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Sep 26, 2010 10:11 AM

Great sweetbreads and roasted chicken in Paris

My bride and I will be in Paris for three nights and two days. We will have just come from San Sebastian, where we will have eaten at several gastronomic restaurants, so Michelin stars will not necessarily be a priority in Paris (though we are not opposed). She is in search of a great sweetbread dish, and I would love some good quality roasted chicken. Any suggestions?
The restaurants we are most seriously considering are Josephine, La Regalade St Honore, Le Comptoir du Relais, and one of Christian Constant's places (not sure which). We are also considering either Chez Georges, Le Baratin, Aux Lyonnais, or Bistro Paul Bert.
Any help in finalizing our dining plans would be very appreciated. And thanks to all the Hounds that have helped get us this far.

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  1. OK, let me be clear on this.
    You need to get both in one place or you're looking for one of each at two places?

    2 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      They do not need to be at the same place. We have five meals (over three days) in which to fit them in.

      1. re: monsieurboeufletete

        Try yam'Tcha in the 1st for foie gras and why not Daniel Rose's chicken bouillon in the1st as well (lunch only upstairs) He did a great roast Ch. at Table 28; I get mine down the street.

    2. For sweetbread, I'll have to say Ledoyen is the center of the world. Or l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Senderens used to be the ultimate god of sweetbreads (and many other things) in Lucas Carton days, but I haven't seen them on the menu of Senderens once.

      For roast chicken, I can't think of a place I approve of. Maybe l'Atelier, though they rarely have it. I think most rotisseries suck, with chicken way overcooked, but some are good. I love Poulet Express, on rue de Théatre, a place that does home delivery of roast chicken and, more importantly, cook breast and thighs separately so that the cooking is perfect. However, the quality of their chicken is only very good for the money. Even l'Ami Louis, discussed a lot on this board, does overcook their chicken, but that's still probably the best choice in town for roast chicken.

      No, really, we have the best quality of chicken in this town, and not a restaurant that roasts them properly. That said, Le Cinq and Le Bristol make pretty wonderful jobs of poaching them (and, you know, at those prices, I suppose, poaching you as well).

      ETA: l'Ambroisie used to do a brilliant, high quality, ridiculously priced roast chicken. Don't know if they still can.

      1. Two not-to-be-missed threads on roast chicken in Paris/France, in fact, chicken talk that gives mankind the word:

        2 Replies
        1. re: Parigi

          L'Ambrosie still makes the perfect Sweetbread dish.
          The best that I have ever eaten, and a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

          1. re: erly

            I'm not crazy about the sweebtread at l'Ambroisie, I must say, but this may be a matter of taste -- to me it's overcooked, and I regret that it has no crisp. There definitely is and "ancient cooking" quality to it, despite the nouvelle cuisine mix of flavors.

        2. I would have to say the sweetbreads with a morel sauce that I had at Chez Georges would be hard to beat.

          8 Replies
          1. re: igorm

            Another place with good sweetbreads is the traditional, old school "Chez Géraud" in the 16th.
            For Moshulu's inimitable take on it, do a search for "Paris Review, Chez Géraud". This was done years before The great Pud, selected it as his bistro of the year...R.I.P, Mushulu wherever you may be.

            1. re: igorm

              L'Auberge Bressane does that pretty well too, come to think of it.

              1. re: souphie

                I ordered the Sweetbreads at Auberge Bressane the other night, and was very disappointed
                They were abundant, but with too much texture, tough, and the sauce was too "milky".
                Tasted like the Cream was added at the last minute, and not reduced..
                Possibly because it was Sunday, and the regular Kitchen staff was off?
                The Cheese Souffle was runny in the center as well.
                Just a bad night?
                I do like this Bistro and will go back, but wouldn't order the Sweetbreads again.
                I don't mind a "crisp" outside, but I want a melt in the mouth inside.
                Have you had the Sweetbreads 3-ways at L'Ambroisie?

                1. re: erly

                  Should have added that this was our third time at Auberge Bressane, and the first that I didn't enjoy.
                  D.H. Loved his crispy garlicky Frogs Legs.
                  I do like their Chicken with Morels in Cream Sauce.

                  1. re: erly

                    I don't think sunday is an issue at Auberge Bressane, but maybe things changed since this summer, as they redid the kitchen. A new visit seems in order.

                    That said, the remark about the cream sounds like usual Bressane to me. There is no such thing as too much cream. Maybe it's th sauce they added the cream in that wasn't reduced enough?

                    Never had the three way sweetbread at l'Ambroisie. Or any three way, really.

                    1. re: souphie

                      Hi Souphie,
                      That was the problem, as stated above.
                      Something is very wrong when the cream tastes like it was just pored in and not reduced.
                      I don't want to condemn the place as our other meals have been excellent, and in the past the souffle was a beautiful even creamy texture.

                      1. re: souphie

                        Hi Soupie,
                        It was at your suggestion several years ago that we first visited L'Ambroisie, and certainly found our "ideal".
                        I made a mistake, because I rarely keep notes, but it is two ways, not three.
                        The first is an extremely generous lobe crispy on the outside, and smooth as silk on the inside.
                        I asked about the amazing flavor, and they told me that it was infused with Lemongrass.
                        The second was inside a formed Cabbage, steamed? stewed? also bursting with flavor.
                        All of this on a bed of wonderful Mushrooms, (can't remember which kind, but perfectly cooked.
                        A memorable dish, one of the best I have ever eaten, and a feast for the eyes, as well.

                  2. re: igorm

                    You all are making me VERY hungry for sweetbreads!

                  3. I had excellent sweetbreads at Allard last year. <ducks>

                    They only lacked the crispy skin, but they flavor of the breads and the morels was excellent.

                    Photo below. I guess the photo doesn't make it look as tasty as it was...

                    1 Reply