Saturday, February 23, 2008

Restaurants in France

Paris, May 2007:

I spent nine nights in Paris and it was nice to stay put in one city to have the opportunity to try so many great restaurants. I had a long list to choose from but felt I made some very good selections. I have to say all my meals on this trip were wonderful. There was one dish (the red mullet at Bistro Lepicurien) that I didn’t care for, but they served the best fabulous foie gras salad. I would return to any of these restaurants although my top favorites were: Bistrot de l’Oulette, Chez Janou, L’as du Fallafel, Chez Marianne, Les Ombres (for a splurge dinner) and Robert et Louise. The prices listed are what I paid for my meals. Exchange rate was (ugh!) about $1.37 to the Euro. My friend Louisa joined me in Paris, who also enjoyed these restaurants.

Restaurant Chez Julien
1, rue du Point-Louis-Philippe, Paris IV
Tel: 01 42 78 31 64
Closed Sundays.
25 Euro menu. Fricassee mushrooms in a white wine sauce; baked salmon in a tomato provencale sauce and vegetables; Nougat glas with a raspberry puree for dessert. Shared a small bottle of Sancerre red wine. Total 33€. This was an expensive lunch but a nice start to my trip. We wanted ti sit outside on the terrace (with a great view of the Saint Germain Church) but it was on the chilly side and the tables were not set up.

L’as du Fallafel
34, rue des Rosiers, Paris IV
Tel: 01 48 87 63 60
Since we had an expensive lunch (above), Louisa and I decided to go cheap for dinner. We each ordered their Fallafel special (6.50€): A large pita bread over stuffed with fallafel, hummus, grilled eggplant, cabbage, radish, tomato, cucumber. On the table was hot sauce, which we added to our sandwich. This was quite filling and so delicious! We shared a small bottle of red wine (9€). Total 15.50€.

Le Pot de Terre
22, rue due Pot de Fer, Paris V
Tel: 01 43 31 15 51
Open Tues to Fri 12:00 to 14:30 and 19:00 to 23:00; Sat & Sun 12:00 to 23:30.
Salad with foie gras (1.50€ supplement); Grilled lamb in a tarragon sauce with whole garlic cloves; potatoes and a puree of peas. Crème brulee for dessert. I noticed on the receipt later that they did not charge me for the foie gras supplement. Their web site offers a complimentary Kir coupon, which we brought with us. We enjoyed sitting outside. This street (around the corner from rue Mouffetard) is filled with restaurants. Total 15.50€.

La Guirlande de Julie Restaurant
25, Place des Vosges, Paris III
Tel: 01 48 87 94 07
Louisa and I started the evening with a glass of Kir (wine with a touch of black current liquor) and shared the entree (starter dish): Assiette de petits delices, which consisted of 4 small dishes: A tomato-type soup; hard boiled egg topped with (?can’t remember) and haricots verts (French green beans), a house terrine, and a salad with a red pepper stuffed with a crab puree. I had the Supreme de Canette rotie la cuisse en nem (duck), with a delicious spring roll stuffed with shredded duck, while Louisa had the Souris d agneau en couscous de legumes (lamb). I think this was one of the more expensive meals on this trip, as the portions were very small, although excellent in flavors and presentation. Total 33€.

Bar-Restaurant des Varietes
12, Passage des Panoramas, Paris II
Tel: 01 42 36 98 09
This place is located in one of the glass covered passages. Lots of shops and cafés. Paté Mason; Beef (very tender!) with potatoes and mushrooms. Glass of red wine (Cotes de Bourg Franc-La Fleur, Bordeaux). Total 14€.

Chez Janou
2, rue Roger Verlomme, Paris III
Tel: 01 42 72 28 41 Make reservations!
Métro: Chemin Vert Daily noon-3pm and 7:30pm-midnight
Moules gratinees provencale (mussels); Risotto with scallops. Shared a bottle of white wine. Very good meal and we enjoyed sitting out on the terrace of this busy, noisy, smokey restaurant! 33.50€.

