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Dans les Landes - Paris - Review

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A couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Yeti and I went to "Dans les Landes" with a fellow Hound (who shall remain nameless unless he jumps in to reveal his secret identity) and his friend.
I usually try to translate the whole review from french to english, and post it on Chowhound... I have to admit that I may have gone overboard with the mannerism of my writing, and therefore will not embarrass myself by trying to make a translation of it. I will however post this summary :

The decibels are high, your elbows are rubbing with your neighbors', and the room is electric.
If you are tired, or want a romantic and calm place, go elsewhere...

“Dans les Landes” serves traditional south-west dishes, in the form of tapas, with a few twists thrown here and there. And if you don't want to read this whole post, I can tell you right away that I would rather express how I feel about the different things we ate with my tongue out, some drool dripping on my shoes and a vague and long grunt of pleasure.
For those more comfortable with actual words, read on.

The “salade landaise” was served like a spring roll, wrapped in rice paper, it was crunchy and generous and fresh and awesome.
The “Ibaïona ham” was cut to thick, and not that exciting, but still honorable.
The “fried chipirons” were light as a feather, crispy to perfection and were frankly the best fried chipirons, or calamari, or squid, I've ever had. It was mentioned that a tartar sauce or a squirt of lemon could have added a bit of acidity to those bites, true but I would have been afraid to brake those delicate jewels.
The “polenta with duck magret”, served like a croquette, was original, interesting, not bad texture-wise, but a little more virility on the duck side would have been nice.
The “duck hearts” were ever so slightly too salty, but that didn't stop me from writing them a cheesy poem, and asking them to marry me. We lived happily ever after...
The “duck necks” were very flavorful and rich, but my heart already belonged to those hearts... and they were a bit of a pain to nibble.
The “gambas with thaï cream” were very subtle and well balanced. The shrimps were perfectly cooked, and frankly I feel it is a 'tour de force' to bring out such a respectful thaï dish in a landais restaurant.
The “millassou landais” was some sort of deep-fried corn pudding that looked like big french fries and that you would dip in a jam made from dried fruits... Addictive... Surprisingly addictive...
The “crème brulée with passion fruit and saffron” wasn't too sweet, wasn't too acidic, it was like a mellow melody to end such a beautiful meal.

Need I say more ? Don't put your hands in your pocket, trigger the turbo mode, run, faster, now, faster, go !

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If you read french and are not afraid by words flowered up like an English garden and/or if you would like to check some pictures of the dishes described, you can head over to : http://www.chezfood.com/2014/05/14/da...

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  1. Did you try the veal & oysters or the calamari?

    6 Replies
    1. re: hychka

      Everything I tried is listed, so unfortunately no (unless what you call the calamari are the "chipirons" ?).

      1. re: hychka

        That dish is no longer on the menu. The waiter didn't clarify whether this is a seasonal issue or a permanent decision.

        1. re: Indy 67

          Which dish ?

          1. re: Parigi

            Apologies. Since my reply was to hychka I hoped it was clear that I was talking about the oysters and veal dish in that post.

            1. re: Indy 67

              Whew. Hychka also talked about Cipirones, I think, and I know that it is a permanent menu item. The possibility that it was removed shocked me. :)
              For a period that lasted months, the milassol was taken off the menu. Pti and I complained to anyone who came near us, from the waitstaff all the way to the chef.
              The chef does love to experiment and use in-season ingredients. I have loved many dishes that were taken off the menu, some of which reappear later. -- This also needs to be incorporated into our expectations.

              1. re: Parigi

                I looked at the menu boards and kept wondering what exquisite dishes normally fill those empty spots. Les Landes food was so lovely that the fact that we left a bit of tuna didn't even come close to finishing the tortilla was a minor detail. I wanted to know what other treats would await me on future visits.

      2. Read fast and missed the chipirons. Yes, we loved them, too.

        1. My understanding that they have closed down before moving to a new location. Is that correct?

          3 Replies
          1. re: macdog

            We ate there Friday night. Appeared open. Could certainly use more space.

            1. re: macdog

              They are located 119 bis rue Monge in the 5th. I don't know if they used to be elsewhere, but I don't think so... And nothing indicates that they are closing.

              1. re: Rio Yeti

                The are not moving until September, I was told.

