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Paris Food Porn – Savory

Because really, the food was my favorite part of Paris.

Our last meal was at Robert et Louise in Marias, and it perfectly sums up how amazing the food was. We came back to this place twice because this was probably the best meal I’ve ever had in my life.

For an appetizer, classic escargot. Managed to get it out of the shell without flinging anything across the room. I don’t know why people hate on escargot – it’s a mollusc just like mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, squid, and octopud…and it was equally delicious as all of those things. The bread in the background was the best baguette we had in Paris.

Confit de canard. The duck was so flavorful, the skin was perfectly crispy and delicious, the potatoes were some of the best I’ve ever had. It’s the only meal I repeated. Unf. We decided this is the Platonic form of duck.

Sean had the lamb shank. Also delicious (though nothing can top that duck to me).

We only repeated one other restaurant, Comptoir de la Gastronomie near Les Halles.

Sean needed to have the most perfect cassoulet both times.

The first time I had La Salad Gourmande, which was topped with foie gras, a duck leg, smoked duck, duck gizzards (which I didn’t realize at the time…but were delicious), tomato, and an egg. Holy crap was that amazing.

The second time I had veal with a morel risotto in a veal juice reduction. Sweet jesus was that risotto good. The only bad part was that I didn’t get a bathtub sized serving of it.

One of my other favorite dishes was at Louise Café near the Louvre:

Ratatouille with poached eggs on top. Hit the spot. Sean had some delicious coq a vin, though the picture is kind of crummy.

Squid with rice pilaf in some delicious lemony sauce. Had this at Au Père Louis in Odéon, which had a great atmosphere and really nice servers.

We got a little sick of French food near the end (inconceivable, I know). We decided to try the “World’s Best Fallafel” at L’As du Fallafel…but accidentally went to the wrong fallafel place right next door, Chez Hanna. I got confused because our guidebook mentioned Chez Hanna, so the name looked familiar (damn you, Rick Steves!).

It was still the best fallafel I ever had. Makes me wonder what the other ones taste like…

We decided to splurge and do one really fancy dinner. And when I mean really fancy, I mean 3 Euro symbols on Yelp. Still can’t quite afford those Michelin star restaurants. We headed to Le Reminet near Notre Dame. We were so ridiculously out of our element with the fanciness it wasn’t even funny (okay, it was pretty funny).

The appetizer we had was mindblowingly delicious and was honestly the highlight of the meal. The bottom was three stripes of chicken, foie gras, and pidgeon, topped with a pastry filled with…something that was fucking awesome. Honestly I suspect it was gizzards, but I don’t have a clue. Whatever it was, the whole thing melted in your mouth.

After the appetizer a large spider somehow managed to climb into Sean’s wine, to my absolute horror. The worst part was when the waiter picked up his glass to get him a new one, we realized the spider was still alive. Gah. Good thing it wasn’t in my glass, or I probably would have had a heart attack and chucked the glass across the street.

Pork chops in some fancy-ass foam with porcini mushroom polenta and roast apples. Honestly the polenta was the best part…so rich.

Veal with roast green tomato and mixed veggies, with a yummy mustard sauce. Honestly I was kind of disappointed with this one, despite how beautiful it looked. The veal was super dry except for the center. Highlight for Sean was when I cut into the tomato and it jizzed a perfect stream of juice onto my nice dress.

Despite all the fancy meals in restaurants, one of my favorite was our picnic at Pont Nuef (Point Nine) on Ile de la Cité, the island that’s home to Notre Dame. We dubbed it Drunk Island (or Point Nine Blood Alcohol Level) because the area around the water was filled with picnickers drinking tons of booze. The cops just waved as they drove by on a boat. I love Europe.

EDIT:  Tarian says: ““Pont Neuf” translates to “New Bridge”. Complicating this, “neuf” is also the word for “nine”, and there’s two words for “new” in French: “nouveau” and “neuf”.” Well, shows what little French I know…aka none. I basically memorized some key phrases before going, but that was all.

