Pre Catelan

Route Suresnes, Le Bois de Boulogne, Paris, 75016, France

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Pré Catelan has a lovely setting in the woody Bois de Boulougne on the west side of Paris. Chef Frederich Anton used to cook at the peerless Robuchon, and so certainly should have the pedigree to produce fine food. Sadly, this promising setting did not deliver.

Bread is made on the premises, and is a pleasant choice of cereal or brown rolls (17/20). An amuse-bouche of a mousse of peas with a garlic foam clearly had chicken fond to try and boost the taste of the dish, but ended up merely unclear in its flavours (16/20). A ravioli of langoustines had good quality langoustines but pasta that was slightly hard, served with a bouillon of olive oil perfumed with pepper that had no depth of flavour (16/20). Sea bass was seriously overcooked, coated with rather low quality Caviar d'Aquitaine on one piece and sesame seeds on the other. The toppings overwhelmed the taste of the bass which was itself very ordinary. The waiter at least saw I was not enjoying it and offered an alternative. I chose sole, which was cooked correctly, but served with a really disappointing sludgy sauce of soya jus and spices mixed in with fresh mango and butter (14/20).

Cheese was fine, but I was still recovering from the shock of the fish (18/20 for the cheese). It is from Alleosse, a very good supplier. Dessert rescued the meal to some extent. A pretty presentation of apple puree encased in a sphere of glucose (made a little like glass-blowers blow a bowl) suffered from a casing that was too thick to really be enjoyable though a pleasant apple mousse (17/20). Best was a coffee dessert of sabayon, ganache, brulee and creme glacee, very well executed and with good coffee flavour (19/20). 

Overall, though this was a grave disappointment, especially at the price.

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User comments

  • S Lloyd

    Was there at the beginning of the year, while quicly stepping by Paris. Liked it. Not too sure if it deserves the 3* (to each their own about those stars): in my personal book, this is a solid 2*. The food was great but did not blow me away enoughly to deserve my 3* appreciation. Yes, I'll go back.

  • Corrie Snell

    I enjoyed the food quite well, but really want to comment on the service. I understand that a restaurant is awarded three stars on a combination of food and service quality, maybe other points too... They don't escort ladies to the restroom. They didn't take the time to re-fold or replace my napkin while I was away at the restroom. They served our next course (there were only two of us) while I was away at the restroom (they did leave my dish covered). I had to request that my empty water glass be re-filled. And, most shockingly, while our desserts were being served, the waiter holding the tray "tisked" in disgust and exclaimed out loud when his fellow waiter grabbed the plate with the "apple" dessert (see Andy's photo of the green sphere) too quickly and it rolled off center...nearly off the plate. Very unprofessional of the waiter holding the tray. Good food, nice ambiance and a beloved dining companion makes this experience a wonderful memory nonetheless.

  • Jayne Henry

    My friend and I ate at Le Pre Catelan in September 2008. We had the full degustation menu for the season. It was certainly not disappointing in any fashion. We started with similar bread rolls and the pea mousse/soup but the flavours to me were distinct and I was really looking for more when I finished. Our sardines brought 3 different ways. Lovely. I do not particularly like sardines but I must say, I tried all dishes presented and enjoyed the experience. The scallops (4 ways) - magnifique. The langoustines - as above. The sweetbread - as above The desserts - as above. The fromage - as above. The petit fours - divine. I could list everything I had and bore you I am sure, but the best food experience I have ever had, I had here. The service was impeccable and what I would have expected. The wine... what can I say... the sommilier, Boris, made perfect choices. The white burgundy was certainly a hit, despite my declaration that I don't particularly go for white wine, i would much prefer red. He asked for my trust and he certainly delivered. Overall, the greatest culinary experience in my life to date. I am looking forward to returning.

  • Donald Graham

    Well, negative criticism is all too easy, and then you can just say anyone who disagrees just doesn't have your refined taste. I have eaten at the Pre Catalan perhaps 25 times over the last ten years, and maybe twice there was some little think that was not quite right. The staff and service are really amazing, even for this level of professionalism. They always remember me, often remember what I had on a previous visit, and frequently enter into quite interesting conversation with their guests. I can distinctly remember each individual meal, most pleasantly those taken outside in warm weather, where the garden is as close to paradise as anyone has the right to expect on earth.

  • Denis

    All the food was well presented and appreciated by our party of 8. We spread ourselves across the menu - Lobster, langoustine, sea bass, turbot, pigeon, marrow bones, but my choice of sweetbread challenged me (never had before and will not rush to have again; hey nothing ventured, nothing gained). The only downs were the missing touches such as not conducting lady guests to the loo.

  • russ

    i thought the food was incredible and the service sublime---on of the best meals i had in paris--im not sure what restaurant you ate in, maybe just an off day