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Trip Report by yyc_mom

y
yyc_mom Oct 7, 2012 12:56 PM

I am in Paris now, and enjoying myself thoroughly!

My request for suggestions was posted here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/871004
Thank you to everyone who made suggestions!

Trip report here:
Day 1, Saturday - The RER from CDG into Paris is under construction on the weekends. We took the bus to Mtiry-Claye and the RER in from there. Met the agent at our apartment, who was very nice, but a little too chatty, since we had less than 4 hours sleep on the plane.

Once we settled in, called Dans Les Landes for a reservation. "You want a reservation when?" "Yes, at 5 o'clock." "Okay." We had a nice walk over (although a bit drizzly), and a nice meal. The restaurant was mostly empty at 5pm. The chalkboard menu is reversible, with English (or mostly English) on the reverse side. We got the grilled quail filets, which were fantastic, Xistora sausage, very good, and the Italian sucrine salad - not at all expected, but quite good - lettuce with pasta and olives and pine nuts in a tomato dressing. Once we finished that, my husband thought he could do with one more dish, since this was our first meal since the muffin on the plane. We got the panis with chorizo and rosemary - some sort of deep fried goody. Mostly tasted like rosemary. Good, but not great. We had all that with a demi-pichet of red wine, some sort of Cote du Rhone. For deserts, we got the madeline fourees au chocolat au creme ovomatine. Excellent. Even though my husband didn't care for ovoltine as a kid, the creme was wonderful. The madelines tasted mostly like citrus though, you could not taste the chocolat in them. We also got the tourtiere aux pommes, which was okay. The total bill was 64 Euros. I think next time we would skip the panis, and try some dessert other than the tourtiere aux pommes.

Followng Dans Les Landes, we stopped at a fromagerie on Rue Monge and got Camembert, butter, yogurt, and ham, and a store on Rue Saint-Germain for fruit. Also got a baguette. This was midnight snack (still jet-lagged) and breakfast. Then attempted to sleep through the partying outside during Nuit Blanche.

Day 2: Market at Raspail. Pastries from Gerard Mulot. Mont-d'Or and aged Comte from Laurent Dubois. We had fun shopping at the Raspail Marche. After that, we went to Gerard Mulot and got a piece of peach tart, biscuit chocolat, and 4 macarons. The peach tart and biscuit chocolat were lunch (with the rest of the baguette and some cheese). The peach tart was tasty, with a nice flavor of cloves, I think. The biscuit chocolat was cake, not a cookie, and definitely had coffee in it. Very good. The total bill for the two pastries and 4 macarons was 14,93, which seems a little high to me. My husband was happy that I told him to buy the Mont d'Or, which he was debating over, because he loves stinky cheese, and I merely tolerate it. He enjoyed it a lot.

Between lunch and dinner, we went to the Eiffel Tower. We should have purchased tickets in advance, but I didn't know what sort of schedule we'd be on. So we stood in line, and ended up only going to the second level because the top was so crowded. Ah well. We will have more views from Sacre-Couer and Notre Dame.

We made dinner with our purchases from the day. To start: fresh radishes with salt and/or butter and/or mint. Dinner: variety of sausages, portobellos cooked with lots of butter and some shallots, and a sort of ratatouille, followed by a lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes and carrots, and a simple vinagrette. Dinner was fantastic. My favorite part was the buttery mushrooms; my husband loved the ratatouille, even with no herbs (he cooked eggplant with green peppers and tomatoes and shallots). After dinner, we had some of the aged comte, and ate the macarons from Gerard Mulot, which were amazing. We had chocolate, coffee, caramel, and almond-vanilla macarons. I think my favorite was the caramel, but they were all excellent. And we drank a bottle of Cote-du-Nuit. The aged comte was almost like candy - creamy with flecks of salt crystals. Excellent. For those keeping track of costs, we spent almost 30 Euros at the Raspail Marche, which is all organic - that included all our vegetables, the sausages, and a boulle of bread, plus some more grapes for breakfast tomorrow. And we have some leftover vegetables for dinner later in the week. The cheese and wine were purchased separately.

I am planning to go to Julien in the 4th for breakfast tomorrow, and then the Louvre. Not yet decided on lunch/snack plans, or on where to get protein for dinner.

I will continue to update my trip report as my trip progresses!

  1. j
    joeandmaria Oct 12, 2012 05:40 AM

    Yyc_mom- was it this Tuesday you were at Table d'eugene? If so were you the couple sitting next to the wall? If so we were just two seats over from you? There were only 3 English speaking tables there. We had many of the same lovely dishes and a wonderful lunch.

    4 Replies
    1. re: joeandmaria
      John Talbott Oct 12, 2012 08:15 AM

      Oh boy, my nabe is being flooded with auslanders.

