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My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Yes, it's a good life. :)

Jul 17, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Ah, yes. There are definitely many good desserts available across Oz - a recent meal at Quay was sublime - but not as regularly at the mid level places, where Paris prepares desserts so well. Maybe I was just lucky. I appreciate the frequent offering of several small tastes, and the effort that goes into presentation.

Jul 17, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Why do you want to know?

Jul 15, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Final stop: Pain de Sucre (my favourite bakery) for dessert after lunch (chocolate marshmallow covered in coconut). I also picked up a raisin scone to snack on and a bread roll replacement for the airplane dinner. Some macarons, confitures and rillete to take home as well, naturellement.

Merci, everyone, for your ideas and tips. Happy eating. :)

Jul 15, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

I had a lovely crêpe at Le Pot O Lait yesterday, thanks Ptipois.

Jul 14, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

That is really disappointing to read, but also not surprising. It seems to be the way the world is turning these days. It is however the unfortunate degradation of a brand that relies on its credibility. Michelin stars 'for sale' might be a future public scandal.

At L'Astrance, I had my iPad out to take down the ingredients so I could write my blog post later. On one occasion we were asked if we were 'watching television' (hello?). As my sister started to respond the waiter walked away, which we both thought was very rude. I'm sure the waiter thought we were rude, that the iPad didn't belong on the table, but I am also sure he wouldn't have objected to a notepad. Same thing. I was not making phone calls or watching videos.

Jul 13, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

This is a great site to help you do just that. And book early! Many of these places are quite small.

Jul 13, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Beautifully said, Rio Yeti..

Jul 13, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Yes, PhilD, I should have. And I would have said something if I'd been asked as it would likely have been handled quietly.

I don't like to send food back. It can put a dampener on the mood of the evening, and my sister and I wanted to have a pleasant and special evening. So we just scraped the sauce off. My reading was that it would be a more pleasant evening if we scraped the sauce off rather than go out of my way to call attention to the dish, particularly if we had received an unpleasant response (dismissive, patronizing etc). Yes that concern is not fair on the restaurant, it could have been handled wonderfully well, but I didn't want to risk it. Not all staff were pleasant.

Also where we were sitting, the waiters were not easy to signal, and I didn't want to spend time waiting to catch someone's eye.

As for the wine, we only drank wine by the glass, one each (plus a champagne). They had two reds and two whites available - not a lot of choice. As we don't live in France, and are unfamiliar with the labels, we were guided by the waiter as to the wine choice. I think wines by the glass should all be excellent in a high end restaurant. They can afford the odd unfinished bottle.

Jul 12, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

If a waiter had asked us how the meal was, we would have mentioned the over salting, but I didn't proactively get up to find a waiter in order to complain.

Jul 12, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Surely a one star Michelin restaurant should lose it's star if the food is not good. While we knew the restaurant wasn't the best Michelin in Paris, we did expect the meal to be good, befitting the star.

Jul 12, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Porkpa, Le Cinq was also my favourite of the three Michelin restaurants of the trip.

Jul 12, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Lunch today was at Spring, fixed price, three people (including a cheese plate and coffee for two) for €186. I was surprised to have received over four confirmation emails prior to arriving today, plus some duplicates, plus two confirming phone calls, and while we did change our booking once I am not sure what warranted that many contacts. I responded to them all just in case but thought it was unnecessary.

The venue was lovely, with an open kitchen and attractive wooden seating. The kitchen staff were efficient and quiet, and a pleasure to watch. I like the simplicity and care of a prix fixe menu that caters to allergies and dislikes - I wonder if we'll see more of it in Australia. A diner can be assured that the best possible ingredients were chosen, and I like the choice to be surprised by the dishes (though that does make it hard to order wine :).

The appetisers were tasty and worth mentioning; oysters with a lovely vinaigrette, whitebait, radish, and pickled eggplant.

The entrée was a delicate trout with almond, honey and olive oil, a lovely sauce.

The main meal was a very tender veal with capers and lemon, with a side of grilled courgette. My American friend who has lived here for 13 years said to his wife at lunch today that it was time he took eggplant and zucchini off his "do not eat" list - as well prepared as they both were today, and at other places he has eaten - he is ready to embrace the full goodness of courgettes and aubergines. :)

Apricot clafoutis for dessert with a cinnamon pistachio yoghurt, cherry in red wine and chocolate, and a coffee/chocolate mousse. Delicious.

I notice how seriously dessert is taken in France, in Australia it can still be treated as a bit of an afterthought in some good restaurants.

