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Trip report, Paris Feb-longish

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  • JimD Feb 27, 2007 05:10 AM
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This is my first trip report although I have been reading the board and gleaning tips for several years & trips. I ate mostly mid day meals-have done the two a day routine on previous trips and have not really enjoyed the evening meal & so opted for lighter fare back at the hotel: bread from Kayser and items from traiteurs in the neighborhood. I am returning in a couple of weeks for a few days and would appreciate any tips for places similiar to the ones places below. In the past I have enjoyed Biche au Bois, Le Pre Verre, Petite Pontoise, the old Toutoune, Cave le Os a Moele and others but am always looking for someplace new.

Arrived Sunday and went to a small place near the hotel, L'Ecurie, corner of rue Laplace and rue de la Montagne Ste-Genevieve,5th .It is what it is, a good place for simple food, grilled meats, frites and wine. It is mostly locals with a leavening of tourists, seated next to me was a mixed party-Parisian, English and Irish. The atmosphere and service was friendly as usual, complimentary sangria for an aperitif and a digestif of calvados [poured this night I think as a signal that there were others waiting for the tables]

Monday went to Le Comptoir, arrived about 5 minutes before the lunch opening, was about 15th in line. Service and food were both excellent. I had the foie gras du canard and joie de bouef, one of my favorite dishes. The beef cheeks were the best I have ever had, the balance of spices was perfect and not too sweet. The foie gras was good, but I agree with the owner of the hotel where I stay that it is better at Biche au Bois. Had the assiete du fromage, the assortment was 5 cheeses, not too large a portion and served at the right temperature. Around 54 Euros for including aperitif and 1/2 pichet. I was seated next to two Paris residents, both Americans married to Frenchman, one apparently a regular of the place, the other from near my hometown. They ordered just entrees and felt some pressure to vacate the table. When I left there was still a line to get in.

Tuesday--Ribouldingue, 10 rue St Julien le Pauvre, 5th. Fairly new place, good if you like offal and I do. Made reservation for 1 o'clock, there were only 3 tables occupied. Small 23 euro menu consisting mostly of offal but with a few other choices, about 6 entrees and 6 plats in addition to the special. I had the cervelles de agneau and tripe. Finished again with the cheese course. Presentation and taste both great, service was warm. They have wines by the bottle or glass only, no half bottles or carafes. When I inquired about reservations for my return trip in 2 weeks I was told that reservations are essential on Friday eve and Saturdays, they will be closed the week of March 6--open Tues thru Sat.

Wednesday- lunch at Les Temps de Cerise in the Marais. I ate here mainly because of a post I read by Maurice McNaughton whose recommendations are unfailingly good. Service warm and friendly, crowded with locals and regulars. Had the 15 euro menu, charcuturie; veau normande; frites; cheese with half a fleurie. Thoroughly enjoyed the food. The menu, carte and wine list are on a large blackboard at the end of the room.

Late dinner at Le Pied du Fouet rue St. Benoit, 6th, again ordered the menu, great celeri remoulade for entree then confit de canard with whipped potatos; assiette du fromage for dessert, a couple of the cheeses were served a bit too cold.

Thursday- a friend took me to dinner at Les Fetes Galantes, a small place on the rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique 5th. I have enjoyed many meals here in the past; both as a solo diner and with my wife, and this was no exception, they have two menus, a 15 and a 23 euro. I had the soup of mushrooms and foie gras on the recomendation of my friend, she had the escargot. The soup was delicious. For the plat I had the duck breast, we both had the profiteroles for dessert. This is a tiny place with two good menus and some nice selections on the carte, Bebe the chef and owner does a beautiful and elegant presentation for such a small and reasonably priced place. The decor is "different".

Friday--had dinner at Midi Vins, rue du Cherche-Midi, 6th. had a reservation for 8. The owner is formerly of Dix Vins in the 15th which I liked. Nice bistro and wine bar, has opened in the last year or so. Decor is traditional, service warm and friendly, the wine selections are listed on blackboards. The 21 euro menu is brought to the table on a blackboard, like at L'Avant Gout, about 5 choices each for entree and plat. I had the lamb kidneys for an entree. There were three kidneysarranged in a circle on the plate covered with chopped garlic done perfectlyin a parsley sauce. For the plat I had an onglet de bouef with sauce camembert and cheese for dessert. They serve wines by the bottle, glass or ficelle [you order a bottle, pour yourself and pay for as much as you drink]as at Dix Vins, I had aFluerie les Morveres[sp?] 2004 which was very nice.

Saturday afternoon - I ended up at Cafe Sully [I think] in the Maris on Rue St. Antoine after a couple of places I had picked out were not open. Large cafe, lots of regulars eating the plat du jour. Service was efficient, but I would not say warm or friendly. Had the frog legs for entree, the plat du jour of lapin pruneaux aux taglitelle, assiette du fromage, again a couple of the cheeses were served too cold but the cantal was perfect.

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  1. <Arrived Sunday and went to a small place near the hotel, L'Ecurie, corner of rue Laplace and rue de la Montagne Ste-Genevieve,5th .It is what it is, a good place for simple food, grilled meats, frites and wine. It is mostly locals with a leavening of tourists, seated next to me was a mixed party-Parisian, English and Irish. The atmosphere and service was friendly as usual, complimentary sangria for an aperitif and a digestif of calvados [poured this night I think as a signal that there were others waiting for the tables]> Your description reminds me of Les Fontaines on rue Soufflot near Blvd. St. Germain. I think you'd enjoy that a lot! I've had some wonderful meals there. The lamb is always great.

    REally appreciate your review of Le Fete Galant. I've passed that place many times and wondered if it was good. Now I know!!! Sounds like a great place to try in November.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      Be careful at Les Fontaines. I've not had a decent meal there since 2003 and hence no longer go.

      1. re: Busk

        I was there in 05, and it was wonderful, and friends were just there a few weeks ago, and reported the same.

        1. re: ChefJune

          Thanks, I have walked past Les Fontaines many times also. It has been on my list but there are so many possibilities and limited food capacity and time. I'll try to give it a try.

    2. JimD - thanks for the report.

      You mentioned the "old Toutoune." I was under the impression that Chez Toutoune had closed. Is there a "new Toutoune?"

      1 Reply
      1. re: Deenso

        Sorry, no, the place that I referred to was the Toutoune that closed. I had a decent meal at the place that briefly replaced it, Mirabelle [?] that also closed. I have looked in on the place that replaced it last year and this and have never seen a soul in there.