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bonkboo

Duck press meals in Paris

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It looks like my wife and I will be going to Paris in January. While there I'd like to have duck in press, or whatever it's called, like at Alinea Paris 1906 and on Andrew Zimmern. Any suggestions for places?


Edited by bonkboo (log)

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It sounds as if what you're looking for is either a gélatine or a dodine de canard.

I can't recommend any specific restaurants, but either dish as a starter (entrée) shouldn't be that difficult to find.

Also, you should be able to buy some at most charcuiteries.

Or, They're not that difficult to make yourself.

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Thanks for the responses. Is Tour d'Argent touristy? And therefore not a quality version of the dish? Alternatively is it impossible to get into?

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That was a fascinating piece. But was the brining and sous-vide really necessary? The Escoffier recipe surely doesn't require all that.

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Thanks for the responses. Is Tour d'Argent touristy? And therefore not a quality version of the dish? Alternatively is it impossible to get into?

Tour d'Argent is very touristy and a great quality version of the dish.

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La Tour d'Argent is wonderful. When we visited two years ago they seated us by the window, looking out at Notre Dame and the bateaux-mouches running up and down the Seine (with very bright lights. Ouch). The service is faultless, the duck theme everywhere (including tiles in the bathrooms) is great, the history (the table setting for the three Emperors - or was it five?) is beautiful.

But the food ... could have been better, we felt. The duck itself was more chewy than I'd expect from a starred restaurant. The sauce was amazingly intense, though.

It's worth going for the spectacle of the place, but don't count on the duck being the best you've ever had.

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It's a mistake to judge the dish based on what you would "expect at a starred restaurant" when the method of preparation, the seasoning, really the whole idea is totally distinct from what a starred restaurant would do today given the current context of fine dining. It's a great version of canard a la presse, which may not be a great version of duck for a lot of people. Likewise, the one at Alinea/Next might be a great duck dish for many people, for from acquaintances I have who went to that Paris meal, it was described as a horrible version of the dish. Historical dishes are really all context less enjoyment, IMO.

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It's a mistake to judge the dish based on what you would "expect at a starred restaurant" when the method of preparation, the seasoning, really the whole idea is totally distinct from what a starred restaurant would do today given the current context of fine dining. It's a great version of canard a la presse, which may not be a great version of duck for a lot of people. Likewise, the one at Alinea/Next might be a great duck dish for many people, for from acquaintances I have who went to that Paris meal, it was described as a horrible version of the dish. Historical dishes are really all context less enjoyment, IMO.

Should I avoid the dish regardless of place?

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It's a mistake to judge the dish based on what you would "expect at a starred restaurant" when the method of preparation, the seasoning, really the whole idea is totally distinct from what a starred restaurant would do today given the current context of fine dining. It's a great version of canard a la presse, which may not be a great version of duck for a lot of people. Likewise, the one at Alinea/Next might be a great duck dish for many people, for from acquaintances I have who went to that Paris meal, it was described as a horrible version of the dish. Historical dishes are really all context less enjoyment, IMO.

Should I avoid the dish regardless of place?

No, I think it is a nice dish, and it is a great experience. If you expect, perhaps demand, that your duck breast is sous vide to a certain temperature and plated with tweezers you will be disappointed. The duck is cooked nearly raw, then kept warm and finished by pouring over a nearly hot sauce, so the cooking isn't going to be thermoplongeur correct. It is a dish of great intensity, though, and worthwhile.

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It's a mistake to judge the dish based on what you would "expect at a starred restaurant" when the method of preparation, the seasoning, really the whole idea is totally distinct from what a starred restaurant would do today given the current context of fine dining. It's a great version of canard a la presse, which may not be a great version of duck for a lot of people. Likewise, the one at Alinea/Next might be a great duck dish for many people, for from acquaintances I have who went to that Paris meal, it was described as a horrible version of the dish. Historical dishes are really all context less enjoyment, IMO.

Should I avoid the dish regardless of place?

No, I think it is a nice dish, and it is a great experience. If you expect, perhaps demand, that your duck breast is sous vide to a certain temperature and plated with tweezers you will be disappointed. The duck is cooked nearly raw, then kept warm and finished by pouring over a nearly hot sauce, so the cooking isn't going to be thermoplongeur correct. It is a dish of great intensity, though, and worthwhile.

I'm really after the experience, but not without quality. Thanks.

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If you want the original version of the pressed duck dish, go to Rouen or Duclair, 100 miles Northwest of Paris (1 hour and 10 minutes by train), where the recipe originated.

Best places in Rouen for canard à la rouennaise (a.k.a. à la presse) are La Couronne and L'Hôtel de Dieppe (facing the train station).

La Tour d'Argent has only been serving the dish continuously since the days when canard à la rouennaise was famous in Paris (other places served it, then it fell out of fashion), but it does not serve the ultimate version of it.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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