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Average Girl Eats Her Way Through Paris


Jen Keenan
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...although sometimes it was just pure crap. What can you do? It's like New York - you can do all the research in the world, but every once in a while you just have to pick a place and you're tired and you might get lucky or not. I wanted to share some highlights from my Paris

To hell with poverty! We'll get drunk on cheap wine - Gang of Four

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please do! More often than not, that's how I do it. I'd love to hear how you fared.

Plus, I made an impulse purchase of a round-trip ticket to Paris last night at 11:45 pm--Air France was running a special of $299 rt until midnight last night--and it's been too long.


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OMG, my T1 line was hanging at work while I was trying to preview my post...here's the full text! Thanks for your interest, and I look forward to discussing Paris whenever possible (fortunately I'm too busy to fly over again, otherwise I might pull a LindaK :biggrin:

I wanted to share some highlights from my Paris trip last month, more or less in visiting order:

Angelina

What a lovely tearoom! This recommendation came from the Historic Restaurants of Paris book my family gave me. I wanted a gentle introduction to Paris restaurants (my jet-lag-arrival-day was all about the crap cafe down the street). And I wanted something near the Tuileries gardens and the English bookstores (Shakespeare & Co. IMHO was sadly lacking). There are certainly worse places to start! I had a nice kir and a very lovely salade composee and in what was to become one of my many boo-boos I unwittingly sat facing away from the main room :unsure: I did have an amusing chat with the Americans next to me, content of which being unimportant as I hadn't spoken English for 24 hours and my French is not so good.

Chez Janou

Let's Go helped me out with this one - I wanted a place to eat between my visit to the Musee Carnavalet and my afternoon Marais walking tour. It was a bit hard to find but so very worth it! I kept yelling "super-bobo!" in my head as I admired the way the French manage to smoke around their families (parents, children) and not blow exhaust everywhere. This phenomenon amazes me to this day. The food was delightfully Provencal (I had scallops and a barley risotto, lovely, with a glass of what I hoped was regionally appropriate wine) and the waiters were supercool/gay/busy. I pounded this one into my sister's head as a place to visit on a later date and I can't wait to hear if she did.

L'As du Falafel

Wonderful street food after a walking tour and a very refreshing change from French fare. I was a little scared at first but some English turned my head, I watched a little and figured out how the line worked, and was duly rewarded for my sticktuitiveness. Who cares if it took me the entirety of my sandwich and then some to figure out where the heck the Metro station was?

Smoke

A bar, really, but as a New Yorker I can't really bitch about bar food that includes a salad of frisee aux lardons. Non-smokers would hate it, but I had a great time with my sister and her friend. We discussed the smoke non-dissipation phenomenon, which made both of us hypersensitive about our own clouds. (I ate a lot of smoke that week.) She even thought the guy next to me was offended, as he was waving his hand wildly. I was able to put her at ease, luckily, as my foodie-senses knew he was eating profiteroles and my remedial French recognized the word "froid". It's okay, Suzy, he's just got a cold headache!

Le Sporting

Having heard so much about the Canal St. Martin area of the 10th, we decided to go exploring. The places I read about in Let's Go were either closed or crowded and we knew we had to sneak in somewhere before the dinner crowd arrived. I was attracted to Le Sporting - painted grey walls, chandeliers, chalkboard menus, people in black. (Okay, honestly I'm surprised Parisians are still doing the black thing but whatever. They all seemed to be models and producers anyway; maybe it's industry uniform.) It seemed very Frenchy Gastropub to me. Is that what the modern wine bar is like? The food was very respectably fresh and delicious and I am only sorry I didn't get the cheese.

Au Bon Accueil

This was all because of you guys! Thank you so much!! My dad had given my sister some money to take us out, preferably to the bistrot he went to with her housemother. No, I said softly, I know exactly where we should go. The parental chastisement that awaited was worth it and more when Suzy's eyes widened and she said, "oh, this is better than any place I've been with my parents" :wub: So lovely and elegant, but modern; we had our first fish knives and some of the most delicious fish and vegetables and bread. The kind of meal where you don't do much talking because you're too happy. Let me know if you want more details; I'm prone these days to taking more mental notes and pictures than real ones. Oh, and to heck with the waiter who glared at me for taking too much cheese for a girl :angry:

Mansouria

I wanted to eat Moroccan and gleaned this off another thread. My American friend was astounded I didn't want French food every day but everything astounds him. And he is now forced to admit that there are good wines from outside of France. We all had a fun time, the food was good, the place very pretty. Only the fact that we were not seated on the cushions kept us from sinking into a sleep of dreamy content.

