s

sfcarole's Profile

Title Last Reply

Paris trip report: Café Trama, Le Severo, Hugo Desnoyer, Le Servan, L'Auberge Bressane

johannabanana - Thanks for your helpful suggestions. We may well follow up on them. We first went to Arpège in 1986 right after Alain Passard bought the restaurant from Alain Senderens, which was previously called l'Archetstrate. Then I believe we went once again in the late 90s. But it dawned on me when thinking about all this that we have not eaten there since Passard began his focus on vegetarian dishes. Then, as to le Baratin, we had a reservation there last year, but a large lunch spoiled my appetite and we had to cancel. La Table d'Aki is a restaurant I know nothing about. I look forward to doing some research.

about 7 hours ago
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

I just realized I never posted about our lunch and dinner yesterday, Monday the 22nd. So here goes:

Lunch at David Toutain started out with a small problem. We were seated in the upstairs dining area which is a little darker (some would say intimate) and less airy, and also seems to be the restaurant’s English-speaking Siberia. Now, I can understand that many restaurants seat their Pesky Yankees in one area so that an English-speaking server can help them all. But I wanted to sit downstairs where it is lighter and where the rest of the French patrons were seated. So I asked to be reseated. It was early and only one or two tables were seated downstairs. The maître d’ said he would see what he could do. He then returned upstairs to say that all the tables were taken. He said he hoped that would be okay. I said, ‘pas tout à fait, no’. As DH and I were then talking about leaving (seriously!) and coming back another day when we could enjoy the experience downstairs, he returned again and said they had found a table downstairs for us. We then proceeded to have a marvelous meal. We spoke only French to the waiter and I begged my DH to “lean in” when talking and lower his voice. Under normal circumstances he is not a loud talker, but I've learned that discrete in France is quite different from the same in the U.S.

Lunch was now off to a wonderful start and stayed on a high plane. Our three course 42E lunch menu was really 8 courses. (There were also 68E and 98E menus, but the 42E one is available at lunch only). We had 1) beef carpaccio disguised as strawberries, 2) a corn mousse with a caramel drizzle and and egg yolk underneath, served with a divine corn bread gâteau, 3) roasted or sautéed mackerel pieces with a smoked pomme de terre purée and onion bits, 4) smoked fish pieces in a black sesame mousse, 5) roasted chicken with a herb sauce, some kind of foam and broken up bits of beurre de noisette, 6) white chocolate ice cream with a cauliflower cream sauce, 7) a chocolate soufflé cake with chocolate shards, a smear of chocolate sauce and a berry sorbet, and 8) small round financiers with jam and nuts in the middle, and chocolate truffles. On the side was served some wonderful little round brioches with a beurre croquant (yum!). Before we left the restaurant I noticed that Yves Cambdeborde was having lunch with a couple of friends. We nodded hellos and I prayed that the maître d' had noticed. Walking after lunch we stopped at the Grande Epicerie to buy some Bordier beurre demi-sel croquant and white Camargue rice.

I'm sure I can’t explain it, but by 9pm I was famished so I called Le Taxi Jaune and we ended the day with a superb, relaxing and very friendly dinner, thanks to Otis.

about 11 hours ago
sfcarole in France
2

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

???

about 11 hours ago
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

See photo below... Although one of the starters has "hareng fumé" it was really more like a sauce you could ignore.

about 12 hours ago
sfcarole in France

substitutions for a souffle

I don't see why not, as long as you're not whipping the cream. And it would be best to use an 18% fat half and half if you have one.

about 13 hours ago
sfcarole in Home Cooking

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

No musicians up there today, but it wouldn't take much to get me to return. I thought of the picnic idea too for the next time, but then lucked into O Divin thanks to Parnassien. So maybe a demi-bouteille and some little aperitifs snacks instead.

about 13 hours ago
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

It was a great day to walk around the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Such pretty little pocket gardens here and there, the lake, cascade, and of course the views... And actually we particularly enjoyed discovering the #75 bus that took us there so easily and passed through a lot of frequently visited areas in the Haut Marais. We also enjoyed the little lanes off the rue de Mousaïa, and really the entire quartier.

