HOME > Chowhound > France >

Discussion

Escargot

Hi, We are excited about our trip Paris to Champagne area to Beaune and Burgundy area and Alsace area.
Please recommend the restaurants for the BEST Escargot!!!!!
I know the websites, I would like personal recommendations please.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. what time of year? Escargot is a fall-winter dish, and anything you get right now will have been frozen.

    1. Hi, I know we had escargot in France last July.
      What I am asking if anyone had amazing escargot in the Burgundy area, and what restaurant? Thank you, J

      1 Reply
      1. re: buchja

        To make certain they are fresh and from France, best try the marchés des producteurs.

      2. I wondered how your trip was to Paris in July 2013 - I see you posted eight times for advice about certain restaurants and wondered how you found them when you visited and if you had tried any others whilst you were I town - it would be great to have your personal recommendations based on your last visit.

        1. Hi ,we went to the Loire Vally and Paris in July.
          Loved the castles and had a picnic lunch on the grounds of one of the castles. Loved the restaurant,Auberge du Bon Laboureur in Chenonceaux-expensive but wonderful.
          In Paris I love the restaurant in the Musee d'Orsay for atmosphere and lunch. We sat at Cafe de Flore for wine, bread and soup onion and people watched for a few hours and that was great. Maisone de La Lozere was good, more of a less expensive hearty dinner. I enjoyed the food at Chez Fernand,but it was crowded and noisy. Le Reminent was hard to find, the a la carte menus was wonderful but the Prix Fixe menus was terrible, it was slightly snobbish there and a long wait for a less crowed restaurant at lunch. I was surprised to enjoy Maison Blanche as much as I did, but only if you sit outside on the terrace with a view! All the champagne and wine , perfect night, may have influenced me, but the 5 course dinner was delicious!
          We are going back, do you know of La Petite Rose de Sables??? We need a good place to eat on a Sunday/Monday

          9 Replies
          1. re: buchja

            Thank you so much for reporting back. It is always nice to get an update of the scene.

            In Burgundy, I have had good escargots at everyone's fave: Ma Cuisine. The escargots are not big, but tasty.
            If you are going to Provence, the Ferme-auberge Au Bon Grès in Ménerbes, not that far from Sablet, is an escargot farm. It makes and sells many different escargot dishes, all very good. I remember it also serves very nice farm-fresh meals a couple days of the week.

            1. re: Parigi

              Hi, loved this thread on Escargots!!!
              Paris no star wonderful restaurant in Paris that John Talbott and you like so much please!!!!

              1. re: buchja

                "Paris no star wonderful restaurant in Paris that John Talbott and you like so much please!!!!"
                Could you clarify please; are you asking for established restaurants that we like that don't have a star (for example Spring) or those that have recently opened and will not be listed until the 2015 edition (like others)?

                1. re: John Talbott

                  I read an old post that Parigi said that there is a favorite restaurant that John Talbott will not let me give out the name, so I thought that is where I want to go.

                  Also for another suggestion, I love lamb it you have a recommendation
                  .
                  How do you feel about 110 Tallivent ??
                  Merci, JB

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    Oh, I was not thinking!!!! You are so wonderful giving advise and sharing your experiences. I and made a mistake with my last post to you. I am so grateful for all of your generous sharing of your thoughts and advise.
                    I am so sorry about my post .I made a mistake!!!
                    Please accept my apologies. JB

                  2. re: buchja

                    Mine would be
                    - Chez L'Ami Jean of course
                    - Saturne (or does it have a star?)
                    - Abri

                    1. re: Parigi

                      Thank you !!!!
                      I read an old post that Parigi said that there is a favorite restaurant that John Talbott will not let me give out the name, so I thought that is where I want to go.
                      Unfortunately we will be in Paris only Sunday and Monday

                      1. re: buchja

                        buchja, just listen to Parigi and book at Saturne for your Monday dinner.

                        1. re: buchja

                          Ahhh, the restaurant that dare not speak its name, lol.
                          But John has repeatedly assured me that the fatwa had been lifted.

                2. Lameloise in Chagny is a place to have excellent snails.

                  Escargots are nearly always made from canned snails, so the season doesn't really matter. The trick is to make them from good canned snails and to make decent beurre persillé.
                  Oh, and the name of the dish is plural. It is escargots, not escargot.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Ptipois

                    Oh thank you for the recommendation but for all of the good information about canned snails and that the dish is plural~ very helpful, Merci

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      "...the name of the dish is plural. It is escargots, not escargot."

                      Never knew this. Many thanks.

                        1. re: yakionigiri

                          I think I get it. As in uno spaghetto, gli spaghetti.

                          1. re: mangeur

                            Right. Final consonants are normally silent in French, so "escargot" and "escargots" sound the same; there are a bunch of them in the dish, though, so "escargots."

