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Bistros in Paris: Merged topics

Simon Majumdar

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Friday, Oct 20

Le Timbre in the 6th. Great bistro, small place. 6 rue de St. Beuve btw Notre Dame Des Champs and Blvd Montparnesse. 62 Euros total for two for lunch. 22 for two course, or you could get 26 for 3 courses.... Delicious Creme de marron soup with lovely bits of chestnut in it, Magret de Canard-big thick pieces, rare, with leeks and honey, (doesn't sound like it goes together, but it was delish), Boudin noir with a mango gooseberry chutney, Tarte tatin, of course (but, sorry to say, nowhere near Sam's), "Appely" tasting bottle of wine.

Note: Every time we go to France, we order Rare meat. The meat is so good, and definitely Rare-dark bright red, but not bloody. The Rare is quite different in France than in the States. I like the bloody, but the "Saignant" is different, in a good way! (just like our cuts of meat are different, I guess).

Our friend, Marie Agnes' that night. Line 9 until the end, Montreiul... "Apero", which is basically, come over for drinks and appetizers. She served Champagne and Anchovy stuffed olives, a tuna/mayo spread, an eggplant spread, roasted red peppers, bread...Then out came the Homemade Foie gras from her parents in Lille- served with homemade Red Onion confit...Lots of strong cheese after that, homemade griotte tart, all with lots of bottles of Burgundy and Bordeaux...1996 for two different bottles, that's all I remember.


Epicerie Bon Marche in the 6th, bought take out lunch-Two pates, one was a Pintade with Morelles and Pistachios, and another Volaille with figs...a fresh chevre round, two glorious fresh black figs, the biggest I've ever seen...a Tarte Flambee...A Kougelhopf.

--Later that day we went to Isle St. Louis to the Charlotte D’Lilse for Chocolate Chaud (Hot Chocolate). We've been trying to get here for two years. They seem to be always closed or something. Wow. I know what everyone has been talking about. Pure velvet someone wrote. They give you small little Japanese tea cups full, with another pichet/small pitcher of chocolate. It's definitely delicious, but not too too, I could drink it without feeling "riched" out. Plus they serve little shot glasses full of water. Funny, that. But needed...Sam had a Pistachio/Almond tart.

--Then we went a down the block to the original Berthillon, and, too full to have ice cream, bought my favorite dark chocolate lollipops to take home. Filled with the creamiest caramel ever...

--Then we went to another gift shop on the island, and bought a block of Quince Paste, plus a small jar of Pate de Quince, looks like jam, and some Lavender candies...

--Meeting a friend in the Marais by the Bastille, we stopped at a food stand on Rue St. Antoine and bought a slice of a huge Pain D’epices (basically super gingerbread).

Dinner was late-we went to Les Cameleon in the 6th. Although we stopped in late afternoon to make reservations, we ended up getting the table by the bathroom, absolutely not the best table in the house! The other room had an open kitchen, and ours had a TV screen with fashion on it??

I don't think they liked us...However, the food was good. He had Poireaux Tiedes En Vinaigrette-Leeks (8Euros), I had Friture D'Eperlans, persil Frit et sauce Tartare- Little fried fish (14E), both were good. He had Raie Bouclee Poelee, Beurre Noisette, Capres, Croutons Et Tombee D'epinards- Skate with nice sized caperberries over spinach (21E). I had Cabillaud Braise, a l'huile d'olive, legumes croquants et just de fenouil-Cod with vegetables (19e). Both were huge portions, PERFECTLY cooked fish. And tasty....We had a single Pain Perdu, Poelee de Figues et Sorbet Cassis--This was French Toast, except as a dessert! with figs and sorbet (9e). Our wine was a delicious Sancerre. Francois Crochet, 2005, Millesme, for 29Euros. The Maitre'd was stuffing his face with wine and food behind the bar every chance he got....He sat down with a couple of other tables in the bar, and drank with them. When we left, despite the fact that we got a really bad table, I went into the "better" room to thank the Maitre'd who was standing at the open kitchen with the Chef. I said in French, "thank you for the super meal, it was a pleasure". The Maitre'd dismissed me with his hand, basically saying, "yeah, yeah, just get out of here already". So, although it was a good meal, we didn't enjoy the way we were treated!


