This board (along with JT’s blog) was invaluable in helping us plan our recent to trip to France. We were aiming for lower key places as we were traveling with our 2 year old. We did not run into a single problem in terms of the restaurants accommodating her or us. That being said, the ipad, portable DVD, and headphones were meal-savers for us (and for those sitting around us) as was booking the earliest seating for dinners. We rented an apartment in the 3rd arrondiesement, usually had breakfast there and lunches were quick sandwhiches. We did enjoy 5 wonderful dinners in Paris. Prices are ballpark – relying on memory rather than receipts. We were traveling as 4 adults and one very energetic toddler. Apologize for length and any spelling/grammatical errors.
Sunday night in Montmarte – Au Clocher de Montmarte
This is a (relatively?) new restaurant on a street off to the side of the Sacre Couer that had 2 big benefits to us – the first was that it was open on a Sunday. The second is it's open continuously from 12pm. This allowed us to eat early at 630pm which was great for our daughter. We loved the ambience of the restaurant. The menu was short on French classical fare and leaned heavily towards sandwiches and eggs. The food was good, though nothing unique or extraordinary. We took our desserts to go and they were quite acceptable. In terms of quality of the food, this was the weakest restaurant, but the location and hours were ideal for our plans. I would return there if we were in the area, but would not make a special trip for it. 2 apertifes, a bottle of wine, 1 shared appetizer, 4 mains and 2 desserts to go were about 135E.
Monday evening – La Regalade (original location)
Our favorite meal of the trip. 34E prixe fixe menu is a hard deal to beat – many choices for each course and every dish was fantastic. The terrine and pickles to start were excellent and we probably could have made a meal just from that. For starters, we had squid ink risotto with prawns, which was the most interesting preparation of risotto I’ve tasted and cooked perfectly. One veal tartare which was lightly seared and served with shredded greens and a citrus based vinagrette- very good. I did not taste the scallops but were told the were excellent. 2 people had the braised beef as the main which our 2 year old could not get enough of. The cod was beautifully prepared. The pork belly was very good, but a bit on the fatty side for my tastes. In terms of dessert, 2 of us had the rice pudding was very good, one chocolate de crème (very good) and one soufflé. The best dessert for us was the soufflé no question. I know the rice pudding gets a lot of mention on the board, but I’ve had similar preparations in the past (thanks to my mom's apparently classic recipe), this one was a bit sweeter.
Total including 2 apertifs and a bottle of wine was approximately 180E . Would go back here in a heartbeat, and I’m not sure I could envision a trip to Paris without eating there.
Tuesday evening – Terroir Parisien.
This place opened a few weeks before our visit. Getting there was an adventure – multiple streets around the building had been closed for an event in the adjacent building. We finally did manage to communicate well enough with a police officer to make it to the restaurant. It was well worth the effort. The restaurant is modern in appearances and set-up, we loved the open kitchen and open feel to it. Our waitress was excellent and extremely accommodating to our daughter. My DH and FIL had to try French onion soup (in an attempt to see if they could find one equal to Julia’s) – it was an interesting preparation. It comes as a deconstructed soup with an onion and cheese in a bowl with the broth served alongside it in what resembles a creamer. It was good, but nothing all that special and probably would not reorder it. The foie gras terreine was excellent. 2 of us had the roasted cabbage served with ground pork shoulder – this was the most interesting dish we had in Paris . The meat and cabbage were layered lasagna-style and roasted – fabulous. Have not had anything like this elsewhere and my daughter could not eat it quickly enough. We also had the lamb stew and braised beef, both of which were very good. A side of pureed mashed potatoes rounded out the meal, and was amongst the best I’ve had. My DH and FIL found room for dessert – one St Victor and grand marnier soaked cake. Desserts were acceptable – don’t think this is the restaurants strongest point, or we didn’t order well.
2 apertifs, one bottle of wine, 3 appetizers, 4 mains and 2 desserts were about 150E. Felt this place offers an excellent value in terms of the quality of food. Would return in a heartbeat – and is a great Sunday night option IMO.
Wednesday night – Le Galopin
This was an anniversary dinner for myself and my DH – didn’t think our daughter would sit through a 7 course anything. We loved the restaurant, small and cozy with the kitchen visible if you were seated on the first floor, on a very quaint street in the 10th. Dinner is 7 courses, no choices. The food was excellent, most dishes seemed to have an Asian tilt to them and foams were present in the majority. Felt the balance of meat/fish to vegetables was great and good texture combinations. I’m a bit hazy on some details as I lost my notes . First course was a whitefish seared with miso. Best dish of the night. Amazing flavor combination. Second course was a mussel broth with roe, very nice. Third course was a fish tartare served with a combination of vegetables. Fourth course was seared duck and fifth course was a bass (or similar fish). Everything cooked very well. Felt the desserts were the weak point – the kitchen was trying to match sweet and savory with varying success – dark chocholate pieces with celery sorbet didn’t work for me. I don’t remember the second dessert, I’m not sure I had more than a bite or two of it. My DH had cheeses in lieu of the desserts which were all quite good.
We had a great time and would return,. Felt the price was extremely reasonable for the quality of cooking and quantity of food. With 1 pot of wine and 2 dinner services, the bill was extremely reasonable – about 105E.
Thrusday night – Reed
Chose this place because of the mentions on CH. It’s a small restaurant, about 20 seats, and Catherine Reed seems to do pretty much everything herself with very impressive results. Another open kitchen (beautiful stove – I was quite jealous). My DH and FIL each had the red pepper and tomoato bisque to start which was excellent – amongst the best soups I’ve every tasted. Other starters were the foie gras terriene with greens which was very good and the Sicilian tarte – a flatbread served with heirloom tomatoes. In terms of mains, the chicken dish was by far the best – expertly cooked and the mushrooms were excellent. This was served along with braised endive and a vinagrette that has now become my favorite dressing. Have spent most of the past 3 weeks trying recreate it with varying degrees of success (if anyone has tips, pls let me know!) We also had the lamb stew, risotto served with asparagus and prosciutto (the risotto was quite nice and really took on the flavor of the asparagus), and the veal. No complaints from anyone. Desserts are homemade and we tried the chocolate mousse and boston crème pie – both quite good.
All in all, an excellent meal and an excellent value for the area. We would certainly return. The above with a bottle of wine was about 170E.
All in all, a wonderful trip and wonderful dining experiences. Can't wait to return in the future!
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