As to O Divin, this bistro is such a little treasure and it exceeded our expectations. Charming & modern with a nice interior courtyard (where we sat). The menu though limited to two entrées, two plats and dessert was interesting, so it was no burden to order one of everything. See photo of smoked mackerel above. And it was all delicious. For someone who is a frequent visitor to Paris and is looking for something new, I would definitely check this place out.

about 13 hours ago
sfcarole in France
2

Paris trip report: Café Trama, Le Severo, Hugo Desnoyer, Le Servan, L'Auberge Bressane

Thanks. I just did it - no problem.

about 14 hours ago
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

More likely the smiles are from my clumsy (and therefore probably humorous) French! In any case your suggestion of exploring the Mouzaïa quartier is persuasive. We have the whole day in front of us and were wondering which area of Paris to explore. Last year we started up the hill toward the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, but the weather turned windy and rainy so we turned back. But today the views should be beautiful. And I would never have known that such an interesting area exists to the east of the Parc. I think we might make Ô Divin our lunch destination as well, having read TleV's review. Thank you for taking the time to make all of these helpful suggestions. I'll report back on the day...

about 19 hours ago
sfcarole in France

Paris trip report: Café Trama, Le Severo, Hugo Desnoyer, Le Servan, L'Auberge Bressane

Your report was such a pleasure to read - so well written and edited. I read it twice. My husband and I are in Paris at the moment, and later this month we plan to visit Hugo Desnoyer and Le Servan. So I was particularly interested in your review of those two places. I reserved H. Desnoyer for 2pm, even though we had a choice of times, so that we would have sufficient time at the Musée Marmottan. Based on your comment about arriving at the beginning of the lunch service, I'm wondering if I made a wise choice. But we're going on a Tuesday, not a Saturday, so maybe different rules apply. Then again I could always call and make our res for noon.

Btw, last year we ate at Cafe Trama and loved it, and the year before or two at Le Severo. Your review tempts me to go back to the latter. I also plan to check out the Patisserie du Panthéon, being a pain au raisin fanatic. Thank you again for one of best reports I have ever read on Chowhound.

1 day ago
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Yes, a lot more traveling around than we normally do. But the 96 bus took us right to Gare Montparnasse and then we used the metro to travel east and west between the 15th and 13th. And YES, I bought one of UCG's pyramides - one of the aged ones in ash. And a fresh round one. I asked him why there were so many shapes - didn't they all taste the same? And he said the shape definitely influences how they taste and age. Gotta believe him. And rolling around in chèvre sounds like a laudable pastime!

Btw, we've decided last minute to go to Taxi Jaune tonight. Any ideas on what to order? Our res isn't until 9. This breaks my rule of one meal a day - I hope I don't regret it. But maybe without dessert...

1 day ago
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

So many great markets open on Sunday, but we chose to start early at the Marché Grenelle so that we might chance upon The Ultimate Cheese Guy. And we lucked out. By arriving before the crowds we were able to chat with him une bonne demi-heure about his farm and all the different types of chèvre. (Half of which I may have understood!) See photo of us above shot by DH. Then we continued on to the Marché Auguste-Blanqui which stretches for several blocks west from the Place d'Italie. It is a formidable market with beautiful meat, fish, fresh produce of course, and lots of prepared Moroccan food. Many people were lined up for various tagines - I suspect for their Sunday lunch or dinner. I found some sugar cured kumquats that I had been looking for. And they taste even more amazing than I thought they would. After lunch we wandered around the Buttes-aux-Cailles where many shops and restaurants were closed, but it was charming nonetheless. We strolled up the rue Daviel to see the Cité Daviel where there are about 40 Alsatian style houses. Descending the Buttes we walked over to the Square René-Le-Gall which pretty much covers the spot where an island used to be in the Bièvre river. Many many large beautiful trees surround the park in the bed of the former river. A perfect spot for some serious leaf-kicking. Since not much in the way of restaurants was open in the area, we headed toward Montparnasse and had a light lunch at La Coupole, then walked back through the Luxembourg Gardens - finding an Amorino ice cream shop on the way! - and back to the Hôtel de Ville area. All the wandering around helped us arrive at Tablettes later that evening with good appetites! We splurged on the Menu de Saison, justified by the fact that this trip doesn't include any Michelin starred venues, and loved the various seafood combinations, such as roasted lobster, chestnut honey, rosemary and artichoke. But really the Salers beef filet was the best, with sweet onions, tomatoes and black olives. The dining room is serene with a stunning basket weave ceiling and walls. At dinner the ambience was a little more formal than we expected, with about half the men in ties. But several men and women were in jeans and that didn't seem a concern at all. And the wait staff were warm and friendly with a very knowledgeable young sommelier who helped me choose a couple of reasonable priced wines by the glass. We loved it.

