Our week in Paris (La Régalade St Honoré, Chez L'ami Jean, Café Constant, Breizh Café, etc.)
We just got back from a six-day trip to Paris, full of great meals based on recommendations here and from friends... Here are some of our favorite meals (with pics):
La Régalade Saint Honoré: http://didactickatydid.blogspot.com/2011/02/paris-day-four.html
The complimentary housemade paté and cornichons were a delicious start to what was one our favorite meals in Paris. I had a delicious seared tuna salad with beet carpaccio to start and my husband had some nicely dressed raw scallops. Then I had a giant piece of pork belly with skin so crispy I had a hard time cutting it, served on a bed of Puy lentils, and he had what seemed like a pretty traditional beef bourguignon. For dessert he got the Grand Marnier soufflé and I had a delicious giant serving of riz au lait... (33€ for three-course menu
Chez L’Ami Jean: http://didactickatydid.blogspot.com/2011/03/paris-day-six.html
Lunch at this crowded Basque restaurant (lots of seafood on the menu) was the best meal I had in Paris. It was pricey (42€ for three-course menu) but well worth it. I started with crispy bone marrow and a sardine filet served on top of some kind of deep-fried flatbread, which added a terrific crunch to everything. I'm not a big sardine fan, but I thought the combination was great. Hubs had an enormous serving of cockles and mussels, served in a Staub pot. Then he had veal, which included the kidneys and glands and other innards. I had the roast chicken, which turned out to be the most delicious chicken I've ever had in my life! So tender and moist and exquisitely seasoned. We also got a little pot of the most delicious mashed potatoes I've ever had in my life... don't want to think about how many calories were in there, they were so rich! But dessert really knocked it out of the ballpark... He had something involving grapefruit and tapioca, and a little box of flavored meringues, and I got the riz au lait (again), which has received rave reviews here... The "milk jam" that came with it was so caramelized that it was almost bitter tasting, which worked perfectly with the creamy rice pudding (I think they must fold whipped cream into it). I couldn't finish it, and was so sad to leave some behind. It will linger in my memory forever.
The Cantin cheese shop is just a few blocks away from here so we stocked up on unripe cheese which they vacuum packed for us to take home...
Café Constant: http://didactickatydid.blogspot.com/2011/02/paris-day-three-things-start-to-get.html
Following a tasty lunch at L'As du Fallafel, we tried Café Constant for dinner. After all the nervous phone calls we'd been making for dinner reservations (some unsuccessfully: we never managed to get through at Frenchie), it was nice to randomly end up somewhere that didn't take reservations and find that we only had to wait 10 minutes for a table. (We had ruled out Les Cocottes down the block because its line extended out to the sidewalk.) This was my husband's favorite meal in Paris. We started out with a simple duck foie grass and oeufs mimosa (they were described as old-style deviled eggs, but I found these weird -- I think the white egg half was filled with a herby mayo, and the yolks were grated on top, which is fine, but the yolks didn't taste like anything). Then I had roast chicken, which was ok but nothing to write home about, especially in comparison to the amazing chicken I had two days later at Chez L'Ami Jean. Hubs had veal head, tongue, and brains in a gribiche sauce. He raved about the flavor of the brain, which he'd never had before. We finished with an ile flottante (a puff of meringue floating in caramel custard cream).
Breizh Café: http://didactickatydid.blogspot.com/2...
We had delicious buckwheat galettes and Brittany cider at this little café in Le Marais. The dessert crepes were also awesome... I love how the caramel is cooked until it looks and tastes really dark!
We recommend any savory crepe with the confit d'oignons and any sweet one with the caramel sauce.
We also had good meals at Rose Bakery in the Marais (tasty quiches and really fresh salads) and Le Café des Musees (standard bistro fare - I wouldn't necessarily recommend going out of your way for it, but the steak tartare was really good), and a fun picnic in our apartment with provisions from La Grande Epicerie de Paris (I could live in there). We also loved the croissants from Au Levain de Marais, which we tried to get every morning, the caramels from Jacques Genin (too bad they are so pricey!), and, in addition to the famed macarons, the chocolate sable cookies with fleur de sel from Pierre Hermé.
In the end, we ran out of time (and were trying to stick to a budget) so we didn't get to try everything we wanted to, but it was a great trip and we can't wait to get back!
Hmm. Well, I tend to prefer less hardy, more modern preparations, so for our upcoming holiday in July, we are having dinner at Spring, Frenchie (I've been going there since the first month it opened), Passage 53, Saturne, and, maybe, Jean Francois Piege's upstairs at Thoumieux.