We booked La Bonne Chaise through the La Fourchette website (a thrifty way to get more for your euro when dining out often) as it had good reviews from many other diners. However, when we arrived we discovered it was recently under new management and was consequently rather quiet; good or bad under new management? Who knew? And who knows what we shall find?
So for better or for worse we decided to stay, and were also informed that due to the rules of the new management, La Fourchette discounts would not be honoured, a little irritated as it was not exactly like they were turning people away, we accepted her offer of an aperitif and an amuse-bouche (which incidentally for most of us at the table was pretty awful and filled us with concern for things to come).
They appeared to operate on a prix fixe basis, with a few options incurring an additional charge. Two courses were €26, three €30, and I assume one was off limits. The house wine was about €6 a glass so fairly reasonably priced. We sampled a good half of the menu between us, I ordered the salmon gravlax, as did a friend of mine, whilst the scallop carpaccio and fresh ravioli also made an appearance on our table.
The gravlax was actually delicious, a relief after the amuse-bouche they served us, it was delicately flavoured and went down a treat, which is more than I can say for the scallop carpaccio which was harsh and badly dressed in comparison. The ravioli, though perhaps the “safe” option, was quite good too without being too rich.
The mains were a little less exciting but all-rounders. I ordered the lamb shank, and my friends ordered the dish of the day, duck “magret.” The lamb and the duck were both fine, the lamb fell away from the bone easily and was very tender.
I cannot help but feel a bit of Englishness creep up on me though as it seemed very bizarre to me to be served a lamb shank swimming in gravy (and I mean swimming!) and accompanied only by mashed potato, and certainly no mint sauce.
Normally I don’t miss English food in France but it struck me as overly simplistic. I was informed the fish was of similar standard, technically fine but not anything to sing and dance about.
The highlight perhaps was meeting the chef, having so little people to cook for, he spent a lot of time talking to the diners and asking us what we thought. So I wonder how La Bonne Chaise will cope over the months to come under new management, I probably will not be making a return trip.
Address: 3 Rue Malassis, 75015 Paris
Metro: M12, Convention
Hours: For lunch, 12.00 to 14.30, for dinner, 19.00 to 22.30