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Liz | Jan 23, 2002 05:07 PM

Hi! I am heading to Paris in a month or so and would be interested in some recommendations for more casual dining. We have booked Taillevent for our splurge meal. I need ideas for bistro dining, etc... of particular interest would be traditional places serving hearty fare. (I have always wanted to try hare in three courses.) Mu husband also wants to try a Gascon place. We are staying in the 6th but will travel...

Also, a recommendation for anyone heading to Barcelona. We just got back from a quick trip over and were bowled over by a Basque place called Zure Etxea, at c/Jordi Girona Salgado 10. (Telephone # is 34 93 203 8390.) It was amazing. Perfect service, spectacular food, and cheap. We had the degustacion (around $34 each.) Each course was fantastic, but the absolute topper was a perfectly poached egg over seared foix gras over a crouton, with a rich but judiciously applied sauce... simple and perfect. There was also mouth watering lamb, shrimp carpaccio with garlic confit, hake's cheeks in fennel sauce, a wonderful cheese plate, and two desserts. Out of this WORLD!

Also, by the way, I think Can Gaig has been over-rated. Unfortunately, the meal, while undeniably fine, didn't strike me as anything I couldn't get in an upscale restaurant here in Chicago. The service was super, though.

Thanks for the recommendations!

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