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5 Paris Bistros in 5 Days

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5 Paris Bistros in 5 Days

banana2ndgen | Nov 1, 2005 06:47 PM

Just back from a lovely vacation in Paris (weather was spectacular, 60's and 70's during the rainy season w/ only 2 episodes of drizzle which lasted about 3 minutes on 2 of the 6 days I was there.

I was only able to cover 5 bistros for dinner during the time because I crashed and burned on my first nite.

Anyways, had 5 good and good value meals but wasn't able to hit Gerard Mulot or Laduree for macaroons.
Since I culled the recs here, felt that I should report back

Monday: Le Reminet 5e (total under 60 Euros/2)
The concierge had inadvertantly made reservations at 9:30pm instead of the 7:30pm we requested, but despite our showing up 2 hours early, the hostess was gracious enough to seat us. We had had a late lunch, so skipped the entree and had main course and dessert. Started out with amuse bouch of pickled beets and marinated mushrooms (friend loved the beets, I don't like beets, but they were better than those I've had in the past. mushrooms were more to my liking). Friend chose the scallops so I chose the chicken in a wine/herb sauce. The scallops were cooked to perfection and had a dollop of eggplant caviar which was so good w/ the scallops. The chicken was good but not as good as the scallops.
Dessert was creme brulee and chocolate fondant w/ cake. The creme brulee was excellent, much better than the other choice. Wishing I had also ordered the pumpkin soup which looked v. good but barely was already stuffed after the two courses.
Oh, and shared 1 L of Vittel.

Tuesday: le Petit Canard 9e (total under 60 Euro/2)
Better appetite so we both had entree, main course, and shared a dessert. Amuse bouch was not-too-salty dry cured ham. Friend had the soup of the day which was a very tasty lentil w/ bits of foie gras floating and melting in it. I had the terraine (duck of course) 2 very generous slices of it - very good on the bread and with the greens. Friend had the duck a l'Orange and I had the duck confit. Both good, both dark meat (thigh and drumstick) but was hoping friend would have picked the breast in the mushroom or honey sauce. We made room to share one dessert, tarte tatin. Glad we did, as it was excellent. Buttery crust, carmalized apple filling - YUM.
Owner offered us carafe of tap water from the get go.

Wednesday: a la Biche au Bois 12e (total under 60 Euro/2 w/ 1 glass of wine each)
My favorite because of the general fun atmosphere and because of the owner - what a charming man! We got there late, but since we had a reservation were seated promptly. We decided on the 4 course prix fixe after the owner brought the blackboard menu and interpretted it into English w/ an amusing joke. Amuse bouch of green olives. Entrees of terraine (2 slices of the scallop and 2 of duck) and roasted wild mushrooms, both v. good, esp when we topped the terraines w/ the mushrooms. Main courses of salmon with an herb cream sauce (French butter and cream) and fingerling potatoes and grilled steak (requested medium came medium rare) w/ an (exquisite) herb compound butter and french fries. Cheese course (cheese platter looked wonderful, but there truly was no room. Heck, the terraine w/ the salad that came with it along with bread would have been a meal alone) skipped in order to have room for dessert of creme brulee and chocolate gateau. Chocolate gateau was of the warm w/ molten center variety. The couple at the next table offered us each a glass of their red wine after proudly showing us the label - insisting that if one eats meat, then one must have red wine. We chatted with them between courses until they left, they wished us a wonderful stay in Paris and hoped to see us the next time we were at Biche au Bois.

Thursday: Dix Vins 15e (60 Euro/2 w/ 2 glasses of wine). Amuse bouch was olives. 3 course prix fixe. Entrees of tomato & mozarrella salad (which was served hot) and a juillened cucumber in yogart sauce. I've never had tomato & mozarrella salad served hot and it's actually better that way. We mixed our two entrees and enjoyed it v. much. Had the roasted lamb (served med rare) w/ roasted garlic cloves and chive smashed potatoes and the scallops in a light cream sauce (served in the half shell) w/ the same chive smashed potatoes. Both main courses were excellent, but the scallops were the standout this nite and as the first nite they were cooked to perfection; there was a 4 Euro supplement, but well worth it!! I am going to try to their method of preparing/serving lamb w/ roasted garlic cloves rather than cooking the lamb w/ garlic and see if family and friends perfer it. For dessert chocolate mousse and chocolate gateau. Very nice ending as neither dessert was heavy.

Friday: le Grande Rue 15e (under 60 Euro/2 w/ 2 glasses of wine)
3 course prix fixe. Amuse bouch was savory roasted almonds. Entrees were amazing - creme herb potato soup and cheese ravioli w/ a cream sauce. Hard to say which was the favorite as they were both so good. Followed by pasta w/ baby squid (so tender, perfectly sauteed needless to say) in a cream sauce w/ chives and roasted duck (entire leg) w/ a red wine sauce (melted in the mouth and enhanced by the sauce).
Dessert was a fig tart and lemon creme brulee - hats off to the fig tart as we had already had creme brulee on two other occasions.

Standouts were all the soups, terraines, the cheese ravioli, scallops, and chocolate gateau.

I have to say that all the bistros used high quality ingredients and there really wasn't a bad dish. What was enjoyable was being able to enjoy 3 course meals and not be stuffed to the gills nor be gouged. Only at Le Reminet did we see any other Americans (and only 1 other American couple, at that) as in all the other bistros we were the only Americans.

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