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Welcome to Paris for 2 days

Delucacheesemonger Apr 10, 2011 03:30 PM

So l arrived on Thursday in Paris, got to the apartment, managed to unpack and a dear dear friend who is as good as great family emailed me to go to my favorite restaurant as his guest, Chez L'Ami Jean. OMG,OMG started with Spanish ham paper thin with bread and great butter, next was a lobster soup. INTENSE would be a gross understatement. Might have been my fav lobster ever, simple soup no fat enrichment but dense and you could smell it a block away. Next course was petoncle ( bay scallops ) lightly pan sauteed with herbs served in the shell, stand up and applaud. Number four was lobster claws with fresh uncooked peas, how something this simple was that good l do not know. Five was a huge dish of local, very local white asparagus with bacon on top that were so wonderful, six was a dish of morilles the size of doorknobs in a light cream sauce that went with the next course of veal filet the size of thick hockey pucks that were perfect as well. Whew, then the riz au lait, frais du bois with creme chantilly, and a fruit dessert that was over the top as well. Coffee and their wonderful cocoa dusted walnuts as mignardaise finished this three + hour extravaganza, what a welcome.
Returned the NEXT day to the petoncle again and a cotes du boeuf-off. My friend brought his own cotes and Stephane cooked both his and the interloper to compare. This was served with a very large dish of peas and bone marrow, and ecstasy prevailed. Followed by the same desserts and coffee and everyone, at least me, went home to sleep. If anyone ever wondered why l love Paris here it is, Sat and Sun were two picnics arranged by a hound who found two delightful gardens in Paris, and with perfect weather l still wonder why l ever leave this city

  1. johannabanana Apr 12, 2011 03:21 PM

    Whose côte de boeuf was better?

    6 Replies
    1. re: johannabanana
      Parigi Apr 12, 2011 03:56 PM

      I bet the diner's.

      1. re: Parigi
        plafield Apr 12, 2011 05:49 PM

        Oh Stefan, I'm so jealous! Why indeed do any of us ever leave Paris?

        1. re: Parigi
          Delucacheesemonger Apr 12, 2011 07:21 PM

          The verdict was mixed by the three of us.

        2. re: johannabanana
          souphie Apr 12, 2011 10:34 PM

          One was a Simmenthal from Boucheries Nivernaises. It was younger, less aged, but more tender. Stéphane's was a Limousine from Hugo Desnoyer, more aged and from an older animal, definitely more tasty, but less tender. The fight goes on.

          1. re: souphie
            johannabanana Apr 13, 2011 11:53 AM

            Aha -- I'm gradually piecing together Deluca's anonymous CAJ and picnic companions as souphie and Parigi. The beef conundrum reminds me of the debate here in New York between high quality grain-finished and exclusively grass-fed steak.

            1. re: johannabanana
              Parigi Apr 13, 2011 12:04 PM

              Ever the gentleman, DCM did not want to out us.

        3. s
          sleepercar Apr 11, 2011 08:03 PM

          Any chance you'd give up the location of the two "delightful gardens"?

          9 Replies
          1. re: sleepercar
            Parigi Apr 12, 2011 12:17 AM

            - Jardin Saint-Gilles-Grand-Veneur
            - Jardin Anne Frank.
            Re the former, a Parisian hound who is an award-winning author of cookbooks and guidebooks could not find it, LOL.
            We had a blast. Stuffed ourselves with: roast chicken from the Richard Lenoir market, foie gras, bellota chorizo, DCM's C, pâté and fruit salad from Pti, Garriguette strawberries, pastries from Meg.

            1. re: Parigi
              gowest Apr 12, 2011 03:55 AM

              Question if I may, what exactly is really "in season" right now?
              strawberries? asparagus?
              anything else?

              I am going on Saturday and don't have a great grasp of the produce cycles in France.

              1. re: gowest
                Parigi Apr 12, 2011 04:00 AM

                "strawberries? asparagus?"
                O yes. Aspargus, be it white, green or wild, is hitting its strides.
                Romanesco too, which my Russian-origined primeur (assistant of Weird Vegetable Lady) have nicknamed les choux de Tchernobyl.
                You can also catch the last of the Maltaises oranges.

                1. re: Parigi
                  sweetteach Apr 12, 2011 04:17 AM

                  Sounds like a place to consider, why have there been a lot of negative reviews? Your meal sounds amazing and I will be thinking about it all day!

                  1. re: sweetteach
                    Parigi Apr 12, 2011 04:24 AM

                    "Sounds like a place to consider, why have there been a lot of negative reviews?"

