L'Endroit in Paris (Marais/Bastille)
- Richard AB
I just got back from Paris and wandered into this great wine Bistro on the edge of the Marais near the Bastille. The food was the best i ate in Paris. Here is what i wrote about it in my journal -
I walked by this place a million times and swore I would come back. I would call this a wine bar bistro since they really seem to be focusing on wine with the meal.
There are two fixed price menu's, a two course menu at 18 and a three course at $30. Both offer 4 or 5 different selections.
The waitress informs me that L'Endroit means the place I am in or you are here.
The atmosphere is casual and it is obvious you are in a wine bistro since the rust colored walls are decorated with chalkboards listing all the wine choices. From the ceiling is hung tiny leaves and strands od corks. Wine surrounds you everywhere from the cork screws on the walls to the stacks of wine at the front of the bistro.
May I also say that the music is great. Everything from classic jazz to the theme from the Godfather to soft classical music with a little Linda Ronstadt thrown in. I may just come back for the music!
The menu selections all seem so very original such as goat cheese wrapped on cabbage with honey and marbleized beefsteak with foie gras, provencal caramelized shank of lamb and finely sliced scallops with black truffle oil.
I start with the Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard a la Vanille. It is a wonder and I have now oficially died and gone to duck heaven. This is a slice of foie gras that is flavoured with vanilla bean. It's like ice cream. This is served with 3 crispy toasts and a tiny bit of watercress. If I die now, I die happy.
The duck feast continues...
No duck is safe around me. My plat or main course is the magret de canard aux figues (duck fillet with figs). This is a wonderful dish. There are about 5 slices of duck in a fig flavoured sauce cooked perfectly pink. In the center is a rice pilaf almondine topped with a slice of roast fig.
For wine there is a medium sized list which I bet was carefully selected. I let my server select my wine for me based on my meal. She selected a full bodied wine which was a Laurus Crozes Hermitage 2001. The way wine works here is that you can get a glass (around 5.50, a whole bottle or they simply give you a bottle and you pay for what you drink. If you plan to have ony 2 glasses this is the way to go. Funny but when I asked which wine was good she replied, they are all good".
I really want to order cheese for dessert but I am curious to see what they do with classic desserts. I order the Marquise Chocolat noir, sauce jasmin, that's the black chocolate treat with jasmine sauce. Now that sounds original.
Yes, it was truely a delicious dessert and a treat. It was 2 thin slices of creamy dark chocolate mouse dressed in a jasmine flavoured sauce. The jasmine flavour was tender and light and perfectly complemented the thick rich chocolate. One to remember.
Truthfully, I was trying hard to decide whether to risk this small place or go to the ever popular massive Alsatian brasserie Bofinger around the corner. I'm glad I skipped Bofinger.
Between 7:30 and 9pm it seemed like no one even knew this place was here. At 9 people started arriving.
The bistro didn't seem to smokey but I am sure that is all in relation to how many people are here at the moment.
Recommendation - come early to avoid the crowds and the smoke.
I rate them very well on the 1 to 5 scale. Food 4+ (creative and original), Service 5 (they were very nice and helpful), Atmosphere 4 (the music was great and colors soothingn not elegant but so comfortable). Overall I give them a 4+.
English menu available and English is well spoken.
I would say if you are out for a great meal in the 35 per person range, don't miss this one.
My total bill 45 ($58) with 2 glasses of wine and a 3 Foie Gras supplement (damn that Foir Gras supplement). Worth every euro!
L'Endroit, 24 rue des Tournelles, 75004 Paris (Metro - Bastille), tel 01 42 72 03 07
On the edge of the Marais near the Place des Vosages and Bastille.
I also have some other Paris restaurants (good and bad) that I wrote up on my blog.
I was in Paris for a few days this fall, but since I have no yardstick with which to judge Parisian restaurants and since I was (with one exception) just eating at places that stuck my fancy as I walked by, I wasn't going to post on anything. But since you mentioned duck ....
My favorite meal was at a little neighborhood restaurant called "Le Petit Canard" -- I knew I had to try it when I read, at the bottom of a menu containing about 90 percent duck dishes, "all ducks raised on our family farm." Obviously, these folks are seriously into duck. I had a smoked duck breast and endive salad that provided a wonderful contrast between the rich, smoky duck and the crisp, slightly bitter endive. For my entree I had the magret frais with the traditional honey sauce -- is there a special breed of Dolly Parton duck that provides a 10-ounce centercut "steaklet"? The garlic roasted potatoes that came with it were a whole separate reason to go back, which I would have if I'd had one more meal in Paris. Cozy, apparently family run: I only saw three people working there: the host (who lived in NY for a while and speaks English), a young woman who brought the food out from the kitchen and another man in the kitchen. Mellow atmosphere, with jazz on the stereo, funky/whimiscal decor and a friendly vibe (a French couple at a nearby table struck up a conversation and insisted I have a glass of their wine and a bite of her dessert, since I was too full of duck to order my own -- although the host suggested that if I wanted to linger until my appetite came back, he would be there until 2 am). The two courses and a glass of wine were, IIRC, 33 Euros.
19, street Henri Monnier/75009 Paris
metro: Pigalle (or Saint-Georges, since Pigalle is currently closed for renovations or if you want to avoid that somewhat seedy area around Pigalle)
01 49 70 07 95
And while I'm posting, let me just say that a Calvados-washed Camembert is worth smelling up your hotel room for.