The service was terrific, bright and warm, with a mix of English, French and speakers of other nations. I had wanted to come to this restaurant last year but missed out on a reservation, I am very glad to have made it this time.

Jul 12, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Tonight's dinner: Jules Verne at the Eiffel tower.

My entree was a duck foie gras with fruit chutney. It was ... competent.

My main meal was veal with potato gratin. The initial taste was hopeful but the salt in the sauce quickly became overwhelming - it was actually unpleasant. No bread was used to mop up any sauce tonight. In fact I avoided the sauce, scraping it off the meat. My sister's lamb was also 'extremely' oversalted. It actually ruined our taste buds for dessert, and my palate still feels 'burnt' over two hours later.

To finish, we were given a plate of cherry macaroons, marshmallow, chocolate truffles and a lemon ganache. They were nice, and probably the best 'course' of the meal.

The champagne and wine were only average - just good table wines.

The service was okay, though we were kept waiting for quite a while between main and desert. Fortunately the view is so beautiful we didn't really notice. :)

Two courses with champagne and one glass of wine each = €370. The most expensive Michelin meal (admittedly with an amazing view and it was dinner time, not lunch) and the worst experience we've had yet.

Jul 11, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Thank you pammi, useful tips.

Jul 10, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Today's lunch was at L'Astrance. There are only ten tables, I can see why making a reservation is so difficult.

Even though I had said in the reservation that my sister was gluten free, the amusee bouche included brioche. They remedied this when requested but I was disappointed that they hadn't accounted for it. (Just as an aside, we have found it easy to find gluten free meals.)

First course was a fantastic lobster soup with vegetables and edible flowers in a ginger and garlic consommé, which was poured over the dish at the table. It was delicious, and this was my favourite dish. The right blend of lightness and colour and fat.

The next course was a caramelised cod with shrimp paste and pineapple foam, a stronger tasting seafood side dish, which was .. good.

Next course was pigeon ("from the Eiffel tower", ha ha, actually from Bretagne) with cherry accompaniments (filled with prune and almond) and carrot, with some more edible flowers (which I think add much to a dish; beauty and that 'something different'). We were also given a pigeon liver which was tasty and well prepared on a small cracker.

The German wine served with the meal was excellent (I chose just one glass instead of having the recommended wines accompanying each course). And the butter was good too.

Our dessert course (surprising: a fourth course while we only asked for the three course dejeuner) was very pretty. Three dishes: peach with elderflower foam, an apricot pannacotta, and an apricot meringue. The meringue was my favourite. I am reminded to buy some apricot jam for my trip home.

And then a final platter of chestnut madeleines, berries and a jasmine egg nog, which had a very strong jasmine and no egg nog taste. It was interesting and a standout dish, taste wise. I also thought the fruit was beautiful.

The service was a bit clumsy (literally hitting both the chair and my sister on two separate occasions, plus some rough placement of dishes on the table) and most of the staff were dismissive and curt. We both preferred the atmosphere and service at Le Cinq.

All that said, I thought for €150, it was excellent value.

Jul 10, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Lunch today at Le Cinq.

I feel like it should be enough to leave it at that sentence, that you'll know what I mean! It was so wonderful and simply delicious. We had the prix file menu, three courses for €95. The restaurant was predominantly business types, interestingly, for a fashion/shopping district.

The Blanc de Blanc brut champagne was sublime, and for €33 per glass it should be. :) I think that's the most expensive glass of champagne I've ever had. I didn't even take note of the winery.

The amuse bouche was a gazpacho with a pepper creme and sides of octopus and vegetables.
The entrée was ravioli of duck foie gras in ginger broth and baby vegetables.
Main was pork with vegetables and mashed potato.
And dessert was a rhubarb dish.

The foie gras ravioli was superb. Melt in the mouth. And I love how the French respect and honour the vegetables - they are not simply used as garnishing as still occurs so often in Australia. The baby carrots and radish and peas were very true to taste.

For mains (which I already couldn't finish despite a tiny breakfast), they provided a mushroom free pork dish which meant a plain (unseasoned) but well prepared lean piece of pork, with more tasty vegetable accompaniments.

A lovely apple and lemongrass sorbet on strawberry jam. Then dessert. The rhubarb was beautiful, not as tart as that in Australia (for good or ill), with a lovely whipped cream and a rich rum and vanilla icecream, adorned with raspberries and gold leaf.

