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PARIS: Pressed Duck restaurants suggestions

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Hello all,
Going to be in Paris in the coming month with the girlfriend and we're looking to try interesting dishes which are native to that city. Other than La Tour D'Argent, are there any reasonably priced (of course this is relative for Paris and the dish itself) restaurants that make it? Or do you know other good restaurants for Paris specialities?
Thanks very much.

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  1. I would love to read a description of this dish...those duck presses are impressive pieces of kitchen equipment and I never understood exactly what they produced..

    2 Replies
    1. re: erica

      A short paraphrase of a recipe for Pressed Duck or Canard au Sang
      Roast a duck rare.
      Remove the breast meat and the legs/thigh from the duck.
      Put the legs on the grill or in the oven to finish cooking.
      Chop the duck carcasse and place the bone into a duck press with a 2-3 pureed raw duck livers, some red wine, duck stock and the blood from the duck. Turn the press to extract the liquid.
      Heat the duck breast in this sauce with a little butter.
      Slice and serve with the sauce.
      The leg is serve as a separate course, usually with sauteed potatoes in duck fat or a simple green salad.

      1. re: erica

        A step by step photo guide from La Tour d'Argent.

      2. The last time I had Canard au Sang was at Michel Rostang a few years ago. It is one of his specialities. I am sure you can call the restaurant and ask them about it. It will be "reasonably" price compared to La Tour D'Argent.

        8 Replies
        1. re: PBSF

          That sounds optimistic to me. I think you'll have a better meal at Michel Rostang than la Tour d'Argent, not cheaper. Unless you go for the great value lunch menu, which is regular Rostang, but then you won't have the pressed duck. Anyway, a great restaurant. The pressed duck is a very special dish, strong, not for every taste.

          1. re: souphie

            Resurrecting an old thread here - I see Rostang still has Pressed Duck on the menu, but my sister (who I'm traveling with) is not keen on the dish at such a price.

            Does anyone know any other restaurants serving pressed duck - perhaps somewhere more casual/less pricey?


            1. re: uhockey

              In my experience, pressed duck is only a high end sort of dish. It depends on impeccable ingredients and technique. I'm inclined to think high end is the only viable option worth eating.

              1. re: uhockey

                Omg, you actually do research on this board. I want to give you a big kiss already.

                A trip to Rouen - lovely town an hour from Paris by train - may be one way to have a good canard du sang that does not cost an arm and a leg.
                See this thread that might have gone under your radar…


                1. re: Parigi

                  I try. Its part of why I back-link all my blog posts in the various cities I visit, as well. I think this board (aside from the community aspect of it, and the potential to meet intresting local folks) works best as a reseach engine - not a place to just go and say "hey, where should I eat in Paris?"

                  Thanks to both you and Ptipois for the suggestions - the issue isn't really price, per se, but rather the fact that my sister probably won't eat it and I'll be spending $150Euros for a whole lot of duck when I'd much rather have 10 different tastes from the degustation.


                  1. re: uhockey

                    A daytrip to Rouen is user-friendly and extremely enjoyable. And going there for a duck will make for those fun travel stories that you will retell forever.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      And the duck is cheaper, too. One of the top duck restaurants is just across the street facing the train station.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        I guess I do not yet know the geography quite well enough yet, will obviously require a bit more research. Thanks though - I definitely want to see more of France than "just" Paris, whether that be on this trip or another.


            2. If you want canard au sang, head for Rouen (and its neighbor Duclair, on the Seine). Paris borrowed it from Rouen anyway.

              13 Replies
              1. re: Ptipois

                Interesting - how is it that Wikipedia cites La Tour D'Argent as the place it was "invented" then?

                Is the version at La Tour any better/different than that served elsewhere?


                1. re: uhockey

                  Simple: Rouen invented the duck (canard Rouennais) and La Tour invented the press and made it famous...

                  1. re: monchique

                    No, the use of a duck press also originated in Rouen (precisely on the North bank of the Seine around Rouen and Duclair) in the second half of the 19th century and it quickly became a favorite recipe in many high end restaurants, including Paris restaurants, before the century ended.

