Sunday, June 8, 2014

Paris - Various Restaurants

Strawberry dessert at Jean
Chocolate dessert at Jean
J and I were busy moving apartments in Paris this trip, so we did not try many new restaurants but instead went to old favorites, many in our now former neighborhood in the 8th arrondissement.

Our new discovery was Brasserie Lazare, which I wrote up last week.

Our best meal was at Jean, our perennial favorite, even though the asparagus starter was less than perfect due to a strange fallen asparagus soufflé with asparagus jus. The asparagus themselves were pretty spectacular, though. We followed with what might be the best lamb dish I have ever eaten, épaule d'agneau confite et fumé (shoulder meat cooked sous-vide, then grilled, then smoked for a perfect texture and subtle taste). Our friends had a pretty great cochon de lait fermier, also notable for its tenderness within and excellent crust without. We finished (almost) with the chocolate and strawberry desserts pictured above and (really) finished with cognac provided by the proprietor, Jean himself.

Other dinners were at our favorite family style Thai place, Thabthim; Crom'exquis, the upscale bistro in our old 'hood; Metropolitain, a well reviewed bistro (three cocottes from Petit Lebey) that was extremely disappointing; Mollard, still a treat for the magnificent turn of the (20th) century mosaics where we had a really fine seafood meal; Rôtisserie du Beaujolais, part of our favorite dining experience in Paris due in large measure to the walk across Île Saint-Louis and the views of Notre Dame; Clos des Gourmets, which is also fun to get to because of the amazing views of the Eiffel tower; and Tico, on rue Jean-Mermoz, which we had enjoyed in the past and where we had a major disappointment. I also ate three times at Le Temps des Cerises, a crowded but lovely bistro a short block from our new apartment, once with J, once with Andy G, a friend and colleague from my firm, and once with an old friend who has been coming to Paris since the early '50s.

Some nice lunches, too: Chez Omar, the ancient classic Moroccan place near the Marché des Enfants Rouges: Kunitoraya, the fabulous udon specialist, which has relocated around the corner to a nicer place; Vin des Pyrénées, a little bistro near our new apartment; and la Mascotte, an excellent fruits de mer place in Montmartre, with some new French friends.

We will return to some of our old haunts; others are probably not worth the trip assuming, as I do, that we will find good ones in our new neighborhood. But the memories will be with us forever.

Bobby Jay

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