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Restaurants & Bars


Le Cornichon, L’Ilot, L’Auberge du 15, Terroir Parisien, Caïus, Pierre-Sang Boyer, Vivant, La Rotonde, Café de la Paix, Restaurant du Palais Royal (Sept 2012)


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Le Cornichon, L’Ilot, L’Auberge du 15, Terroir Parisien, Caïus, Pierre-Sang Boyer, Vivant, La Rotonde, Café de la Paix, Restaurant du Palais Royal (Sept 2012)

Jake Dear | Nov 8, 2012 08:21 PM

I’ve used up much of my vocabulary and even more of my pixels posting about our visit to the Languedoc, etc., in mid September 2012 ( But as Parigi reminds us, we must report back, and so here’s a briefish recap of the Paris days of our stay, early and late September 2012. As recommended on some recent posts, I’ll mention costs. (And looking at these figures, we are reminded what a relative deal countryside dining can be.)

Le Cornichon, 34 rue Gassendi, . This was a great first night place, and remains one of the most enjoyable meals of the three weeks. Small, convivial room. Two memorable entrées: Tête de veau snackée minute, cervelle frite et girolles aigre douce; Sauté de champignons minute, escargots, échalotes et jus de viande. Plats: Cabillaud poché, au thé torréfié, petits poireaux grillés, aubergine et sesame (quite light, maybe a bit too so); jous de veau braisées tomatées, cocos de Paimpol cuisinés. Two cheese courses, one dessert, pommes et poires confites carmelisees, sorbet fromage blanc. Plus a bottle of water and a nice bourgogne, and 2 apperos. 131€.

Restaurant L’Ilot, 4, rue de la Corderie. We liked this seafood and fish specialist. Especially memorable dishes: Anguille fume, Harengs matjes, and for dessert, Kouign Amann. We also enjoyed the conversation with our lunch companion, see pics and our elbows at . With two bottles of muscadet, the bill for three: 105€.

L’Auberge du 15, 15 rue de la Sante. : It was an anniversary evening, and we sprang for coupes de champagne, two menus gourmet (68€ each), with a 76€ Savigny les Beaunes. It was a warm Saturday, and three tables in the small room remained unoccupied all evening. The food, including aligot, was really not that memorable, and the wine was far too warm — we had to use an ice bucket to bring it down to, and then keep it at, pleasant drinking temperature. It could have been an off night, but we were not very impressed, and looking back the cost was quite high compared to our other much more enjoyable dining. 254€.

Terroir Parisien, 20 rue Saint Victor, Memorable dishes on a Sunday night along with a NYTimes-referred crowd: Museau a la vinaigrette (very nice); poulet au vinaigre; boudin noir (large hockey puck size, broiled — seemingly on all sides — very good) served in the middle of pureed potatoes; a fine and generous “assortiment de fromages”; plus mousse au chocolat to share, a bottle of 2010 Cairanne, 52€. Total 153€. Note, the simple wine list is nicely organized by price, three choices at 17€, 5-6 choices at 24€, more at 36€ and at 52€, etc. American restaurants could learn from this and dare to offer low-cost wines.

Caïus, 6, rue d’Armaillé, . We had a lovely dinner here at a table for four with two frequent posters, one of whom knows the chef well. We did not order; food and wine just came, I took no notes, and now it’s just a pleasant blur. We remember a pronounced Asian influence, especially in the opening courses. Share for 2: 160€.

Pierre-Sang Boyer, 55, rue Oberkampf, Three of us had a very fine dinner at the counter, watching and talking with the hip chef and his team. This was another pleasant blur. We arrived at 7:00 (no res accepted). The wine service (30€ per person for matches with each course, plus another 5€ glass each) was especially memorable: Not only were the offerings distinctive (Portugal and Spain represented) and fun, but they were served and poured with confidence and aplomb we’ve rarely seen. 184€ for 3.

Vivant, 43, rue des Petites-Ecuries. Another dinner for four, again with two other regular posters, one of whom knows the chef well. We had a 21:15 reservation. The atmosphere is cramped and lively in this former bird shop with great tiled murals. The food was very good — at this time only a week or so under the new chef. There were two or three choices for each of the 5 courses, and they allowed one at our table to select two from the meat course to avoid fish offerings that did not appeal to him. The matching wines with each course were very distinctive and “oxidative” (most very enjoyably, and couple less so, as observed here: ). Share for 2: 192€.

La Rotonde, 105 Boulvd. du Montparnasse. For lunch on a warm day just off the terrace we had a medium sized assiette fruits de mer plus 6 extra fine oysters, a grand badoit, a bottle of aligote, and for dessert, a shared soup melon and two express. 75,50€.

Café de la Paix, 2 rue du Scribe, in Le Grand Hotel. We found ourselves nearby at lunch, and so popped into the “restaurant” (contrasted with the brasserie). As we expected it’s an elegant place, and we are glad we went, but can’t see returning soon. We had a salad of poulpe (octopus); roget; a demi of chablis; melon and flan, and one express, served with macarons. 114€.

Restaurant du Palais Royal, 110 Galerie de Valois, . We were aiming for the Verjus wine bar at lunch, when, on arriving, we realized that they are not open at lunch, at least on Wednesday. And so we ambled to the Restaurant du Palais Royal, where we knew it would be rather costy, but it was our last day, we were tired, and we felt spurgy. Entrée, to split, ceviche de cabillaud, lait de coco et moutarde à l’ancienne, very nice. My wife’s bar Breton with half a fennel was among the best lunch fish of our trip (and for three weeks she specialized in fish at lunch). My espadon (swordfish) sauce tomatée with leeks was firm and nice. With a bottle of chablis, a 9€ Chateldon (ouch!), and 2 express with mignarise/ petit-fours. 141€. Quite enyoyable, but can’t see going back soon. — Jake

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