Our spread: a bottle of red and rosé wine, two fresh baguettes, a pile of assorted cheese (my favorite was the brie), prosciutto, strawberries, foie gras (Sean was obsessed by this point…), apricot jam, and nutella. As a side note…why the fuck had I never tried nutella before? Chocolate hazelnut deliciousness that I can spread on everything?! Why did no one tell me?!?!

The money shot. And that’s pretty much what our breakfast looked like every morning:

…I am now going to sink into a deep depression knowing that the food back here in the US just can’t compare.

Comments

  1. joviality says

    Jesus, Jen! You’d never heard of Nutella? Your life has been incomplete for so long! Fortunately, it’s available back in the states.

  2. says

    I’d heard of it, but for some forsaken reason I was confusing it with marmite. I thought it was supposed to be disgusting. WHY WAS I SO CONFUSED

  3. tarian says

    Pedantry: “Pont Neuf” translates to “New Bridge”. Complicating this, “neuf” is also the word for “nine”, and there’s two words for “new” in French: “nouveau” and “neuf”.

    The food in Paris is definitely one of my favorite things in the world, though. Mad props to Au Pied de Cochon.

  4. Tanya says

    Glad you found all these. We never really get out to “fancy” resturants here, but every corner pub type grill, or corner bistro puts american food to shame. My single favorite foods, like yours, are the simple wines, cheeses and butter – real non pasteurized butter! The chef of the local pub/grill laughs at me, cause I always want butter with my bread. a nono, till i tell him I’m only here 2 months a year, and in the States we can’t have non-pasteurized butter!

    ps *slaps you for not having nutella*. though you’ll be slightly disappointed if you buy it in the States. it tastes sweeter and more waxy than the one sold in France.

  5. tarian says

    Four years’ worth of the language, and sadly, I hardly every use it. (I’m a fluent reader, but my pronunciation is apparently vile and most native speakers switch to English to avoid the pain.)

  6. IslandBrewer says

    Never tried Nutella?

    What next? Are you going to tell us you never learned to ride a bicycle?

  7. says

    “why the fuck had I never tried nutella before? Chocolate hazelnut deliciousness that I can spread on everything?!”

    I’m actually in the process of making a nutella liqueur. The hazelnuts are maccerating right now. It’ll take a few months to be ready. Maybe I’ll bring it to Skepticon this year…

    All of that food looks amazing and I am very envious.

  8. ButchKitties says

    I don’t know why people hate on escargot – it’s a mollusc just like mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, squid, and octopud…

    They may all be in the same phylum, but they’re not all in the same class. I love cephalopods, but I don’t especially care for bivalves. They’re mostly filter feeders, and I’ve never eaten an oyster or clam that didn’t have grit in it. The sensation of sand between my molars so bugs me that clams could taste like Nutella, and I would still avoid them because of the grit factor.

    I tried escargot once and hated it, but it was from a national supermarket chain. I imagine they’re better when prepared by someone more competent. So I remain undecided on gastropods.

  9. Blondin says

    I believe there is no food on the face of the Earth that can’t be improved by adding Nutella.

  10. says

    That bicycle comment made me laugh out loud. Well done.

    Jen, I swear the spiders WILL leave you alone somewhere–probably Antarctica, if you ever visit.

  11. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    So many delicious things with mushrooms, and then they put flesh in it.

    Why would you DO that? :(

  12. physioprof says

    Jeezus motherfucken keerist!!!! I’m fucken DROOLING!!!

    Now post the goddamn motherfucken picture of the COQ AU VIN!!!!!!!!111!11!!

  13. Emily says

    Dude, if I had realized you didn’t know about Nutella, I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU. So, tell me what else you don’t know about, and I’ll totally clue you in. ;)

  14. says

    Oh man, I remember the first time I had nutella. I was 8 and we were visiting germany, and we bought some and it was the BEST SHIT EVER.

    And at that point, I don’t think it was for sale in the states (at least not commonly). I was so damned happy when walmart began stocking it.

  15. Roger Launier says

    Dear Jen,

    I love you.