That's everything worthy of remembering, food-wise, I think. eGullet upped my enjoyment of Paris very markedly and I am only sorry no one was around to have lunch! :smile: Oh – one more thing – that's right, you bet your sweet bippy I went crazy at L'Epicerie and the Maille store :wub:

To hell with poverty! We'll get drunk on cheap wine - Gang of Four

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Oh, thank you Lucy! I kind of feel bad for my long posts but hey, I am a Society Donor, right? :raz:

I will definitely be in Lyon the next time I'm in France. I want to see more! And your posts and blogs have definitely swayed me. Hopefully next time I'm over it won't be just me doing so. much. legwork.

In my ideal world, I summer in the country, spend Winter in town and travel Spring and Fall. In reality, however, wherein I have yet to make my fortune, I'll just have to say I'll get back to you on that :laugh:

To hell with poverty! We'll get drunk on cheap wine - Gang of Four

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Jen and LindaK, I can't wait to hear your reports...what a delight!

I'm afraid we'll both have to wait until December, the low fares were for off-season. I figure I can do my Christmas shopping between meals. But hopefully other travelers will report back on this thread between now and then.

My last trip was over a year ago, when I spent three weeks in a sublet in the 10th close to the Canal St. Martin, so I remember Le Sporting, I stopped there several times on some of my meandering walks between home and the Parc de la Villette. Fun to hear that others found it too!


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This topic is BRILLIANT!!! :biggrin:

I leave for Paris next Tuesday for the first time ever and your musings could not have been more timely. I have been researching till my head spins. So, Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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This is a wonderful read.  :laugh:

Jen, when are you coming back?  Will you do Lyon?  :rolleyes:

Lucy, this reminded me of our trip to Lyon 2 years ago. WE happened to be in Lyon over a weekend, and that included Sunday night. Much to our dismay, Lyon seems to literally "roll up the streets" on a Sunday night! We wound up having a pretty dismal meal at a pizza/cafe. This was very surprising for the 3rd largest city in France!

Any good advice for tourists in Lyon on a Sunday night?

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This topic is BRILLIANT!!!  :biggrin:

  I leave for Paris next Tuesday for the first time ever and your musings could not have been more timely. I have been researching till my head spins. So, Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Shelly:

Enjoy Paris. It truly is one of, if not "the" greatest city in the world.

Oh yeah, full of envy, that's me :)

slowfood/slowwine

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So hey, not that anyone asked, but telling this tale prompted me to check in with my sister about my recommendation. Here's what she said:

"So ive been meaning to write you because i brought a friend and her mom over to Chez Janou and it was absolutly incredible. I had this tortalini with some smoked dried ham and a cream pesto sauce.... SO GOOD! So thanks for the recomendation... not that i think you could ever steer me wrong in the restuarnt category."

Um...if I haven't mentioned, I'm the writer in the family, and she's the artist :blink: But she's an awesome chick, even if she is young and full of spelling error! n.b. I always credit eGullet where credit is due, but shoot me, it's nice to be the one to get the props :biggrin:

To hell with poverty! We'll get drunk on cheap wine - Gang of Four

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This is a wonderful read.  :laugh:

Jen, when are you coming back?  Will you do Lyon?  :rolleyes:

Lucy, this reminded me of our trip to Lyon 2 years ago. WE happened to be in Lyon over a weekend, and that included Sunday night. Much to our dismay, Lyon seems to literally "roll up the streets" on a Sunday night! We wound up having a pretty dismal meal at a pizza/cafe. This was very surprising for the 3rd largest city in France!

Any good advice for tourists in Lyon on a Sunday night?

I thought Lyon was the 2nd largest. Seems it's neck and neck with Marseilles.

By the way, refreshing to read a thread about an average person eating in Paris.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's another average girl on her way to Paris in a couple of weeks.

Last trip, several years ago, my husband and I hit mostly the brasseries around the Odeon metro stop, near our hotel. I thought of these as the French equivalent of TGIFridays, although that's probably unfair and we were never disappointed if not blown away.

