Paris – The Food

You can’t go to Paris without talking about the food, and my goodness there is a lot of food to talk about. From the bistros lining every street, to the Michelin starred restaurants, to the wonderful markets, there’s always something good to eat.

One of my favourite things about Paris was how there was always a great market within walking distance that had an amazing variety of cheeses, breads, fruits and meats to choose from. The first day I was there we went to the outdoor market at the Bastille, which was great (I wish I had taken pictures). Picking up baguette, ham and different cheeses to eat on the balcony of the apartment with a glass of wine was just as enjoyable as going to a fancy restaurant. Above is a plate of baguette, chevre, camembert, manchego and ham from both Serrano and Parma.

Le Jules Verne

Can’t go to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower and while we were there we made a trip to Le Jules Verne located in the tower, 125 meters off the ground. We had a window-side table with a great view of the Seine. The food was excellent. My one complaint is that the lighting was terrible so I have no good pictures of the excellent food.

I had foie gras pate with apricots to start, veal as my main course and a beautiful fruit tart for dessert. My veal was very good, but what really made the meal was the mushrooms and the jus around the plate.

This was not my meal, but I had to talk about what came with it. See that perfect, golden puff perched atop the steak and foie gras? That is a souffled potato. It’s basically a fried wafer of potato, puffed with air. We got a whole basket of them. Dipping them in my veal jus was divine.

Au Petit Sud Ouest

Looking through the restaurant reviews on Trip Advisor, I came across a place called Au Petit Sud Ouest. It had fantastic reviews and the restaurant specialized in duck. We took a chance and went there without making reservations and were pleasantly surprised to be seated right away.

I love foie gras and I ordered it pretty much everywhere that offered it. I prefer it seared but most of the foie gras I encountered was served cold, like pate. I finally got what I really wanted at Au Petit Sud Ouest. Above is the most gigantic serving of foie gras I’ve ever seen, served with black truffle sauce. Luckily I was sharing the plate, so I didn’t have a coronary after I finished. It was so rich and melted in my mouth. It was served with bread (each of the tables had a toaster so you could toast it yourself), but I preferred it on its own. So decadent.

What’s a vacation without some indulgence? The huge amount of fried duck liver wasn’t enough for me so I followed it up with Duck Confit, which is basically duck leg poached in its own fat. I regret nothing.

Tentazioni

I find it amusing that my favourite meal in Paris wasn’t French, but Italian. I also find it amusing that my favourite meal in Paris was the least expensive one (that never happens!) Tentazioni is a cute, family run restaurant in Montmartre. It was tiny – the restaurant had only 8 2-person tables. Through some amazing stroke of luck, we got seated without a reservation, after a short wait.

To start, I had a Caprese salad. This has always been one of my favourite salads and this one was the best I’ve had. The tomatoes and basil were sweet and fresh, but the real star was the buffalo mozzarella. It was so soft, so creamy, it must have been made only a few hours before.

For my main course I had mushroom ravioli. It was great. The ravioli was filled with mushrooms and ricotta (I believe) and was tasty and perfectly cooked. I really liked that the sauce covering the pasta was sparse. The food at Tentazioni  really showed that simple preparations of excellent ingredients made for amazing food.

Before this I had never eaten a gnocchi dish I enjoyed. This gnocchi was fantastic. The texture was good and the pesto was great – really fresh and flavorful and just the right amount of saltiness.

As great as everything else was, dessert was the star of the meal. I had the best tiramisu I’ve ever eaten.

First, I love the way it was served. It was in a small terracotta dish, so it was very thin, as opposed to many of the taller tiramisus I have seen. The savoiardi were tiny, and I’m certain made fresh in the restaurant. The coffee, cocoa and  liquor flavours were perfect. The most amazing thing about it was how wonderfully creamy it was. I had never had a tiramisu quite like this before and I could have eaten a second helping. I must figure out how to reproduce this recipe.

Yum.

That’s just some of the amazing food I had in Paris. I’ve got one more Paris post coming up – a review of the tasting menu at Le Petit Bordelais.

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