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Dec 22, 2007 03:13 PM

Help me choose a "rôtisserie" in Paris

I will be in Paris with my teenage daughter in March. I am compiling a list of restaurant possibilities not too far from our hotel in the Marais. I would like to try one of of these rotisserie restaurants. Which one should it be?

L'Atelier Maître Albert
La Rôtisserie d'En Face
La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais

I'll post my short list of restaurants for your comments before we leave. Thank you all for the good ideas I have absorbed from reading the posts here.

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  1. La rotisseruie du Beaujolais is by far the best of the three, in my humble opinion. L'Atelier Maitre Albert is not really good (except the desserts) and evry expensive and noisy. La rôtisserie d'en face is OK but nothing nearly as exciting as Jacques cagna "en face". Paradoxically, la rôtisserie du Beaujolais is rather more exciting than the big house it depends of, la Tour d'Argent. Most rôtisseries in Paris play on the idea that the concept is simple and just let the meat roast until someone asks for it, taking side dishes from pots which also stay there all day long. As a result, you have some dry chewy meat and tasteless puree or vegetables instead of the juicy chicken and tasty sides you would expect when the word "rôtisserie" is mentioned. La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais is not like that, but the consequence is, that if you want a roast chicken or a lamb shoulder (yum, yum), you need to call in advance or to wait a bit, since there's no cooking it in less that 40 minutes. That, to me, is a very reassuring indication of quality.

    3 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      Souphie, now I have to ask you about the rotisserie trucks I see at the street markets. Recently I've noticed pork shoulders also on the rack. And when the vendor slips the chicken in the bag, he asks how much juice does the buyer want. Have you experienced this and if so, how's the quality?

      1. re: BlueOx

        That really depends on each shop. For example, Divay in the rue Bayen is good. I personally use two criteria, but they are no absolute guarantee: 1-Make sure that the rotisserie is one that actually rotates the meat. Many butchers have a machine that does in which the position of the meat (or chicken) is always the same facing the heat only it is on a big wheel, alternatively further and closer from the heat source. That can't be good. 2- I check how the chicken is brided. In general, a "bridage a l'ancienne" is a good indication. The rope goes inside the chicken (they use a needle) and the legs are tight, partly inside the football formed by the chicken: I also call it wonderbra because it makes the breast bigger and more in evidence. That indicates knowledge of the animal and understanding of the roasting process (or sheer traditionalism, which is less good).

      2. re: souphie

        Thank you souphie. Chicken for the kid and lamb for me (yum is right!)