This trip, I'd like to upgrade us slightly. I've gleaned this list of bistros from several sources (a cookbook called "Bistro," Saveur, and the Art of Eating's recent Paris issue). I'd love some feedback: are the menus what you'd call "typical" as opposed to fusion/fancy, is there a reasonable prix fixe menu, are we likely to need reservations, etc.

Les voila:

(from "Bistro"):

Chez Allard, 41, rue St.-Andre-des-Arts, 6th

Polidor, 41, rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 6th

Chez Diane, 25, rue Servandont (? can't read my own writing), 6th

Chez la Vieille, 1, rue Bailleul, 1st

Chez Toutoune, 5, rue de Pontoise, 5th

(from Art of Eating)

Chez Denise, 5, rue Prouvaires, 1st (also listed in Saveur as A la Tour de Montlhery)

Josephine (Chez Dumonet?), 117, rue du Cherche-Midi, 6th

Au Petit Tonneau, 20, rue Surcouf, 7th

(from Saveur)

Chez Clovis, 33, rue Berger, 1st

A la Cloche des Halles, 28, rue Coquillere, 1st

Aux Tonneaux des Halles, 28, rue Montorgueil, 1st

Thank you!

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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I find it increasingly difficult to be blown away by food in Paris, especially at reasonable prices and all too easy to be disappointed, so perhaps you didn't do too badly for a first trip. There are gems however and plenty of meals to be had at restaurants that would become regulars if I could eat as well for the price back home. I regret that I have no personal experience with any of your choices. That's indicative of very little. I don't get to spend more than a few days a year in Paris on the average.

My general opinion is that any restaurant really worth eating in, should be reserved at least a day or two in advance and that better bistros may need reservations a few weeks in advance. Reserving, is also seen as a sign of respect and it's a good idea.

A copy of the Michelin guide will answer many of your questions. It will rather reliably give you the price range of both the prix fixe menus and of eating a la carte. Fortunately, you can get most of what's in the guide online at their web site: http://www.viamichelin.com/

With luck, a few residents will chime in about the bistros you mention. I'd recommend doing a search here on each of them. Members who have posted, often extensively, after a good, or bad, meal are understandedly often reluctant to rehash what they've said, especially after the meal has faded in memory. I'd throw in Aux Lyonnais. We've eaten there twice with great satisfaction. 32 rue St.-Marc, 75002.

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 find it increasingly difficult to be blown away by food in Paris, especially at reasonable prices and all too easy to be disappointed, so perhaps you didn't do too badly for a first trip. There are gems however

With luck, a few residents will chime in about the bistros you mention.

There are indeed gems, and to second Bux's advice, I'd search out what you've listed. I think you can do better. Buy Lebey's big or bistro book; and Zurban's Guide.

Part of the issue here is what is a bistro(t)? As you know, nowadays, as in the US, the word can cover almost anything.

Are La Cerisaie, Mon Viel Ami, Le Troquet, Temps Au Temps, Vieux Chene the old but new La Regalade, etc. bistros? I dunno, but they're good, for good prices.

Happy eating! And remember, the really new Regalade, as it were, the Comptoir de Relais is right at the Carrefour and if you're not allergic to exhaust fumes, you'll have a wonderful meal - equally at lunch as at dinner (for under 100 E for 2; and dropping daily).

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Another average girl reporting here. Just returned from 5 wonderful days in Paris, basically eating and sightseeing my way through the city. I must say at the outset that I am flummoxed by the myriad stories I am told of recent ill-treatment of acquaintances by the Parisians. The stories are detailed and, as I have no reason to doubt their veracity, puzzling. My sister and I, middle-aged, rather “rubenesque“, NOT wealthy and NOT remotely fluent in French were treated with great courtesy and kindness. I have no idea why we got on so well where others did not. But, we did. I will go back again, I will go back with my 12 year -old nephew, whom I would not knowingly expose to any meanness, and I would not hesitate to go to Paris alone.

So, my point is, to anyone undecided, GO! Ignore the horror stories of your friends and neighbors. Go with an open-mind and heart and watch for the details, Paris is in the details, imho. It was all the little bits & bobs that made the trip so memorable. Anyway, on to the food highlights. The service in ALL of the below-listed places was friendly, patient and kind.

