You know how sometimes there are places you have been hearing about for years? As in, literally years. But somehow you just never managed to get there? Well, Chez Janou is one of those places for me. Or it was. Consider it now done thanks to an invitation from a friend to join her and her visiting parents for the evening.
Something of an institution, Chez Janou is famous for its chocolate mousse. And apparently the tourists have heard about it. The place was rammed! Not somewhere to choose for a romantic dinner if you actually care about what your company is saying.
As for the mousse, it was super rich and heavy in texture. Not so much a chocolate mousse as a really heavy chocolate cream. They bring the tureen to you, and plop you out a portion for the table. It was delicious but definitely a small doses dessert for anyone but the most committed chocolate lover.
Ambiance – 3 – if a bustling bistro feel where you can hardly hear yourself think (let alone what your company is saying) is what you’re after, this is a place for you!
Food – 4 – solid traditional French fare without any frills. The chocolate mousse was very good and very rich, but best for the chocolate lovers of the world.
Drinks – 2 – with nothing from the south on the wine menu, it was impossible to find anything full-bodied enough to satisfy one of our American visitors.
Service – 2 – our waiter did the best he could but was clearly run off his feet, the poor thing! There were long waits between courses.
Overall – 3 – a solid choice for a meal with out-of-town visitors if you’re wanting to show them standard French fare, Parisian economy of space and service that lives up to the cliché.