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Restaurant Sampler Continued


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Sorry, no photos today as Image Gullet seems to be on the fritz this morning. Mosca Libre on rue Victor Massé is nice enough for the money, and you can get a very drinkable petit Bordeaux for €8/carafe. They take the combo epicerie/bistro approach, selling spices, teas, rices, etc., but on our Sat. lunch visit the epicerie part was not very evident. We had grilled in the shell gambas for an entrée and for mains, a confit of pork filet served with a spinach, mushroom, green bean medley that to my taste would have been better "un-medleyed", and a very good vegetarian lasagne. This place is never going to excite Michelin, but if you are looking for something casual and affordable(€56 for 2 with a carafe of wine) for a Sat. lunch while shopping on rue Martyrs you could do much worse.

Chez Michel was just as good as ever, little apparent change, which means packed to capacity, excellent Breton style cooking at reasonable prices, if you stick to the €30 prix fixe. We had sardines, velouté of asparagus, brandade, scallops with celeriac purée(supplement€10), joue de boeuf all of which were good. Our wine was an affordable Domaine Cachau.

Bistro Paul Bert is a fun place, packed to the gills with happy regulars, and the food was good for the price. White asparagus, a good marinated tete de seiche(cuttlefish, maybe?), and a salade de langue de veau for entrées, very good mains of tournedos de selle d'agneau, and tender, rosy pink magret de canard. Our wine was 2 bottles of Pic St. Loup. The total bill for 4 with desserts, cheese tray, coffees and Chateldon was €209.

Au Bascou in the 3rd right by the Musée d'Arts et Metiers was one of our favorites of the trip. We get spice starved after several weeks and this Basque place can picque you right up. We started with piquillos stuffed with brandade and a fricassé of escargots with Basque ham, peppers, onions, tomatos and perhaps a touch of prunes? Mains were an excellent version of Basque veal stew called Axoa served with steamed potatos and a plate of sauté de chipirons with piment d'espelette and chorizo served over yellow rice. This was probably my favorite dish of the trip; so spicy it would require hospitalization for the average Parisian palate with around the clock medication of butter and cream. The restaurant is best described as shoddy/nondescript from the outside, but inside it is charmingly hokey as a regional restaurant should be and the service was good. Ms. Laidback had the good house millefeuille for dessert and I opted for a hard Basque sheep cheese called Ardi-Gasna which was moist and flavorful served with the traditional black cherry preserves. Hopefully The picture function will be back up soon, as you can almost see the piquancy of these dishes from the photos.

Edited by Laidback (log)
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Hopefully The picture function will be back up soon, as you can almost see the piquancy of these dishes from the photos.

Thank you so much for this report Laidback. I will definitely try Au Bascou soon and can't wait for your photos.


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Image Gullet and I seem to be friends again so here are the photos from Au Bascou. First the piquillos stuffed with brandade:


The next entrée was a fricassé of escargots simmered with ham, peppers, onions, etc.:


one main course was Axoa, a delicious Basque veal stew:


and the other was a sauté of baby squid with copious espelette peppers, chorizo, etc.:


then Basque cheese with black cherry confiture:


and last, the house millefeuille:


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