Restaurants & Bars 1

Report on Three Nights in Paris

kjhart | Mar 24, 200604:52 PM

I owe a debt of gratitude to the wonderful Paris chowhounds, and especially Moshulu, whose wisdom ensured that everything my husband and I ate on a recent short trip to the City of Lights was nothing short of delicious.

We stayed in the Marais and enjoyed coffee each morning at La Comète (corner of rue de la Verrerie and rue des Archives), followed by a tender buttery croissant from Boulangerie Heurtier (corner of Place du Bourg Tibourg and rue de la Verrerie). I know that I’ve read many complaints about the coffee in Paris, but I found it quite good -- perhaps that’s because my usual morning beverage is tea, and I’m not exactly a coffee connoisseur.

Since we had arrived late on a Saturday night, and didn’t pull our jet-lagged selves out of bed until pretty late on Sunday, our first “meal” was Sunday evening’s falafel from L’As du Falafel (34, rue des Rosiers 75004). We each ate the special (falafel, eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes and hummus in pita) standing on the sidewalk next to the window where we ordered our food. Definitely the best falafel I’ve ever had -- the pita was stuffed with about seven piping hot, crispy ovoid pieces of falafel on a bed of shredded cabbage with some roasted eggplant pieces, with some very thin hummus drizzled over the top. The pita wasn’t fabulous, but not bad enough to detract too much from the delicious filling. And hard to beat the € 4 price. In fact, we enjoyed them so much, we went back for lunch the next day.

Monday evening we dined at Le Volant (13, rue Béatrix Dussane 75015). We started with the lentils with lardons and the fricasée of mushrooms. For our main courses we had bouef bourgignon and onglet with shallots. Both were served with a monstrous portion of pan fried potatoes that were crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside. We ordered wine as well, but I took no notes and don’t remember what it was. Everything was delicious and our hosts gracious, even though we arrived without a reservation.

Our last evening in Paris, we went to Ty Breiz for crêpes (52, boulevard de Vaugirard 75015). We arrived at about 9:00 p.m. and waited for a table for about 20 minutes. It was Mardi Gras, and everyone in the restaurant seemed to be in a festive mood -- the staff were all wearing brightly colored wigs, and feather boas, our waiter was in clown makeup (I assume that this was for the occasion, and is not a nightly occurrence). We each ordered one crêpe to start, and shared a bottle of cidre (which the restaurant manager produced out of a balloon, part of the evening’s ongoing magic show). I had a crêpe with mushrooms and cheese (emmenthaler or gruyere, I can’t recall which), my husband had one with ham, gruyere, mushrooms and an egg (the complète, champignons, I believe). For dessert, two more crêpes -- one with lemon and sugar and the other with bananas and chocolate. Once again, everything was great. Simple, but perfectly prepared. As we left the restaurant, our waiter chased after us to give us a little box salted butter caramels made in Brittany. And as we walked to the Métro it started to snow big downy flakes, a perfect ending to a lovely trip to Paris.

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