VERY LONG Paris trip report – Dinner Highlights
My husband and I just got back from a week long trip to Paris, and in hopes of helping someone like myself, I wanted to write a trip report of our eating highlights. Overall, we ate really well and had great service everywhere we went. We do not speak French, but a polite ‘Parlez-vous engles?’ went a long way. We enjoy a long dining experience, were never in a rush, and enjoy walking as much of the city as we could. First night’s dinner was nothing special, so I’ll start with the second night.
Tuesday dinner: Le Violon d’Ingres. Lovely décor; we sat at a bar level table near the entrance because the a/c was broken and we wanted to feel the breeze. The cheesy goodness puff pastry amuse bouche was airy and light. We shared the spring vegetables stuffed with pork as a starter and it was a beautifully delicate dish. My husband had the cassoulet (huge portion) and I had the night’s rotisserie special – lamb. Both were excellent, the cassoulet was a bit salty, but husband though it was perfect. Dessert was the highlight. We shared the frozen vacherin with black currant sorbet and bourbon ice cream. So, so good. Followed by espressos served with a madeleine and a caramel. Perfection. All of our dinners concluded with an espresso, but this one had standout accompaniments.
Wednesday dinner: Le Reminet. We sat outside on a cool evening night. Very cute, romantic restaurant. To start, we had the sautéed squid salad with watermelon and feta. Interesting combination, but tasty. I had the double pork chop with mushroom polenta and apples. Most of the chop was served off the bone, but it was still very tender. Apples always taste great with pork, but polenta was a bit dry. Husband’s meal was awesome. It was some sort of beef hash, topped with a potato galette, topped with a significant portion of foie gras, topped with pickled beet salad. Every layer was perfection and obviously worked great together. Dessert was not memorable, but we wanted something sweet. We split the shortbread with lemon cream, strawberries and lime sorbet. We weren’t sure if we should go here at first based on some not-so-great chow reviews, but were very happy that we didn’t skip it.
Thursday dinner: Les cocottes. Yes, another Christian Constant place. After an unfortunate reservation mix up, we were hungry and headed straight here after enjoying Le Violon so much. We didn’t want to have to wait long to eat or end up at a place that was just so-so. At the restaurant, without a reservation, we were seated right away at the bar. We heard there was better service at the bar, anyways. Husband started out with the country style pate and I had the langoustine ravioli with artichoke mousseline. The ravioli was so sweet and subtle in flavor; I had to mop up the entire bowl with bread. For our entrees, I had their chicken special cooked Asian style in honey with ginger and soy and husband had the pigeon stuffed with foie gras. He loved it. A lot. For dessert we had some Basque cheese with black cherry jam and more bread, of course. A great way to end this casual meal.
Friday dinner: Bistro Poulbot. After spending the day wandering the streets of Montmartre, this was a great find. We were the only Americans in the place, which we loved. To start I had the tri-color tomato salad and husband had the sea bass carpaccio. Both were good. But both entrees were awesome. Husband had the lamb shoulder (huge piece) served with roasted eggplant and I had the turbot fish fried with tomato and basil inside and served with lentils. Dessert was a champagne soufflé with raspberries. A nice light finish after a heavy, yet very delicious meal.
Saturday dinner: L'Affable. We initially had planned a dinner at Le Chateaubriand, but the restaurant cancelled our reservation and told our hotel that they were beginning several weeks of renovations that day. Initially upset, we ended up not even being hungry for dinner that day after a very big lunch. L'Affable was a quick find close to our hotel. Without a reservation, we waited for about 20 minutes at the bar and enjoyed a nice glass of champagne. For dinner husband had the sweetbreads and I had the cod. The fish was very light and exactly what I wanted and husband enjoyed the sweetbreads. I thought they were a bit too rich, especially after overindulging earlier that day.
For Saturday’s lunch, we took the morning market cooking class with Cook’n with Class. The whole experience was amazing, the abundant amount of food we made was delicious, and Chef Constance was a real pleasure to spend most of our day with. If you are looking to take a cooking class in Paris, I’d encourage you to check them out, located in Montmartre. Most of our other lunches were just a stop at a Boulangerie or Crêperie and we were more than satisfied. The galettes from Breizh Café were spectacular. The runny egg on top still makes me savor.
And for those that want to know, in general, we averaged about 150-200 Euros for each dinner that included at least one bottle of wine, appetizers, entrees, dessert and coffee for two people.
I hope you enjoy reading, because I enjoyed writing! Any questions?