“Festive” is the best word I can think of to describe a meal I recently shared with three friends at Edgar, the restaurant of a new hotel of the same name in Paris’s garment district, the Sentier.
The setting made a good first impression with its blue walls broken up by wood paneling, 1950s-style furnishings, discreet lighting from shiny modern light fixtures, and what appeared to be blowups of 1950s advertising posters showing ladies in girdles and pointy bras. Everyone in the large dining room seemed to be laughing and having a good time.
I didn’t know much about it, except that it was new and was supposed to be good, so I was surprised when I saw that the menu listed nearly only fish and seafood. The exceptions were an aged sirloin steak from Norman beef for two (our neighbors at the next table ordered it, and it looked fabulous) and grilled Basque blood sausage.
The menu recommended sharing three dishes among two people, which meant that we should order six. Debbie and Dennis, however, had had a big lunch at my all-time favorite restaurant, Spring, and said they couldn’t possibly eat much, so we only ordered five. Even that turned out to be far too much.
Soon after we ordered, the table started piling up with dish after dish, not only those we had ordered, but also a big plate of excellent French fries and two dishes of nicely cooked
vegetables. These were extras that came with the hot dishes.
Three out of four of us voted for the scallops, served on the shell with a dab of creamy
sauce made with the fish juices, as the best dish of the evening, but not being a particular fan
of scallops, I preferred the creamy burrata with poutargue (dried fish roe).
Everything we ordered was excellent, however. The smoked herring had a super-fresh, clean
flavor; the tasty, non-greasy fried calamari came with a delicious homemade tartar sauce;
and the mussels were cooked with bits of chorizo. I loved those crispy fries and couldn’t stop munching on them.
There was so much food, however, that we let the server clear the table before we had finished everything. We were too full to even think about dessert, but in the interest of this review, we forced ourselves.
And we were very glad that we did. After careful consideration of Debbie’s allergy to nuts, we chose the rice pudding and the “écume tiède chocolat caramel, banane, crumble glace
à l’italienne maison.” We explained to the waitress about the allergy to “noix,” and she promised us that there would be none on the rice pudding. When it came, it had hazelnuts on top! The waitress had probably understood “walnuts” for “noix,” although the word can mean nuts in general, but Debbie was good-natured about it (luckily, it is not a life-and-death matter in her case) and simply
avoided the crunchy hazelnuts on the creamy, flavorful rice pudding. In fact, they made a fabulous addition to it.
The other dessert was a triumph. It was served in a mug with the warm, foamy chocolate sauce on top and the cold homemade ice cream on the bottom. In between were chunks of banana and crunchy crumble. I wish I were eating it right now.
All of this, plus a 50-centiliter carafe of a fine Petit Chablis, cost only €126, or €31.50 per person.
A word about the service: provided by a number of different waiters and waitresses, it was unfailingly charming, attentive and efficient.
I have only one complaint about Edgar: it was too noisy, but in a way that was a part of its good buzz. I am looking forward to going back very soon.