Wednesday, June 1, 2016

L'Eveil in Metz, France

The search of the apartment is still on! Honestly, it's not as easy as I thought it would be. Either there is no parking, rooms are too small, the kitchen is not functional, and etc ... On this afternoon, we visited an apartment wherein the previous renters were packing their stuff in boxes. Gahhh, there were boxes everywhere! Plus there was an unpleasant smell in the air. Boo. It was hard. But it's harder when the owners look at us with hopeful faces and we have to turn them down. I've turned down 3 persons so far and it's not getting any easier. But I just have to do it - just like removing a band aid in one move.

I've been wanting to try the restaurant, L'Eveil, for quite some time now, but there was always something in the way. And it's also in a pedestrian-only area. So, it's not always easy to find a nearby parking space on a Saturday evening in the city. But I put my foot down - we're eating in L'Eveil tonight and that's it!

The restaurant is managed by a couple. The woman is in charge of the kitchen and is Cambodian and her husband is French and handles the customers. A French-Asian combo - the story of my life!

Before anything else - never forget to reserve a table. This restaurant has lots of regular customers and is quite popular.

On our way to the restaurant, I got a call from the owner telling me that he had a bit of a problem. His chef wife was in the emergency hospital with their daughter. My first thought was "I hope everything is alright but oh no, no L'Eveil tonight". But no no, rest assured, he just asked if it was possible to come a little bit later. We went ahead to find a parking space (we luckily found a spot beside the Cathedral), but took our time to go to the restaurant.

When we arrived at the restaurant, the chef wasn't in yet and so the owner, Jeff, offered us a complimentary glass of white wine (from Gascogne?) for our aperitif. It was sweet and smooth, perfect for this cool summer evening.

I originally wanted to try their Asian Fondue / Hotpot, but unfortunately it was too late when I called to reserve. It's safe to call about 3 days in advance - to reserve the table and the fondue. I was disappointed, but thankfully their menu offers a number of wonderful dishes.

Duo Saumon et Haddock ( 11 Euros) - green salad, smoked salmon, and haddock

The haddock was replaced with small shrimps and fish roe. This was alright.

Fleur de Bananier en Salade / Banana Blossom Salad (8 Euros) - banana blossoms, soya, chicken and basil 

Obviously influenced by the chef's origins, this reminded us of the Vietnamese Banana Blossom Salad we've had in the past.

SO had the Child Menu which consisted of Fish and Spinach Nuggets and a Potato Galette and a scoop of ice cream for dessert (8 Euros).

She happily ate almost everything (salad excluded) from her plate without even giving us a glance. This doesn't happen often so it was good evening.

Trilogie de la Mer / Sea Trilogy (24 Euros) 
-filets de rouget au gingembre / ginger red mullet filet
-coquille St. Jacques au safran / saffron scallops
-gambas a la plancha / prawns a la plancha

with grilled eggplant, vegetable gratin, and rocket salad

My main dish was very delicious. The red mullet fish had lots of tiny fish bones, but overall everything was quite tasty and flavorful. Although the vegetable gratin was very good and just melted in the mouth, I was a bit surprised it was served with fish. I personally would have preferred a cup of rice, but you will hear no complaints from me here.

ABC (24 Euros)
-cote d'agneau, miel et citron / lamb chops with honey and lemon
-filet de boeuf, champignon du jour / beef filet with mushrooms of the day
-magret de canard au tamarin / duck filet with tamarind sauce

with grilled zucchini, vegetable gratin, and green salad

MR was very satisfied by his plate, making me almost jealous and want to switch. The combination of honey, lemon, and the lamb chop is terrific, but the duck with tamarind is simply exceptional! The only downside of this plate might be the beef filet which was a bit too chewy for us and didn't quite shine as the other two dishes.

Naomi Crumble (6.20 Euros) - rhubarb crumble and vanilla ice cream

At this point of the meal I was too full to eat anything else, but MR still had space for a nice crumble to end his meal.

L'Eveil has its up and down points, but there were definitely more positive points. And we are definitely coming back for that Asian Fondue someday, hopefully sooner than later. The food was delicious, a bit expensive (we paid 81.20 Euros for 2 adults and 1 child) though, but beyond that, the friendliness and warm welcome by the owner was truly one of the highlights of our evening. There is no doubt in my mind that is why regular customers keep coming back.

For contact details, please click here.


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