We liked Glou and we loved Jaja, so we fully expected to adore Beaucoup, the new restaurant opened by the same trendy team. Beaucoup turned out to be something rather different, however, from its small, quirky older siblings. A large space with sleek, minimalist modern design, Beaucoup has the look of a loft, with its big industrial-style windows.
We were shown right to our table and noticed immediately how reasonable the sound levels were in spite of annoying music being played at a very low level (so you can hear just the drums or the bass) and the fact that we were seated next to a table of around 20 people. I was also grateful that there were none of those ever-so-trendy but usually uncomfortable high tables and stools, just ordinary low tables and comfortable chairs and banquettes. Kudos to the designers.
The menu offers a wide variety of choices: a number of cold-cut platters, featuring everything from culatello di zibello, the ultimate Parma ham, to beef cecina from Spain. Then there is a range of starters and, for the main course, meats cooked a la plancha or on a rotisserie and a selection of seasonal dishes.
Helen chose to start with the beet ravioli with scallops and an orange-carrot reduction. This was a variation on three-star chef Marc Veyrat’s vegetable ravioli, with no pasta
actually involved: slices of the vegetable itself enclose another ingredient, in this case a celeriac remoulade. We both agreed that while all the ingredients were fresh and well cooked and presented, the combination was less than inspiring.
I felt the same way about my Utah Beach oysters with a vinaigrette of fresh ginger and persimmons (for oysters with an amazing
sauce, go across the street to Mary Celeste, but be prepared to endure its snotty service).
Meat-loving Helen uncharacteristically ordered fish, the turbot fillet with endives and a pesto
of fresh herbs. I thought it was quite delicious and well cooked, but she wished she had ordered what I had: suckling pig with French fries and “salad” (half of a lettuce heart with
barely a drop of dressing on it). No problem, because the serving was enormous, in stark contrast to her minimally filled plate, and I was happy to share both my tender, juicy pork – the highlight of the meal – and fries.
We were delighted with the wine, a mellow biodynamic 2011 Pic Saint-Loup (€27) from Mas Foulaquier in Languedoc.
We coordinated our desserts: I ordered the chocolate one and she took the orange-themed one, since we thought they would complement each other nicely. That they did. The chocolate
tart had a lovely shortbread crust, but the filling wasn’t as dark as we would have liked. I loved the chocolate ice cream that came with it, but it certainly wasn’t chocolate sorbet as indicated on the menu. The other dessert consisted of light, crispy filo pastry with a lovely orange cream, mandarin-orange slices
and an orange sorbet.
There is really nothing I can fault Beaucoup on, except maybe that it was too faultless. The youthful serving stuff was unfailingly charming and professional. The restaurant is handsome and comfortable, with low noise levels and quality food. It has the great advantages in Paris of being open every day and being able to accommodate large groups, a rarity here. The food, however, while perfectly executed, lacked that touch of genius or eccentricity that makes you fall in love with a restaurant and want to return again and again. It’s a definite but lukewarm “like.”