    Come in Montreal and you will find a great french cuisine.
    You know here we are like french people and adpoted the french cuisine a long time ago. Meet Francois Chartier and Richard Beliveau. Meet our Quebecois culture, here we fight hard to keep our french language, culture and gastronomie. And here we don’t beleive in god anymore since we took awarness about submission of religons and politics. We put everything in question every day.

    Roger

  16. jamesemery says

    Hi Jen,

    Glad you’re enjoying the trip :)

    Just a note: Look up how ducks/geese are prepared for foie gras sometime. Not meaning to be troublesome, and you probably didn’t know, but it’s one of the more institutionally cruel dishes made.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foie_gras_controversy

    I don’t think it’s mentioned in that particular article, but even worse, there HAVE been farms that straight-out cut off the top section of the birds’ bills to make it easier to shove the feeding pipe down their throats :(

  17. says

    I agree with you about duck confit, it’s one of the great dishes of the world. Coincidentally I cooked one only a couple of days ago (not completely from scratch) accompanied by an Australian pinot noir (Bass Phillip). Curl the toes. The great thing is cooking potatoes in the remaining duck fat the next night. Yum

  18. Raphael says

    Wait, you didn’t have to stand in line for five hours for one rubbery loaf of bread because of the horrors of European socialism? Weird.

  19. Kilian Hekhuis says

    Nutella isn’t a typical French thing though. Although it’s Italian in origin, the Germans have a rediculous fondness for it, putting it on pancakes and the like.

  20. Kilian Hekhuis says

    “it’s a mollusc just like mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, squid, and octopud” – which is indeed a good reason to stay clear of it.

  21. Seabound Atheist says

    When I was there, I ended up at a pizza place. I ordered a ham and cheese calzone with egg, which ended up being very delicious until I got to the “egg” part. The menu forgot to mention that the egg was raw. Ruined the whole experience for me.

  22. Trebuchet says

    OK, you’ve inspired me to try Nutella on my bagel this morning. Sorry, but I disagree. It was awful. Looked, tasted, and spread like chocolate frosting — not the good kind, the kind you get from a can. Perhaps European Nutella is different but I’m tossing the whole jar out.

  23. Greg says

    WILL KILL FOR FOIE GRAS! I love the food in Paris. Looks like you had a great culinary adventure there. If you ever get to Strasbourg, I know a really fantastic little place with an amazing chef. He will tell you which field in France your steak came from and will sear it at the table with a hot iron.

  24. maxdwolf says

    I didn’t discover Nutella until my late 30s. I don’t know who, but somebody fucking owes me.

  25. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Maybe that’s why the French don’t have the same sort of obesity problem we do – all the diarrhea interferes with nutrient absorption.

  26. goldnsilver says

    I don’t know how, but when I was in Paris I didn’t have a single good meal. And your food looks just like the fantasy of what french food is supposed to look like!

    I just must have managed to hit all the places that are tourist traps.

  27. Sandiseattle says

    Nutella is fantastique, oui. But I can’t find the straight sided jars like you got in your pic up there. Its all those annoying jars with the hips just under the top.

  28. Annie says

    OH GOD. YES. FOOD PORN. I am dyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyinggg–my tongue is going wild!

    I love it. I’m so utterly jealous of your trip!

  29. kaleberg says

    Food is a serious art form in France, and it’s also a major force in daily life. Americans have always acted as if food is just fuel, and not something much more serious. In France, school children are taught food appreciation at lunch the way we would teach art appreciation if our schools still taught that kind of thing. As a food lover – I never let a day go by without some food – it’s great to hear you had some great meals in France rather than winding up at MacDonald’s every day.

    I’m not a big Nutella fan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the US formulation is much sweeter and less nutty than the European version. Americans are suckers for sweet and chocolate, so be warned. If they put enough corn syrup in Marmite it would become an American favorite.

  30. merryoldlandofoz says

    Out of everything you said, all I could comprehend was a life without Nutella. No! Italy even has a chain called Nutelleria, which is a Nutella restaurant. (as much as I love French food, Nutella is more important)

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