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Paris Revisited - Our Montmartre Adventure

Paris Revisited - Our Montmartre Adventure

Sep 24th, 2007, 05:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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robjame: We are enjoying your blog and looking forward to more. My husband feels as if he is famous, and has had his friends and family looking at your blog. Your pictures are really beautiful. It was so nice meeting you and Sandra. I am eagerly waiting the next installment of your travels.
happytotravel is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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happy - I guess you are home now?
How did the walk go?
We really enjoyed meeting you and your husband. I wonder how djk is doing.
Remind Allan of the superb fishing in our part of the world...
robjame is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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robjame: I want to thank you for that walk, it was easy to follow and took us to parts of Monmartre that we otherwise would not of found, like hidden gardens, streets, and parks. Many parents were bringing their children to the parks, people were walking their dogs. It is a really interesting and undiscoverd section of Paris, away from the mass tourists. I could easily see how many days could be spent exploring the area. We spent most of the afternoon there, leaving just in time to make our dinner reservations (Good thing we walked a lot). We found Bus 95 and it conviently took us from Montmartre to St Germain.

We ran into DJKBooks and her husband, they did a similar route except they were smart and took the Monmartre bus up and down the hills.
happytotravel is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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A.Beauvilliers and Cottage Marcadet were the two places that we had hoped to eat at. We had decided to choose other restaurants however the fancy struck us.
Cottage Marcadet I discussed in the section of this blog about the Mini Paris GTG.
52 rue Lamarck
Paris 75018
Tel. 01 42 55 05 42
A.Beauvilliers has been taken over by Yohan Perran, a very young chef. People say that is exactly what this stuffy place needed. It is now very bright, though still formal. The maitre d’ and his staff were far more relaxed and jovial than we have noticed in other such establishments. The inside is divided into several small rooms so you feel you are dining intimately with a few other patrons – like a small cafe. It works and we got to know the other two couples in our room. The other positive is that the same three servers look after you all night – a real plus in a place like this as we have sometimes been lost in the whole.
Since it was our special meal, we decided to have the degustation menu at E68 per. This is a set menu and must be ordered by all diners at the table and is supposed to allow you to taste a sampling of the chef’s best dishes.
We started with two kir royals served with cheesy cream puffs. These crop up often in France and are like serving peanuts with a drink.
The amuse bouche was a two layered, chilled veloute of watercress on the bottom and red pepper cream on the top. It was wonderful and you could discern the distinct flavours.
The bread was tiny, perfect baguettes.
The entree was carpaccio de bar sauvage demi-sel, vinaigrette au miel de Sapin - « Creme d’un jaune d’śuf a l’echalote ». Very thin slices of raw sea bass were placed under a small salad of radicchio, frisee and finely chopped peppers and eggs, adorned with a drizzling of honey and mustard dressing. I confess to not having the palate to be able to identify that the honey was Sapin AOC. Oh well....
The fish course was soufflé de langoustines et lieu jaune aux asperges vertes – « Sucs de langoustines cremes ». This was amazing – check the picture out. The souffle part was a rather firm mold, holding the prawns and Pollock and asparagus, pea ods and carrots together. It tasted as good as it looked – forgive the young chef the foam.
The meat course was la selle d’agneau du Quercy farcie au sainte-maure et mendicant – “Nougatine a l’ail doux”. This was the tenderest filet of lamb, done perfectly served with those wonderful French green beans and aligot potatoes – an Auvergne dish of whipped potatoes and cheese and garlic. Once you have had them you will be thankful each time they are served as a side dish.
The dessert was Le fondant au chocolat de Saint Dominigue [sic] with crème glacee basilica which was a small chocolate cake with the warm molten chocolate inside. This is pretty common I think but the surprise was the egg-shaped scoop of creamy, smooth basil ice cream. It was very basilly and sooo smooth. Perhaps the best ice cream I have tasted.
Three wonderful delices accompanied the coffee.
The sommelier suggested a half bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse and a half bottle of Graves 2002 which went well.
This restaurant competes well with other high end ones that we have been to in Paris and the price is right for this sort of place. The location is an interesting choice and Pudlo has chosen A.Beauvilliers as its first choice in the 18th. I think the food and the atmosphere reflect his youth as they are both a little less inhibited than some other comparables.
On the other hand, he is still playing with foam and I wish he would be a little more inventive. At least he has no laurels to rest on.

