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Oct 3, 2010 07:07 PM

Octobre, champignons, foie gras et moules frites

After a three month stint in a wheelchair and on crutches my husband and I are celebrating my walking again and our anniversary in Paris (indeed, where else?) Will we be too early for foie gras (Oct 11-23)? If not, what restaurants do you all recommend for particularly superb preparations?

We will be doing a lot of cooking ourselves. Will wild mushrooms be in the markets in October? We have had an exceptionally cool summer here in San Francisco and we're seeing fresh porcinis already, even though they usually appear in mid-november.

And lastly, moules frites. I never order them out in the US because I can always make better at home. But we're talking Paris. Frites in duck fat. Green mussels (almost impossible to find here anymore). What are your favorite venues for moules frites.

And I just want to appreciate how much I have copied and pasted from all your past strings. You are all founts of information and so generous with your sharing and responses.

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  1. Cepes showing up in fine fettle now, as well as girolles and all the leading mushrooms. IMHO cold foie gras honors go to L'Ami Louis and Chez Dumonet Josephine, while hot go to La Regalade and the clear winner Chez L'Ami Jean. Do you mean green lip mussels? If so, these are from New Zealand, and never seen here, but frozen, very meh, in the states. French mussels are very small and very good. Have a place will check it's name in day or so and report back.

    4 Replies
      1. re: mr_gimlet

        Sort of remember being in the Tarbes area and finding tons in November before the frosts hit, but my memory usually wine addled may be mistaken

        1. re: mr_gimlet

          Should still be in November. Lots of girolles from Spain and Russia.

        2. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Fabulous, thanks so much. Somehow I once managed to get fresh green lip mussels and have been searching since. Since they were so good I assumed they were French! Now I just have to figure out how many times I can get away with eation foie gras after 3 months as a couch potato

        3. Green mussels? All I can think of is the green mussels imported from Southeast Asia and frozen. You may find them at some Thai restaurants but they are very leathery.
          The right mussels to have here are the French mussels (moules de bouchot, or moules de Normandie grown on ropes) or Belgian mussels which are a bit larger and also delicious. Spanish mussels are large and should be stuffed.
          Frites are not fried in duck fat except in some Southwestern restaurants. Most of the time they'll be fried in vegetable oils.
          Foie gras can be had anytime.
          The mushroom season is right now, at least until mid-November, sometimes late November.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ptipois

            Ah, thank you. Great mussels info. And I realize I didn't specify fresh foie gras, just assumed it. It used to be only available in California from early November through the winter,though that's changing. A strong possibility that it will be banned here in the near future.

          2. Well, first, congratulations.

            Then, I am dubious that you will find the moules frites of your dream in Paris -- but surely others know things I don't;

            October is full on mushrooms season. Cèpes so far have been remarkable (check those out: ). There's no season for foie gras.

            As for superb foie gras, for terrines, you might consider Joséphine, Le Quincy for goose. For warm foie gras, Le Cinq, Senderens, Chez l'Ami Jean are musts.

            If you want to buy your foie gras raw, make sure it's superbly fresh and that your finger does not live and imprint when you poke it. Le Coq Saint Honoré, Hugo Desnoyer, Jacky Lesourd, DIvay are reliable sources.

            For terrines, there's the specialist in the 7th whose name I always forget. For goose, see Divay, pretty remarkable.

            And you know, there is some pretty good stuff at Monoprix.

            3 Replies
            1. re: souphie

              For my money, if you want good mussels, make them at home, or better still head out of Paris. In the same day, you can get a 9:00 AM train from the Gare du Nord to the Baie de Somme, eat great mussels, frites, drink beer, see fantastic scenery and wildlife, and get back to Paris in time for for dinner.

              1. re: vielleanglaise

                Excellent advice. I will venture to add that it is also around the baie de Somme that you will be served fried plaice or sole that is larger than the plate it is brought on.

                1. re: vielleanglaise

                  Thank for the wonderful idea. We'll do a day trip later this week.