Went to the Marche Biologique Raspail: Bought a bottle of Pomme de cider ferme (5e), A bottle of Rose (5e) Chevre frais, gorgeous figs, a crepe avec butter & sugar, gifts of powdered chocolate and also of soaps...

Then went to a friends parents in Ormoy sur Essonne, about 30 minutes outside of Paris, just outside of Orly airport. They served us a grand feast...Champagne, foie gras, beef bourgignon (their bourgignon has beef and hot dogs or sausages, never saw that combination before). When I confessed that I had never seen that combination served together, they were astounded. I guess they always serve bourgignon with beef and hot dogs....with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, salad after with great cheeses, then an egg custard thing with caramel (sort of like a flan or creme caramel), but she made it with 6 eggs and milk. Lots of good wine...


Lunch: Atelier des Comperes in the 8th (because it was near Musee Jacquement which we had just gone to, and John Talbott reviewed it): They served Radishes to start, and brown bread. Sam had a Salade hure de cochon champignons marinee. This was basically Head Cheese with gorgeous Chanterelles and Girolles, gorgeous red shallots, chevril (which was everywhere in Paris, I love it), and really good olive oil... We had Cote des Bouef, served on a plank and sliced...Steak for two, with tiny Les Creuset's filled with potatoes-in duck fat?- also with girolles, and parsley...Again, very rare, but not bloody, tasty! - I had a panna cotta with caramel and two odd cookies on top. Bottle of great 2002 Morey St. Denis, George Lignier et fils, (40e), lovely, barnyard, voluptuous...This was a very expensive lunch, maybe 150euros? I think it was 40e for two courses, 50e for three...We were there late and they didn't want to give me a choice of desserts since the Chef's had gone. So we only had a choice of cheese or cold options...Would have been nice to have been told that at the beginning. Then my two courses might have been app and entree...

Dinner late at our old standby on the Seine, the Rue De Tournelle: Rotisserie de Beaujolais,(owned by, and right next to, La Tour D'Argent)- both had Duck confit, Sam started with Leek salad and warm vinaigrette, Pommes Granite avec Calvados that we always get. The cat was there that sits and watches the customers and gets fatter and fatter from everyone feeding him/her (?).


Lunch at Le Comptoir pour dejeuner near the Odeon Metro: (we tried relentlessly to get in for dinner, as we did the last time we were in Paris, to no avail): We started off with this great Buzy, Rose Petillant as an aperitif, tasted like strawberries, then split the Assiette de porc (tons of saucissons, blood sausage, pork rinds, cornichons, jambon, gosh, what else?? - Sam had Pied de Cochon rolled. talken off the bone, put in a casing and deep fried, served with a little salad of romaine heart and shallot crisps, with a potato puree with a clear stock/gravy thing.., I had a Leg of lamb over couscous with dried prunes and apricots. For dessert: I had the thinnest, thinnest, Pineapple slices with sheep’s vanilla ice cream on top, (actually, it came with regular Vanilla, but something else was listed as Brebis Vanilla ice cream, so I asked if I could have the Brebis on top of my Pineapple slices and they said sure), he had Rum Raisin ice cream with mini Baba’s. Very alcohol tasting and good... Great bottle of red Arbois.

No dinner. But: Went half a block from our apartment that we rented to:

La Closerie Des Lilas for cocktails, 48e for 4 drinks. We had Alsace D'Gewurtztraminer Eau de Vie and he had Framboise. However, ANY of the drinks would have cost us that much.

Wed, Oct 25:

Went to Les Papilles for lunch (5th): 28.50e for menu of four course, other things available...this was our favorite place as far as atmosphere, wine bottles on the walls, grocery items you could purchase, downstairs has a large table for a biggish party, oh my, the kitchen is about an inch big, how do they produce such incredible stuff?

Started out with Creme of carrot soup to die for. Served bowls of dry croutons in one section, cubed carrots, lardon, a cumin creme quennelle, and pearl de japon which we don't know what that is, dribbles of balsamic on the side and cumin.... Then they put on the table this humungous lion bowl of this creme of carrot soup, which we could ladle out ourselves, I had bacon/porc -this big slab of a cut of something like bacon, with cauliflower, carrots, snow peas, onions, etc. sort of a pot a feu but with bacon. They fumes coming out of it I sniffed and I'm sure it helped with my cold...Then ther was some sort of brie and Mousse au chocolate a orange, but it was called something else. He had a Tartine Basquaise, chicken something with a frisee salad.

