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Nov 7, 2011 06:53 AM

Where is your favorite Cassoulet? [Paris]

We will be visiting in December and i am sure that will be the perfect dish to take off the winter's brrrrrr. Any recommendations?

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  1. Le Violon d'Ingres. 135, rue Saint-Dominique, 7th. It's one of the small chain of Christian Constant restaurants and cafés.

    A bonus: You can get a serving for one. In many restaurants, it is only served for two.

    3 Replies
    1. re: RandyB

      I second Violon, but please remember that there are many fine recipes for Cassoulet; I like most of them. A good excuse to sample a variety of Cassoulet preparations.

      1. re: Oakglen

        Absolutely right, many variations. I even had a good one from a can. It was fairly nondescript packaging. I got it at a Marché des Producteurs in the Marais a few years ago. In other words, it was from a small producer showing their wares at this annual event.

        It isn't the same as going to a place like the Violon, but wasn't bad on a frigid night when I did not want to venture out.

        1. re: RandyB

          Canned cassoulet is very good when you choose the right brands. Like tripe, sardines and fish soup, it is perfect canning food. Look for brands like La Belle Chaurienne, Spanghero, Delpeyrat, Larnaudie...

    2. Two basic methods of making/serving. It depends greatly on your preference to which places are recommended. The typical way is for the dish to cook in an earthenware dish and as the top dries and hardens this is cut in, usually for 3 or more times. The more normal way is it is cooked in a huge pot, when ordered a portion is placed in a dish and baked until the customer is ready for it. This produces a product that has very little crust on the top and IMVHO, makes a far more boring product as while different meats the basic dish is the same texture throughout. Easy to find # 2, getting very hard to find # 1.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        I remember my husband's ordering cassoulet at Chez Maitre Paul on one of our first visits to Paris. It was brought to the table with ceremony, the crusty top broken, the soft interior spooned into a soup-plate and, to my horror, the crust taken back to the kitchen. I was too shocked to voice a complaint on my husband's behalf, and let it slide. I never figured that one out. Was he shorted because we were obviously tourists? Was this usual to retain the crust for the pot? What happened, I will never know. I do know that we never returned.

        1. re: mangeur

          Probably like those new, synthetic corks. Similar problem with crusts. The world's crust supply is running out, so some places use a plastic imitation. They have to take it away after serving so you don't try to eat it.

          1. re: RandyB

            What would be next, creme brulee tops, onion soup tops, the list could be endless. {8>o)

          2. re: mangeur

            I suspect that ordering a Southwestern dish in a Franche-Comté restaurant would expose you to such disappointments.

            1. re: Ptipois

              Do doubt, Pti. But at that time, we were way to callow to know the difference. And how could we expect to go wrong following Patricia Wells? (LOL)

              1. re: mangeur

                Actually, the story is worse than described above. We were meeting friends who chose the restaurant. I told them we would meet them IN FRONT OF Chez Maitre Paul because I wanted to check the menu, not at all sure that I wanted to go there. When we arrived, they weren't there, but soon waived us in. They were seated at an elevated corner table for 6, obviously the best in the house. (Rats. I guess we're eating here tonight.) Midway through the first course, the maitre d' approached and asked if we had a reservation. Nope. An irate party stood near the door expecting their long-reserved table. Our friends had given our name which sounded vaguely like the reserved party and snagged the table.

                Beginning with their not being at the agreed upon spot, the evening was a long slippery slope.

        2. I had a very good cassoulet at Allard a few years ago during a February visit - and a very nice meal overall. It is a good place for traditional cooking, and traditional cooking is very good in cold weather.
          February, by the way, was a great time to visit. No lines anywhere (I was able to do the Eiffel tower at last -- no line at all), no need for reservations, 1/3 off the hotel, great for walking. (of course it was dry. Had it been wet it could have been miserable)