Paris: The Places I Hit Last Week
With the baby, you have to game it so she goes to sleep as you are arriving at the restaurant. She was pretty cooperative. Generally, we stayed in the neighborhood or at least not too far. So here's the run down:
Ma Bourgogne on Place des Voges: This place I've passed a million times and it looks like it would be a sorry excuse for a meal, but I figured I'd try it after all the recs here. The food was pretty good. I had tripe which is difficult to make well. My wife had the typical Lyonnais sliced sausage over potatoes. Both were well-executed. The house bordeaux could have been better and the waiter was some mixture of drunk and hungover. They could afford to sweep up a little better under the tables outside as well. None of these negatives are too uncommon in Paris.
Laduree: took out some macs: pistacio, chocolate and vanilla. The last was the best, but all were great. Wife had some chocolate Napolean thing where instead of millefeuille the layers were hard caramel and chocolate. It was pretty outrageous.
Chez Janou also near Place des Voges: Wife had the scallops. I had the duck confit. It was competent, but my wife's scallops were better and quite large. My starter of grilled mussels was good. The wine list is very good for a bistro and the house CdRhone was very tasty. I dug the crazy minty esoteric Pastis that the server picked out for me as an apero. The have over 50 kinds of Pastis on the "carte de Pastis". I didn't know anyone cared. The bill showed up with an additional bottle of gigondas which was graciously removed before I got to practice dressing someone down in French.
Repaire de Cartouche on Rue Amelot: I've been wanting to try this place since the chef left the Saint Amarant to start this resto. We went for lunch and each got the the 25 euro carte. I had a gelee of beef cheeks to start. Wife had a green bean salad. Mains were rascasse (fish) and a crunchy beef cheek and tongue "pie". The latter was excellent. Melt in your mouth. It's tough to describe in English. Wine list was outstanding for this class of resto, and the service was as good as anywhere. It's real punch you in the face bistro food that doesn't dance around the issue. Even the complimentary rillettes was earthy, homemade stuff.
Chez Michel: Why not? We always seem to go here, and the baby fell asleep in the area. I got the lobster, which I rarely order at restaurants (other than in Maine or something). It was prepared shell on in a tomato-based roux with white beans. Just great flavor, to the extent I wanted to pick up the Le Creuset and drink it down . Wife got the monkfish. Even better was my starter of pan-seared fois gras and cepes. No wine, just a bottle of pear cider.
September is a great month for dining in Paris. Everyone was serving cepes and rasberries.
Baby is cute. She usually gets to eat lousy stuff, but when you are holding her in one arm and have something tasty in the other like a felafel from the As or a Philly cheesestake from Tony Lukes, she can't control herself, and her mouth opens really wide. and she starts leaning toward your food. Sometimes she gets a bite. In Paris, she ate a lot of figs and blackberries which seemed to make her happy.