Located at the end of the Bay, Amarres is a fresh brasserie concept on the water shores where every detail reminds you of the original Couqley restaurant
situated in The Alleyway
of the Gemmayze NightLife district.
I loved the decoration. Well lit interior, cozy ambiance with some minimal details making the restaurant relaxing and beautiful to see. I loved the huge centered wooden table that can seat up to 12 persons positioned under the large metallic lamp. I adored the metallic tables of the restaurant, lightly brushed, thick and completed by big screws. I liked the cutlery, the table cloth reminding you of couqley, the table ware and the wine glasses; typically french, and the presentation of the dishes "A la Francaise".
The menu is divided into many sections but a minimal choice is each: Starters, salads, principal, les plats de la mer, from France with love (moules mariniere et frites) and the Weekday lunch formula. How can a menu be written half in French and half in English? That I honestly didn't understand: Titles, descriptions, dish names are half/half. One language should be chosen and translated into English for English educated international clientele of the Bay.
As I was scrolling through the menu, and noticing that the choices are limited but covering all desires, the waiter comes to announce that 4 of the plates were not available for the night. No confit, no steak tartar, no duck... That angered us a bit as nothing was left to be taken. But anyway the quality of the food covered on those minor problems.
The night's specials were: tartare Saumon, tartare de bare (loup de mere), sashimi de ton and Croque - Monsieur, and a few other. All are written over the walls but our table was too far and couldn't read any of the propositions. We were seated at the very end of the restaurant, a perfect spot, but unfortunately in front of the wines wall where waiters came every second to pick up a bottle ordered by the customers. In the process they would bang into our chairs since the space was restraint.
The waiter made of our night. Mouhammad is very joyful, happy, passionate and polite young man. He perfected his job making our evening as pleasant as possible to the extent we forget about the missing menu items, the restaurant heat and especially the noise. Yes, this restaurant is very noisy adding to the vent noise, clumsy waiters and kitchen staff who decide to break ice-cubes during dinner time, or clean the plates or arrange cupboards. Sounds coming from everywhere with an echoing effect that hurts the ears. It looks like a signature as Couqley has the same problem.
- Cote de boeuf to share. Perfect meat quality (Has the same taste as Couqley)
- Duo de Saumon. Contains an over powering taste of onions and could not continue my plate even though the basilica adds a very nice taste to the fresh salmon.
- I tried the foie gras from my wife's plate and appreciated it.
- The Chicken Cesar with shrimps from the person beside me had too much garlic that we all smelled from the four corners of the table.
- French fries served in a trendy way, a metallic pot making them stand one next to other.
- Only one dessert was ordered, from the today's choices as none are written on the menu. They proposed that night: Tarte du jour, three pots of cream, Ice cream, Paris Brest and others.
- The chocolate tart was delicious.
What I disliked:
- The water plastic Sannine bottle. A French brasserie always has glass bottles.
- The restaurant noise
- The limited menu choices
What I liked:
- They serve Diet-Coke
- The Victorinox meat knifes
- The metallic fries pot
- The decoration and overall brasserie ambiance
- The food quality but may not the taste much on that night. It is exactly what happened during my last visit to Couqley. Something is changing or maybe I have a feeling of a "Laissez-aller" in the kitchen, taste is not always the same.
With some fine tuning, Amarres can be one of the best restaurants on the Bay.