18 years ago (has it really been that long???) my husband and I took a trip to France and ate at four different Michelin 3 star restaurants in one week. Every meal was 4- 5 hours and sensational but after that extravagant week of eating I was cured from my three Michelin starred restaurant cravings. Although since then I have dined at many fine restaurants, it is not what I choose today when I travel. Besides the fact that I don’t crave such rich food any longer, I don’t desire to pay the exorbitant prices. So I prefer to go to smaller restaurants and bistros when I’m in Paris. This most recent trip I ate at two smaller bistros, which were delightful, and I want to share my food porn.
On a beautiful October evening, I walked a few short blocks from the Palais Royale to Spring. I have wanted to go to Daniel Rose’s restaurant for years. Rose is an American chef taking the Paris culinary scene by storm. His restaurant is intimate, the staff friendly and knowledgeable. The atmosphere is very Parisienne, with its simplicity and open kitchen. Rose is known for using local, fresh ingredients from the outdoor markets I adore, and his sweetbreads dish is legendary. I had a little bit of everything decadent and delicious: foie gras with a celery root salad and a beet, crab, and grapefruit salad, veal with cepes, mint sorbet with chocolate bark, a poached pear and plum tart, and of course, the magical sweetbreads, which are not to be missed. My meal was outstanding; it was casual, yet elegant–Paris prix-fix dining at its best and 84 E per person.
Now Rose has opened a restaurant in NYC called Le Coucou with famed restauranteur Stephen Starr. http://www.lecoucou.com. Can’t wait to try!!
Foie Gras with Celery Root Salad
Beet, Crab, and Grapefruit Salad
Poached Pears and Plum Tart
Mint Sorbet with Chocolate Bark
A couple of evenings later, my husband and I strolled through the chic neighborhood of Saint Germaine to partake in a prix-fixe at the one and only Le Comptoir de Relais at the Hotel Relais. People make reservations a year in advance; so we were very lucky to secure a last minute table. I have been coming to Yves Camdeborde’s delightful bistro for lunch over the years, but this was my very first dinner. I thought that if Le Comptoir is anything like his former restaurant Le Regalade, then I am in for a treat! I started with his fresh scallops in a shell with foam and then octopus with cauliflower. I then ordered the milk fed veal and since no quintessential French meal is complete without a plateau de fromage de France, we indulged ourselves. The unlimited cheese was perfectly ripe and brought to our table on a giant cheese board, and boy did we partake. Our night was a pinnacle of Parisian culinary desire and priced well at 60 E!!!
Scallops with Celery and Parmesan Foam
Octopus with Cauliflower Puree
Milk Fed Veal
Plateau de Fromage!!
Baba au Rhum
They boast delicious and thoughtful, yet casual meals with exceptional service all for a reasonable pre-fix price.
Paris truly is an Epicurean’s Eden, something for everyone, and so is Brooklyn where we will be bringing you behind the scenes of the newest health craze.