Yesterday's lunch at Le Templier in the 15th - thanks, Hounds!
This trip has been particularly challenging for us, technology-wise (I won't bore you with details), but there I was yesterday, standing on the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse, starting to get hungry for lunch. "Let me just check Chowhound real quick." My husband has heard this and similar phrases since the advent of smartphones, and he is nothing but patient as I first connect to the Wifi, run a search, and then look at maps. But this time it was quick - I think it was the first thread I pulled up after searching Montparnasse, and someone mentioned Le Templier. So off we went.
This place just screams classic in every way: from the wait staff (owner?), to the patrons (many regulars) to the food. We were seated within 5 minutes, only to be told we had to move to accommodate a party of 8. N'importe quoi - it was a better table.
For entrees, I started with white asparagus with vinaigrette. This is the 2nd or 3rd time I've had asparagus on this trip, and well, it's been cooked to mush! That's really not a complaint, and I understand that white is tougher than green. It's just unusual for us is the only reason I mention it - we barely cook most of our vegetables (unless I'm smothering okra, of course) at home. Anyway, I enjoyed it. My husband had the pickled herring fillets. He was served a salad with potatoes and then a huge bowl was brought over so he could help himself. I grew up with pickled herring and love it - this was a very good version.
I then had the escalope de foie gras in a mustard-honey sauce. Wow, that sounds sickly sweet, but it wasn't. A large portion served on toast points, which got wonderfully soggy with the addictive sauce. I was in heaven. My husband ordered the tete de veau, and although disappointed that it didn't have more "pieces and parts," he did enjoy it. Served with boiled potatoes, it was about as simple as you can get - total peasant food. No room for dessert, but people around us were being served gargantuan portions of Tarte Tatin. Overall, it was a wonderful lunch. While we love “modern” food, it's nice to have the classics from time to time.
So I just wanted to take the time to share and say thanks! I'll post more reviews, or a report when we get back. Last night was Verjus (fantastic, despite the loud family from Alabama, the patriarch of whom set his menu afire - I wish I was joking), today is Saturne and tonight, Dans Les Landes. And for the weekend, I think some cooking in this fantastic apartment we're renting.
Warning: Le Templier in the 15th is not Les Templiers near Versailles.
I read VaPaula's report with interest and tucked it away in the far reaches of my cortex until I came across the May 18-19 Wall Street Journal article (which reached my "to-read" pile in Paris this weekend) that noted that Les Templiers served just frozen ingredients, including "complete main courses". Of course the WSJ blamed high labor costs.
In any case, like the George(s) and Ray's Pizza, one may search and tumble on the wrong target, so beware - Templier is not Templiers.