L'As du Falafel

34, r. des Rosiers
75004 PARIS
T 01 48 87 63 60
m° Saint-Paul

OK... shoot me! I had never had a falafel...didn't know what one is... still don't!

I had heard people rave and this is supposed to be the best so we walked... all the way down from Montmartre... one and a half hours for lunch. OK we wanted to see some more of this area as well.
You could eat in at one of their grubby tables or do take-away. We ate there and were pointed to a back table, isolated and alone where they relegate first time falafellers (or is it falafelees ?).

1 falafel special (what's a regular falafel?) 1 shawarma (?) and 2 Maccabee
beers... E25 (E10 of that was the beers). God it was good (can you say "God" when you are describing Kosher?) It was sloppy, distinctive and I was sorry when it was done. In fact I wanted to falaf again.

That green and red sauce... WOW... both were hot. I figured out it was not an amuse bouche to be eaten by the spoonful.

Where do you get good falafel in Toronto?

Those little breaded balls ... they are vegetarian aren't they?

25 bvd Henri IV, 4th
Metro: Sully-Morland, Bastille
Menu: €25.80

I will borrow the description of this bistro from MargrietVanderBanck of Fodors Forum. She says it so well:

"It specializes in beef from Salers—grass-fed and dry-aged—which the owner chooses himself. This is an unpretentious place, with a warm welcome and excellent service. There’s nothing fancy about the cooking, but that simplicity allows the quality of the ingredients to shine through. If you order à la carte, there is excellent charcuterie from the Auvernge, and the main courses include chicken and fish.

Menu Parisienne: noix d’entrecôte de Salers aux trois sauces, purée beurre maison, salade verte, pignons de pin, Brie de Meaux A.O.C.

The steak is superb, thick and perfectly grilled, and it’s hard to choose a favourite among the sauces: béarnaise, sauce au poivre, and huile de tomate. The mashed potatoes [dauphinois gratinee] are delicious and buttery; the pine nuts add a lovely dimension to the lightly dressed salad; the brie is nicely aged."

It should be noted that although it advertises itself as being open 12 to 12, it is in fact closed from 5-7. That may be a new development now that the busy season is over.

I would like to drag all those who say they can't get a good steak in France to this restaurant. The steak is large. The steak is tender. The steak is cooked to perfection.

France is not a place we think of for a good steak meal but this place beats most steakhouses that I have been in! And the meat is from hormone-free cattle. Thank you Anselm and Margriet for this new favourite.

To see thje pictures that accompany these reviews you will have to check out my blog:

robjame is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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robjame, I'm salivating reading your report and looking at your photos! It's a pleasant change to read about a different area of Paris than people usually stay in. I can't wait until you get to the Dordogne. You and Sandy look so happy in the photos. Keep on eating and blogging. We're living vicariously through you!
moolyn is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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annhig is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Falafel is a fried ball or patty made from spiced fava beans and/or chickpeas. It has become a popular form of fast food in the Levant and in the Mashriq (Arab East), where it is also served as a mezze (snack or tapas). The word "falafel" is the plural of the Arabic word فِِلِِفِِل (filfil), meaning pepper.[1]
Michael is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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I'm really enjoying your report and the details - thanks so much for sharing!
Margo_Chester is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 02:54 AM
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I'm so happy that you went to--and enjoyed--L'Ecume. It really is one of those undiscovered gems. They had a good write-up in Le Figaro a few years ago (it's on their website), but it's not mentioned in any of the guides. Despite the common wisdom, I've had lots of good beef in Paris, but what sets the steak at L'Ecume apart (aside from the taste) is the thickness. It seems so North American, but I don't think we've ever heard English spoken there.

