any random street bistro as the quality of food is definitely higher here.
6, rue Clément (Marché Saint-Germain) 6th
Tél: 01 43 26 19 02