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Thursday
Jul182013

Parisian Dining

 Image (above): Les Papilles

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 Image (directly above): Goust, Paris Gourmand and me, lounging in the hotel swing predinner.


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Better late than never when it comes to a report on Parisian dining?

Husband and I ate at so many wonderful spots during our last visit, in April. Well, let me rephrase, pretty much all we did was EAT this trip. Baby on board and she is always hungry for sweets.

Banished from this trip were any overly pricey, Michelin starred establishments (not that we dine at these spots on the regular by any means, but I do like to sneak one fancy meal in per trip to celebrate). In fact, and I quote husband, "If it has a Michelin star, I'm not interested".

Luckily, eating well in Paris, no matter what your budget, is not difficult to do.

First up, Les Papilles. Wine shop/bar and specialty store that pulls double duty as a restaurant. You choose your wine literally from the stock on the shelves. Their menu changes daily, but you can expect home cooked fare, served up family style. We enjoyed a delicious sweet potato and chorizo stew, a hearty herbed roast pork with vegetables and pistou, a fantastic cheese course, blue with a prune reduction, and of course, dessert, a light caramel panna cotta. The owner is on hand to aid in your wine selection and the atmosphere was convivial. A great mix of neighborhood locals (later in the evening) and tourists (early on) alike. It is a simple set menu, for 35 euros pp. For a jet lagged pregnant lady, it hit the spot. 

A late brunch stop at Bread & Roses followed the next day, after a brisk walk through the Jardin du Luxembourg. Smoked salmon, quiche, greens, soup, uber fresh bread, cafe, all delicious (if a tad pricey). I would go back to stock up, and carry out, patisserie and fresh bread next round.

Of course, a stop at Pierre Herme was required for my afternoon gouter of macarons. I am forever in search of their fabled foie gras macaron, alas, not to be found this time. Though I had plenty of tasty distractions to tide me over. 

Now, the star of this long weekend, and our favourite meal of the trip was at Goust, the latest venture from Enrico Bernardo. The food is Spanish in influence, from chef Jose Manuel Miguel, and all around outstanding. Lunch rings in at a budget friendly 35 euro pp and dinner 75 euro pp for the tasting menu. Not to be missed are the wines and wine pairings that accompany the tasting menu. The majority of the selections are Spanish here as well and all expertly done (Enrico Bernardo having been awarded best Sommelier in the world in 2004)- just mind-blowing good. Mr. Bernardo was also on hand and happy to chat wine with my very eager husband. The decor is charming, cozy with a maximum seating of 36 and understated, not pretentious. The service, impeccable. It had just opened when we went in April, no hiccups, no 'new place" stumbling, just excellent food and wine. Go.

The rest of the stay was filled with beaucoup de boulangerie visits, macaron snacking, a stop at Angelina for sweets and chocolat chaud, and a lovely visit to La Rotonde (classic French bistro fare, Montparnasse) with my friend Anne, from Ritournelle, who often dined there with her parents. Again, not fancy, just good, hearty, classic dishes that won't break the bank. The perfect way to wrap up our trip and bookend all our dining adventures. 

Any recommendations for the next trip?

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