We had the driest Brut Nature Drappier, 100% Pinot Noir champagne. (32e).

Friends over Wed night, to our apartment for Emporter/take out, again from Epicerie de Bon Marche. The biggest figs ever and Clementines! Also fish pate, almonds with curry-so good- spices, spicy olives, saucisson de lyon, blinis with truite tapenade and green olive tapenade,

Trends we saw: Figs in everything...Everyone had this steak for two served on wooden planks, Bacon/Pork served in huge pieces. (Of course, this is just from basic Bistro type places)

Huge portions of everything! I thought that only USA served tremendous amounts of things. The French need not have adapted to our large portions...

We have lots of Pictures of Les Papilles and of Le Comptoir, but hubby doesn't know how to post them on egullet!

Thanks to John Talbott and egullet and Paris Notes for the recommendations!

We were staying near Les Cerisaise, passed by there a few times, but never got there.

Back in two months. First Languedoc, then Paris again!

Philly Francophiles

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Not surprised about Camélion- it's owner and chef Jean Paul Arabian is notoriously unliked in the Paris restaurant world -- wonder how long he'll last...

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY


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Wow! Great write up, but I don't know how you do it. I couldn't stand the pace & would have dropped out & fasted for a while after the 2ond or 3rd day.

Guess I'll just never make it as a true gulleteer.

There was an interesting TV program in the UK about Le Timbre and it's english owner/chef. All about how difficult it was to run a small business in France given the employment laws. He'd just lost his waitress & really couldn't afford another what with social taxes, 35 hour week and so on. The program ended with hid accountant telling him the only way to survive was to expand further. Unfortunately the TV program left it sort of dangling with no resolution. Glad to hear he's still going.

Come a bit North, not much, when you're in the Langueoc and we'll show you the nicest part of France.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, we've finally figured out how to do the picture thing, and, as promised food pictures forthwith: And I have to apologise for the quality of the pictures. My flash went out the second day of the trip and many of these are available light and color corrected.

Here is the outside of Le Timbre in the 6th


And the menu:


The kitchen of our friends in Ormoy:


The table before lunch:


The first course - Foie gras on pain d'epice with chocolate sauce and rum raisin ice cream






Le Comptoir

Aperitif and wine


The Plank of Pork


Lamb shank with couscous and dried fruit


Pied de cochon


Pineapple carpaccio with vanilla sheeps milk ice cream


Baba au rhum


Exterior of Les Papilles


Menu Les Papilles


Interior Les Papilles


Our wine


The soup before the soup


The soup


Tartine Basquaise


Poitrine de porc


The cheese




Philly Francophiles

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  • 2 months later...

Paris, Dec 31-Jan 6th

(If anyone knows how to change the title of this thread to: "Paris Bistros/Brasserie's: Oct '06 and Jan '07", that would be super!)

Dec 31 was basically TGV food and friends over to our apartment for "Apero".

Jan 1: (not much open New Year's Day)

Lunch at Odeon in a corner cafe..Denton, I believe. Just croque’s and pichet's. Sat in the window and watched the world go by...

Went to our old stand-by, Chez Janou for dinner: Pumpkin soup with marrons, I had steak with those fabulous potatoes dauphinoise and the whole roasted tomato with rosemary. He had veal liver with pomme puree and cooked apples and a raspberry apple fresh compote. Split the big bowl of choc mousse that they let you help yourself from. Rose Languedoc bottle, “Chez Janou” and also a pichet of it after. Before, at the bar we had Pastis, “muse vert”, delicious. Near the Place Des Vosges.

Jan 2:

Another old stand-by, Chez Prosper for lunch: Poulet Tandoori salad, Entrecote frites, Berthillon pignon praline glace! Delicious!

Cafe Constant for dinner upstairs. Domaine Cachau, cote de Roussillon-’05. Bisque de Croustache & ravioli de langoustine flavored with basil. Yum, not too rich, not a lot of it, but that was super..merely a “soupcon” of soup! Tiny ciboulette garnish...Terrine of foie gras maison (2e extra), with fleur de sel, toasts, salad with shallots, ciboulette...Scallops (2e extra) roasted-4 in shells with a wonderful brown butter sauce with nuts? (it was almost too rich, but not quite...). Mesclun salade with croutons and shallot avec beurre demi sel, He had boudin blanc, pommes en l’air, mache on top. Dessert was pruneaux, 7 whole prunes in a vin rouge sauce, maybe with cinnamon or vin chaud epices. Very plump. 10e most entrees, 14e most plats.

