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Paris Report

I've been in Paris alone for a few days as my husband has gone back to the US and my daughter back to the 16eme to study for exams and final papers.Here's a very short report:
Love the bread and croissants from Kaiser on rue Monge. It's not the best but very good and convenient. The almond croissants and pain au raisin are both excellent.My daughter and husband raved about the salmon tarte as well.
Cheese: the best cheese I'e had was a chevre from the marche en face du Tours Montparnasse. We had a picnic at Tuilieres(sp) on Saturday with that chevre and some saucisson with blue cheese which was excelllent, Have also enjoyed the cheese from Laurent Dubois at the Maubert metro stop. If you're coming to Paris soon don't miss les garigouettes(sp?) the long skinny spring strawberries.The supreme de pigeon that my daughter and I had at Pirouette was served with asperges blancs which are also in season now.
Special kudos to John Talbott who reviewed Pirouette where we ate on Saturday night. The foie gras en terrine entree was according to my daughter the best she's had all year in Paris and the pigeon and the desserts were excellent. The oeufs a la planche a puree des asperges was also very good, as was their speciality Alouette sans tete facon Pirouette.My husband had some sort of saucisson with Iberica ham which was excellent as well(pluma Iberica with spicy tiny potatoes).He doesn't speak a word of french and was glad to have the menu explained in English. I enjoyed my first glass of wine without sulfates. The rice pudding at Pirouette was unbelievalbly good! Overall a great choice for my husband's last night in Paris!Tomorrow my daughter and I are going to Septieme for dinner. Would love to hear your suggestions as to what to order? The only disappointment was the chocolate from Patrick Roger(blvd St. Germain). The gal wokring there today was not friendly and I didn't think the chocolate was that good. I'm hoping to get to Carl Mainetti tomorrow for a tartelette au citron. Oh and for cheap eats in a simple stting we enjoyed the bon bun at Pho Tai in the 13eme. We started with some rolls in cellophane noodles and my daughter had a wonderful vietnamese drink and then we all had bo bon. For dessert we had an excellent banana with a coconut cream wrapped in a banana or palm leaf. We were the only table with tourists. Very good and well off the tourist trail.Thanks for all the advice from the hounds here!

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  1. "Special kudos to John Talbott"
    Well after the hammering I've taken about Goust it's good to hear.

    1. Septime is a set menu so there's no choice.

      1. Do go to Carl Marletti for his tarte au citron; excellent, though the high-end designer pastries such as his are getting very expensive. For half the price, the ones from Kayser at his Monge shop is very good; the bottom of nut crust is on the thick side but I love crust and it doesn't get soggy even eaten in the evening. He only makes it with the meringue topping.

        1. The advice I was given (by a super-Hound) before going to Patrick Roger the first time was this: Just get the bars. Skip all the rest and get the bars." So I did. All I can say is WOW! Best bars ever. Bought 4 different kinds, and liked the Cote d'Ivoire the best. This year I brought back 5 bars of just that.

          18 Replies
          1. re: ChefJune

            Thanks ChefJune ! I was missing a good bars source to bring back, why haven't i tried Roger's before ? :-)

            1. re: oferl

              We all thought they were worth every penny. I'm jonesing for some Cote d'Ivoire right now...

              1. re: ChefJune

                From this post l bought some bars last week and they were indeed awesome even the milk at 45% was great.
                Funny the salesgirl in the St Germain store was indeed a PITA, my bill was 19.80 and she would not take credit as they do not accept credit under 20 euros.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Well, of course, you need to add another 9 € bar to your basket.
                  Cannot believe they don't take plastique under 20. I went there a lot and usually did not buy more than 2 at a time. Guess I paid cash. I would at least remember being rejected with a card if it had happened.
                  Was the milk choco that good? I never sample it anywhere feeling, why bother? Are you in Paris in June? We can split a bar or three if you like.

                  Oferl, not sure why but you have been missing out, indeed.
                  What I find exceptional about Roger is the quality of nuts. Fresher and better texture than when buying 'good' nuts almost anywhere.
                  And have only had bars, what else is there?

                  1. re: dietndesire

                    We passed there yesterday and took several ecaudor bars and a dozen pralins that will be the dessert for Versaille picnic tomorrow :) I like Rogers pralins, his oatmeal and passion fruit might be two of the best i tried.. Nice that the St Germain shop so close to Dubois, we are fixed for choco and cheese for the rest of the week :) But Dubois prices really are up there now, as good as the cheese is, still that is really high, and the problem is i cannot restrain myself there..

                    1. re: oferl

                      Indeed I did that double often.
                      Ecuador is the favorite of one of the most notable and esteemed posters(obviously, not me).
                      What are the prices at Dubois now? Last I was there, most of the more expensive were 27-31, I would say, with a couple at 33€ for those by the kilo.

                      1. re: dietndesire

                        Your prices sound about right. Dubois very, very aged amazing Morbier is 22.50. The oldest comte now goes for 46. His Italian cheeses are silly expensive, Testun la Barolo at 63, but most imported here are quite expensive.
                        Find his stuff to be priced far below Barthelemy and perfect shape.
                        For just normal stuff a man at Bastille market has very low prices for petit basque, beaufort, and others l get. On Beaumarchais side just Bastille side of the stand where a huge ham is handsliced every Sunday.
                        Another place not as well aged, but stunning selection is Ferme St Hubert on Rue Rochechouart, closest metro Cadet, Poissonerie, or Barbes-Rochechouart.
                        Sorry to miss you in June D&D but have stuff in states l have to do so leaving soon and back in September.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          Den and I will be in Paris for the first 2 weeks in October ~ maybe we could arrange a little cheese tutorial with you one afternoon and have a degustation with the Parigis?

