Goutons Voir is what they call the Bistro du coin. A Parisian like street restaurant which you walk in for a quick bite, whether lunch or dinner. It's a place to try.
Owned by Ziad Rahme, same owner of Tinto in Uruguay street, Gouton Voir located in the Sodeco area is very simple and classic. Look around you, you will see wooden tables and chairs deposited one next to the other in a 30 to 45 persons area, a white brick wall, a simple wine cupboard and that is all.
The ambiance is dark broken by warm yellow lights and well distributed candles. I am not a fan of dark ambiances and would have preferred it to fresher showing more of the white ambiance.
In this small room, no cigars are allowed, and that is a very positive point and cigarettes are banned on Sundays. While discovering the menu I noticed a simple soft background music that accompanies the visitors during their culinary experience without it being annoying. On the walls you can read some phrases and announcements from the specialties, the cigar ban, the Sunday free-smoking and other similar stuff. Let's start the trip.
The menu is divided in several sections; first, second, third, second and a half and sauces. That was the first time I see such divisions and I liked it. Simple and straight to the point. The second and a half are side orders of this French, simple Italian voice of dishes. The menu has two sides, the first for dishes has the “Goutons Voir” slogan on, and “si le vin est bon” on the other side for the wine choice. I ordered the black angus Cote de Boeuf with pepper sauce, mustard puree and lemon risotto that is served for one person and not shared like all other restaurants in town and a warm goat cheese tart with rocket salad. And tasted from my wife the salade landaise: Foie gras, oeuf de cail, canard, gesiers, lettuce, toast, mesclun, confit onions.
What I noticed during the night is that they have a “sauce” problem, or even everything that is liquid.
To start with we were served some nice warm crunchy bread and a mix of oil and balsamic vinegar that I didn't like at all. The oil quality was so fade and the balsamic vinegar was so acid. The meat sauces later on were all not good at all. I tried three meat sauces to try and like one but unfortunately inedible; too light, too watery or too fat and heavy. The french Fries are delicious, the Risotto is very nice and the idea of serving it as a side order is very good.?The Pasta is a bit over al dente but very tasty and correct.
All meat dishes are served in white board wood and cote de boeuf on an old dark wooden plancha. Reaching the desserts, we ordered the Pain Perdu that is too sweet since the caramel dressing covers the taste of the bread itself and the Chocolate fondant is very specially presented but is too liquid. The item I liked the most is the giant pink macaron.
I don't know how to explain it, but the restaurant is very normal. Normal too a certain extend that I won't feel like coming back again. Lots of dishes are tasty, the waiter is fine, the management is caring but as I said and not finding the words to explain it, I didn't feel any plus, anything interesting to make me want to come back to try it again. I don't want to say that the restaurant is boring, but unfortunately thats the fact. I would change the lighting, fix the sauces and specially the desserts since they are the closing and the thing you'll remember the most, buy some wine carafes, add candles and make the service quicker.