Thanks to a couple of very generous wedding gifts, we were able to indulge in three lunches in Paris at Michelin starred restaurants (heaven!). They were chosen from a useful list of ‘best value’ starred places. Each one was so delicious and so different that I had to make some notes …
Au Trou Gascon
This restaurant serves south-western French dishes in quite a formal environment with the most attentive wait staff I’ve ever experienced. Of the three course ‘Dejeuner Passion’, I chose:
St Jaques emincees a cru, veloute de petits pois frais, mini lardons de magret fume (sorry, this programme doesn’t allow for French accents)
Cul de lapareau ‘Retour des Indes’, ble casse bohemienne
Baba a la blanche d’armagnac et citron vert, caille de brebis en sorbet.
I’ll work on a proper translation later, but basically it was a scallop soup, young rabbit and an amazing lime concoction. Yum!
La Fourchette du Printemps
Much more casual this one, with a lunch menu of five courses (some quite small) for 45 euro. From memory, I chose langoustines with artichoke, a casseroled veal dish and a dessert that involved pistachio icecream. The other two courses were tiny delicious tastes between the main ones.
Perhaps the most interesting of the three. There is no printed menu – the chef prepares an impromptu selection of tasting dishes every day, depending on what’s in season and available at the markets. I tried to sneak some notes based on my best guesses about the ingredients as we progressed, but later found this review which not only explains it all, but provides images as well. Definitely worth a look if you ever plan to visit. http://www.alifewortheating.com/paris/la-bigarrade
Finally, in Montmartre, we followed a friend’s recommmendation and had dinner at Le Zebre a Montmartre, a cheerful bistro serving huge, robust dishes like the salad with ham and cheese, followed by duck breast with honey and raisins. Fortunately the apartment was within staggering distance! Very delicious and great value.
Meli Melo at Narbonne
Idiosyncratic I think is the word to describe this restaurant just around the corner from our hotel. Run by a couple equally interesting men, it combines antiques and bric a brac with southern French food grilled over an open fire. The name seems to mean ‘a bit of everything’, and that’s certainly appropriate, even and especially including the stuffed animals. At night they’re permitted to set up tables outside on the road and given the heat yesterday, it was a pleasant place to eat. The photos give a better impression than I can.