I'm loving your posts and your pictures, and I can't wait to read about the Dordogne--unexplored territory for us.

Surprisingly, for a city that has only recently discovered ethnic food, it's fairly easy to find falafel in Halifax (we have a fairly significant Lebanese population). I'm sure you can get it in Toronto (now that you know to look for it).

Bonne continuation!
MargrietVanderBanck is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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Thanks for your positive comments. I am just finishing up the last three restos in Paris.
Michael - I knew someone would have some insight on falafel. Now what is a shawarma?
Margriet - we saw Bresse chicken for sale but haven't tried "the recipe" yet.
robjame is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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No special insight. I just copied the relevant part of the article out of Wikipedia. You probably could do the same for shawarma which in the States is known as gyros.
Michael is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Many of the semi-exotic Mediterranean food items have a triple name in France -- the Greek name, the Turkish name and the Lebanese name.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Hi, look for 'Ali's' for falafel in Toronto. A small family run chain and really good!
lucyp is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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I thought I had successfully stuffed my passion for travel into a deep, dark hole. Then I found your report.

Now while I fold laundry, change diapers and sooth crying children, I will imagine an apartment in Paris, eating tasty French food and feeling that buzz of excitement only travel can create.

Thank you
mebe is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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mebe - what a lovely post. Thank you. Nicely put.

Here are the last three of the Paris Food Reviews.

Le Sagittaire

77, rue Lamarck 75000 XVIIIème
Paris 75018
Téléphone : 01 42 55 17 40

This is our restaurant find for this visit to Paris. I am almost reluctant to share it with you, in case you ruin it.
This is a small restaurant; it was full on a Wednesday night so a reservation would be in order. Everyone spoke French and seemed to be regulars as they greeted each other. We passed by and it looked nice though you could easily miss it.
The price is €30 per person. €30 is what you will pay. No more or no less. €30 is it.
What do you get for that?
Salade et fromage
˝ bottle of wine
Now if you don’t want something on that list they will probably oblige. What will you save? Probably nothing. The cost is €30 per person.
This is value.
We started with Kir Royales for our aperitifs. Interestingly, the "munchie" served with these was a bowl of peanuts rather than those cheesy cream puffs. Peanuts probably indicate a more authentic restaurant.
For our entrees Sandra had pate a la campagne with onion confiture while I had foie gras.
The other choices were escargots, smoked salmon, mixed salad with lardons and gesiers, gazpacho or melon with prosciutto.
For our plat principal Sandra had lamb stew and I had duck confit with port wine sauce and potatoes dauphine (deep fried potato balls). We could have had beef, chicken, steak tartare, salmon, red fish, or cod.
The cheese course was brie with a small salad.
When it came to dessert, a man at the next table leaned over and said that he comes here regularly with his mother and, when he does, he phones in advance and asks for profiteroles. So, although it isn’t on the menu, they have profiteroles tonight. The waitress came by with a smile on her face like the cat was out of the bag. I ordered the profiteroles and they were wonderful. The chocolate sauce was real chocolate and, if there ever can be enough chocolate sauce... there was enough chocolate sauce! Sandra ordered the ile flottant, a favourite of hers. Other dessert choices were crème brule, fresh fruit salad, rum baba, chocolate pave, crepes flambes with Grand Marnier, or lemon sorbet with vodka.
As we both wanted the same wine, we shared a full bottle
of 2006 Bordeaux reserve. Our option was a Sauvignon de Touraine blanc or a Cote du Vivarais rose. These were not pichet wines…they were served in the bottle.
I love this kind of French cooking. I guess you would call it French country cooking. It isn’t haute cuisine or old French with heavy cream sauces but honest food with good ingredients. Everything was amazing.
As we left, a number of diners said “Bonsoir” - a wonderful French custom.
We resisted the temptation to return another night. I wish we had.
Did I tell you that the total price per person for all this was €30?
Feria Cafe

