Metro Station: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Line 1)
Type of cuisine: Italian
Days & hours of operation: Open every day of the week from noon to 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Credit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express
Findi is located across the street from the American Cathedral on avenue George V, one of the most prestigious streets of Paris. The restaurant is decorated in a modern-classical motif, with large mirrors, gold-painted walls with an antique finish, potted plants, crimson curtains, comfortable, fabric-covered chairs, and, in one room, a fireplace mantel supporting a massive pediment with immense pyramids. While we dined, bossa nova and jazz played over the sound system.
We had made our reservation though a Web-based reservation service called lafourchette.com, which offered four beverages (apéritif, wine, mineral water, and coffee) and a three-course dinner for the inclusive price of 59€ per person. This seemed to us to be a reasonable price to pay, given the location of the restaurant and the choices (four starters, four mains, and four desserts) that the menu offered.
I requested a Bellini à la Pêche for my apéritif. I learned later that a Bellini is a popular cocktail that originated in Venice. It is made with sparkling wine (usually Prosecco) and peach purée. A slightly-sweet beverage, it is quite refreshing. My partner chose the Coupe de Moscato, a sweet white wine from the province of Asti.
For the starter, I opted for the Tartare de Noix de Saint-Jacques à la Vanille et Citron Vert. The waiter served a plate containing a small green salad and a mound of fresh, chopped scallops flavored with vanilla and lime. Generally eschewing raw meats and raw seafood, this dish was new to me, but I found its flavor and texture entirely satisfying.
My partner decided on the Chiffonade de Bresaola et sa Mousse de Chèvre Frais. Bresaola is air-dried, salted beef that comes from the Lombardy region. Dark red in color and finely sliced, it was served with a cream made from goat cheese. The beef was sweet, slightly musty, and surprisingly filling.
The appearance on the menu of Raviolis Noirs au Homard, Bisque de Gingembre, was my opportunity to try yet another Italian dish that I had never sampled. These were large raviolis colored jet-black with squid ink, stuffed with lobster, cooked al dente, and served in ginger-flavored bisque in a wide-brimmed bowl. A small serving dish of finely grated Parmesan cheese was provided to sprinkle over the ravioli à volonté.
My partner was tempted by the Osso Bucco à l’Orange et son Risotto Safrané. She received a generous portion of unctuous veal in a thick, textured, flavorful sauce. She was disappointed with the “risotto” that was served alongside. Rather than the rich, creamy rice dish that she was expecting, she was served a standard, fluffy, lightly perfumed rice. The Osso Bucco, however, was perfectly cooked. The sauce was particularly appealing – it was thick, chunky with bits of cooked carrot, and slightly sweet with the flavor of orange. A thin slice of orange was served atop the rice mound that accompanied the veal.
The menu offered a choice of red or white wine. I requested the Orvietto Blanc and my partner the Merlot del Trentino. Orvietto is an Italian wine region located in Umbria and Lazio in central Italy. The pale-yellow wine had a fragrant, fruity bouquet and a slightly bitter citrus flavor that I enjoyed. My partner also enjoyed her Merlot del Trentino, a fruity red wine with notes of chocolate from the province of Trentino in North East Italy.
A basket of bread rolls was served alongside. We poured Bio Alba olive oil (from the Calabria region of the Italian peninsula) onto our plates and dipped morsels of bread into the fruity-tasting liquid. My partner also indulged in the balsamic vinegar from Modena that was also bottled by Bio Alba. Delicious!
For dessert, we each ordered the Tiramisu classique. The waiter served us a roughly 4” by 3” slice of Tiramisu, a two-layered dessert standing about 1” high consisting of a top layer of cream (made of mascarpone cheese) and a bottom layer of coffee-imbued cake, all resting on a squiggle of coffee-flavored syrup. A superb way to end a fine Italian meal!
The service was friendly and helpful. The waiter expressed concern that my partner did not finish her rice, and was pacified by her explanation that she wanted to save room for dessert.
The bill for two persons came to 118€.
Tom Reeves has been a confirmed Francophile since he first traveled to France in 1975. A native of northern California, he moved to France permanently in 1992. Reeves’ love of French language and culture inspired him to create Discover Paris!, a travel planning service that caters to Americans interested in cultural travel to Paris. His book, Paris Insights – An Anthology, has been called “the kind of insider’s view of the French capital…that first or even second time visitors pine for.” He publishes a monthly newsletter entitled Paris Insights about history, culture, and contemporary life in the City of Light, and posts daily information about the French capital on Facebook.