Just returned from a three day trip to Paris and wanted to post my experience as a thank you to all the hounds who helped us to decide where to eat and what to avoid. We did manage to make it to one of the board's suggestions as well as finding a few places on our own. Here's a list of highlights:
After hours of walking around the city (and having the blisters to prove it) we stumbled upon Caffe Jadis. Feeling the well decorated yet comfortably chill ambiance we decided to stop in and do dinner. For an appetizer we started with the escargot, which was prepared with a light butter, garlic and chopped spinach dressing. It was a wonderful departure from the butter soaked snails I expected from previous experience. For entrees I had the calf's liver which was perfectly cooked and melted in my mouth. Mash potatoes were served as a side dish and flavorful without being overly rich. My dining companion had the sole which was probably the best fish I have ever tasted in my life. Once again the flesh dissolved as soon as fork and mouth met. An excellent vegetable ragout came alongside. For dessert we had a crème brûlée that had a perfect crust with a wonderful slightly bitter crunch and a strawberry tart. The tart was my favorite, pairing the inherent sweetness of the strawberry with a light custard. Service was great and price reasonable.
La Grande Epicerie Paris
Walking around this food market was a feast for the eyes...everything looked so delicious we had a very hard time selecting items for a picnic we planned! In the end we bought various sausages, roast beef, and ham along with a selection of cheese, baguettes, olives, and anchovies recommended by persons manning the counter. Everything was superb but those anchovies are going to be in my dreams at night. I don't even want to admit how many I ate! We also bought a few different types of wine that came in single serving cans (we lacked a bottle opener and didn't feel like buying another to add to the ten we have at home) and were surprised how good the wine was! I think I expected something Boone's Farm-ish but luckily instead they were quite tasty.
Luckily we got here early and managed to avoid the crowds, ten minutes after we arrived the line was out the door. This was a place recommended by hounds and had a cool yet classic interior. Service was informally friendly and we quickly received drinks and an overflowing bread basket. I had the steak tartar which was good although I really missed the Worcestershire sauce I add when I make at home. Not authentic I am sure but my taste buds enjoy it! My companion was disappointed by his steak which was much chewier than he expected. I took a bite and agreed. It was edible, just not that good. Profiteroles with a dark chocolate sauce were an excellent choice for dessert and in a weird way made me nostalgic for the simple things that make life so good.
Restaurant Le Dali
This was probably my favorite meal in Paris. Ambiance was elegant and romantic with live music and extremely attentive wait staff. Started off the meal with seared foie gras and poached quail eggs in chicken broth. All I can say is-wow. This dish made me almost want to break out into a food dance of joy at the table. Luckily I controlled myself as I doubt the chic clientele would have appreciated my display. The saltiness and herbs of the broth mixed with the rich foie gras and oozing yolk can only be described as perfection. My lamb served in a small cast iron pot at the table with a stewed green beans and onions was delicious as well. The meat was tenderly slow cooked and no knife was needed nor brought to the table. For dessert I had the salted butter caramel ice cream which was another moment I almost broke out the food dance. A blueberry and roasted hazelnut topping covered the slightly bitter yet sweet ice cream. I was full after two bites but it was so good I had to enlist help at the table to finish. No one turned down my offer to share.
I miss Paris already!