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Cold Weather Dishes?

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OK--I know this is a bit "out of season", but I'm anxiously awaiting our Christmas in Paris trip by dreaming about what/where to eat!

We will be in Paris for two weeks from Dec. 17th-Jan 1st, after spending a week in Strassbourg. We have an apartment in Montemarte (Rue des Martyrs) reserved.

I'm dreaming of cassoulet, boeuf bourguignon, and onion soup! And, of course, vin chaud! Any other suggestions for not-to-be-missed winter dishes?

Thanks in advance for helping me get through the next 6 months!

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  1. Hard to improve on what you have mentioned, but one of my favorites is Pascal Guillaumin's chou farci at Le Florimond. It is seasoned pork wrapped in cabbage leaves and served piping hot in a casserole with delicious gravy.

    Another great winter dish , baeckeoffe, comes from the Alsace but as of yet I haven't found an exemplary version in Paris. Perhaps some of our heartier trenchermen(people) on Chowhound might be able to help.

    1. Seasonality is one of the hallmarks of French cuisine. Just a wander around one of the outdoor markets (marchés volants, not Christmas markets) or a few visits to good bistros will give you a great idea about what's appropriate for that season. No checklist required. Indeed I think too much planning is very limiting. Having said that, I do look forward to game (lièvre à la royale, venison, etc) at Au Bascou in the 3rd, Repaire de Cartouche in the 11th, Au Petit Marguery in the 13th, etc and to the ritual of Christmas and New Year's oysters.

      Cassoulet, boeuf bourguignon and soupe à l'oignon gratinée are no longer very popular in Paris so don't expect to find good versions everywhere. Lots of tourist restaurants do serve it but it's usually re-heated or microwaved from a jar, vacu-pack or freezer. Cassoulet from a jar is actually quite good but onion soup gratinée tends to pretty dire except at a handful of restaurants. Some recent Chowhound threads are extremely useful.

      Onion soup
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9769...

      Cassoulet
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9705...
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9244...

      Boeuf bourguigon
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2678...
      scroll down for more recent comments

      3 Replies
      1. re: Parnassien

        I certainly enjoy the Boeuf Bourguignon at Josephine, Chez Dumonet.

        1. re: Parnassien

          I agree with Parn - don't over plan. The menus will reflect the produce and the weather and there will be lots of wonderful food that reflects the season - including game, hearty stews etc.

          Your list has some great classics but there will be many many other options that will be exciting to explore, chasing a French home cooking country classic in Paris may not be the best thing to do.

          And note vin chaud is generally and outdoor drink you drink when visiting a market or on the ski slopes. Few restaurants will serve it. It's also usually of very poor quality, made with very cheap wine, and sometimes a mix, so good luck finding somewhere that does it well.

          1. re: PhilD

            An aside, when I was young, single and poor, my roommate and I gave a holiday party at which we served mulled wine. It was a singular party! But the next morning, our apartment reeked of spiced wine and full ashtrays. I've never wanted a glass of mulled wine since. =8-0

        2. Thanks for all the advice!

          The is our 6th trip to Paris, but our first visit in the winter. I'm looking forward to some heartier seasonal foods and I naturally thought of those I mentioned. We have had great onion soup in Paris, and also some distinctly NOT so great soup!

          As for the vin chaud, we "discovered" it during our very chilly autumn trip to Poland and Czech Republic last year. I think the quality was directly proportionate to the temperature--the colder we were, the better it tasted! I've since made it at home, and really enjoyed it.

          Laidback: thanks for your suggestions of dishes to look for, they sound delicious! I'll certainly look for baeckeoffe while we are in Strasbourg. (OK--I'm now off to Google baeckeoffe, just to make sure it's something we'd want to eat!)
          Thanks again!,
          TVQ

          1. Dreaming 6 months in advance is great, obsessing is not.
            Think gaspacho, ceviche and rosés.

            1. As mentioned Josephine, Chez Dumonet has boeuf bourgignon all year round and is great.
              L'Assiette has excellent cassoulet most of the time.