Just back from a quick European swing, including two days in Paris with choices strongly influenced by Chowhounders reporting on this board.
Day one: Just off the plane and after quick hotel checkin we were off to Huiterie Regis for some oysters. Lucky to get the last open table in this tiny place on a rainy afternoon. Had the special for two: 24 (actually 25) perfect oysters, delicious bread and normandy butter, and a glass of Sancerre and a cup of good coffee for each of us. The oysters were perfect, quite saline and full of liquor. They needed no adornement, but I could not resist the well crafted mignonette sauce with some of them. Very welcoming proprietor, made for a perfect start to our stay.
For dinner we were off to the Marais where I had booked a table at Le Gaigne. This place first came on my radar screen when RW Apple reported on an excellent lunch in the NYT. We were not disappointed. Very welcoming greeting from Madame who runs the front side of the house. Only 10 tables. We went with the three course diner, liked the variety of choices more than the tasting menu.
I started with the poultry pate with a superb pear chutney and an unusual salad of ficoide . I followed witht the venison served two ways, roasted and in a confit, with an extrordinary side dish of a rolled cabbage with a "choucroute" stuffing
My wife enjoyed the endive pastry and jambon starter, and folllowed with the rablant of rabbit with prunes. All dishes were perfectly composed. Wine list was very reasonable. I finished with the assorted cheeses, and across the table she enjoyed the ris au lait with caramel.
After a sound sleep, started the next day with assorted macarons at Ladurre on rue Jacob. Several cafes later I found myself back in the Marais and hungry for a falafel from Las falafel on Rue Rosiere. MAybe this place is too successful, not as tasty as in the past, seemed to be more of an assembly line approach. More cabbage in the falafel than anything else.
Dinner on night two at Le Cigale Recamier, a former favorite of ours. Newly decorated, and a very gracious welcome. I enjoyed the special salad of fall mushrooms with greens in a perfectly crafted vinagrette, followed by a grilled Dorade with steamed veggies including some flavorful fennel and baby carrots.
My wife enjoyed the Grilled lamb, and we finished with two souffles, I had the grand marnier with an extra dose from the bottle provided at the table, and she had the caramel and fleur de sel souffle which was the hit of the evening, better than the best sticky toffee pudding she's ever had. The atmosphere is true Paris, we were the only americans in the place as far as I could tell, and a well behaved poodle under the table next to us through the meal.
Day three: off to London via Eurostar, but must mention the surprisingly tasty lunch on board in business class. I guess this qualifies for the france board since we had not yet entered the tunnel. We were offered good champagne on departure, a decent salad, and a main of a duck shephards pie that was very good.
Finished off with an apple tart and coffee, we were ready to take on London (to be reported on the England board)