            2. Bravo. A delightful English garden indeed.

              For those that don't read French, Rio's review in French is really a foodie love letter and laced with poetic quotes. In celebrating and thanking him, another quote might be in order ...Jules Supervielle slightly rephrased to avoid misconception: "Et d’avoir tous ces mots/ Qui bougent dans la tête/ De choisir les (plus) beaux / Pour leur faire un peu fête"

              1 Reply
              1. re: Parnassien

                *bows down humbly*

              2. After the letdown of Spring and the fact that I've struck out twice on quality onion soup (please caramelized the onions) I was feeling betrayed by the chefs of Paris and Chartres. After tonight all is forgiven. The talented folks at Dans les Landes have singlehandedly restored my faith. This is authoritative, exciting, delicious food. My husband and I shared the often - praised chiparones, duck hearts and salad Landsise. Add our voices to the chorus of praise. We also ordered the tuna with Asian sauce, the potato tortilla, and the suckling pig with Basque sauce.

                The tuna ' s sauce was a cousin to the dipping sauce of the salad Landaise. Absolutely amazing. There are little dollops of a whipped cheese on the tuna dish that make a marvelous counterpoint to the Asian intensity of the dish.

                The suckling pig bore no resemblance to any suckling pig we've eaten before. This consisted of three long thin trips of meat liberally studded with bits of gristle and cartilage. Those narly bits must have imparted gelatin and unctuous body and flavor to the sauce. Normally I'd simply pass on meat like that but I savored each bite. The Basque sauce tasted strongly of authentic diced pimento peppers. The potato tortilla was pleasant but unremarkable. Still we valued it's role in our meal as a wonderful counterpoint to the strong flavors of everything else.

                We drank a lovely Cotes De Gascogne.

                Definitely a memorable meal.

                1. Thanks for this great review. Could you share the cheesy poem with us?

                  Saturday night was my second time there and I must say, I love this place!

                  While we didn't eat as much as you (was it really just three people that ate that much?! and I thought I was a big eater) there was not a single dish that we did not rave about. We had: sardine paté, foie gras, tomato/chevre/roquette, and mussels & razor clams. A bottle of grenache that they were pushing and it was ALL sublime. Not one complaint. Agreed on the noise level and electricity but that's the vibe.

                  As alluded to above, Dans Les Landes is moving. Our serveuse gave us the card for the new location. Chef Julien Duboué. New resto name: "A. Noste". 6 bis rue du quatre septembre. www.a-noste.com. (Website is minimal at this point, but you can sign up for news.) Waitress said it would open in septembre.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: robodog

                    I'll ask the hearts if they accept me to disclose the poem and will let them post it themselves !

                    We were 4, not 3, and we were full but not overstuffed... maybe it was the adrenaline.

                    Thanks for sharing the dishes you had, they all sound delectable !
                    And thanks for the new address... I know some people are not happy about the change, but personally it is bringing great food closer to me, so I'm happy about it !

                    1. re: Rio Yeti

                      Gotta say, Opera is not my fave 'hood and I like the haphazard layout of the rue Monge spot. One thing the waitress said was that the new location was a fair bit bigger. As a consumer, that doesn't strike me as a plus but as an entrepreneur, I'm sure they are excited about it.

                      1. re: robodog

                        A.Noste means "chez nous" in Gascon. It is going to be a three-storey affair, with three different types of service, one on each floor.

                        There will still be a tapas service, although I hear that the tapas will be a little more experimental and elaborate than the ones at Rue Monge.

                        There will be a rotisserie (with the perspective of roasting big pieces of meat, which Julien will buy "on foot" (beef, veal, lamb, pork…). The roasted meat will be presented at the table on a skewer and carved Brazil-style.

                        And there will also be a taloak counter (taloak are Basque corn pancakes very much like Mexican corn tortillas. One talo, several taloak.) To eat on the spot or to take away with all sorts of fillings.

                        This is utterly too good for traders (although I hear there aren't any of those anymore in the 'hood).

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          Wow, thanks for the info, my drool-o-meter is on full motion.

                          1. re: Rio Yeti

                            Waaaaaaa, 10 minute walk from chez moi. I will die.

                          2. re: Ptipois

                            Yeah - interesting. Do you understand Gascon? Is Julien from Gascony?

                            The business card I was given has three little images on it, each with a word aside: La Table, Tapas, and Taloa. The image next to Taloa appears to be a food truck or perhaps a bus. I somehow assumed that it was a food truck/mobile service.

                            Looking forward to it.

                            1. re: robodog

                              Yes, Julien is from the Landes, and Landes are part of Gascony. I do not speak that dialect, which has many local variations. There is indeed a food truck next to Taloa, it is supposed to mean that it will be take-away food, but I am not sure there will be a truck. La Table is where the roasted meats will be served, Tapas is self-explaining. Looking forward to it too; it is a beautiful project.