The Mr. T at the trendy Paris restaurant of the same name is not a bulked-up wrestler with a warrior’s hairstyle and gold chains, but a rather petit Japanese chef, Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, who is scarcely visible above the countertop in the open kitchen at the front of the restaurant as he puts together tasty morsels for his customers.
I use the word “morsels” because the dishes were not exactly copious. They were, however, very tasty, and the extremely delicious, crusty bread with sesame seeds helped to make up for any lack of volume.
The cozy, charming little restaurant with dark-wood Scandinavian furnishings and an exposed stone wall is made even cozier by the candles on every table.
The menu was full of temptations, but my friend Perry (those of you who have been reading Paris Update for some time will remember his column “Perry’s Music Picks”) and I finally made our choices and agreed to share 50-50.
I chose the Oreo foie gras for one starter. Perry wrinkled up his nose at the thought of those highly artificial, “creme”-filled cookies, but luckily Mr. T does not use the real thing, instead making his own, only slightly sweet chocolate wafers and replaces the creme with foie gras. There was very little of the latter, however, to the point where the flavor of the chocolate overwhelmed the small amount of filling. Too bad; it would’ve been great if the foie gras had come through.
The other, completely different starter was a pair of mini-tacos filled with calamari (cooked to a T), tomatoes and avocado with a spicy sauce. They were delicious.
Of the two main courses, the most satisfying (and filling) was the faux filet (sirloin steak) topped with confit red peppers and dotted with a nice strong horseradish. On the side was a dab of spicy chorizo sauce. We both scarfed down our half of this dish with gusto.
The other main was “burnt” (it wasn’t really) mackerel, which also had dots on top. It sat on a bed of baby vegetables (broccoli, green beans and zucchini) and had a little pool of sesame and brown sugar sauce on the side. The only disappointment here was the burrata, which came in only a tiny dab and was hardly recognizable as the crème de la crème of mozzarella.
Next we had the cheese course: a lovely aged Comté served with a spicy mango sauce, this time a really, really tiny dab. It was the perfect foil for the cheese, and I wished for more of it.
We finished with a spectacular cheesecake, a simple, back-to-basics New York-style cheesecake. It came with a wonderful mousse of orange and carrot, for once in satisfactory quantity. We loved it.
The servers were extremely pleasant, but Mr. T was rather self-effacing. When I passed by him in the hallway coming back from the WC, he flattened himself against the wall, facing it like a naughty child. He has nothing to feel guilty about, except perhaps one thing. Please, Mr. T, be a little more generous!