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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Patou | No Bistro St. Tropez

After having pleasant experiences at Bistro St. Tropez, I decided to try out Chef/Owner Patrice Rames' other restaurant, Patou. The menu's are quite similar, in keeping with flavors of the French Riviera. Unfortunately, I think that Patou operates mainly as a bar and not as a restaurant. Arriving there for dinner on a Friday night at 8pm, there was only one other party in the 6000 square foot restaurant. Immediately, I got nervous. While all the other restaurants along Market St. in Old City were bustling with customers, Patou sat empty. Unfortunately, now I know why. I was excited to try the Crab Napoleon, but instead found the dish almost inedible. I don't know if the pastry cream had gone bad, or the acid from the fruit caused it to turn, but instead of a sweet custardy cream taste, it reminded me more of something that had spoiled. The disappointment continued with the Paella. The shrimp and mussels were bland, the safron was muted, and in all it didn't taste like Paella at all to me. It seemed more like the chef had thrown some rice and seafood with a couple dashes of paprika into a pot and let any trace of flavor leech out. Needless to say, I won't be going there again. Map it!


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