We didn't have coffee, and they brought a still pure water from Germany 'Black Forest' (we were told it was the most pure in Europe) apparently an excellent digestive aid. We will see. :)

The service was lovely. I have known some Michelin restaurants to be very restrained, professional but colorless. Today the young men were charming and lovely (are all young men plucking their eyebrows these days?), with excellent timing and good English.

Jul 09, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

A good local crêperie? Magic! Thank you. :)
And thanks for the other recommendations too!

Jul 08, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

We had dinner tonight at Huitrerie Regis, known for its fantastic oysters. And they were fantastic. A dozen large oysters each was sufficient (given the size of lunch). The place is lovely, fresh white paint and bright happy staff. And tiny - only 7 tables inside and out - no wonder they don't take reservations. With a 25cl sancerre pichet the meal was €63.

Followed by a lovely walk through St Germain des Pres and Ile St Louis. Paris is so beautiful.

Jul 08, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Lunch today at Les Délices d'Aphrodite, honouring some friends currently traveling through Greece. I had the moussaka with eggplant, zucchini (courgette) and lamb. I am guessing it is the same fare sold by the delicatessen Mavrommatis? It was a lovely dish, with a tasy fresh tomato sauce and lots of fresh parsley. A great local restaurant if you're staying close to rue Censier in the 5th.

Dessert by patisserie Carl Marletti (thanks pammi), also in the neighbourhood - a tarte citron and a chantilly choux. Long queue. Both were good. I'm not really into chocolate or berries so I tend to choose these types of pastries instead.

Jul 08, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Ah. I knew it was a set menu with soup, but not necessarily always a long cooked meat dish. It was delicious, absolutely, just felt incongruous.

Jul 08, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Tonight my sister and I ate at Les Papilles. At this restaurant there is a set menu.We started with a carrot soup with cumin cream, followed by slow cooked pork, beans and vegetables, then blue cheese and an apricot pannacotta with passionfruit.

The carrot soup was delicious, very creamy, and tasty. The pork had a nice healthy strip of fat but that's not our favourite part of the animal so I fear some good crackling has gone to waste. The pork itself was quite dry, but the beans and vegies were well prepared.

I think what surprised me most is how wintry the meal was. As a set menu, I would have expected a meal that more closely reflected the season. It is warm outside and we are in summer clothing but that was definitely a heavy winter meal. While I do think Parisian fare is heavier than Australian meals, at this time of year I would have expected some kind of acknowledgement of the season. Such as the meal we had at Septime.

A lovely blue cheese (I forgot which one) before the pannacotta, which was the nicest I've ever had. It's not my favourite dessert (something about the texture) but this was divine. Apricots in France are prepared better then apricots anywhere else I've been, and the strength and tartness (mixed with passionfruit) were impressive.

As for wine, although we recognise the restaurant's reputation of excellent bottled wines, we simply took a red wine by the glass, which did not disappoint.

Jul 07, 2012
AussieJude in France

Chowhound App?

In a future app for Chowhound, I'd love to have the ability to upload photos from my iPad or iPhone.

Jul 07, 2012
AussieJude in Site Talk

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

And it was a big hit; dabbled divinely. Thank you.

Jul 06, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Done. Thank you Delucacheesemonger.

Jul 06, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Tomorrow's research: a top notch tarte tatin to bring to a friends place for dessert. Any tips?

Jul 05, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Sounds like it's worth going back if I feel millefeuille deprived again this trip!

Jul 05, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Thanks for the tips! I have time tomorrow, may check them out. :)

Jul 05, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

Lunch today at Jean-François Piège' brasserie at Hotel Thoumieux, which I found out about today as it happens to be my local this week. I tried to get into his Michelin restaurant upstairs sometime today or tomorrow, but no availability. However during my 1.5 hours in the brasserie I only saw one couple leave from upstairs, and I'm the last one in the Brasserie at 15:30.

I had the foie gras with herbed salad, followed by a millefeuille, accompanied by a reasonable Chardonnay. The foie gras was very good, the salad was crisp and tasty and dressed very well. The surprise standout was the butter; I'd forgotten this glory of France. The service was OK, but no flair or character. I like to see some personality in a place. The meal was €54.00.

As for the millefeuille, I'd thought that 'minute' meant small but it was not. :) It was terrific and has sated my need for a good millefeuille allowing me to go and try some other desserts now!

Don't know if I'm as willing to move away from foie gras just yet, I adore it so...

Would love to upload some photos but no can do!

Jul 05, 2012
AussieJude in France

My food diary of two weeks in Paris...

I can't wait to go!

Jul 04, 2012
AussieJude in France