Thursday night: Dinner at Mansouria - Absolutely delicious. I choose the fixed price dinner of @ 30 Euro and had the following, all of which were firsts for me and all of which I would love to replicate at home:

Harira (soupe marocaine) - thick, soothing and aromatic soup made of pureed who-knows-what.

Tajine de poulet, olives et citrons confits - Chicken with spices, olives and quarters of tiny lemons I assumed to be pickled or preserved in some way as their flavor was intense.

Ou Assiette de pâtisseries et Thé à la menthe ou café - An assortment of little pasteries, served with hot, sweet mint tea.

Friday Morning: Breakfast at Café Angelina - 226 / rue de Rivoli / 75001 Paris. - Recommended by just about everyone. And rightly so. Stunning place, so romantic and sweet.

Hot Chocolate - Wow! This alone was worth the 8 hour flight J. The waitress brings a small cup, a bowl of the airiest whipped cream I have ever had and a pitcher of hot, thick, dark liquid chocolate. Pour the chocolate into the cup, crown with the whipped cream and Viola! instant nirvana. :biggrin:

Smoked Salmon Platter with chive cream - Standard salmon dish, very good.

Citron Presse - I came to really look forward to my morning citron presse. I assume it to be straight lemon juice, to which I added sugar and water to taste. Very refreshing.

Late Afternoon Friday - Café George V(?)- Champs Elysees - Stopped here for a bite and to rest our feet. Not sure about the name of the place as we basically just went to the first outdoor café we saw. It had a red canvas marquee and was not far from Laduree.

Pastis- Another first for me. I was the kid who traded my pastel jellybeans for the black ones every Easter, so this was yummy. I loved the strong liquorice flavor.

Terrine - Yet another first. VERY delicious terrine of beef(?). Was nice with the pastis, although I am not sure that it was meant to be eaten so :hmmm: Rough cut beef or pork, nuts (hazelnuts?) blended with other things and molded, chilled and sliced. Excellent. Another dish I will try to make at home.

Laduree 75 avenue des Champs-Elysées - Another place recommended by just about everyone. Had glace and assorted macaroons. They were very nice, though a bit sweet for me, especially the hazelnut and the candy floss. Beautiful place. Good coffee.

Saturday night - Bofinger 7 rue de la Bastille, Paris - Funny, we had NO idea that this was such a chi-chi place. It just happened to be down the street from where we were staying, we wandered in with no reservations and were promptly seated upstairs. Lovely room, very warm & woody. Our waiter spoke almost no English, but was incredibly sweet and helpful.

Anyway, I chose the fixed price menu, as usual. . The fixe-price came with a choice of wines and so I chose the Riesling to drink with the meal. Sorry, cannot tell you more then that, except it was really refreshing and light.

Pate foie gras with cornichons, and puree of figs. - My first Pate, and I loved it. The other 2 people I was with did not get the fig or the cornichon with theirs, no idea why, but they both melded with the pate beautifully.

White fish over a rough puree of artichokes and potatoes. - Not sure what the fish was, sorry, but it had a black & silver skin. Very good. Not thrilling, but good. The potato & artichoke puree was really good.

Méringues with glace - very nice, as meringues go.

Sunday Lunch - The Musée d'Orsay Restaurant, in the Museum. Easily the most beautiful room I have ever eaten in.

And, my very first:

Tartare- The waitress was VERY worried that I did not understand that I was going to get a plate of raw meat. I understood full well, and couldn’t wait. I finally was able to communicate to her that I understood what I was asking for and she gave me a big smile and came back with a gracious-plenty of tartare. It was heaped in the center of a big round white plate, with mounds of chopped shallot, cornichon ( I think) , raw egg and a pretty little service that had Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt & pepper. There were probably other things that I am failing to recall. I was in heaven. My sister thought I was nuts, as did the couple next to us. Poor them . :smile:

Will stop talking now as I have waffled on enough :rolleyes: . Ask anything you wish and I will try to answer it intelligently

Edited by shelly59 (log)
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The terrine was probably pork together with perhaps veal or poultry. That's the most common. A terrine is basically what we know as pate cooked in a mold, usually or traditionally earthenware (the terr(e) in terrine). It can be coursely cut, or very finely ground as you are more likely to find liver terrines and pates. It can also be stuffed with meats, poultry, foie gras and, as in your case, nuts. Pistachios are very traditional, but hazelnuts seem to be becoming fashionable. We've had some nice photographs on the site lately of dried sausages with hazelnuts.

