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Jul 3, 2012 05:20 AM

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

I've just started a two week trip to Paris with many fine restaurant experiences organised thanks largely to this site. So to say thanks, I will be writing about my thoughts about each place, though an accomplished food writer I am not.

My current schedule includes l'Astrance, Le Cinq, Jules Verne, Septime, Spring, Les Papilles, Huitrerie Regis, Au Petit Sud Oest and maybe Le Meurice. I will also add thoughts about the various patisseries and other food stores I will visit. 

Yesterday I ate at Septime with a dear friend who recommended it. It is a set menu, and they take your allergies and food preferences as part of the order. We left the choice of wine up to our waiter, who did know what we were eating :). We had five courses of mostly fish, which were presented well, with an emphasis on very fresh and clean tastes. I had already noticed that tomato water seems to be a 'thing' these days (it hasn't hit my hometown yet) and it was present in the first dish with white tuna and cucumber. The freshness continued throughout the courses. The meal was light yet quite filling and I couldn't finish the chocolate dessert (though the icecream with basil was excellent). 

We had a light Pinot d'au nIs with the meal, which is a new variety for me. it was the perfect accompaniment. 

What impressed me most about the meal was the fresh light natural tastes, something I don't generally associate with Paris. Their garnishes (particularly the olive reduction and artichoke mousse) were excellent. 

My friend particularly enjoyed the dish with guinea hen. 

The meal came to €171.00 - comparable to a similar meal in Australia.

Also yesterday I visited the épicerie at Le Bon Marché. I usually go to the food hall at La Galleries Lafayette, and after further consideration I still prefer it. Both from a visual /aesthetic perspective and I believe it is better (I recognise this is purely a personal preference). My view was unfortunately reinforced by the millefeuille I bought from the patisserie there - it just wasn't worth finishing. It is true that I was comparing it to an amazing millefeuille that I had last year which I have to find again. But it wasn't nice enough to finish, and it was not just about the calories. 

I have just lunched at Au Petit Sud Oest as I am a big foie gras fan, and tried the goose foie gras with fig. It was very fine, in both taste and texture. A more elegant foie gras than I'm used to. I need to remember to wait till the dish warms up, it was served too cold to appreciate the full flavours. A lovely melt in the mouth experience and I will return.  

This afternoon I am headed to Fauchon. Also on my list is Jacques Genin (tarte au citron) and the Boulanger that won best baguette this year, on rue ordener in the 18th.

Would appreciate any thoughts, comments, advice.... I have more gaps in the diary to fill. :)

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  1. After your Genin stop, head across the street to 134 rue de Turenne and try one of Benjamin's baguettes. I think they're pretty good. He placed second a few years ago.

    Have you been to Cafe Pouchkine or La Patisserie des Reves yet?

    4 Replies
    1. re: PattyC

      I ran out of data so missed this tip! :(

      Haven't heard of Cafe Pouchkine - what's their specialty? And the patisserie Is on my maybe list.... What do you recommend there PattyC?

      1. re: AussieJude

        Here's a thread on Cafe Pouchkine I liked their charlotka but everything looked good. I was very sorry I didn't have any room for their viennoserie.

        I like the Paris brest at La Patisserie des Reves but again I think it's hard to go wrong here :)

        1. re: PattyC

          Thank you, Pouchkine seems a perfect stopover when my sister and I go shopping at Printemps next week. :)

      2. re: PattyC

        Genin's millefeuille is filled to order, no soggies here.

      3. Jaques Genin's tarte au citron was not ready. I spent 20 minutes queueing for the salon du thé, (because I couldn't have bought a take away tarte anyway) and it came to me still quite liquid, which they had explained. I wonder what the consistency would have otherwise been. It was still delicious, not too sweet. The pastry was excellent. Not as good as the one I had last visit to Paris.

        And because it was not perfect (i'm guessing) they also gave me two chocolates. :) I picked up some caramels as well.

        I'm on an iPad, it's a shame Chowhound isn't iPad friendly so I could upload some photos.

        5 Replies
        1. re: AussieJude

          They give everybody "free" chocolates :)

          1. re: AussieJude

            Jacques Genin is where you should have tried the millefeuille. it's made to order!

            1. re: ChefJune

              Sounds like it's worth going back if I feel millefeuille deprived again this trip!

              1. re: AussieJude

                I always confuse Jacques Genin and Jean Paul Hevin... I must be kind of dyslexic...
                Lovely chocolates too!

          2. Unless you're in the neighborhood anyway, I wouldn't go out of my way to go to the boulangerie on rue ordener. It's a great baguette, but slightly underwhelming for what you'd expect to be "the best".

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rio Yeti

              This morning for breakfast I shared a very good baguette, croissants and other pastries from Nelly Julien with my airbnb hosts.

              I agree with you, Rio Yeti - there are plenty of great boulangeries in Paris and I'm sure normal daily fluctuations would cancel out differences between the best boulangeries anyway.

            2. Sounds like you are having a good time AussieJude. If you want some respite from the generally awful coffee in Paris head to Coutume, 47 rue Babylone in the 7th. A Barista from Melbourne will make you a sensational espresso.
              Best Regards

              1. l think H Regis is closed for the season.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Thanks, will be sure to call before we go..