                            1. re: mangeur

                              Right. Unless they're from Subsaharan Africa and as big as cider bowls, you rarely eat only one.

                          2. "Escargots are nearly always made from canned snails, so the season doesn't really matter."

                            Why is this so even in season?

                            18 Replies
                            1. re: Kurtis

                              We stayed with a woman in the Bresse who was a "snailer". Before an expected rain, trails were baited with bread scraps. After the rain, hunters vied to be the earliest to walk the trail. Usually turned into a kind of mash in more ways than one. When she came home with her catch, she put them to purge. After they were clean, she processed them all and canned them. So even at a source and during season, what we were served were always processed.

                              Remember also that there is a several week lag-time between capture and cooking, and that the numbers brought home at any given time were in the hundreds.

                              1. re: mangeur

                                Our hostess' early morning's catch. Not as many as she had hoped. Many snailers, not too many snails.

                                 
                                 
                                1. re: mangeur

                                  I did want to order escargots (again) on my upcoming trip to Paris.. now I am not to sure after looking at that photo. You may have just saved me a wad of Euros.

                                  1. re: GraceW

                                    That was a very cute photo of healthy escargots frolicking and jumping around. What did you expect they originated from? I can assure you that to an escargot lover, Mangeur's picture has "quality" written all over it.

                                    1. re: GraceW

                                      Oh, Grace, I didn't mean to dissuade anyone. Please don't forgo escargots on the basis of their origins. Most of the things we eat have come a long way from their natural state to our plates. One either has to separate the concept in one's mind or embrace it.

                                      1. re: mangeur

                                        No worries! I am just giving France a 2-weeks notice.. in less than 2 weeks, I will descend: eat all the snails (and pastries: must-eat Paris-brest!).

                                      2. re: GraceW

                                        What you are looking for is "beurre persillé." Purchase (or make). Put on everything (or just eat it solo).

                                        Now you've saved a wad of money and get to have "escargots!"

                                    2. re: mangeur

                                      (please sign the adaption papers we sent you...)

                                    3. re: Kurtis

                                      Because first you have to catch your snails.
                                      To catch your snails, you have to wait until it rains.
                                      Then you can't prepare your snails right away. You have to make them fast for one week at least with nothing but lettuce leaves to eat. Then you have to clean them, blanch them, etc.

                                      Or you buy them at a snail farm.
                                      Snail farms which, incidentally, sell them ready-cooked.
                                      Nearly nobody purchases them unprocessed anymore. And processed snails from reliable farms are a perfectly good product.

                                      Besides, snail hunting is rather strictly regulated in France. There are three main varieties: petit-gris, gros-gris and bourgogne (big yellow Burgundy snails). Due to overhunting, snails nearly disappeared from some areas. In some regions, Haute-Savoie for instance, it is strictly forbidden (temporarily or permanently) to gather wild snails. Burgundy snails are considered an endangered species in some places, and are protected.

                                      Only a few country restaurateurs and starry chefs still prepare snails from scratch. Troisgros does it. Lameloise (I think) does it. There isn't a lot of difference between snails you starve and cook at home and snails that you buy ready-cooked, so there is really no reason to go through all the fuss.

                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                        Thanks for sharing your expertise on a subject which I have never been able to get much consensus.

                                        1. re: Laidback

                                          There is additional knowledge.

                                          Snails' digestive systems make them able to eat all sorts of plants, including some that would be toxic for humans. That is the reason why they have to fast for a rather lengthty period before being prepared.
                                          If the fasting period is too short, snails can be toxic to humans.
                                          Another reason to buy them ready-cooked from reliable farms or suppliers.

                                        2. re: Ptipois

                                          LOL -- when we were out in the wilds of the 77, I had *tons* of snails in my garden and was actually making plans to make a few into livestock.

                                          Hubby got written instructions from a colleague's mother, and I decided that, yeah, the frozen ones at Picard are pretty good, and that's just wayyyy to much work to eat an invertebrate.

                                          I did buy them from farms whenever I could find them -- there are a couple of marches des producteurs where I bought really, realy good ones.

                                          1. re: Ptipois

                                            All these posts about escargots are really interesting... I've never been so much into them (probably because I've had too many rubbery garlicky ones), but recently discovered them again in Spain (Catalonia to be exact). Not only do people still cook them from scratch (you can buy nets of live snails at some markets), but depending on the kind of snail, they will prepare it many different ways... slightly sauteed with olive oil, tomatoes and garlic; or stewed for a long time in a meaty and rich sauce; or some are even grilled on the barbecue.

                                            I find it odd that escargots is such an iconic french dish, when all we do is drown them in a sauce so powerful their taste disappears, when are next door neighbors seem to find many different ways of eating them, and are quite fond of them as well.