Feria cafe
Place du Bourg Tibourg

I only mention this cafe because of the typical lunch items we had here. We had spent a couple of hours at BHV, a marvellous store of several floors, to find just about anything. Sitting outside at a cafe in Paris just seems like the right thing to do after some exhausting browsing.
Lunch was two draught beers, a tartine provencale and a croque monsieur. A tartine is a slice of bread (or baguette) with various toppings. It can be butter at
breakfast or preserves (confiture) or a piece of brie, or pate. In this case, the tartine provencal was a slice of bread with ham, tomato, mozzarella cheese and onion, placed under the broiler. The croque monsieur was a slice of bread, ham and cheese with a béchamel sauce under the broiler. Both were very good, and I wish were more widely available at home. Then again, I wish this type of cafe were more widely available at home.


1, rue Cavallotti
Paris 75018
01 45 22 60 01

This was the last in our attempt to prove that one could indeed eat well in the 18e.
Bouclard is an old bistro-type restaurant, run by a man who spent 25 years In New York spreading the word about French gastronomy while working for a major New York P. R. Agency. In 1992 at age 50 he returned to Paris to fulfill his dream of running his own restaurant. He still sits at the door each night and welcomes the patrons.
Sandra’s entree was Gratin de queues d’ecrivisses au macon blanc which was crayfish tails (Dublin Bay prawns) in a white wine sauce topped
with bread crumbs and cheese and broiled. His signature dish, this was wonderful ...and rich. My entree was their duck foie gras but served with boiled ratte potatoes garnished with chives and truffle oil. This was a different, but delicious, way to serve foie gras.
My plat was braised chicken in a vanilla and tarragon cream sauce. It was tasty but very creamy rich. Sandra had a grilled duck breast topped with a piece of foie gras. The servings were very large, the largest duck breast we had seen. The meals were served with aligot potatoes whipped with cream and cheese and placed under the broiler.
These meals were rich and heavy and left no room for dessert. This is the old style French cooking with intense, cloying cream sauces. No doubt that the food tastes delicious but there is nothing subtle about the flavours. Sauces like this were used to disguise poor cuts of meat, which these were not. Happily most French restaurants left this type of cooking years ago. You will get your money’s worth here. The portions are large. If you have never tasted this sort of cooking, you might want to try it. We couldn’t help
but feel that with a little effort, his menus could be updated. The ingredients were there.
The decor was in perfect harmony with the menu.

If you want to see the pictures, you will have to check the blog.

robjame is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:23 PM
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robjame: How you remember all of these details is amazing. We have been home 4 days, and my poor husbands stomach can no longer tolerate american food. It appears he must now have his food delicately prepared, finely diced, ever so lightly sauced, and topped with a little foam. Something we just can not get here. Enjoy your meals.
happytotravel is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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hi happytotravel - You would have enjoyed Le Sagittaire. We passed it when walking back to the apartment.
I'll bet your husband can remember the big bass he's landed (even without the pictures on the phone!)

moolyn - We went to La Meynardie for lunch today.
The house at Le Fournil is fantastic - we could not have imagined anything so wonderfully equipped.
robjame is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Robjame, I'm so pleased you like Le Fournil. Want me to check out any other places for you?

You mentioned that Sandy is a fan of ile flottant, a favourite of mine too. The ils flottant at Bisto de l’Octroi in Sarlat are about the best I've had anywhere. I wanted to take an order home for breakfast! Bisto de l’Octroi is owned by the same people who own La Meynardie so the food is good there too but it's a more casual, less expensive place.
moolyn is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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We've returned from Paris. There was a taxi strike departure day, so we experienced the "adventure" of taking the RER to CDG. Not nearly as bad as I imagined (but thankful not to have had to do it in reverse!).

Lunch at Cottage Marcadet was terrific, and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone.

We love the Montmartre area and returned twice during our stay in Paris.

On a Saturday night, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Au Clair de la Lune on Rue Poulbot. The menu (and dining room) at Le Poulbot looked so appealing, we made a reservation for another night and enjoyed that as well.
djkbooks is offline  

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