|Rodin’s Garden – my favourite museum in Paris|
Pressure was high for where to eat and what to do, and the pressure was compounded by the fact that I had my parents in tow so I wanted to find destinations they would love as well. I ended up visiting some old favourites and squeezing in some new places as well that I wanted to share with you:
It’s all about the meat at Bouchiere Rouliere with giant black and white photographs of cows lining the walls of this quaint little bistro in the St Germain area of Paris. The meat theme started with the complimentary slices of saucisson and radish which were brought out to start the meal, and continued with the perfectly constructed terrine of beef (€7.50) dripping with a glossy, dark sauce. Lamb chops (€21.50) were pink and tender Greedy Diva tipped me off about this place and said the steak frites and bone marrow was also to die for. Not one for vegetarians.
Details: 24 Rue Canettes, 75006 Paris, France (Ph 01 43 26 25 70) Metro: Saint Suplice
Damage: Reasonable. Our bill for three came to €74 for three including a “pot” of the excellent house red.
La Taverne L’arbre Sec
For a classic bistro meal La Taverne, a spot recommended by blogger and former Parisian Miss Devour, is hard to beat. Located centrally near the Louvre tables spill out onto the street corner and the bistro is always packed with Parisians eating and drinking away. The carpaccio of beef was picture perfect with round, thin slices of rare beef which were so tender they almost melted away. The piecé de resistance though at La Taverne was the Cote de Beauf, a huge hunk of meat for one complete with dripping bone marrow and a side order of cheesy scalloped potato.
|Cote de Beauf|
Details: 109 Rue Saint Honore, 75004 Paris, France (Ph +33 (0)1 08 99 78 6169) Metro: Chatelet
Hotel du Nord
Hotel du Nord, lining the edge of Canal St Martin, has such movie star good looks that it has featured in a famous French movie of the same name. Black and white tiles line the floor, there is a zinc topped bar and candle light creates atmosphere. The menu features modern French food which seemed to entail classic dishes with some puzzling accompaniments. A crispy skinned fillet of seabass was teamed with a huge serving of slow cooked fennel while an entrecote of beef was equally bizarrely paired with beans. The waiters managed to forget one of our tables mains entirely so we left feeling that while Hotel Nord looked the goods it did not deliver food wise. Given it was recommended by my friend Adina who loved the place it is possible we just hit it on an off night.
|Dessert at Hotel du Nord|
Details: Hotel du Nord, 102 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris, France (Ph +33 (0) 1 40 40 7878) Metro: Jacques Bonsergent
One of my favourite new discoveries on this trip to Paris was that of a rather old restaurant, Au Gourmand. Au Gourmand offers classic fine dining complete with white linen tablecloths, amuse bouchés and presentation so perfect that you want to frame photographs of the food and place them on your bedside table. An amusé of smoked salmon was served with a potato and leek purée spiked with musty truffles and hints of olive to add depth. To start, crayfish tails surrounded a plate heaped with shredded rabbit rillettes and dressed with edible flowers. A different game course is on offer most nights at Au Gourmand and I tried the grouse which was pink and succulent and matched well with beetroots which were able to compete with the strong flavour. Of the desserts, the chocolate egg was the show stopper with its extraordinarily seductive texture of fluffy meringue encased in rich, silky chocolate and its very grown up taste.
|Crayfish tails at Au Gourmand|
Details: Au Gourmand, 17 Rue Molière, 75001 Paris, France (Ph 01 42 96 22 19) Metro: Pyramides
Damage: Budget breaking our bill for four with wine came to €240.
Le Mouton Noir
This tiny little bistro (“the black sheep”) oozes charm alongside some clever cooking at bargain prices. A plate of creamy polenta (€8) topped with slivers of Parmesan was unadorned but astonishingly good. Easily the best polenta I have ever eaten in my life and I loved the simplicity of serving it as a complete dish by itself.
|Dessert at Le Mouton Noir|
Fat juicy prawns were drizzled with delicate orange blossom and served with puréed potatoes (€18). The prawns were excellent but there was far too much potato on the plate. Dessert of a chocolate tart (€7) with a silky smooth top and crunchy biscuit base was served with passionfruit for tang and biscuit crumbs to add crunch. It was accomplished and, most importantly, delicious.
Details: Le Mouton Noir, 65 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France (Ph 01 48 07 05 45). Open Mon-Sat. Metro: Charonne.
Damage: €35 for one for three courses and a glass of wine. Any three courses from the menu are €29.
Gourmet Travel Tips
- The Eurostar is by far the best way to get to Paris from London and starts at £59 return.
- For my last weekend in Paris I revisited the Louvre (there is always more to see) and my favourite museum in Paris, Rodin’s Garden.
- I followed Greedy Diva’s lead and stayed at Hi Matic hotel, a brand new hotel that opened only three months ago and is very design led with each room comprising a box with a futon on the floor that can be rolled up during the day to make more space. It is all very funky with primary colours, ipod sound docks and rather space age looking organic breakfasts but the design is actually quite poor and you can’t help but feel that you are staying in a youth hostel for grown ups. Unless you are on a very tight budget I would avoid this one.
Details: Hi Matic, 71 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France (Ph 01 43 67 56 56)
Damage: €120 a night including breakfast.