Jan 3:

Enfant Rouges market to L’Estaminet restaurant. Bottle of Rose cremant-Loire, “’Pet’ de Noel”. 15.50e. Plat du jour: sausage from Montagne and lentilles. I had mixte charcroute-sausage, pate, different cheeses. 6.5e. 47e.

Friends over for apero. All went to Asian place in Place d’Italie. Their dog (Belle) poisoned from eating rat poison under the table. Ugh. She ate the rat poison in the box, so we left dinner and had a vet come to our apartment at Midnight. All is well, don't worry!

Jan 4:

Canal St. Martin to Chez Prune. Favorite new place! 4 items changes daily. Salade Lyonnaise for both. 11e. Pieces of soft sausage over zucchini, carrot, red onion mandoline mixture. Yummy tiny potatoes with mustard seed sauce, YUMMY onion confit, so sweet! Big red leaf lettuce with raddichio, red pepper, side of cukes. Pouilly Fume ‘05, Les Chaumiennes, Figeat, Bronze medal ‘06. They offer two choice of white wine. That or Chardonnay. Mandarin orange tarte tatin on soft crust with creme anglaise and raspberry. 52e.

Dinner at Le Comptoir, went early, at 7:00 p.m., thought we had lucked out to have dinner there! Not a chance. Luncheon menu this week only for dinner! We've had lunch there 5 or 6 times now, still can't get the degustation menu at night!! Had it with Yves when he was at Regalade, and am craving it! Darn....Glass of Bugey-Cerdon Rose Petillant, 6e, Love this! He had glass of Ventable vin cuit de Provence. Domaine Les Bastides, very different, a bit sherry-ish? 6e. Chestnut soup with celery and lots of chunks of foie gras! & tapioca and almond slivers. Not much taste of chestnuts at all, lots of black pepper. It was kind of thin but good. He had Bisque de homard with chunks of lobster poached in vinegar, pistachios. I had scallop salad 4 lovely scallops around long hearts of romaine in the middle with parmesan, pine nuts and balsamic. He had Sale of lamb, lamb steak with a little bone in the middle and a round ramekin of mash with gravy. 1 liter Saumer white 15e. (merde, I should order the carre of lamb next time, looks great! but I think they overcook it). I had 3 glaces: lait de brebis (LOVE this), chocolate with piments esplenette, (spicy back taste) and caramel with sel (delicious). Sam had chocolate guanaja pot de creme with valrona. Eau de vie de pruneaux, 105e.

Jan 5:

Levain du marais, our favorite near Place des Vosges, for pain au chocolat and a brioche fondant, flat with sugar.

I’sle St. Louis to Brasserie D L’isle St. Louis. Cassoulet good! Tomatoey, chewy beans. I had frisee aux lardon salad. Didn't come with an egg... Vin chaud to start with and a mutzig beer. Riesling Charles Tux 23e from Alsace. Big muenster au cumin and a big tranche of baba full of rum. Marc de gewurtztraminer. 85e

Dinner at Bar a Huitres-Blvd. St Germain close to Maubert. Everyone had plateau’s on their tables. Everyone. Ours was 50e and huge and gorgeous! Spider crab (araignee), 4 small crabs, meaty and tasty (etruille?), raw mussels (funny, that) from Spain....also 5 belons, and 11 claires (creuses), shrimp, amandes and poalourdes clams, teeny gray shrimp that nobody eats cause too small, tons of bilots (periwinkles). A mignonette, mayo, rillette of pork, good rolls, and small squares of brown bread and those butters in the long wrapped foil....2 pichets muscadet. The only place in the States I've found a good Plateau is in NY at L'Absinthe.