                    La Tour d'Argent invented nothing (to be fair, it invented the numbering system for the ducks), but it is the only remaining Paris restaurant serving that old recipe. Incidentally it no longer serves Duclair (Rouen) duck but Challans duck. In Normandy you can still have the dish made with the Duclair breed of duck.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      Ptipois: As often, opinions differ on the origin of the technique (and there are as many variations of the sauce as they are restaurants who serve the dish). L'Ordre des Canardiers http://www.canardiers.asso.fr/ does not go into the details of the history of the press.
                      May be we could agree on the fact that the name of the "Tour d'Argent" is for ever associated with the Canard à la Presse... like le "Pied de Cochon" is associated (helas) with onion soup or "Pharamond" with tripes.

                      1. re: monchique

                        Opinions don't differ, there is simply no way that la Tour d'Argent invented canard à la presse. They adopted the recipe and came up with duck numbering and that is how they "colonized" the recipe somehow.

                        L'Ordre des canardiers (in Rouen) just isn't finding it necessary to hit the nail since there is no controversy over that.

                        Of course we can agree that in Paris La Tour d'Argent is 'associated' with canard à la presse and that Pharamond, also in Paris, has a famous specialty of tripes à la mode de Caen, but Paris is not France — having a famous specialty and inventing a dish are two different things.

                        Onion soup is associated with Les Halles. I had no idea some associated it with Au Pied de Cochon.

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          "I had no idea some associated it with Au Pied de Cochon."

                          Me neither. This is news to me.

                          1. re: Parigi

                            Ptipois: I don't understand how anybody can claim they "invented" how to squash a duck's carcasse, and frankly it is irrelevant. There are plenty of other (and cheaper ) places to eat the dish, complete with the appropriate decorum, than the Tour d'Argent.

                            As for the Pied de Cochon, ... In my student's days in the 60's it was traditional to finish a party at dawn (preferably in dinner jacket and long dresses) with a gratinée aux Halles, and the Pied de Cochon was -in those days- the "in" place for this purpose. May be you're too young (or rather I'm too old), or may-be it was only our local custom.

                            1. re: monchique

                              Then this again raises the question of where, in Paris, it would be possible to enjoy said dish with the appropriate decorum. Especially since the few available websites for restaurants in Rouen do not seem to list the dish as available.

                              As it stands, Tour D'Argent is ~30Eu cheaper than Michel Rostang for the dish.


                              1. re: uhockey

                                Well, that's when you want to look at the "Ordre des Canardiers". The French section lists their professional members (the ones with a little press next to the name are suppose to serve the dish in style). None in Paris... and vey few outside Normandy / Rouen. So so far, in Paris, La Tour d'Argent wins (with the view as a bonus!). Last time I went (3 yrars ago) you could chose the duck from the lunch set menu with a supplement .

                                1. re: monchique

                                  There are none in Paris and few outside Rouen for the simple reason that the ordre des Canardiers only lists places that prepare local breeds (croisé de Rouen or canard de Duclair). In Paris it is Challans duck, at least it is at La Tour, don't know about Rostang.

                              2. re: monchique

                                >> Ptipois: I don't understand how anybody can claim they "invented" how to squash a duck's carcasse, and frankly it is irrelevant.

                                Who invented how to squash a duck's carcasse with a silver press, I have no idea - someone in Normandy in the second half of the 19th century. For your information, "canard à la presse" and "canard au sang" were originally called "canard à la rouennaise" or "canard à la Duclair".

                                Who invented the duck press: certainly not La Tour d'Argent, which is what you wrote above before shifting the subject or deciding it was "irrelevant".

                                1. re: monchique

                                  >> As for the Pied de Cochon, ... In my student's days in the 60's it was traditional to finish a party at dawn (preferably in dinner jacket and long dresses) with a gratinée aux Halles, and the Pied de Cochon was -in those days- the "in" place for this purpose. May be you're too young (or rather I'm too old), or may-be it was only our local custom.

                                  I'm not that young myself and I clearly remember that when Les Halles were still a market, there were many landmark places to have onion soup, and Le Pied de Cochon did not stand out more than another. Onion soup and bowls of fresh blood with raw onions for the "forts" were all over the place. So maybe it's just your local custom, or maybe a special thing for students in dinner jackets and long dresses, which were a rare breed even then.

                              3. re: Ptipois

                                I'm glad I dug this thread up for educational purposes alone!


                    2. Just adding to the excellent nudges from Parigi, Pti et al, taking the train to Rouen will be a short and enjoyable ride. What a bonus to enjoy this dish at its source with a pleasant excursion thrown in for (essentially) free. Tip: book and buy your train ticket in advance. Last minute tickets, even for short jaunts, can be costly.