Les Ombres Restaurant
Musée du quai Branly
25 Quai Branly, Paris VII
Tel: 01 47 53 68 00
Nearest Station: RER C: Pont de l'Alma (from the St-Michel RER station; Or take the metro to Alma-Marceau and walk across the bridge).
This was our splurge dinner. Louisa and I both ordered the 95€ tasting menu and it was fabulous! We ordered an inexpensive bottle of red wine for 36€ (highest bottle of wine goes for 600€). Fresh baked bread was served along with a small dish of herring on top of a curry sauce. I thought it was an unusual starter. Our dinner began: Garden peas veloute soup flavored with fresh mint, crab meat and thin shellfish jelly. The mint was not overwhelming and I could taste the hint of dill. Next, we had the duck foie-gras terrine with sweet pepper chutney and grained mustard; Grilled rare tuna, hot piperade and “Noirmoutier” potatoes cooked with salted butter; Young lamb, cooked rare, flavored with marjoram and a spinach ricotta gnocchi (which really looked and tasted like a quiche). For dessert: “La grande Dame”: Praline-flavored light pastry with lemon like “aux Ombres” This was a really wonderful dinner with excellent service, although expensive. Les Ombres is a place for a special occasion, especially having such wonderful views of the Eiffel Tower right in our face. Once it was dark, the Eiffel Tower sparked at the top of the hour. Very special indeed! I think the most unique dish was the soup.

Chez Marianne
2, rue des Hospitalieres-Saint-Gervais, Paris IV
(corner of rue des Rosiers)
Metro: Hotel-de-Ville
Tel: 01 42 72 18 86
This place (like l’as du Fallafel) is located right around the corner from where we were staying. Chez Marianne is a very busy restaurant, has outdoor seating, as well as a take-away window. It was drizzling when Louisa and I went there to eat, so we sat inside. We had stopped by the day before to make reservations and the man at the counter said no need to. We arrived and there were just a few empty seats. The restaurant turns their tables quickly, so I understood his comment. Chez Marianne serves Middle Eastern and Easter European dishes. Louisa and I ordered our own plate of four mezes (12€ per plate), all different, so we could share and have a good variety. Wow, what wonderful food! We had fallafel, Kefte, hummus (the BEST!), sliced pastrami, tarama, feta cheese, grilled eggplant, olive tapenade, eggplant caviar (the waitress added this to our dish by mistake) and bread. Pita bread was extra, but the bread that was served to us was great: rye and a dark pumpernickle type bread. There were a lot more mezes to choose from and could have easily returned another night! We shared a small bottle of wine. We walked away stuffed! 18€.

La Terrasse du 7eme
2,place de l'Ecole Militaire
Metro : Ecole Militaire
Tel : 01 45 55 00 02
Simple lunch of a Croque Monsieur (toasted ham/cheese sandwich) with a small salad (8€); Glass of white wine (4€).

Robert et Louise
64, rue Vieille du Temple, Paris III
Tel: 01 42 78 55 89
Come to this tiny restaurant if you want a good steak and make reservations, as the owner was turning away people after the restaurant filled up. This place seats about 26 and has for their stove a fireplace along the back wall. Out back they have a turkish squat toilet. Louisa and I ordered the cote de boeuf for 2 for 40€. It was well worth the price, as it was a huge cut of meat. Along with the steak we could order potatoes or a salad, so we got one of each to share. The steak was cooked perfectly rare, the only way to eat red meat in my opinion! With wine and an apple tart for dessert our meal each was 32€.

Bistrot de l’Oulette
38, rue des Tournelles, Paris IV
Tel: 01 42 71 43 33
Metro: Chemin Vert - Bastille
This is a small restaurant seating about 30 people. One waiter, Josie, took care of the entire dining room and the bar, while the two cooks in the back worked in a tiny kitchen. He always had a smile on his face. Louisa and I met up with some fellow fodorites/slow travelers for dinner (Sam, Anne, & Jim, and Jan). The 6 of us shared a few bottles of house wine after we all started with an appertif. I had the pate w/mushrooms followed by one of my best dishes on this trip: Cassoulet. This is a hearty stew of beans, vegetables, sausage, gizzards, and duck. I couldn’t eat all of it and I didn’t think to ask to take the rest back to the apartment (do the French allow doggie bags?). Some in the group had dessert while Louisa and I had a Ricard, a licorice flavored liqueur. 50€. Excellent, excellent dinner.

Bistro Lepicurien
86 bis, rue Lepic, Paris XVIII
Tel: 01 42 51 25 51
This small bistro is located near the Place du Teatre but far enough away that there were no other tourists in the restaurant. I ran into Anne and Jim on a Montmartre walking tour, so we had lunch together. I had a salad with a nice thick slab of terrine foie gras de canard, thinly sliced duck, and gizzards. For my main dish, I had the Filet de Rouget a la Provencale, a red mullet fish with an eggplant puree. The salad was absolutely fabulous but I didn’t care for the fish. The salad was large enough to enjoy as my lunch along with the bread, so I could have skipped the fish. 19€.

