Last Weekend in Paris (Gourmet Chick in France)

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I’m currently trekking in Nepal (more on that to come) but I have saved a few good posts on our final farewell to Europe.  Saying goodbye to London sadly meant saying Au Revoir to Paris as well.  Visiting Paris from London is all too easy (as my credit card statement will attest), just a quick hop and a skip on the Eurostar and you are there.  I managed to squeeze in visits a few times a year, for a weekend, for a language course, for the sales or just because, hey it’s Paris.  Sadly now I will be based in Melbourne it will be a lot more difficult to get to Paris.  That whole 24 hours of flying thing really takes the shine off it as a weekend destination, so I realised my weekend in Paris was Au Revoir, while not forever, at least for a while.  

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:  

Bouchiere Rouliere
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.

Essentials
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.

9/10

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

Essentials
Details: 109 Rue Saint Honore, 75004 Paris, France (Ph +33 (0)1 08 99 78 6169) Metro: Chatelet
Damage: Reasonable
7/10

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

Essentials
Details: Hotel du Nord, 102 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris, France (Ph +33 (0) 1 40 40 7878) Metro: Jacques Bonsergent
Damage: Pricey 
5/10

Au Gourmand
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

Essentials
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.
8/10

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.

Essentials
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.
6/10

 

For more on Paris see my previous posts on 48 hours in Paris and Eight Cheap Eats in Paris

6 comments

  1. I love your hotel videos… and thank you for some more Paris tips. Heading back for my birthday in a few weeks (just a little bit excited).

  2. Sorry you didn’t like Hi Matic although glad you liked Bouchiere Mouliere. I had to go to Paris for one night last night (long story) and stayed in Hi Matic again as its right across the road from Septime where we wanted to have dinner and we literally just needed it to sleep for a nights we were leaving the next morning – our room was tiny! More like the one in your video, which is smaller than what we had last time, and we decided we couldn’t do it again. It really is a budget option, and I do love the neighbourhood so a good price for the location, but not for long stays!

  3. I just love your travel posts! I have also just left London to return home – but in the other direction, to New York – and I will miss my Paris weekends. But when I do make it next time I’ll keep these addresses in mind.

    As an aside, these days when I travel I almost always use homeaway.com, which does apartment and house rentals by owner. Not so good if you are only staying 1-2 nights but usually very good value.

  4. Tori – what a perfect place to celebrate a birthday – enjoy!

    Greedy Diva – Your tips as always were much appreciated – Hi Matic was not for me but a good option for cheap but not a youth hostel in Paris and I loved Bouchiere Mouliere.

    Adriennes – I don’t feel too sorry for you moving to New York – very jealous! Lots more travel posts to come…

  5. […] rooms at Hotel 1929 are tiny.  The only hotel room I have stayed in which is smaller is the Hi-Matic in Paris where you have to roll up your bed each day.  But if you can cope with the cosy proportions […]

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