                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                            Unfortunate we will not cross paths. How many months is the oldest comte, currently? No need for Italian cheese in Paris. And once one has the prices they might be obtained for in Italy(or even the US if you know the right importer which is almost none but still)in your mind, it just cannot be done. At least by me.
                            I am sure I will be a moron with location and have to ask you more specifically for your cheese guy at Lenoir but thanks.It is such a crap shoot and I never had the patience to go through every stall at every market.What is his price for petit basque if you recall? I do love to compare.
                            I found fab chorizo though.Imported Spanish, relatively cheap and no junk unlike even Oteiza. That is in the 'boonies' of Paris proper though where I often am. Soup and Pti were impressed enough.
                            And about that morbier you rate amazing. You said it is very aged but any other difference to describe the taste from a more usual morbier? Soup had one that I tried and it was awesome.The catch is that I don't like morbier much(and he said he did not either) but this was great, very, completely(to me) unlike morbier. Not very 'bleu' in taste which was a positive for us.Then I went to Dubois(SGP shop where he got his) within 2 days, tried what they had and that was the usual type morbier that I dislike. Maybe you have some pointers to get me back to the morbier I enjoy. But there is plenty of fine cheese without it.Wonder if Monoprix still has that cheap and good cantal that was on sale half the time for 8€.Great find for being downstairs from my flat.
                            You are leaving, Soup will not be around, I am left to my own devices.

                            1. re: dietndesire

                              Comte, l believe, is 2010, thus @ 36 months. Even when Souphie and l drove to M Antony in Alsace, none of his 48 month was available. OTOH bought the Marcel Petite 36 month at Ferme St Hubert and it was stand up and applaud perfect, at 39.The P'tit Basque was 21.40 at Bastille market.
                              l am in Manhattan a lot, email me on my info page.

                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                Sorry, I just saw this reply. I knew I would have to ask about your cheese spot in Bastille. I got there as half of everything was closing(1315hrs,seriously,thought I was good until 1330).
                                Is it in the west most or center of the 3 aisles? I found one that seemed about right but was center on Beaumarchais side of that. Relatively large, staffed by youngish Arabs had quite a few high end Basque type on the left though I didn't see Ptit and everything was quite high in price. Then I thought, maybe your guy is only on Sunday, not Thur. Also, any other exact recs are welcome because while I know a little about a little,I do not branch out so much because the chance for disaster is too high and I am no cheesemonger.Maybe I should have emailed you but maybe this is share worthy if you reply.

                                1. re: dietndesire

                                  Sunday only on Beaumarchais side, run by 50-60 year old man and 40-50 year old woman, both French. It is about 5-10 stands towards Bastille from the stand where ham is handcut off the bone, not Iberico type ham just baked ham, do try that as well.
                                  Ham shop may be Negroma or something near that.

                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                    Thought it might be Sunday only.
                                    I will surely find it if I make it there, thanks.

                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                      Thanks for the tip, successful trip today. Monsieur was more helpful than the service at Dubois. Sure I went to the latter on Saturday at the idiot mob hour but I demonstrated enough that I should be receiving better help. Usually, it is quite proper but not this time. Hopefully, this is not par for the course.

                            2. re: dietndesire

                              We've been paying mid€40s for the aged comte. Sounds high until you reflect that at home we are paying high $20s/pound for small production cheeses. Makes the kilo prices sound downright inexpensive.

                              1. re: mangeur

                                I was going to respond about the pricing exactly the same.
                                But you are wise and rational in your approach.
                                Even at 46€/kg, and current fx, it comes to about 28USD/lb which is where I assume Oferl is from.
                                Honestly, for a shop with top rep in the big rent district in the city of Paris for cheese that has been aged, this price is hardly unreasonable.
                                To me, what is outrageous is basically every cheese being 25/lb at the minimum(and more like 28-35) in every farmers' market in the US. Their costs are not higher and their products are not superior so, I cannot abide. The pretense of selling some cheese of the gods is too much along with the undertones that the prices are break even for them if you ask the question.
                                So Oferl,28 as the most expensive in the shop(I think the aged comte is at Dubois) in comparison should make you feel better now when you realize you are not spending any more than you usually do in the US if you buy the 'fancy', 'local', whatever.

                                1. re: dietndesire

                                  Hi DD, im from Israel, wont start even about the cheese possibilities i have, altough it is not that hard today to get many imported cheeses, but the prices are high for sure, higher then Dubois for sure, as you mention also in the states things are not far better with imports..
                                  But im more interested in chevre and less speciality cheeses like the more aged cow or sheep etc, altough Comte is a must every trip, all other cow milk cheeses i usually pass, taking quantities of clacbitou and chabichou, other that name always skip, Courene lechois i think or something like that :) So for comte im for sure satisfied, but the goat cheese, felician 7 others 8 plus now, get me thinking maybe going supermarkets level with those..Those are pretty much the prices i get for nice good small farms goat cheese at home, altough not as good as French possibilities of course, but not bad at all. Maybe im mistaken, but i remeber much better prices for the chevre here even in Barthelemy etc.. Altough i know, everything went up in last years..

                2. Thanks for the info . What wasn't "working" for you with Roger's chocolates ? I thought they were very good, very well balanced in tastes, excellent technique quality, high quality cocolates probably used, maybe not Genin's level, but good stuff. Some very nice flavor ideas like the oatmeal, citrus flavors, passion fruit.. Maybe the attitude had high impact on impression?