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Au Gourmand, Paris 1e, originally in 6e


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October 15 (2003) Figaroscope reviewed this dining room which opened the first week in September, giving it 3 hearts and much praise. We visited it the following Thursday, and again last Monday. This chic little (30 seat) room, located on Luxembourg Garden, is the love-child of an accountant who always wanted to cook professionally and the maitre d' who was a journalist. Somehow, they are making it work.

The menu is based on several tenets. There is a new menu every month. Four appetizers are available every day. There are only two plate choices each day, one meat or fowl and one fish. The meats are from artisan boucher Hugo Desnoyer, and all have AOC attributions. There is a different special in each category each day. The menu-carte is 33 euro for three courses. A cheese course if available either instead of dessert or at a supplement. There is a full wine list, and also a single page of proposals that are very inexpensive and well chosen.

The plates on our visits were stunning and delicious:

Cappucino de potimarron et sorbet moutarde, des de gorgonzola

Carpacco de veau de Correze a la tapenade et a l'huile d'amandes douces

a special of sauteed langostine coated with pistachios

another of bar tartare, pretty, but more mundane

Dos de canard du Perigord a l'orange, panais rotis au miel de bruyere et au gingembre

Lieu noir, legumes sautes a l'huile de cacaheuetes

Epaule d'agneau de Lozere, cocotte de legumes au lard fermier

a special of goulash of biche

Creme brulee au the vert Matcha, raisins poeles

"Tout chocolat", perhaps the best chocolate plate I have ever had

Tarte fine aux figues et a la poire, glace a la cardamome

Wonderful house made petit-pain was served with a large pot of sweet butter.

The very hospitable maitre d' was assisted by two charming young women. Everyone had a grip on his job, ergo service was seamless. There is very soft jazz or semi-classical in the background, and conversation is easy.

The style and aspiration of the food and dining room reminded us of L'Astrance when we first visited it and before prices and bookings mushroomed. We hope very much that this little jewel can keep its focus and current performance level. I'll be anxious to see how it winters and what it is like in the spring. My advice would be go soon and often and pray for a miracle. This place is a steal!

Au Gourmand

22, rue de Vaugirard 06

01.43.26.26.45

There will be a website at www.augourmand.fr but it is still under construction.

eGullet member #80.

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Margaret Pilgrim,

I recently read about this place and had added it to my maybe list. Now after reading your post, it's a definite. Thanks for the report, glad you enjoyed your meal.

I would like to know though, how did you remember in such detail what you ate? Whenever I eat out I try and try, but can't seem to recall all of the ingredients. Please tell me you were using from the menu? :blink:

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I would like to know though, how did you remember in such detail what you ate?

Can't speak for Margaret, but I keep a tiny notebook with me when I travel, and I make notes in it. It's slightly nerdy, but preferable to forgetting a wonderful meal. Which I would do, as my memory has been affected by youthful indiscretions :wacko: I refer to it often when I'm posting on here.

I'm also not shy about asking for a copy of the menu as I'm leaving the restaurant, if it seems appropriate and not an inconvenience. Obviously it depends on the establishment, but many have inserts they'll give you at practically no cost to them. I've hardly ever been turned down--for the most part, it seems to be viewed as a compliment.

I'd appreciate other people's take on this subject, especially in regards to getting menus.

:smile:

Jamie

See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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I'm also not shy about asking for a copy of the menu as I'm leaving the restaurant, if it seems appropriate and not an inconvenience.  Obviously it depends on the establishment, but many have inserts they'll give you at practically no cost to them.  I've hardly ever been turned down--for the most part, it seems to be viewed as a compliment.

I'd appreciate other people's take on this subject, especially in regards to getting menus.

We often ask for a copy of the menu. I have a bunch of very-expensive-to-print menus in my collection, but we generally just ask for the insert if there's one. It appears not to be an uncommon request at destination restaurants and with personal computers and printers, it's not unusual for restaurants to offer a copy of the day's menu to diners without being asked, especially if you've had a tasting menu. Regarding those expensive printed menus, I've found many restaurants keep old ones around to hand out as souvenirs. I'm rather put off when they hand me one. It implies they think I'm looking for a tourist souvenir to show I've been to the restaurant when I'm looking for a souvenir of my meal. On rare ocassions I've had a restaurant print out a list of the courses we've had, right on the spot. If there's someone in the office and laser printer, it takes but a minute. We're getting lazier and lazier about taking notes. On our last trip we took a picket digital camera to record most meals. I know of others, particularly professionals in the culinary world who make it a habit to document their meals.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I agree with most of you that requesting a copy of a menu is situational. Most nights I try to subtly jot down a few notes at table or immediately upon returning to our hotel.