Le Caveau de l’Isle
36, rue Saint-Louis en l’Isle, Paris IV
Metro: Pont-Marie
Tel: 01 43 25 10 26
Open everyday lunch & dinner
This restaurant is located on the Ile Saint Louis, which was about a 20 minute walk from my apartment in the Marais. I started with their terrine de foie gras de canard, confiture de figue, which was served with three slices of crusty bread and decorated with thinly sliced carrots. The fig pureé and foie gras made for a very nice combination of flavors. Next I had Cotes d’agneau grilles, ail en chemise, gratin Dauphinois (lamb chops (2) served with potatoes au gratin) – delicious! I ordered a small bottle of red wine. Although the food was very good, the terrine foie gras salad at Bistro Lepicurien was much better and with a larger portion of foie gras. Also, one disappointing thing was that the diners were all tourists. All other places I dined in had a good mixture of locals and tourists. Very good dinner, but I might not return here because of the tourist-only atmosphere. 39.50€.

Cremerie Restaurant Polidor
41, rue Monsieur-le-Prince, Paris VI
Metro: Odeon
Daily noon – 20:30pm; Mon-Sat 7pm – 12:30am, Sun 7-11pm
Tel: 01-43-26-95-34
Arrive early, as this place fills up quite fast for lunch. The main room seats about 80 people. I had their house terrine, which was quite delicious (4.50€) followed by chicken in a cream sauce and white rice (13€). A couple sitting next to me offered me a glass of wine, as I was only drinking water.

L’epi Dupin
11, rue Dupin, Paris VI
Tel: 01 42 22 64 56
Metro: Severes-Bablyone (then just one block to rue Dupin)
I met up with Susan (a fellow fodorite), who lives in Switzerland, but was in Paris to meet her mother the next day. I had dined at L’epi Dupin several years back and wanted to try it again. I was not disappointed. The place started to fill up at 7pm. We had 7:30pm reservations. The restaurant has a 32€ menu with several items to choose from for each plat, entrée, and dessert. I had an asparagus salad, which was served with cabbage and a cream sauce, followed by Filet Canette – duck with peas, carrots and shallots. The duck was cooked to medium-rare. For dessert I had a baked peach with vanilla ice cream and a thin cookie wafer. We shared a bottle of wine (16€). The first group of diners were mostly tourists and when they left (around 8:45pm - 9pm) the place refilled with local diners. 40€

Lunch While on Day trips from Paris:

Tante Jeanne

1, rue de la Dodane, Amiens
Tel: 03 22 72 30 30
For lunch I had a cheese, sausage and mushroom crepe (7€). Louisa and I shared a carafe of white wine (7.50€). The crepe was good but I expected the sausage to be similar to an Italian sausage, not like hotdogs! Total. 10.75€.

Le Bistrot des Halles
10, rue Bannelier, Dijon
Tel: 03 80 49 94 15
Cream of white asparagus soup; Salmon in a light cream sauce. Louisa and I ordered two different desserts to share: Crème Freshe and a Pot a la Parlaine. House white wine (11€). 21.50€. This place had outdoor dining but the day we were there the tables/chairs were not set up. Not sure why, as it was a beautiful day.

Picnic lunch in St. Germain-en-laye
Louisa and took the opportunity to buy some picnic foods at the market: Paté, Morbier cheese, French bread, a small quiche to share, and a pickled cucumber salad. With two individual bottles of red wine (airplane size), our meal came to 7.35€ per person.

Monaco (Celebrity Cruise May 2003)

U Cavagnetu
14, rue Comte Felix Gastaldi
Ph: 377 93 303 580
Excellent rabbit terrine; Salmon with dill cream sauce; apple tart. Mom had the same menu. $34.48 for two. Visa accepted.

France May 2002

I had some great meals while in France. Reenie and I did dine in several restaurants that I previously enjoyed. Prices listed were for the 2 of us.

41, rue Monsieur-Le-Prince
75006 Paris
Phone: 01 43 26 95 34
This restaurant is around the corner from our hotel, Grand Hotel des Balcons. We got there early, around 7:30pm, but the place was pretty filled by then. Our waitress was very friendly, unlike my last visit. Most of the diners seem to be locals with tourists mixed in. We both had their excellent foie gras (6E supplement and well worth it); pork with curry sauce (I had this the last time I was here - it was so good) and rice; strawberry sorbet for dessert. Red wine (8E). 56E/$51.38.