1 day ago
sfcarole in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

You have received some great advice here and I agree with it all! Like mangeur, it's been a long time since my first trip to Paris, and my visits these days are focused on markets and small neighborhoods. But it wasn't that long ago that I was newly married and bringing my husband to Paris for his first visit. After mulling it over a bit I decided that the best way to give him a good overview of Paris without wearing ourselves out too much was to take one of those half-day open air bus tours. He loved it, and very reluctantly I had to admit that, although touristy, I did too. (In the evening we still love an occasional cruise on a Bâteau Mouche or the like). Then we picked out the sites we wanted to visit more closely. For lunch we kind of winged it, à la PhilD's style, with some possible options in each area. For dinner, we always reserved and I usually gave a list to the concierge and asked him or her to help us out. They usually scored about 95%. In later years, I emailed the list to the concierge a couple of weeks before our arrival. This works well if your French is rusty as mine was, or you're only a beginner. And definitely leave some things to chance as sunshine842 suggests. There will always be pleasant surprises in Paris.

Sep 21, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Passed by the boutique Les Abeilles on the rue de la Butte-aux-Cailles, but of course it's not open Sunday. But lots of tempting jars of honey stacked up inside were on display. I will return for sure.

Sep 21, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Saturday morning started with a visit to Meert, Jacques Genin and the Marché Popincourt on the boulevard Richard Lenoir, which is not a marché except on Tuesdays and Fridays, but today was in fact a vide-greniers and marché aux puces. We then continued on to a great lunch at Pierre Sang in Oberkampf. It was original and creative, plus a great value. I loved the idea of strewing broken up Korean shrimp chips atop a salad, and adding several beautiful lettuce leaves onto a steaming revved-up cassoulet, where the leaves wilted a bit. Later, I had to ask the chef whether it was caramel or some honey concoction on the cantal cheese course. Turned out to be a butter cream with coffee and almond paste added! I could have eaten a bowlful. After lunch we strolled down the canal, which we remembered doing back in the early 90s. We ended the day at the Marché Saint Martin, where we were able to supplement our stash of chèvre with a Valençay and a perfectly ripe Rocamadour, as well as one of the nicest Morbiers that I've had in a long time.

On the subject of meals, we also completely enjoyed our dinners at Huîtrerie Regis (Wednesday), where the fine de claires moyennes Nº 3 were my faves, and Chameleon (Friday), where the welcome was warm and the côte de veau tender and supremely flavorful, and our lunch at ZKG (Thursday) - which was much much much better than our dinner there last year in terms of tastes, ambiance and value. Thank you John Talbott for all those recs. And thanks to all the rest of you for the bits and pieces that are making each day more focused and pleasurable.

Sep 20, 2014
sfcarole in France
2

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

No, no! I can't miss the Crazy Honey Guy! I'll see the Ultimate Cheese Guy first thing in the morning, then head over to the Auguste-Blanqui Marché and then up to the Buttes aux Cailles.

Sep 19, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Oh, groan, I missed the Ultimate Cheese Guy. I saw him there! But I checked here and he's at the Marché Grenelle in the 15th on Sunday.http://www.lafermedelaprairie.fr/marc...

I had planned on wandering around the 13th on Sunday, starting with the Auguste-Blanqui Marché, but maybe there's time to do both. And will definitely return next Thursday to the Place d'Anvers. Not only for the chèvre, but also to see who's selling the weird vegetables.

