Senior reviews Parisian restaurant from 2023 Spring break trip

Sitting in the main square surrounded by caricaturists and live musicians, Montmartre hill is a calm area outside the bustling streets of Paris to take in beautiful scenery while enjoying a meal. La Mère Catherine, a French Bistro in the old town of Montmartre, is the perfect serene spot in the middle of a tourist town.

During spring break of 2023, the D128 orchestras and winds went on a trip to France. Throughout this trip the group ate dinner together in various restaurants, one of which was La Mere Catherine.

Since we were a group of over 170 people, we were spread out throughout the different dining areas of the restaurant. I was in the central garden in the middle of the town square. The other seating areas were a back garden and two dining areas within the restaurant. Each table had two vases with flowers and small glasses for water. It was a very pleasant experience and though we were in the center of the square, I didn’t feel overly watched.

Our server was always timely with bringing water to our table and made conversation with our table while being the only server in the garden. With the large group and regular dinner service still going on, there should have been at least one more person helping him.

We started our dinner with french onion soup. The not too salty broth with a grand amount of onions and ripped up pieces of whole wheat bread were a great combination. They were only missing some stretchy cheese on top to pull the dish together. The soup was served very hot even with the large group being served at once.

Our next dish was rolled chicken breast served with baked polenta. There was a green oily sauce between the layers of chicken and over the top, but to my surprise it did not add to the flavor or to the moisture of the chicken. The polenta was as good as polenta can get. Steam was coming off of the block of cornmeal which added to the visual appeal of the plate. As we were extremely tired from the day of walking through Paris and performing in La Madeleine, we finished the main course in record times.

The dessert was the star of the show in my eyes. The Millefeuille Mère Catherine, a three puff pastry layered custard filled masterpiece, was beyond perfect. The stiff yet light texture of the custard mixed with the hundreds of little flaky layers in the pastry made an unbelievable impression on our newly added french dessert knowledge. The macarons and the crepes, which were on every street corner, could not compare to the Millefeuille, a dessert with influence from Marie-Antoine Carême, a 19th century pastry chef.

Overall I would rate La Mère Catherine a 9/10. It hits all the marks when it comes to a vacation restaurant. The only thing that could have made it better was if the center had a view of the rest of Paris; which could not really happen because of the many buildings in the way of this view but it would have been nice. The restaurant is a must for anyone stopping for dinner in Montmartre, Paris.