Paris meal report 2023 - week 3: Canard & Champagne, Pierre Sang Oberkampf, Breizh Cafe, Le Relais de L’Entrecote, Alliances, Mensae, [Les Parisiens,] Virtus

Canard & Champagne is a place we’d been last fall. Prices are very fair, and I’d recommend for someone seeking pretty good foie gras and very good duck at quite reasonable prices. I still wish they served more sauce with the duck (or that I would have thought to ask for some extra).

FYI the rosé champagne is substantially better than the first glass offered as part of the pairing. In the future I will skip the suggested pairing (bargain pricing notwithstanding) and stick to that rosé instead.

The fun factor was down a bit of us this time, seated “outside” in the Passage des Panoramas for our early evening dinner, rather than inside the restaurant as last time.

Our daughter’s best friend joined us for part of our final week in Paris. The first night was at one of our old favorites, Pierre Sang Oberkampf. Everyone had a great time, The food was even better than usual, with the meat course - braised veal with a gochujang sauce - particularly excellent, one of the best things we ate all trip.

At 44E for 6 courses, Pierre Sang remains an amazing value, though I think in future I will just get a couple glasses of sparkling wine (and perhaps live without wine for my meat course) rather than the consistently mediocre (and more expensive than the food) wine pairing. The friend, for whom this was her first time in Paris, couldn’t stop talking about this dinner, as well as our lunch at Alliance, for weeks afterwards.

Lunch was Breizh Café, but no real point posting pics here, as this place is well known.

Dinner was another family favorite, Le Relais de L’Entrecote. Just one pic, to show the frites and the imo decent, reasonably priced house red we always have. I will note that the meat was less tender than at our last visit.

I usually limit my posts to meals, but I highly recommend the Chagall exhibit at the Atelier des Lumières in the 11th, both for regular museum goers and for those of us who may not generally be fans. It was very interesting and you needn’t spend much more than 60 - 90 minutes. It will be there through early January.

We celebrated my daughter’s birthday with a lunch at Alliance. As I noted in another post, the service was excellent and noteworthy - Shawn was fantastic and playful, another waiter was excellent, while the service from the third waitress was correct.

I was planning to post a picture of the art above our table, but onzieme beat me to it with his (superior) detailed review earlier today. :grinning:
The amuses, breads and the mignardises were all noteworthy and better than most at similar restaurants and more expensive tasting menus. The starters, mains and desserts were uniformly very good and imo roughly equal to those at similar French-by-a-Japanese chef restaurants, though at least for me at this meal none stood out as “wows”.

Amuse (the foie gras cone was particularly delicious, another favorite trip bite):





Alliance for me is well worth its somewhat higher price at lunch, and is now alone on the top of our list of French-by-a-Japanese-chef restaurants to return to.

We had a relatively light dinner at Mensae, another Thibault Sombardier restaurant. My wife loved her meal; I merely liked mine. The reasonable prices make it a place we’ll likely return to.

Lunch the next day was our 2nd visit to Les Parisiens this trip:

For our final meal in Paris this year (double sigh…), we had lunch at Virtus. I had the 4 Actes menu; my wife had the 3.

While we very much enjoyed the meal, and I think I actually liked the room a bit more in the daylight, foodwise I was less impressed, and nothing “blew me away” as the veal dish had, compared to our dinner last fall. Of course, @sfcarole noted that her recent Virtus meal experiences were exactly flipped, so there’s a very good chance YMMV.


Sounds like a great trip. Good to hear that Pierre Sang is still going strong, at least on the food side. Was getting a bit concerned based on some other posts.

1 Like

Great reviews and photos, Andy - thank you for reporting back. I was particularly interested (and happy) to hear that Pierre Sang in Oberkampf came through with high marks. That veal dish sounds absolutely revelatory.

As to Virtus, I agree that the dining room is more attractive in the daytime. Its serenity seems to shine through in the filtered daylight. But as to lunch or dinner and which is better, who knows. I’d only be speculating as to why the kitchen seems to follow a somewhat erratic course.

Finally, your enthusiasm for your lunch at Les Parisiens may persuade me to give it another try.


Checking online today it appears that Virtus is no longer opened for lunch. I don’t know whether this is just a temporary adjustment, but for some of us it’s disappointing. Their Instagram post says they have been having trouble with “recruitment” and beginning with the rentrée 2023 they would suspend their lunch service.

Finding enough workers is a problem throughout the restaurant business in Paris, and much wider, too, I am sure.