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Trip Report Food Report - Nine Days of Eating in Paris

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Note: The following is our 9 days eating frenzy for the 2 of us - in sequence and excludes the morning pastries, the afternoon macarons, the frequent espresso stops, two visits to Angelina's [on rue de Rivoli] for hot chocolate and house pastries [both Mont Fuji and Mont Blanc are recommended], as well as afternoon repasts of baguettes, cheese and Gigondas back in our apartment. "House wine" should be generally understood to mean to deciliters of Cotes de Rhone rouge unless otherwise specified. Don't read any further if you're looking for any details on anything in Paris other than food & wine...

Camille [24, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75003]. In the heart of the Marais near the Place de Vosges. We stumbled in, jet-lagged, for lunch on our very first day [1/8]. Started w/ a salad Landoise (greens w/ pork, bacon, duck gizzards, other unidentified meats. Plats were a delicious cornichon-flavored serving of beef tartare and
roast duck w/ heavenly mashed potatoes and good house red. Portions too large to have dessert after. Also started eating minutes too early to qualify for the nu of the day. Our mistake. 59 euros. Very good, very traditional, highly recommended.

Dinner that night was at Le Coude Fou [12, rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 73004], on far western side of the Marais. Crowded working class restaurant off the Place du Bourg-Tibourg where we'd stayed three years earlier. Stuffed from lunch, we skipped starters. We also had chicken in a pastry shell; I had confit w/ foie gras and potatoes;
we shared house red. Good food, good dessert, great staff and clientele, wonderful murals. 64 euros. "Coude fou" apparently refers to a crooked elbow (as in drinking).

We took Metro to Montmarte Saturday 1/9, taking the tram up to Sacre Couer for the spectacular views and then wandering the crooked streets afterwards. Lunch was, again, impromptu. We dodged into "Le Cafe de Montmartre" [cant recall the address] and had a cheese omelette w/ greens and an onion soup. The omelette was wonderful, the soup tepid. Good house wine. 22.7 euros. Recommended if in the neighborhood.

Saturday dinner was with some Parisian friends at the Georgian restaurant Deda [8-10 rue Coquilliere, right next door to Parisian tourist landmark "Au Pied de Cochon"]. What an immense feast! Wonderful cheese bread, great soups (one lentil and one chicken), other dishes that defy any description besides tasty. Washed it all down with a couple of bottles of great Georgian cabernet sauvignon [a relative steal at 22 euros/bottle]. Expensive, fabulous decor. Recommended for special occasions. 106 euros per couple.

Sunday lunch was a good veal onglet and a bad omelette in a nameless restaurant in the Marais. It's hard to convey just how bad that omelette was; I've had much, much better ones at Marriott breakfast buffets on business trips to Saint Louis. On the up side...the wine was good.

Sunday dinner was in the far reaches of the 7th near the Invalides and almost in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower [Restaurant Pasco - 74 Blvd de la Tour Maubourg]. Pasco has a subdued atmosphere with elegantly-set tables spaced far apart. We both had a plat and a dessert. One plat was a special, risotto w/ serano ham; the other a confit of "tete de veau," both tasty. The desserts were a lemon tart and profitereles - a kind of puff pastry with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. We shared a a half bottle of "Victoria" [provenance unknown] with the plats and an excellent vin doux ["in extremis'] with the dessert. With coffee the tab ran 76 euros. Incredibly, we walked almost the entire five kilometers back to our apartment. Recommended for a subdued Sunday night if you're in the mood and the neighborhood.

Monday [1/11] lunch we returned to an old favorite, Le Comptoir [5 Carrefour de l'Odeon 75006] across the river in the Latin Quarter. We'd eaten there twice on our last trip and loved it both times. Le Comptoir does not take reservations for lunch and the trick is to
arrive either very early - just before noon - or very late, 2:00 or so. Otherwise, chances are that you may not get a table. We got there early - but not early enough. Google Maps places Carrefour de l'Odeon at the Odeon itself, rather than immediately off Blvd St Germain. By the time we asked for directions and made it down to the restaurant, it was a little after 12:00 and all the inside tables were taken. We did have the option of an heated outside table in the -1C weather. We took it. Lunch was something of a disappointment, perhaps because we mis-ordered. My 'pluma de porc' plat (one of the specials of the day) was excellent. However, the other a la carte chicken soup was so-so, particularly after having had Deda's superlative version on Saturday. The second a la carte dish, lamb with eggplant, was tasty but served "froid" - perhaps not the best choice given the circumstances of our seating. One dessert, a caramel- infused creation that resembled a club sandwich (a special), was good. The other dessert was a so-so peach melba. With half a bottle of good "Saumur" rouge, the tab came to 68 euros. Recommendations: Scout out location in advance. Arrive early. And stick to the specials.

That night we returned to another old favorite. Last time in Paris, we'd dined twice at "Barcanne" on 38 rue des tournelles in the Marais. The food had been fabulous both times, the cassoulet - a kind of down-home bean, sausage and duck casserole from Languedoc - the best we'd ever had. Barcanne has now been recristened "Bistrot de l'Oulette," but still has the same owners and the same type of cuisine. This was a meal we had been anticipating since the last time we were in Paris. We started with mushroom soup special and snails w/ artichokes. Both fabulous. Then on to the veal special and the cassoulet. Both were heaven on a plate. We had a half bottle of luscious dark Cahors wine with the the meal. The dessert was an issue...we debated at length between the raspberry chocolate cake and something described as chocolate with nuts. We finally went for the fabulous chocolate raspberry cake and two glasses of the dessert wine from Tolosan (wherever that is). The owner was kind enough to give us a "gout" of the chocolate with nuts - also wonderful. This restaurant is a keeper. The meal was excellent from start to finish and the staff very helpful. Loved it.

To be continued...

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