3, Place de Breteuil, Paris
Phone: 01-45-67-07-27
We enjoyed a wonderful meal here. This was my 3rd visit to Breteuil and will keep this on the top of my list of best restaurants. We met Tammy and her mother Alice dinner one evening. Our evening started with a glass of Kir. I started with the escargots (delicious!) followed by their rack of lamb with scalloped potatoes. Reenie had a scallop dish (St. Jacques), which was very good. We also had a bottle of red wine, which is included in the price of the menu for 2 people. For dessert, I had their creme brulee while Reenie enjoyed their chocolate fondant. 58E/$53.56.

12, rue Monsieur-Le-Prince
Phone: 01 43 54 74 59
I started with a sausage and potato appetizer, which had a lemon sauce. Very tasty and filling. Next I enjoyed chicken in a gratin sauce with mushrooms. Reenie had a salmon mousse to start followed by lamb braised with vegetables. I had fresh strawberries and raspberries with raspberry sorbet for dessert. We had a bottle of red wine. Everything was excellent; however the service was on the slow side in getting our bill. 64E/$59.11.

25, rue Carnot
13210 Saint-Remy-de-Provence
We asked our hostess at Residence Les Sources to make our dinner reservations. We got the last table for the evening. The place seats around 28 people. Our appetizer was a sampling of foods: foie gras, a vegetarian pate with goat cheese, diced vegetables, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, couscous with shrimp, caramelized onions, all on a bed of spring greens and on top of thinly baked philo pastry. Next was a very small cup of tomato-basil soup. For my entree, I had beef, which was served on a bed of vegetables. The waitress was quite surprised when I ordered it, "Saignant" (rare). She replied, "Saignant???" "Oui!!" That made her night. For dessert I had their delicious creme brulee. Reenie had their chocolate fondant with cream. We had a nice bottle of red wine, Cairanne Cotes du Rhone 2000, Grande Reserve. 28.50E each for their menu and 14.50E for the bottle of wine, $65.33.

30, Bvd Victor-Hugo
I enjoyed the tagliatelle pasta with sliced zucchini, shrimp, and avocado in basil oil, garlic sauce, followed by veal in a cream sauce with morels and vegetables. We had their red wine: Domaine de Lagoy 1997 vin de pays. $73E/$66.69.

4, Av. Mal de Lattre de Tassigny
Rognonas, Provence (15 minutes north of Saint Remy)
Eleven of us dined here one night and had a fabulous time together. The food was exceptional. Philippe, the owner of Residence Les Sources organized the evening. The restaurant has an outdoor terrace and we had perfect weather for the evening. Reenie and I had the most spectacular sauteed foie gras. It was heavenly. We enjoyed Muscat wine with the appetizer. Next, we both had the St. Jacques (scallops) with julienne vegetables in a saffron sauce. A small cheese (goat cheese) plate came next, followed by their "surprise" dessert, an assortment of fruits and chocolate mousse. Throughout dinner we enjoyed red wine. 36E per person, $66 for the total bill for 2. What a deal!

70, rue Joseph Vernet
490 823 398
Delicious duck pate; lamb with sauteed vegetables and red wine from Nimes. Reenie had the duck pate as well followed by a rabbit stew with pasta; chocolate fondant for desert. (Yes, she loved her chocolate!) 60E/$55.

58 rue Joseph Vernet
I had a nice salad with proscuitto, cheese, and walnuts followed by roasted chicken (so tender and juicy inside with a crispy skin) with a cream, mushroom sauce and pasta; cheese tart for dessert and a 1/2 pitcher of red wine. We found this place while looking for a restaurant for the evening. It has a nice outdoor dining area. $44.76

46 & 48 rue de la Balance
04 90 85 24 83
(1 block south of Place du Palais de Papes)
I started with a cream of bacon soup with white asparagus and snow peas followed by risotto with scallops and wild mushrooms (small portion, but with the whole meal, it was enough). For dessert, I had their cheesecake mousse. Red wine for dinner. Reenie had their pork terrine followed by a lamb dish and a chocolate dessert. 63.50E/$59.23.

12, rue de Lanneau
01 43 54 77 26
Reenie started with an endive dish with cured pork (Lardon) in a lemon cream, cheese sauce while I had their escargot in puff pastry in a basil cream sauce. We both had their beef with roquefort sauce and house red wine. While dining, we listened to music by Natalie Cole. The place is nicely decorated but could use more light as it was pretty dark inside. Young crowd with a mixture of tourists and locals. 59E/$55.31.