Sep 19, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

It was a great tip and thank you both. Everything looked superb. I had to avoid looking too covetous while staring at the chèvre. If the vender had offered a sample I would have been in big trouble for dinner tonight. And by the way lunch at Buvette absolutely hit the spot. Recommended by the nice people in Le Rocketship. Had a great chèvre and fèves tartine and a bit of white asparagus.

Sep 19, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Can't you bring your dog with you? I'll pass the coffee list on to Robert - he's the coffee drinker in the family and would make a decent barrista. I stick to tea and wine.

Sep 19, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Sorry for such a brief reply! I was just on the #67 taking it from around Cadet to the Hôtel de Ville and our stop was coming up. So funny you were next door to us. Much of the day I have the cellular data turned off to save on usage, but I do turn it on every hour or two. We had a great time today stopping first at G. Detou (fleur de sel de Guérande) and E. de Bruno (looking for poivre noir de Sarawak - impossible to find these days in SF - but the nice guy at Bruno gave me a generous échantillon of same, while their stock was being rearranged [?]).

Then on to Pigalle to amble around rues de Monnier et Martyrs. Then over to Place d'Anvers and le marché, where I found more walnuts, this time with a provenance! (See below). Finally a walk down to rue Cadet and the bus to the apt.

Sep 19, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Yes.

Sep 19, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Just happened to turn on the phone while having lunch at Buvette on rue H. Monnier. Great suggestion about the Marché d'Anvers. Will head over there later. Dinner was delish last night. We inhaled the foie gras and wished we had more! Trying to eat really light today since we have dinner tonight at Chameleon. Thanks again!

Sep 19, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Thank you for that information. I was even nibbling on them this morning. I plan to wander around the 9th today. Will check out the markets there as well.

Sep 19, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Sounds like a win-win proposition, except for the squirrels that is.

Sep 18, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

"they could be an early picking of this year's crop" -- that may explain their fairly soft shell. Maybe the almonds are easier for the chefs to shell. I'd hate to do too many of the walnuts. Also, I read somewhere that the fewest people have allergies to almonds. But I don't want to get onto that subject!

Sep 18, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

You know, the best part of was that it was a beautiful day. After lunch we took the advice of someone on this board and ambled over to Cafe Rostand where we had tea & coffee, chatted and people watched for a good hour or more, before heading over to Mouffetard, the chocolate shops and fancy foie gras. Everyone in the shops was so nice, even though my struggling, rusty French was so poor. We took buses everywhere or walked because it was too nice to be underground.

Sep 18, 2014
sfcarole in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

I love Pirouette. Last year for lunch we had for starters: H - cèpes, châtaignes caramélisées, amandes; C - oeuf parfait, oursins, maïs, pine nuts. For mains: H- onglet; C- mulet noir, figues, cèpes, jambon ibérique, patates douces. We shared a riz au lait with a caramel sauce and other things. Did it rival the riz au lait at CLJ? Not sure, but it was pretty amazing.

Sep 18, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

I guess we're just going to have to check it out ourselves! I was hoping to go this evening for a pre-midnight snack, but (see below) I doubt that will happen tonight.

Sep 18, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Oh, good, I'm glad I didn't run over there. Instead I walked up to a fromagerie on rue Rambuteau to get some butter I had forgotten today, plus some fresh figs, for dinner chez nous. We also have a tranche of a foie gras de canard entier mi-cuit and a few slices of saucisse sèche (both from Pierre Oteiza), a Reblochon, a couple of pieces of aged Comte (2011 & 2012), and a Tomme Capra (all from Laurent Dubois on Saint Antoine, who I guess took over Trotté). Also some pain noisette and pain levain from Au Petit Versaille du Marais on François Miron (recommended by Dubois when I asked for a good boulangerie in the quartier). The walnuts, figs, and a couple of mustards from Edmond Fallot. Finally, a small sampling of macarons and chocolates from Franck Kestener and Roger Grégory - if we can manage to get to them!

Sep 18, 2014
sfcarole in France
1

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Superb idea. We're thinking next year of maybe revisiting the Dordogne. Haven't been in 20 years. And I don't think we ever made it to Lot. By the way, how is the Marché Saint-Eustache Les Halles? I notice it's open today until 8:30 and I still have time...

Sep 18, 2014
sfcarole in France