Restaurants & Bars

Paris Dining Mini-Roundup

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Restaurants & Bars

Paris Dining Mini-Roundup

James Prince | Jul 8, 2000 06:09 PM

I just returned from a week in Paris, where we enjoyed some excellent and very reasonably-priced meals. Each wound up costing around $110-$120 for dinner for three (ordering the "formule" (price fix) + a round of aperitifs + a bottle of wine).

The cooking at LA REGALADE (49 ave Jean Moulin, 14th arr., tel. 01.45.45.68.58) was exemplary. I had a meltingly tender foie gras timbale and green asparagus tips in a lovely white bisque for a starter, ethereal sweetbreads with tiny fava beans in a garlic-perfumed parsley sauce for my main course and tiny melon balls in a snappy cool ginger lime "soup" for dessert. The service was professional and not as rushed as reputed, the decor comfortably rustic and the seating was not as cramped as we had expected. The crowd was French and very convivial.

Also delicious was LA CAVE GOURMANDE (10 rue du General Brunet, 19th arr., tel. 01.40.40.03.30). Founded by Eric Frechon, who apparently has since left for the Bristol Hotel, it is now run by his wife and former second-in-command. I had a flavorful tarte with tomatoes, anchovies, basil and arugula to start, lean and rosy barbary duck with orange-glazed turnips for the main and a delicious apricot financier with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Nice decor, relaxed atmosphere and smiling, polite service.

We also really enjoyed RESTAURANT NABUCHODONOSUR [formerly "6 Bosquet"] (6 ave Bosquet, 7th arr., tel. 01.45.56.97.26) {a la carte only}. This place sports a warm crimson walled room looking out onto a pretty street with friendly, good-humored waiters and very nice cooking. I started with a "tart" composed of dressed wild greens under a puff pastry disk spread with nicoise olive tapenade and topped with concentric tomato slices and a warm cloud of chevre. This was followed by grilled rascasse (scorpion fish) filets in a lemony broth with chopped tomatoes and then a plate of Berthillon sorbets. The only flaw was the sudden appearance of a second bottle of wine which was not ordered, but we of course drained it anyway.

Finally, LES ALLOBROGES, 71 rue des Grands Champs, 20th arr., tel 01.43.73.40.00) remains a wonderful place for a meal. I first ate there three years ago, and last week it was still very fine. Two small, nicely appointed rooms with serious yet polite service and a subdued atmosphere. The escargot in provencal tomato sauce starter arrived piping hot and full of zippy shots of garlic, my onglet of beef was tender and flavorful, the accompanying sauteed mushrooms woodsy and fresh, and the dessert (warm apple tart in lavender cream) light and rewarding.

We also dined at LA BASTIDE ODEON and L'ARDOISE. Both were jammed with Americans. The first was OK (slightly frosty service, competent but hardly memorable food). The second had delicious food but was ridiculously rushed (we were in and out for dinner in 45 minutes).

I believe that of the above, only Bastide Odeon has an English-language menu (as well as a website!). I speak rust-encrusted French but it was apparently good enough to function in these places. There's probably at least one English-speaking waiter in each, though.

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