      1. re: John Talbott
        j
        joeandmaria Oct 12, 2012 08:24 AM

        LOL. That is what happens when so many people trust your reviews. ;-)

      2. re: joeandmaria
        y
        yyc_mom Oct 12, 2012 12:51 PM

        Yes, that was us. :)

        1. re: yyc_mom
          j
          joeandmaria Oct 12, 2012 12:53 PM

          How funny is that!! I am slowly working on my trip report too.

      3. y
        yyc_mom Oct 11, 2012 01:42 PM

        Day 5: Morning at the Musee d'Orsay. Lunch at Chez L'Ami Jean. After having the degustation menu at La Table d'Eugene the day before, I didn't think I was up for another tasting menu again. For starters, my husband got the chorizo sausage, and I got Potage de Maman Philomene with croutons ciboulette. The waiter said this was parmesan cheese soup. It was excellent. Fantastic. Absolutely amazing. They brought a giant pitcher of it to leave on the table, but I couldn't finish, as it was mostly cream, and the rest of the meal was still to come. My husband is a fan of lobster, so for his plat, he ordered Homard bleu en cocotte cuit a'l'etouffe. I enjoyed the pigean so much the day before, I asked our waiter about the game birds on the menu. He said they were all very gamey, which I was okay with, and recommended the rabbit. I agreed to go with his recommendation. Both my husband and I found our plats good, but not exciting. I ordered the riz au lait for dessert, and it was quite good. The caramel sauce was really the kicker; without that, it wouldn't have been nearly as good. I think if I were to go back, I would have gone ahead and gotten the degustation menu. Let the chef decide what the best items are to send out to me.

        Comparing and contrasting with lunch the day before - CLJ is a fun room, with energy. The people get crammed in. We ended up talking a bit with our neighboring table. The kitchen is fun to watch. La Table d'Eugene is more calm, and a "nicer" room. I think the biggest contrast though, was that the staff at La Table d'Eugene seemed to have more time and patience with their non-French speaking customers. Part of that may have been that CLJ's menu seemed to have more options than at Eugene's. At both places, we had early lunch reservations (it seemed the tourists came in between 12-12:30, the locals closer to 1), but CLJ already seemed impatient with only 3 covers in the restaurant.

        5 Replies
        1. re: yyc_mom
          y
          yyc_mom Oct 11, 2012 01:50 PM

          My husband notes that he did not find the service at CLJ impatient, but he had already made up his mind, and I was still trying to figure out the options...

          1. re: yyc_mom
            Parigi Oct 11, 2012 01:57 PM

            And too bad you did not have the pigeon or wild duck there. They make it excellently.

            1. re: Parigi
              y
              yyc_mom Oct 11, 2012 02:04 PM

              I don't believe either was on the menu. They had four game birds - grouse, pheasant, and I can't recall the other two. I asked for a recommendation on the game birds, and was steered toward the rabbit.

              1. re: yyc_mom
                y
                yyc_mom Oct 11, 2012 02:05 PM

                Perhaps there was a miscommunication.

                1. re: yyc_mom
                  Delucacheesemonger Oct 12, 2012 12:28 AM

                  Usually they have palombe, which is wild pigeon.

          2. y
            yyc_mom Oct 11, 2012 01:26 PM

            Day 3:
            It was a Monday. My husband was jet lagged - ate in the middle of the night, then slept in. Due to the late hour, I grabbed a crepe from the nearest place as I left the apartment. It put food in my belly, but was not a taste sensation. We spent most of the middle of the day at the Louvre, and emerged around 3pm, ready for a snack. We stopped by the Restaurant du Palais Royal, but when we asked about a menu, they just gave us the regular menu - no discounted salon du the. Since we didn't want to break our budget, we decided to try someplace else. Wandered down rue du Richelieu, which I recalled had been said to have good food feng shui. Wandered into the first brasserie we saw that was open, Brasserie Richelieu. Again, the food was fine, but not anything to get excited about. I had onion soup, my husband had a charcuterie plate, and we both had hot chocolate.
            For dinner, we had leftovers from the previous night. For dessert, we went searching for Berthillion ice cream. Unfortunately, they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so we ended up in a restaurant across the street that serves Berthillion ice cream (there are places all over Ile St-Louis that serve Berthillion - it seems odd to go by a restaurant on the Ile without the Berthillion label on it). It was very very good.