The nasty Parisian is a myth, I often suspect. I wonder if it isn't created by those happy visitors who don't want to see Paris overrun with Americans. However, I often suspect Parisians are great readers of people and know exactly how to treat people as they deserve. I say that because, as a rule, the French have always shown me great kindness and courtesy and it's never been less the case in Paris. I've wondered if maybe it's that as a New Yorker, we're on the same big city wave length. Seriously, I've been told they've learned how important the tourist is to their economy and have changed. I don't really believe it. My first visit was in 1959 or 60 as a student. I was well treated.

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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Thanks, Bux and John, for your advice. I did glean some specifics on my list from searching the site, and John, I'll add your suggestions to it.

Shelly, your meals sounded fantastic. I've never been treated unkindly in Paris--ripped off once, in a tourist scam involving over-priced caricatures, but that was our fault for letting our guard down. And the happy ending to that story is that a street performer came to our rescue in trying to track the "artists" down the next day.

I'll be sure to report back.

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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Thanks, Bux and John, for your advice. I did glean some specifics on my list from searching the site, and John, I'll add your suggestions to it.

I'll be sure to report back.

Today I went to the Where office and picked up the June issue, which confirms my sense of what bistrots are hot these days - Alexander Lobrano listed La Cerisaie, Les Papilles, L’Ami Marcel, L’Ourcine, Le Mesturet, Le Marsangy, Le Temps au Temps, + Au Vieux Chene.

And please do report back, positive or negative; too many folks never give us feedback; and happy eating!

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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And please do report back, positive or negative; too many folks never give us feedback; and happy eating!

For what it is worth, I was more than comfortable recommending places in Paris, armed as I was with the recommendations of yourself and other Egulleters. Getting people to actually GO to the places was another story...not when there is JUST. ONE. MORE. STORE. TO. SHOP. IN. :rolleyes:

Egullet does travelers, seasoned or amateur like me, a great service.

And, thanks for the terrine info, Bux. Very helpful, as usual.

Have a wonderful time, Margo. I cannot wait to go back myself. :biggrin:

Edited by shelly59 (log)
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Thanks to reviews and recommendations on this board, this average (food-obsessed) girl and her traveling companions enjoyed a lovely meal at La Ceraisie a couple of weeks ago. The food and friendly service couldn't have been better.

We all had a champagne aperitif to start. I can't recall its name, but I know it had Armagnac in it, and it was terrific. I then started the meal with a wonderful cold cream of broccoli soup. The soup spoon, filled with a smoked salmon mixture topped with salmon roe, was placed in the middle of the bowl. The beautiful orange/peach colors of the salmon amidst the vibrant green of the soup made a striking presentation, and the combinations of flavors was delicious. For the main course, I enjoyed probably the best duck confit that I've ever tasted. The skin of the leg/thigh was perfectly crisp and delicate, and the meat was meltingly tender. The flavor was incredible. It was served over a hearty mixture of vegetables. My dessert was a slice of chocolate fondant tart: warm, creamy, and delicious (I adore dark chocolate but am usually not a fan of chocolate desserts, but this one won me over).

The one and only negative thing about the meal was the heat in the dining room. I'm guessing that it's not air conditioned (or if it is, it wasn't in use that night), because we were all sweltering in there. The Paris heat wave had passed, and it was quite cool outside, so I don't think it was related to the weather. Of course, the restaurant is so small that when it's full, as it was that night, it's bound to get quite toasty.

One thing I really liked about the restaurant is that it's totally non-smoking. It would have been very unpleasant if smoking were permitted in such a tiny space. On a related note, the night were were there, a crew from TV3 came in and filmed the place and interviewed the owners and guests about the fact that it's a non-smoking restaurant, which I'm sure is an anomoly in Paris.