35, rue de la Harpe, 75005, Paris
Phone: 01-43-54-47-12
I had taken Reenie to the area of the busy, touristy Greek area near rue de la Harpe on the left bank. She wanted to dine in this area one night, so I picked an oldie, but goodie. We both had their escargot to start, and then I had the steak with bearnaise sauce and pommes frites (first time on this trip). For dessert, I had their profiteroles, which were not that great as the ice cream was already melted and warm from the chocolate sauce. It must have been sitting out for a while. 36E/$34.

15, rue Git-le-Coeur
Off rue St. Andre des Arts
I had a delicious salmon and shrimp salad (plenty of salmon!) with a nice light dressing instead of the typical horse-raddish dressing I've had on some previous salads), steak with blue cheese dressing and pommes frites; profiteroles for dessert (delicious!!!). We both had a Kir to start along with a pitcher of red house wine. 46E/$43.50.

94 Bvd de la Tour Maubourg
7th Arr.
Closed Sat & Sun
12 - 2:30pm and 7-10pm)I enjoyed a delicious mushroom stuffed ravioli with wild mushroom sauce followed by shrimp with pasta in a light lemon sauce. The creme brulee was the best I've ever had. Reenie enjoyed a salmon terrine with scallop in a lemon dill sauce, followed by turbot fish with cepes (mushrooms) and chocolate fondant for dessert. We also had a nice bottle of white wine, which was a nice change from all the red wine we drank. 74E/$69.11.

A few other restaurants that I enjoyed (from 1999-2000):

39, rue Saint Louis en I'Isle
Phone: 01 46 33 66 07 This is a fun place to visit. You make your own salad from a large basket of lovely vegetables that is placed on your table; help yourself to the vegetable and cold meat board and to the house red wine, which is in a wooden barrel (all you can drink!). I had their beef kabobs, which Judy had a steak (better than my kabobs); a cheese platter and creme caramel for dessert. $51. The waiters were very attentive.

7, rue des Frances-Bourgeois
4th Arr, Marais area
Phone: 01 42 77 91 91Divine escargots; steak (rare) with a bernaise sauce; house wine; apple sorbet with Calvados. $65.58 for two. Entertaining restaurant with a piano man. Even two of the waiters sang.

3, rue du Docteur Guillet
14400 Bayeux, Normandy
Telephone: 02- 31-92-00-83
This was in the plaza and to the left of our Hotel d'Argouges. Excellent meal for $58.00. Salad with foie gras, salmon, and duck; A filet mignon in a wine sauce; potato pancake; assorted cheese; lemon mousse.

7, Place Drouet D'Erlon, 51100, Reims
My Mom just had their French Onion soup, which was delicious. I had their menu of the day: pate, baked chicken in a champagne cream sauce, rice & potatoes (that was a nice change from french fries!), and lemon sorbet. For the two of us it was $21.00. This was a very nice restaurant. In fact, when we walked in I thought it was going to be very expensive. However, their prices were reasonable.

27, rue Saint-Jean
14400, Bayeux
Telephone: 31-92-94-35.
This is very close to the tourist office. We ate here two nights in a row, though we could have eaten at Le Bistrot de Paris again! First evening: salad with smoked salmon, procuitto and foie gras; lamb and beef kabobs; marinated mushrooms; apple sorbet w/calvados on top; cheese. House white wine was ok. Next night: steamed mussels; veal in Normandy sauce; apple sorbet. Same house wine. Dinner for two was $58.00 & $53.00 for each night.

41-43, Place Saint-Patrice
Bayeux, Normandy
This is located a few doors down from the hotel we stayed in. We both had onion soup for a late
lunch. Although the soup was good, it was expensive: $16.00.

56, bd de Latour-Maubourg, 75005, Paris
Near Invalides
Telephone: 01-45-51-93-08.
Foie Gras, veal in cream sauce, french fries, creme brulee. White Burgundy wine: 1993 Bourgogne Aligote Domaine, Henri Perrot-Minot. $47 for two. There were a lot of locals dining at this restaurants. We did enjoy our evening.

28, rue de l'Exposition, 75007, Paris
This restaurant is a few doors down from L'Auberge due Champ de Mars. Telephone: 01-47-05-80-39. Delicious dinner for $73.00: Goat cheeses w/salmon salad; steak (rare) in red wine sauce with vegetables. White wine; assorted cheese for dessert. Wine: Cheverny, Val de Loire 1996, Domaine du Moulin.

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