                    The rose gardens? I have never heard any negative reviews but I too will start to trash them so that no one will go there.
                    Or you don't mean me and the rose gardens although your msg is marked "re: Parigi"; you mean the OP and Chez L'Ami Jean. It is best to ask the negative reviewers directly and not ask us to guess others' experience. Like DCM, I'm a fan of chez L'Ami Jean. Alway my meals there are not just good, they are memorable.
                    Even if you mean chez L'Ami Jean, I myself have not heard "a lot" of negative reviews.

                    1. re: Parigi
                      gowest Apr 12, 2011 04:30 AM

                      another question:
                      We are allowed to have open bottles of wine in the parks in Paris, right?

                      In NYC you aren't and I have seen park police actively enforce it in situations where it was not a problem: cute young couple on the high-line with oysters and champagne at sunset. kept on hoping the guy wasn't planning on proposing as it completely messed up their evening. They were so cute too.

                      1. re: gowest
                        Parigi Apr 12, 2011 05:43 AM

                        Very recently the French government outlawed alcohol in public parks. How is it enforced? Not at all.
                        Or nearly.
                        Last Saturday at the Jardin Anne Frank, holding a glass (well, plastic cup) of a nice Burgundy white, I went to talk to the lady taking care of the potager and who was about to give a lesson to little children about seed planting. The, well, eccentric gardien came over to tell me I was not supposed to drink in the park. The lady in charge of the potager defended me bec et ongles. The eccentric gentleman conceded that I could drink wine in the park but should do so "discrètement". Meanwhile, the other hounds sitting a little ways continued to eat eat and made merry.
                        Throughout, the potager lady was somewhat embarrassed by his intervention and kept reassuring me that she had never seen this law cited, a law that came into effect only recently after a few high-profile "apéro géant" - organized online - went wrong.

                        Gowest, sweetteach, please report back to us about your experience and help us update all the info.

                  2. re: Parigi
                    gowest Apr 12, 2011 04:20 AM

                    "les choux de Tchernobyl" funny

                2. re: Parigi
                  Ptipois Apr 13, 2011 12:25 PM

                  "Re the former, a Parisian hound who is an award-winning author of cookbooks and guidebooks could not find it, LOL."

                  Now I know why I never got an award for a guidebook. Duh.

              2. t
                t14072 Apr 11, 2011 05:57 PM

                And where did we eat today? No Koign Amann? I am going to London tomorrow and don't expect the fish to taste as good as that. I hope my meals are at least a 1 OMG.

                1 Reply
                1. re: t14072
                  Delucacheesemonger Apr 12, 2011 12:24 AM

                  Of course there was a Kough Amann, there is always Kough Amman. Yesterday from Au Grenier du Pain at Place D'Italie; not as good as their location on rue Abbesses, but still Kough amann

                2. ChefJune Apr 11, 2011 07:05 AM

                  Stefan, you are making me so hungry! I am finding it harder and harder to believe I still have not been there. DEFINITELY in October!

                  1. Parigi Apr 11, 2011 05:34 AM

                    You are too funny. In 2 days you spent 8 hours chez l'Ami Jean.
                    And I agree with you. In another thread I said that CAJ is the kind of restaurant I would miss if ever I go insane and leave Paris and live somewhere else.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Parigi
                      olivierb Apr 12, 2011 01:11 PM

                      I could not agree more : last time I was in Paris for 3 days, I also spent 8 hours at l'Ami Jean (oh, well, OK, probably more like 6 or 7). And that's only because they're closed on Sundays. Sigh...

                    2. a
                      AGM_Cape_Cod Apr 11, 2011 05:18 AM

                      I have had a few ( too few) wonderful meals at CAJ so I was with you from the start. The lobster soup sounded fabulous but the morilles and veal put it over the top. I AM SO JEALOUS!!! I don't think we will get to Paris until next March. sigh. Thanks for letting me visit Paris vicariously through you.
                      Also it is nice to get a report rather than the endless questions. I often wonder what happened to the people who asked the questions. Too few report back.

                      1. Rio Yeti Apr 11, 2011 04:12 AM

                        Spanish ham with butter !! I know a few spanish friends who would die of a heart attack if they heard that ! ;)

                        However your description sounds amazing, and CAJ is the next restaurant I will try for sure !

                        1. g
                          gowest Apr 11, 2011 03:36 AM

                          Sounds divine.
                          I love bay scallops.
                          How was Pierre Gagnaire?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: gowest
                            Delucacheesemonger Apr 11, 2011 02:48 PM

                            Very very good. Uhockey will write his awesome review, but we both loved it.

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