Jan 6:

Montmarte. Ate at Le Progres in 18th by Abbesse metro, rueYvonne, large windows with good view of lots of steps up to Sacre Cour. Sort of a small Chez Prosper or Chez Prune...He had tartare with raw egg on top, large portion, sort of a mix your own. Came with cornichon, shallot, capers, worchestire sauce, tabasco, sam mixed his own. I had veg soup, just ok, and bavette with potatoes roti, and a nice poivre sauce on the side. Came with lettuce, corn, tomato salad. first had a pichet of horrible rose, then one of ok chinon. 50 euros, not great, but ok....This place was recommended by Eat.Drink.Sleep.Paris. Or something like that, just ok.

Went for another steak dinner that night! Le Relais du Entrecote, 20 St. Benoit, right by Deux Magots. Good steak frites, that’s all they serve. The sauce was delicious, mushroom, bay, butter?? And frites, just ok, but they give you at least two servings, possibly all you can eat? Starts with a salad with walnuts. Bottle of tarn wine, 68e.

Deux Magots for drinks after, just cause we've never been...

Jan 7:

Our airport van went to pick up people past Tolbiac and Place d’italie, and there was a market. The van driver stopped, said we were early to pick the other's up, I asked if I could go to the market....brought back two drumsticks and pommes to the van and we had roasted chicken for petit dejeuner in the van! The driver didn't think we were crazy at all.

Food trends: Rosemary sticks on everything....esplanette in everything and also for decoration....Rose petillant...Chestnut soup. Of course, foam and vertical food everywhere.

It's about time for us to go to a nice restaurant again. We've been to so many in the past, and the past couple of years, we've been in this "bistro" mode. But we really are ready to eat out nice again and see how creative and delicious Paris food is. I think we're missing a lot lately by our choices.

Mr. Tarte Tatin will be posting some food pictures as soon as I can get him to!

Philly Francophiles

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As promised, pictures at last.

Lunch on the TGV from Montpellier to Paris - The pissaladiere would have been better warm, but was still a great improvement on what was on offer in the café car. And the wine a much better value.


The octupus pie of Sete - tasty, but with everything else we didn't finish it.


Macaroons from Ladureé - our New Year's Eve treat! (We did share!)


Cafe Constant dinner menu.


Ravioli de langoustine flavored with basil. (Cafe Constant)


Terrine of foie gras maison (2e extra), with fleur de sel, toasts, salad with shallots, ciboulette


Scallops (2e extra) roasted-4 in shells with a wonderful brown butter sauce with nuts. Mesclun salad with croutons and shallot avec beurre demi sel. (Cafe Constant)


Boudin blanc, pommes en l’air, apples and mache salad.(Cafe Constant)


Dessert - Pruneaux in a red wine sauce with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg - We started with seven.(Cafe Constant)


In the Enfant Rouges market on rue Bretagne L’Estaminet restaurant.


Bottle of Rose cremant-Loire, “’Pet’ de Noel”. 15.50e. (L’Estaminet)


Plat du jour: sausage from Montagne and lentils. (L’Estaminet)


The small mixte charcroute-sausage, pate, different cheeses. (L’Estaminet)


Canal St. Martin, Quai Valmy and rue Beaurepaire, Chez Prune.


Salade Lyonnaise, 11e (Chez Prune)


Mandarin orange tarte tatin on soft crust with creme anglaise and raspberry.(Chez Prune)


Pouilly Fume ‘05, Les Chaumiennes, Figeat (Chez Prune)


Scallop salad at Le Comptoir, Carrefour d'Odeon


Sale of lamb at Le Comptoir.


Brasserie L’Isle St. Louis


Cassoulet (Brasserie L’Isle St. Louis)


Frisee salad (Brasserie L’Isle St. Louis)

Philly Francophiles

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you, Andrew, for the compliments!

Take a look at the trip we took to France two weeks ago on:

Advice on Good Food/Great venue

30-60 people soiree-April, 2007

(If I could figure out how to do a direct link, I would!)

Also, take a look at a very special meal two weeks ago:

La Tour D'Argent.

Philly Francophiles

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  • 4 weeks later...

A recent week in Paris yielded new reviews, with photos, of Les Fines Gueules, La Cerisaie, L’Ourcine, Ze Kitchen Gallerie, L’Ambassade d’Auvergne and Le Bouledogue, with return visits to L’Ecurie, L’Ardoise and Terminus Nord. The choice was of course heavily influenced by the other bearded John.

They can all be found by going to my index page, where new and recently updated entries are highlighted in red.

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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  • 5 months later...

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