Originally I asked for suggestions for a trip I was taking with a pescatarian friend. Alas, she contacted Covid and never made it to Paris, and I rebooked the trip along the way dependent on what we thought might be her arrival. As it happened, I ended up with some amazing meals at a number of restaurants I had never tried before.
My first night, I had booked Au Fils Des Saisons. I managed a nap after my early arrival and headed off on foot (staying in the Marais) to Au Fils… I got there, only to find it was dark, locked up tight (although I had a confirmed reservation!). I called over to Le Mazenay, 46 Rue de Montmorency (this a Friday night, now about 20:15), and the wonderful Lan (half of the husband/wife team at the bistro) welcomed me to come over. A delicious meal (there’s a reason this is my neighborhood favorite): peas and a “bio egg” with crutons in a slightly creamy soupy sauce; lamb with “new” shallots, and other veggies (I had never seen “new” shallots, and I got show and tell from the chef Denis after my meal…they were braised and looked like very large spring onions, and very, very good); and a strawberry and rhubarg Charlotte for dessert.
The next night (Saturday) in a torrential downpour, I ate at a new-to-me restaurant: Grande Brasserie, 6 Rue de la Bastille. Seasonal white asparagus, and a special (some kind of beef, sorry can’t recall, maybe rump steak) frites, and only could eat about half of my profiteroles, but I love this dessert, and it was delicious!
Sunday lunch was with friends at Anne in the Pavillon de la Reine, 28 Pl. des Vosges. We ate inside, as it was threatening rain, which was very comfy, and the terrace also looked like it would be a wonderful setting. This is an expensive restaurant, for sure, but the food is good, more traditional fare than some of the other places I ate. The foie gras and lobster I had were particularly delicious (hard to ruin these treats for me). I had a lovely glass of Vouvray with the foie, and we shared a bottle of Condrieu (pictured) that I didn’t know a thing about, but thoroughly enjoyed. (The benefit of eating with two knowledgeable Frenchmen!)
On Monday night, I ate at Jeanne-Aimee, and left my review on the discussion of the restaurant that had sent me to try the place. Among the best meals I ate all week, and I will definitely go back.
On Tuesday night, I ate late at Alleno’s Pavyllon. I loved the idea that I was eating at a counter able to see all the action. As soon as I a sat down, I was offered (and ordered) a glass of champagne that I drank while I perused the menu, ordered, and ate the amuse bouche. There was a very dry tartelette of some kind (sorry can’t recall what it was). I finished my champagne with this, and could not get the wine list that I had been offered (and accepted) when I ordered. I was served my starter (sublime morels and foie gras) with no wine. I sat for several minutes before I could catch someone’s eye (there were tons of waitstaff and sommeliers, but none for me!). To his credit, the sommelier who was finally sent did help me choose a glass of wine that he immediately poured, but I never did get to see the wine list, and I played catch up with wine for the rest of the meal with the nice (if always tardy) sommelier. The dishes came very quickly (my reservation was for 21:30), and I had the sense they wanted to get out of there. The counter cleared out just after I ordered. All-in-all, as a solo diner at a fine restaurant, I felt the indifferent service keenly. The food was fine, nothing special, except those morels and foie! I have to say as much as I wanted to love it, my meal at Le Mazenay, similar menu I ate (lamb and strawberry dessert) was much tastier to me, and the welcome genuine and attentive.
Wednesday at Pantagruel was amazing. I was with a friend. We both thought this among the most creative and delicious meals we had eaten. Everyone just having fun there. I took a couple of pictures, but really, it doesn’t do the meal justice, so I just ate. Every bite. I will be back in Paris in September, and a return meal is hopefully in my cards.
I have no pictures from my final meal (finally at at Le Fils des Saisons). It was okay, if a little sad. Empty-ish on Friday night (I ate at 20:00, so maybe a little early as I had an early flight the next morning). I had duck confit. It was fine, but I’ve had better. Reminded me I hadn’t been back to Le Florimond in a while…September!
I do like strawberry desserts (can you tell), and I had a fantastic dinner on my penultimate night at a friend’s house. They served Pain du Sucre’s Frazier, which I had never had. I leave you with a picture. It tasted as good as it looks, and then some! (Apparently the bakery, 14 Rue Rambuteau) makes an individual version.
Thanks to all for suggestions of all of these fantastic restaurants. They were all new to me, except the one favorite.