If I have to be 100% honest, the food on this trip wasn't overall as mind-blowing as what I remember eating in Barcelona. However, every single restaurant seemed to have solid, delicious food--even the touristy spots. I was rarely disappointed with a dish and never dissatisfied with a meal. Plus there were a few dishes that were among the best I've ever eaten. Really, can you go wrong when foie gras, escargot, oysters, sweetbreads, bone marrow and cheese are found on most every menu you see? The answer is a resounding "no".
I made this reservation for us for our first night in Paris. I knew we probably wouldn't want to just wander around hoping for a good meal after such a long plane ride and I have heard amazing things about this place. For good reason. The first two courses were seriously some of the best dishes I have ever eaten. Specifically the first dish was unlike anything I've tried: raw fish topped with goat cheese (!) hazelnuts, mushroom granita, anise. And the follow-up was supremely tender baby leeks with speck, poached egg, leek puree and perfect bread crumbs (there is such a thing as perfection in this simple ingredient). Unfortunately I became suddenly very sick by the 3rd course and couldn't stick around to finish out the meal. The staff were so helpful and wrapped up my veal steak for me to take home and got the husband his dessert as he took care of the bill. Unsure what happened (allergic reaction? plane food catching up to me??) but very disappointed to not be able to finish this one out. The wine and champagne were also possibly the best we had on the trip (wine was Les Foulards Rouge, La Soif du Mal, Cotes du Roussiollon 2011).
We stumbled upon this wine bar one night looking for a simple snack and some wine for dinner after a huge lunch. One of the other clients at the bar asked how we found the place and when we let him know we just walked by and thought it looked like our type of place he told us: "You are so lucky." Casual, with excellent wine and simple yet delicious nibbles, we felt like we were in our favorite neighborhood joint back at home. Highly recommend.
On the north end of Rue Cler street market. Classic, hearty fare. Huge portion of gorgeous bone marrow with grey salt.
The ice cream gets a lot of attention, but somehow all of the good reviews did not prepare me for how perfect this ice cream is. Honestly have never had better. Salted caramel for me and wild strawberry for the husband.
133 Rue Vielle du Temple
I love meringues and these were the most beautiful I saw in all of Paris. Huge piles with a variety of fun flavors.
A small shop in the Marais that sells many prepared foods. A great stop before a picnic or if you are having a dinner party, if you are so lucky to live in Paris. Right next door to a bakery since you'll want some bread with that. I highly recommend the "Foie Gras Cone" filled with black truffles. Not to shabby for a picnic along the Seine.
Le Blanc Cassis
6 Rue du Petit-Thouars
A lovely spot for an aperitif. Perhaps a kir, rose, or absinthe?
9 Rue JP Timbaud, 11th arrond.
Our last night in Paris we wanted to make sure to have an amazing meal. When we walked by this place, we knew that's what we would get. Scallop carpaccio with passionfruit vinaigrette, tartine with goat cheese, smoked duck and poached egg, cod crusted with chorizo: it was all good. Charming service, changing local art on the walls, regulars sharing wine at the bar, perfect cheese for dessert. Exactly the note we wanted to leave Paris on.
Grill and Cow
In Dijon, next to Les Halles in the old part of town. The decor is cheesy, and I probably never would have chosen to eat here if it wasn't Sunday and everywhere else was closed, but surprisingly the food was really good and I would recommend it to others passing through Dijon. Excellent steak and you get to choose from a large variety of sauces to accompany your meal (like an Epoisses sauce or Au Poivre).
Le Bistrot de L'Amiral
Of course we couldn't visit Paris without a trip to the well-known kitchen supply store. I came away with a couple of escargot dishes for our future French meals at home.
I'll leave you with a bit more French food porn:
|In heaven oggling the cheeses at Marie-Anne Cantin (off of Rue Cler)|
|So many types of poultry and all more gorgeous than any we see in the states.|
|French breakfast radishes.|
|Farmer's market fish stall.|
|Farmer's market cheese stall.|
|Pastries for breakfast.|
|Cake filled with a creamy, pudding-like interior, topped with crunchy sugar bits? Ok.|
|I'm obviously into that.|
|Making our Breton crepe at the Bastille Farmer's Market.|
|And enjoying said crepe.|
|Picnic behind Notre Dame.|