                                            1. re: Rio Yeti

                                              Oh snails à la catalane and cargolade are an entirely different food. In my opinion the true ways of bringing the best out of snails. Beurre persillé only hides the gasteropod's goodness; what is actually enjoyed is the butter, the parsley and the garlic. I once had a dish of slowly simmered snails in tomato and garlic sauce in Roussillon, I never forgot what a treat it was. People from Charentes also have special ways with snails, they love them for what they are.

                                              1. re: Ptipois

                                                My problem with both escargots and frog's legs is that too often they are drowned in garlic. Both are gentle foods and demand a light hand but seldom get one. I also object to tasting the garlic for three days. A lose-lose proposition.

                                                1. re: mangeur

                                                  Recently enjoyed some from the Bordeaux Sunday market -- red wine, herbs, a hint of garlic. Delightful.

                                                2. re: Ptipois

                                                  Thanks for confirming my intuition.

                                                  1. re: Ptipois

                                                    A la catalane, à l'espagnole, cargolade, en aioli, en ragout aux tomates et fenouil, ... I'm getting hungry

                                            2. First, I think you'll do well for escargot in just about any place in the Côte d'Or. It's one of my preferred starters & I've not had any to report as bad.

                                              Though not mainstays on the menu, some places we've tried will offer different preparations which I enjoy. Le Gourmandin in Beaune has done escargot raviolis which were a delight. And la Buissonierre (sp?) in Buisson, a hamlet of Ladoix, we had them with an Epoisses cream sauce. Delicious! Again, you can't count on these, but if you see something unusual try it. Both places serve escargots in the traditional garlic butter at other times.

                                              1. Is it fair to say then that there's no discernible taste difference between canned and ones in shell? Perhaps due to nostalgia it's hard for me to imagine...

                                                Has the practice of preparing the dish in-shell fell out of fashion more or less out of convenience? If so, and if I am in a restaurant, especially in France, I don't mind the inconvenience...

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Kurtis

                                                  They still do in shell. They buy cleaned shells & canned escargots & voila!

                                                  1. re: Kurtis

                                                    When it's in shell, it's still canned. Snails are always put in shells after cooking/canning. Then in goes the parsley butter.

                                                    1. re: Kurtis

                                                      a more-than-fair number are frozen, not canned.

                                                      I far prefer them to the tinned ones.

                                                    2. My younger but smarter mentor Parnassien disagrees, but three of us ate beignets of previously live snails with smoky mayo today at the recently revived Clown Bar in the 11th and thought them quite special.
                                                      The rest of the meal (esp tarts) was as well.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: John Talbott

                                                        I'm not a fan of snails... period. But yes the "smoky mayo" and the crunchy bits were delish. And completing circles from a point made by Ptipois, I overheard someone saying/ assuming that Clown Bar's snails are from a héliciculteur/ snail farmer in the Charente. BTW, I love the word "héliciculture"... especially when pronounced, as I do, with an emphasis on "Hell" and then the other syllables garbled.

                                                        And, Talbott le Vénérable (btw, where are my royalty checks for the branding ?), loved your spot-on review of Clown Bar on your blog. Bravo.

                                                        1. re: Parnassien

                                                          Hi all,
                                                          As this discussion continues I will ask another questions. I originally asked this question for my 3 traveling companions. I am allergic to most seafood.
                                                          I understand that most restaurants in France due not like "us Americans" asking for special preparations.
                                                          But I would like to have a side order of the garlic sauce that is served on the Escargots.It smells so wonderful. How can I ask for this??

                                                          1. re: buchja

                                                            It is not a sauce, it is a seasoned butter (beurre persillé) that is inserted into the snail shell after the snail has been put in. It melts inside (and outside) the shell as the dish is heated in the oven.

                                                            Ask the staff if they can serve you a side order of melted snail butter alongside your already-seasoned snail dish... They might find the request unusual but technically it is possible. For one thing I think it would be a great idea, I'm a big fan of beurre persillé and I would put some on everything if I could.

                                                            1. re: Ptipois

                                                              heh -- one of the running jokes in our circle is that while we all genuinely *like* escargots, one could develop an affiinity for old boots if they were cooked in beurre persillé.

                                                            2. re: buchja

                                                              You can buy tubes of pre-prepared beurre persillé (at Picard, for example). Whether you should or not, I'll leave for you to decide.

                                                            3. re: Parnassien

                                                              "Bravo."
                                                              From you, the ultimate 2-meal a day guy here - that's a touching and rare complement. Speaking of two meals a day brings back fond memories of R.W. (Johnny) Apple, who was the only "three-lunch" person I've known.
                                                              Except - did Hollande really eat two dinners last night, even though he and the KGBKing had salad.