            Day 4: Tuesday. Morning at Sacre Couer. Lunch at La Table d'Eugene. It was the food highlight of our trip so far. My husband wanted to get the degustutation menu. Our server (what do you call a lady waiter in France? In Canada, she would be a waiter, but we have no masculine/feminine distinctions...) asked the chef, and confirmed the menu with us prior to confirming our order. We had three entrees, a plat, and a dessert. We began with mackerel with beetroot puree, some dots of sorrel sauce, a couple of slices of green apple, and a crispy accompainment. It was good - an exploration of tastes and textures. The next entree was ravioli, I believe stuffed with fois gras, in a sauce with lentils. It was very rich and luxurious. My husband said "this wins". Next we had fois gras with mushroom puree, vanilla foam, and cocoa emulsion. I thought it was fantastic, but my husband didn't care for it. He doesn't like duck, and it was too duck-y for him. The mushrooms were wonderful with the fois gras. I was mopping up the plate. Lucky me, I ate all of mine and half of his. For the entree, we had pigeon with figs and celery puree, the daily special I had eyed on the board. Again, excellent! I don't recall having had pigeon before. It was meaty, like a steak. My husband said the celery pure was unbelievable. For dessert, we had the signature chocolate ball with ice cream inside that is melted when the hot chocolate is poured on top. It was very sweet. The ice cream was almost like a frozen mousee. It was quite good, but I would have preferred it less sweet, and if they'd used some nut other than hazelnut. My husband figured he got the duck, I got the hazelnuts, so it all evened out in the end. With 3 glasses of wine and water, our total was 145 Euros. The tasting menu was 58 Euros each.

            7 Replies
            1. re: yyc_mom
              Parigi Oct 11, 2012 01:31 PM

              La Table d'Eugène is one of my fond standbys too.
              But food fengshui on rue Richelieu? Sorriest I don't see it. I even googled rue Richelieu food fengshui right now, and found nothing.

              Indeed when one is in the touristy areas like around the Louvre, it is more important than ever to do some prior eatery research and not wander into any brasserie, steered by nothing by hunger.

              1. re: Parigi
                y
                yyc_mom Oct 11, 2012 01:47 PM

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7938...

                I think this is what I was going off of.

                1. re: yyc_mom
                  y
                  yyc_mom Oct 11, 2012 01:49 PM

                  That's the same post that said that the Restaurant du Palais Royal became a more affordable Salon du The after about 3pm....

                  1. re: yyc_mom
                    Parigi Oct 11, 2012 01:56 PM

                    Hmm, would not have been my choices, and I live quite nearby.

                    1. re: Parigi
                      y
                      yyc_mom Oct 11, 2012 02:01 PM

                      When I searched the boards for "Louvre", I found lots of equivocations... this place has good atmosphere, but it's always crowded... or this place has a great location, but the food is only okay... For visitors to the Louvre, what would you recommend (1) if you could recommend any place? and (2) if you were recommending a place for a quick bite (no reservation, not too expensive)?

                      1. re: yyc_mom
                        Parigi Oct 11, 2012 02:23 PM

                        If I were a visitor sightseeing near the Louvre and I wanted a bite…
                        A few places, very different, pop to mind.
                        Well, Spring of course, :-) but it's a biggie and one reserve 1 month in advance.
                        Maceo is also reliable.
                        On a very different register, the Japanese noodle bar Kunitoraya on rue Ste Anne is very user-frendly and good. There are other good noodle bars on the street but this is my fave.
                        Le Rubis is a very nice wine bar with simple food.
                        But for the same calibre as Chez l'Ami Jean and La Table d'Eugène, besides Spring there is also Saturne.
                        These meals range from 10-euro noodle soups to 100-euro pigouts. :)

                    2. re: yyc_mom
                      Parnassien Oct 11, 2012 02:56 PM

                      Sorry... the salon du thé side of the Restaurant du Palais Royal is only a summer thing.

                      And having worked in the area, I know that the perimeter streets around the Palais Royal are great for finding a decent lunch... and in subsequent posts I have given a list of individual restaurants

                      Unfortunately at 3pm when you were there, you were stuck with just brasserie options

              2. Delucacheesemonger Oct 8, 2012 02:16 AM

                "My husband was happy that I told him to buy the Mont d'Or, which he was debating over, because he loves stinky cheese, and I merely tolerate it. He enjoyed it a lot."

                If you think Mont d'Or is stinky, have him spend some time with me.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                  p
                  Ptipois Oct 8, 2012 03:18 AM

                  Edited for the glory of punctuation.

                  1. re: Ptipois
                    Delucacheesemonger Oct 8, 2012 11:27 AM

                    That could be the funniest line l have read on my many years on Chowhound, many thanks.

                  2. re: Delucacheesemonger
                    y
                    yyc_mom Oct 8, 2012 09:39 AM

                    The Mont d'Or actually wasn't particularly stinky. The rind was definitely the strongest part. At home, he likes Brie de Meaux, Camembert, and some other soft stinky cheeses I don't know the names of (luckily we live in Canada, where au lait cru is okay). I like the Dauphin and Chateau Bourgogne for soft buttery non-stinky cheeses, and I like some goat cheeses, and a variety of hard cheeses...
                    For now, the Mont d'Or is mostly gone, and we have some more of the aged Comte to eat. We will buy more cheese again tomorrow or the day after.

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