At Au Gourmand, the service had been so adorable and personal that I felt comfortable asking if they had "an old, maybe torn" copy of the insert that I could have. The maitre d' (co-owner) shrank in mock horror, and pronounced that, "No! But I have a brand new one for you." He brought us the entire formal stiff-board menu, but I accepted only the insert.

Although I ask for a menu less and less frequently nowdays, I have never, with the exception of an early visit to Le Regalade, been turned down. Most places have seemed quite pleased to oblige, many going so far as to bring an autographed one.

eGullet member #80.

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At Au Gourmand, the service had been so adorable and personal that I felt comfortable asking if they had "an old, maybe torn" copy of the insert that I could have.

Thanks for steering the conversation back to the topic, despite my thoughtless attempt to hijack the thread :smile:

My partner and I are going back to Paris for a week at the end of March, and Au Gourmand sounds like a definite addition to our list!

And I'll be sure to ask for a menu.

:raz:

Jamie

See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have just been advised by a returning diner that Au Gourmand is not a good address, and that the food is not what I described in my initial post. I am saddened to hear this, but need to warn those who read my earlier report. My appologies to anyone who has been disappointed.

eGullet member #80.

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Margaret,

Was your friend specific about how things have changed since your visit? Is it that certain plats are just not up to the initial standard they set, or maybe it's a service oriented problem?

Don't be too discouraged. I have a friend who was just there last Friday night, and thoroughly enjoyed his meal and experience. Just tried to get him on the phone to remind me of what he ate but...

He also mentioned that he walked in on a Monday to reserve, then upon arrival on Friday, was greeted by name - how often does that happen??

Personally, I would like to try this place but unfortunately, they'll be closed from 12.19 - 1.4, and I'll be there during that period - oh well...

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  • 3 years later...

The last time I went to Au Gourmand was a few months after Christian Corgeau had left L'Astrance and opened Au Gourmand. A friend of mine and I sat down and ordered carte blance. Corgeau complied and sent out 12 gorgeous plates of food, each course tasting better then the one before it.

Last week I went back hoping to enjoy another great meal. What I got was something else. It seems as though the space has changed hands. The art is missing from the walls and the Chef and Maitre'd are both gone. It wasn't until we paid did we finally confirm our suspicions that this is in fact an entirely new restaurant named Le Gourmand. Although the sign in front still reads Au Gourmand. Our meal at Le Gourmand was disappointing to say the least.

I have tried to look up what had happened to the restaurant but only found a couple blog entries about great meals and a posting by Patricia Wells who said she had a ate really well there.

Edited by BradenP (log)
"When planning big social gatherings at our home, I wait until the last minute to tell my wife. I figure she is going to worry either way, so I let her worry for two days rather than two weeks."
-EW
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We should have a thread "Amazing things I learned on eGullet". We visited Au Gourmand several times in 2003 and 2004. I remember Christian Courgeau and partner Hervé de Libouton well: Courgeau's courageous combinations and Libouton's lovely welcome and continued attention. However, I had no inkling that Courgeau had roots in L'Astrance. I had been under the illusion that this was a mid-life "follow your dreams" enterprise for these two friends.

eGullet member #80.

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this is in fact an entirely new restaurant named Le Gourmand. Although the sign in front still reads Au Gourmand.

I happened to be in the neighborhood today and was somewhat taken aback that the big sign out from does indeed say Au Gourmand but the menu in the window says Le Gourmand and as you say bears no relationship with the one they used to have which had different specials on each day of the week.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Braden,

It seems that your question was answered by this week's A Nous Paris. :smile: Courgeau has recently opened 'Au Gourmand' near the Palais Royal and they gave it glowing reviews.

Au Gourmand

17 rue Moliere, 1st

01 42 96 22 19

Menus-26€ to 36€

closed Saturday lunch and Sunday.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

WE had dinner at this recent addition to an area full with Japanese restaurants.

Its a small new place ,around 20 tables ,quite cozy and warm .The owner ,who speaks english is friendly and helpful.

I had cold foamy sorrelle soup ,which was out of this world.Smooth ,refreshing with foie gras morsels.My companion had layers of mousses of salmon.crab and leek served in a martini glass,accompanied with chopped beetroot and sesame oil ,which gave it an oriental slant.This was also a very satisfying entree.

Main dishes were Pidgeoneau with a wine sauce ,cooked pink as requested ,tender and succulent.The other dish was cabillaud served over chopped cabbage with a saffron sauce.An interesting and tasty choice.

DEsserts were brioche french toast with cherries, and pistachio ice cream.

A real treat. A coteaux de languedoc rose went very well with dinner.

THe 3 course menu at 36 euros is a steal .THe cuisine is of a high caliber.

I wonder how long tables are still easily available.Only in Paris one can find a place like this.Thank you John for another excellent recommendation.

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