Paris Report -- July 2012
Just returned from a wonderful three weeks in France with my wife and 10-year old daughter, one of which was spent in Paris. The following is some dining highlights while in Paris:
Le Severo -- On our first night in Paris, I figured that I would ease my daughter into French dining with some Steak Frites. My wife and I had dined here 5 years ago and enjoyed it very much. Our starters were the fried boneless pig foot which was delicious, a pate which was actually more like a headcheese also good and beautiful tomatoes and mozzarella salad. We all had Steak Frites, my wife and daughter had the filet and I tried the faux filet, the filet was better and the frites were outstanding, in fact my daughter had a second order. I cannot recall what we had for dessert but it was good. I had a decent bottle of Burgundy and an outstanding bottle of Southern Rhone.
The next day we had lunch at Les Papilles which is a fun small bistro. We all tried the menu of the day which consisted of a stater of a wonderful Gazpacho with fried Spanish ham. The entree was an Osso Bucco with great provincial veggies, eggplant, olives, etc. The meat was a little tough but the sauces and veggies were outstanding. Next was an outstanding cheese offering with some pineapple jelly. Dessert was oustanding Pan Cotta with an awesome Creme brulee foam. The foam may have been one of the best things I ate on this trip. Had a nice Rose with lunch.
Dans les Landres -- We had dinner at this tapas themed restaurant. We shared several different dishes, including: fried squid, which as very good; fried polenta with smoked duck, much like a croquette also good; excellent grilled quail; Falafel with duck and foie gras, good but middle eastern spices overpowered the dish; Prawns with Thai sauce, my daughters favorite; pork belly with a great sweet sauce; and fried camembert cheese with apples, this dish missed to much fried crust not enough cheese or apples. Overall a good restaurant and a good choice if you have a large lunch and want something lighter for dinner.
The next day to Versailles and toured the palace and grounds. That night we had tickets to go a fireworks show on the grounds, so we went into town to have dinner. After a couple of false starts in the rain, we ended up at a lovely new tea shop on Rue d' Anjou just a short walk from the palace entrance. The shop is run by Mike, a very friendly Brit and his wife. The wife and I had some much needed wine and my daugher had some great tea. His shop is worth a trip if in Versailles. He recommended the crepe shop next to his shop. So we went to Le Carre aux Crepes. The place was very good. They have a great variety of both savory and sweet crepes. Our waiter was great, in fact he was the only waiter for the entire restaurant which could probably seat 60. Even when the place got busy, he was very prompt with service.
Chez Denise -- The next day we had lunch at Chez Denise. My wife and I have eaten here before and enjoyed it very much. We started with an awesome Pork terrine with great house mustard and gherkins. I had rabbit in a tasty mustard cream sauce, in fact, my daughter may have eaten more of this dish that me. My wife had lamb chops which were fine but clearly from a older lamb. If you like a stronger lamb flavor, these are for you. My daughter ordered a beef brochette with frites. This dish was huge and solid if not spectacular. We shared a creme caramel for dessert which was very light and sweet. We had a nice bottle of the house red which comes from a cask on the bar and had a great conversation with a local at the next table.
Philou -- We were suppose to have dinner there but after Chez Denise and being tired from touring with passed on this restaturant.
Les Jalles -- We had dinner her the next evening. It is a fairly new and very sleek bistro. It is a very clean and pretty interior. The restaurant has a fairly limited menu, 4 or 5 starters, and the same number of entrees. None of the starters particularly appealed to any of us, so we decided to go direclty to the entreee. My wife and I agreed to split a veal chop for 2 which was to be carved tableside. My daughter decided on the beef medallions. The waiter informed us the veal would take 40 minutes to prepare and suggested we have a starter, so we decided to begin with cheese plates to go with our delicious Bordeaux wine. While this is out of the ordinary in France, the restaurant accommodated us with no problems and even brought our daugher a simple green salad. The veal chop was delicious and beautifully prepared and carved. My daughter said her dinner was good and I will have to take her word because she did not share one bite. We had a great lemon tart and a nice dark chocolate tart for dessert. This was our most expensive meal, but I believe it was worth it.
Fish la Boissonnerie -- On Sunday evening we ate at this tiny but very good restaurant in the St. Germain area. If you go here, reservations are a must. The restaurant seats around 30 and all tables were reserved. This restaurant not only has very good food but it is also a great value. A 3 course dinner was 35 euro. Unfortunately, I lost my notes from this dinner, so I am having to go by memory. My starter was a great vegetable quinoa with some outstanding okra. My daugher had a nice tomato salad and I cannot recall what my wife had, but it was good. We had duck with peaches, pork crown roast and salmon for dinner. All were very good. For dessert, I had a chocolate cherry dish which was great, I do not recall the other desserts but I do believe they were good. NIce, well priced wine list. This was probably my favorite place to eat for combination of good food, great value and fun place.
I am going to prepare separate posts for our time in Normandy and Provence.
I would like to recommend Patricia Wells' "Food Lover's Guide to Paris" app if you are travelling to Paris and like to eat. It has a nice French to English food glossary if you are French challenged like me. Also, it has a great map of all of Paris which I used instead of carrying a map. It is also useful in supplying addresses and phone numbers.
Thank you so much for reporting back. You seemed to have researched well and planned well so that everyone.enjoyed himself. Bravo.
"a fairly limited menu, 4 or 5 starters, and the same number of entrees."
In the contrary, the restaurant seems to have an extensive menu. The good bistros are - ad should be - fanatically market-driven, serving a limited number of dishes with fresh, in-season ingredients. You are lucky to have 4 or more dishes for each course.
I am amazed that the restaurant let you have cheese as an entrée (which is the word for "starter" in French). It is like having dessert before the main. You are lucky it worked out for everybody.