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Jul 24, 2001 10:51 AM

3 Paris Restaurants

  • c

I'm back to Paris next week and tried to get a reservation at La Regalade, but they're closed until 8/20. Can anyone give me info on the following restaurants...Le Pamphlet, L'Ambassade d'Auvergne and Au Bascon? Thanks.

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  1. Here's an excerpt from my 1991 journal, which means that the prices I mention are way out of date...

    .we ended up at l'Ambassade d'Auvergne -- a warm, pretty place with dark wood-trimmed walls and low, beamed ceilings and lots of flowers and candlelight. The maître d’ wasn’t sure what to make of us when we asked if they accepted American Express and he said, “Non. Visa seulement.” We only had the one credit card and we weren’t sure we had enough French currency to pay for a meal, as we’d neglected to change a substantial amount yet. So there we stood in the restaurant foyer, studying la carte and trying to be inconspicuous about counting our money. We decided we could make it and we were graciously shown to a table by the front window.

    We’d based our selection of this restaurant on a dish described in the Patricia Wells book: "aligot -- whipped potatoes, garlic, and white cantal cheese, brought to the table in a saucepan and given a final grand flourish with a whisk for the diner’s appreciation before being served."

    For an appetizer, we shared a delicious, tangy, and quite generous salad of warm shredded cabbage and lardons in a vinaigrette dressing. Next, I had a main dish of confit de canard (duck, cooked and preserved in its own fat -- tastes much better than it sounds), with sliced potatoes au gratin and some braised vegetables. Jimmy really wanted to have the aligot, so he ordered one of the two dishes on the menu which specifically included aligot: either saucisses d’Auvergne (sausages from the Auvergne region) or pieds de porc (pig’s feet). Always the adventurer, he ordered the pig’s feet and later regretted it only slightly. It was a fairly fatty, gelatinous dish and there were lots of little bones, but the meat was smoky and tasty. In any case, the aligot (enough for both of us) made the dinner more than worthwhile. Certainly, neither of us left hungry.

    We shared a half-bottle of white wine and got out for under 300F. Not too bad. And we had enough cash left to take a taxi back to our hotel.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Dena
      Paula Sindberg

      Can't comment on the prices (because I truly don't remember them) but it was very reasonable. My friend and I had the saucisse + aligot last September and it was terrific!

      I was in Paris last weekend and enjoyed the Pied au Couchon (??? - heck, my French is AWFUL!) but it was right between St. Eustache and the Bourse. Terrific seafood and also various pig products (yes, the ubiquitous pigs feet). I was adventurous and had the Temptations of St. Anthony (which was a selection of their pork specialities. It was odd but delicious. They also have deservedly famous onion soup which is ENORMOUS so don't plan to order it plus a big main course to follow unless you're starving. The price was reasonable and the restaurant is on a pedestrian only street so it is quiet and nice.

      This is also a good restaurant to note because it's open 24/7/365 - yes, every day, all day even in August. Paris was pretty deserted (surprisingly) last weekend so it seems the Parisians have already left town for their summer holidays. And tourism seemed down, too. That meant the some places were closed and the markets didn't have quite as much stuff being displayed (a merchant said they just didn't bring everything when the crowds were down). However, no queues, no crowds, lots of nice warm (not hot) sunshine, plus wonderful food and wine made for a great weekend.

      Enjoy your trip.

      The Bucks Belly
      aka Paula

      1. re: Paula Sindberg

        We were there in April, late at night, and had a great meal. Scallops, four of them, very large, prepared in four different ways were exquisite. The country-style pâté was a good starter, and was really too much for one. The tarte tatin was excellent there, and large enough to share with at least one other person. Very attentive and jovial wait staff (important because we were dining at almost midnight, with kids). The group that runs Au Pied de Cochon also has Le Petit Zinc in St. Germain des Pres, another jewel. Beautiful room, and a fabulous meal. I posted on it below, in April or May.

        1. re: LBQT

          Sorry for asking, but I couldn't tell if LBQT was referring to l'Ambassade d'Auvergne or Pied au Cochon in his/her response to Paula's two recommendations. Both restaurants are mentioned in Paula's write-up. I would really like to follow-up on LBQT's recommendation since I also tend to have late-night suppers and always have my kids in tow. Thanks.

          1. re: colleen

            I'm sorry for the confusion. I was talking about Au Pied de Cochon.

            1. re: colleen

              Besides all the usual stuff, depending on your kids' ages and tastes, the open air markets will interest them. My young urbanites, although sophsiticated, had never seen poultry whole and dressed rather than in cello wrapped packages, and went from stall to stall marveling on the exotic (to us) places that the fruits and veggies came from. We had fun trying to figure out what some of the items were - there were fruits and berries we'd never seen before, nor since! There are also carousels all over, and each one was a work of art. The favorite was the two story carousel below Sacré Coeur. Enjoy!

              1. re: LBQT

                Kids would probably love the pool to the side of the Pompidou Centre with all sorts of funky fountains.

                1. re: AGM/Cape Cod

                  Which reminds me that the restaurant atop the Pompidou Centre, Georges, was a good choice for lunch after visiting the art museum. Great food, reasonably priced, and great view. Kids had plenty to eat on that menu also, sandwiches, salads, pastas. The only complaint was the sogginess of what were described as "potato chips" served with the sandwich my daughter ordered.

      2. Colleen,

        Do you mean 'Au Bascou,' in the 3rd arr.? If so, I highly recommend going if they're open. We stay in the neighborhood, and we love the casual, cosy ambiance and the fab Basque food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ping

          Sorry, Ping. Those darn typos! (I'm so excited about the prospect of returning to Paris that my fingers are out of control.)

          Since you've been to Au Bascou several times, would you share any specifics on its culinary offerings? (I know it serves Basque cuisine.)

        2. I just got back from Paris and would highly recommend a new place called "L'Atelier Berger" located on Rue Berger right by les Halles, facing St. Eustache. Really good food, and the menu was about 195 ff, I think. I had cream of artichoke soup with foie gras, and rascasse cooked in a provence style. All five of us had something different, all was raved over. Nice, beautiful, but not so fancy as to be uncomfortable - the guys had buttondown shirts, but not jacket and tie. And for dessert, get the chocolate souffle thingy with the molten interior, it's the next best thing to heaven.