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Apr 16, 2007 07:24 PM

Cassoulet in Paris

Any recommendations for Cassoulet in Paris?? We're staying near the Champs where I know the food isn't great...any ideas are appreciated! Cheers!

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  1. My husband and I have always enjoyed the cassoulet at Thoumieux, in the 7th.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Deenso

      I checked out the website and Thoumieux is just what I am after! Thank you very much. Are reservations difficult to get?

      We're staying near the Eiffel Tower (just booked today) so if you have any other spots for me to check out I'd appreciate it. Cheers!

      1. re: ureviewcalgary

        You're welcome! I hope you enjoy Thoumieux as much as we have in the past. You shouldn't have a problem getting a reservation, but the surest way is to ask your hotel concierge now to make the call for you, rather than waiting until you get there. Fair warning: They have a tendency to seat English-speaking guests in one particular area. I think (not sure) it's because they have a certain number of floor staff who are fluent in English and it makes it easier for them to have us all in the same general area. If that bothers you and you'd rather be surrounded by French-speakers (more atmosphere, no?) you might ask your concierge to specify that you would prefer not to be seated in the rear of the dining room, but closer to the front.

        As for other spots in the 7th, there are plenty! Le Violin d'Ingres and Cafe Constant (both operated by Christian Constant) come quickly to mind.

        And, of course, if you want to forego paying next month's mortgage, there's always Jules Verne, newly helmed by Alain Ducasse. Hmmm, much as I've enjoyed it in the past, I think the prices have pushed it beyond my reality.

        My best advice? Walk, walk, walk. Every restaurant's got a menu with prices posted outside. If the fare interests you, check out the folks who are dining there. Are they speaking French, predominantly, with a few sprinkles here and there of other languages? Or does the buzz sound like it's mostly in English? If so, walk on. Guaranteed, there's going to be another charmer just down the block.

        Also, ask other folks you meet. Not tourists and not necessarily your hotel concierge. Concierges have a tendency, I think, to direct their guests to more upscale places, which is fine, but those places also tend to be magnets for tourists. I like to ask the guy behind the counter at the wine bar or the young woman at the bakery. "Where do YOU go when you want to have a good dish of -------?"

        1. re: ureviewcalgary

          I urge caution with Thomieux. I have a theory about restaurants which almost always turns out true: when the menu is long with lots of dishes it is hard for the kitchen to do a really outstanding job with any of them. The menu at Thomieux is a long laundry list of French cooking and from one visit only (I will not return), the results are just OK, absolutely not outstanding. Walk on down Rue St Dominique, Violon d'Ingres usually has casoulet on the menu and it is fabulous. AND, since Violon reformulated last year you can get 3 courses for only 45e. Thomieux will cost about the same and Violon is about 1000 times better. Also, just around the corner from Thomieux on Rue Surcouf is les Ormes, chef Stefan Mole trained at Jamin in the 90s under Robuchon, they have a dinner menu in the 48e range. You will be very pleased.

          If you ask me, the only thing Thomieux has going for it is that it is open on Sunday nights when most everything else is closed.

          1. re: f2dat06

            Forget about Le Thoumieux. Very mediocre food. And as the previous poster says, being open on Sunday gets them 'lost' tourists. Rather go to any of the brasseries at the Ecole Militaire or even better in Montparnasse (open 7/7).

            You may want to consider Pasco, on 74, Blvd. Latour-Maubourg, with a fab view over the Invalides at night. Mediterranean cuisine though. Closed Mon.

            1. re: Dodo

              First time I have seen "Pasco" mentioned - and I agree a great little Bistro. We had some very nice meals there. A relaxed local restaurant with well cooked food slightly off the usual tourist routes.

            2. re: f2dat06

              I'll third the cassoulet at Violon d'Ingres...and save room for the Paris Brest.

            3. re: Deenso

              Thoumieux, the best cassoulet ever is no more.

            4. For 25 years we have eaten @ Thoumieux. We have only eaten the duck confit and the cassoulet and absolutely loved it. I am therefore disappointed to read all the negative reviews. I knew the owner and his son, the chef. I am surprised that it has been sold it was in the family for generations. Will try Violin as suggested further down.

              1 Reply
              1. re: alf1052

                Sigh. I used to love Thoumieux too, down to the big fat tabby holding court on the counter.

              2. L'auberge du Quincy, av. Ledru-Rollin

                1. Josephine Chez Dumonet, 117, Rue du Cherche-Midi......wonderful cassoulet.

                  7 Replies
                    1. re: souphie

                      Josephine Chez Doumonet says it will not be on the menu until January or February. However, it is always on the menu at l'Auberge de Quincy.

                      I went there last night and had a delightful meal. The owner is a clown, literally, albeit retired. He and the other servers were very friendly and outgoing. We really felt welcomed.

                      We wanted to share a leek tart for our entree. The owner sung its praises in great detail.Then he advised us not to order it. He said it was too rich to be followed by cassoulet. He suggested instead his own foie gras (for twice the price).

                      We decided in the end to stick with our choice of sharing the leek tart. It came divided on two plates. It was delicious and, indeed, too much to eat along with the cassoulet. Not to be assuaged, the owner gave us each a small taste of his foie gras. It was excellent.

                      There is no wine by the glass or half bottles. However, our server said we could pick out a wine and they would "buy back" whatever we didn't drink. We each had a glass of a nice Cahors and they charged us 13 Euro.

                      Finally, the cassoulet. It was really delicious. Exactly what I dream about between winter visits to Paris. The meats were generous. In fact, there was no way we could finish it. My French companion said if I wanted to ask for a doggie bag, she would go outside for a smoke. She thought maybe I'd get away with it because I'm an American. She just didn't want to be near if I tried it. In deference to her sensibilities, I didn't ask. What a shame.

                      1. re: RandyB

                        Wonderful report. Yeah Bobosse would push consumption but would not insist, and whatever is your decision, he will be gracious about it.
                        Several times I too have been "assigned" by French friends to ask for a "baggie dog". They say it is embarrassing for them but should not be for me. Go figure. :-)

                        1. re: Parigi

                          One small addition to my report: Had they not "bought back the rest of the bottle," I might have ended the evening washing dishes. I had not known that they don't take credit cards. Nor had I brought my checkbook. Luckily, I had just enough cash to pay the bill.

                          1. re: RandyB

                            O yeah, I always say Le Quincy is a time machine.

                        2. re: RandyB

                          Had the cassoulet at Le Quincy a few years back and my problem, and damn l usually have problems, was they cook in large tub then put in smaller dish and heat, thus no crust, no crunchy bits, no variation in texture. As a result the rich dish, at least the bean part, becomes for my taste uni-dimensional very quickly.

                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                            Crust would have been nice, I agree. But it was still delicious.