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Jun 12, 2006 03:25 PM

Au Petit Tonneau, Paris

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Our second most memorable restaurant meal in France was at Au Petit Tonneau, about a half mile downriver from the Orsay.

The chef/waiter team was immensely entertaining, sing songing back and forth about who needed what wine, which food was ready, and where the house cat was at the moment.

She, despite having passed 60 a few years back, goes to the main food market all the time and offers a wonderful board of market specials. She's also created a small but well-aged wine list that's charmingly hand written with additions and subtractions.

I wish I could remember more of the meal, but it's been nearly 3 weeks now and I can only remember two dishes.

BF's chicken liver salad was perfect. The freshest livers, cooked perfectly. A wonderful dressing made with rasberry vinegar as it should be--so good that we wondered if she made it in house in one of her tonneaus.

My "small mushrooms" turned out to be the smallest Chanterelles I've ever encountered in a cream sauce with just a bit of garlic. I usually think cream is overused, but something about her preparation method made it entirely worthwhile, and amazingly delicious. This was also a generous serving of mushrooms for the 12 or 13 E. Well salted, as I think it should be.

The other dishes were also quiet good; I just can't recall what they were.

Tarte Tatin was wonderful.

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    fai jay (fai jackson)

    Madam is a marvel with mushrooms and I think she makes the best tarte tatin in Paris, up there with the best in the world. I had scrambled goose egg with wild mushrooms that was to die for. And the homey, neighbourhood feeling is wonderful. I am glad you enjoyed it. It is one of my favourite spots in Paris for the food and the wonderful personality of the owner.

    1. This is your **second** best meal? Where was the best meal? BF and I are planning a strip to Paris in early October, so scouting out all the good spots, since my knowledge of Paris restaurants has atrophied a bit.

      1. I just returned from Paris and had a wonderful meal here. I started with the homemade ratatoulli, chilled as did my husband and it was filled with chunks of pleasantly smoky vegetables and onions and was wonderful with the bread. My children started with escargot which were wonderfully fresh in their heavily parslied garlic sauce. My son went next with the Poulet Roti-roasted chicken which was incredible in it's simplicity and yet it's extreme juiciness and flavor. It was accompanied by a gratinee of potatoes. My daughter and husband had the duck breast which came with a velvety green peppercorn sauce and the same potatoes and I had the Turbot which was cooked to perfection with a butter and wine sauce. I had wanted to get the veal stew listed on the menu but it was not to be as it was not available. We had a pichet of red wine of the house which was fine but not remarkable. We were too full for dessert but I had heard they were very good.
        Madame came out of the kitchen many times to chat and with a little begging on our part she sang a wonderful of song of a girl from Monmarte. Her voice was very sweet and all around it was a great experience-highly recommended!!