3, rue vielle du Temple, 4e
Metro Hotel de Ville
01 48 87 49 64
We had a (surprisingly) good late afternoon al fresco lunch here when one afternoon we could walk no further and decided to settle in at the old reliable café tables. It brought to mind a few points about Les Philosophes that might be useful. First, service here is continuous till 2am, nice to know if ambling about the area and outside regular dining hours. Second, there are enticing salads and options for the vegetable-starved on offer. I had their salade des crudites, which could have been a meal by itself for those with a light appetite. It had a nice variety of lettuces, several raw veggies, avocado and beets in a delicious mustard vinaigrette. Theres a similar version with goats cheese.
But it was the cuisse de canard au miel that was VERY worthy of being noted. Ive often eaten their duck leg for a late-night nosh, but my oh my it was so delicious this day for lunch. The leg was particularly plump and flavorful and I think they must have changed their source of honey for the sauce, as a distinctive aroma of blooms rose from the plate, something I'd never noticed before. The whole experience was like eating duck in a flower garden, and there were indeed tiny specks of lavender and such in the honey. Served with twice-fried potatoes that were puffy pillows, crispy, salty, and hot. But that duck -- absolutely a stunning surprise to have an expectedly routine dish suddenly soar above all expectations. It made our day.