The next night, we went to Au Bon Acceuil, which I found to be quite a letdown after La Ceraisie. The food was good -- all the dishes were light and creative, but nothing was remarkable or blew our socks off -- but I found the ambiance and service below average. Every table in the restaurant except one was occupied by Americans, and unfortunately the tables on either side of us had the loudest and most obnoxious groups. The service was cold, too. Our servers acted annoyed when we requested things or asked questions about menu items. We all speak French well and are polite, so I don't think it was a language or attitude thing on our part. Also, the restaurant did a couple of things that are my pet peeves: they never brought out all of our dishes for a course at the same time (it took about 5 minutes between the first and last person in our party of 5 to get their dishes for each course, which feels like an eternity when the first person is watching their stuff go cold while they wait for everyone else to be served), and, because we ordered the menu and not a la carte, we were made to order our desserts when we placed the order for the first 2 courses. We asked if we could please wait to request our desserts until after the main course, but our server flatly refused.

Thanks to everyone here for their input on these and many other Parisian dining spots!

P.S., I agree with Bux's comment about finding it hard to be blown away by food in Paris. We also spent a week in the Luberon on this trip, and found the food at even the more modest places there far better than anything we had in Paris, except for La Ceraisie.

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. . . .P.S., I agree with Bux's comment about finding it hard to be blown away by food in Paris.  We also spent a week in the Luberon on this trip, and found the food at even the more modest places there far better than anything we had in Paris, except for La Ceraisie.

Actually if you're willing to spend several hundred dollars per person plus beverages, it's easy enough to find phenomenal food, although if you choose poorly, there's no guarantee you'll get it even at those prices. Even the countryside can be touch and go, but the value is generally better at every level, where those levels are available.

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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Thanks to everyone for helping me find Le Troquet, especially John Talbot for his great advice all over this board. I lurked a bit while I was in Paris to find a great meal for me and my family after a very disapointing meal at Le Grand Colbert, near the Louvre (so expensive! so unexciting! suce poorly prepared food!). I was determined to find a reasonable, exciting bistro, and as usual egullet saw me through it.

At Le Troquet, Prix fix was only 30 euros, and if the whole table was game, you could have a 37 euro degustation menu, selected by the chef. There were many selections on the regular prix fix, and some really exciting supplements.

For the first course, I got the truffle suplement, on a melange of spring vegetables - favas, carrots, peas. They were generous with the white truffles, but (and I'll admit this is the first time I had them when they weren't itty bitty black bits in pate or something) maybe not the greatest quality - they only tasted vaguely garlicy, a bit acidic and a bit starchy. No wows. On a better day, this would have been worth the 12 euro supplement. But thet vegetables were so good, that I hardly cared. Perfectly seasoned, with a warm vinaigrette, and perfectly cooked and presented on a piece of black slate, decorated with spices. Others had an out-of-this-world vichysoise (very delicate and thin), or a generous portion of a torchon of foie gras (buttery!).

For the second couse I had a braised suckling pig shoulder, stuffed with garlic and almonds, served with a rich gravy and mashed potatoes - what seemed like a 3/1 butter to potato ratio. My family also had spring lamb (supplemental menu, I think) - very good, but very, very rare - served with a ragout of white beans (stole the show), and a great perch fillet.

For dessert I splurged again, and got the supplement for 6 euros: a vanilla souffle. trembling and custardy. Oo la la. Others had a cheese plate, and ... ?

As reported, the ambience is not extravagent, but is charming - menus written on chalk boards, relatively small restaurant - and the service was a bit harried, but overall well worth it for the extraordinary meal. Total bill for 5 adults and 2 bottles of a cote de nuits from Burgundy (37 euros each) was about 300 euros.

Thanks again,

Ian

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For the first course, I got the truffle suplement, on a melange of spring vegetables - favas, carrots, peas.  They were generous with the white truffles, but (and I'll admit this is the first time I had them when they weren't itty bitty black bits in pate or something) maybe not the greatest quality - they only tasted vaguely garlicy, a bit acidic and a bit starchy.  No wows.  On a better day, this would have been worth the 12 euro supplement.  But thet vegetables were so good, that I hardly cared.  Perfectly seasoned,  with a warm vinaigrette, and perfectly cooked and presented on a piece of black slate, decorated with spices. 

You had white summer truffles - which are completely different in aroma, taste, texture, and most importantly price from white winter truffles - they're less than one tenth the price. They're black on the outside - creamy white and veined on the inside - and much more subtle in aroma and taste - and yes, more starchy in texture. Knowing the chef's reputation - he's probably using a good quality white summer truffle. But when you get a chance, give white winter truffles a chance - the aroma alone will blow your mind.

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