Chez Casimir - July 12th
2nd evening in paris...staying in the 10th. have managed to already walk about 8-10 miles in the 2 days! and we're just wandering...so after letting jet lag pass (we're here for 3 weeks and staying in an apartment), we wandered over to chez casimir in the 10th - a few blocks from gare du nord. no reservation and they were gracious - i'd say 4/5's full. we got a 2 top by the window inside at 8:30pm. the menu was 32 eu - the host wrinkled his nose at my husband's wine selection and picked an alsace pinot noir for us which was great - about 25 eu (the one he picked was the same price).
a soup with smoked duck breast slivers - the 'dry' in the bowl - smoked duck breast slivers, crouton and bits of carrot - and a pitcher of the soup. i only had a taste but the base was green and creamy - it was fabulous.
i had the salade du tete du cochon and am no longer a head cheese virgin! i liked his better; he liked mine better but i am not a huge aspic fan.
his: classic roasted chicken with mashed potatoes under - herbs all through the potatoes. classic and well-executed
mine: an osso bucco of monkfish sitting on top of slices of turnip. it was excellent.
3rd: the help yourself cheese platter. insanely good.
his: a deep deep cassis sorbet with rasberries - i tasted it. very intense - really fabulous
mine: a tarte au citron with fruit on top and a fruit syrup/sauce just lining the bottom of the shallow bowl. but what made it really good were the slivers of verbena and bits of poppy seed.
the atmostphere is classy casual and there was only one other table there speaking english a wonderful start to our trip.
Ce message fait tilt.
We live nearby (in the 9th), have not been there for a while. And love to walk home after a good meal. Pourquoi pas?
We had a deeply satisfying dinner.
Husband loved his salade du tete du cochon and its contrasting textures and tastes.
My girlfriend and I were tempted by the soup, but anticipating the hearty dishes to come and deadset to save some room for the dessert, we chickend out and went for the lobster salad. Excellent well-balanced seasoning, leaving only the deep layered taste of lobster and none of its bitterness.
Copycat all the way, had redgirl's osso bucco de lotte. Lotte: very tasty, not rubbery at all. Very fresh tasting. The leek was also very good, so good it reminds me of what Truman Capote said about the rich re vegetable.
Husband had poulet de bresse. Reputedly difficult to cook. Cooked here to perfection. We seldom order chicken in restos every since husband learned a few tricks watching Souphie doing his chicken worship. This chicken, man, did not die in vain.
Dessert: lemon tart topped with strawberries and cherries. Just enough tartness and just enough sweetness. Light, still deeply desert-y.
All that with a bottle of Côte de Nuits so reasonbly priced I had to reread the price.
Verdict: it was as satisfying, as high standard as the prix-fixe menu at Chez L'Ami Jean. Et c'est dire.
There has been a lot of talk re Café des Musées whose buzz is growing every minute. Since I went to both restaurants back to back, I must say that although I loved le Café des Musées, I like chez Casimir even more, food-wise, balance-wise, atmosphre-wise. O and food-wise.
This is how I would rank:
à la carte at chez l'Ami Jean trumps all.
Prix-fixe menu-wise, Jean and Casimir are par.
Café des Musées, when it has présalé, is close behind.
Without the présalé, I'd say it is 4th place out of the 3.
Lastly, thank you redgirl, for your report which inspired me.