Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lèon de Bruxelles

Moule-frites is a very simple and classic Belgian dish that's popular throughout France.  In fact, Leon de Bruxelles is actually a large chain restaurant in France.  Your thinking, "Overworked Underfed, how could you dine at a chain restaurant??"  Dear readers, some chain restaurants are awesome!  First off, everything at Lèon de Bruxelles is fresh, never frozen and always made to order.  That is saying a lot for affordable seafood.  Their menu is quite extensive.  Who knew you could make mussels so many different way.

La Plancha de Moules aux Gambas et Calamars des moules, des gambas sauvages, des anneaux de calamar, de la tomate, de l'ail, des herbes de provence
Being grilled as opposed to steamed made the flavors much more concentrated and punchy. One might criticize this as being salty but I liked it. The calamari was extremely tender, while the shrimp was sweet and juicy. They don't lie about the freshness here. 
Les Moules à la Provençale la tomate, l'ail, les herbes de provence, les olives noires, l'huile d'olive, vin blanc, crème fraîche
I opted for this version because I love tomatoes and herbs de Provence. The crème fraîche actually did not overwhelm the dish with creaminess. It was just right.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Auberge Etchegorry

Etchegorry is quaint little local restaurant specializing in Basque cuisine.  Mama H.o.P's Parisian friend, who I guess I'll call Parisian Friend, has been a patron of this restaurant for years and years and she had nothing but high praise for this place.  The restaurant itself felt pretty homey, no frills.  I can't say our welcome was as warm.  I think we sat at our table for a good 10 minutes before anybody decided to give us menus or drinks.  It's not like the place was busy.  We were the first ones to show up for our reservations.  Slowly the restaurant become packed.  Parisian Friend says it is always like that, and you have to have a reservation or it's a no go.

Terrine de Foie Gras Parfumée au Jurançon toast de pain au mais maison
This is probably the cleanest tasting foie gras I've had.  It's not that I mind the livery-ness of foie, but the smooth buttery light offal taste to this very notable.  Jurançon is a type of wine which lightly scented the foie adding to delicate fragrance.  And of course, they never serve enough house toast to eat with with foie.  Why is it like that everywhere??

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Michel Rostang

I had a whole list of restaurants I wanted to try while in Paris.  I tend to lean toward the new and contemporary.  But while in Paris, Mama H.o.P. and I were the guests of her Parisian friend who had her own restaurant recommendations.  Who am I to tell a Parisian where to eat in her own city?  So I basically tossed my list out the window and just came along for the ride.  It seems like Michel Rostang is one of those restaurants that have been around for awhile.  It has 2 Michelin stars, and lucky for us they had a tasting menu for 175 euros, inconclusive of tax and wine.  In France, you are not required to tip.  That's kind of a bargain when you think how wine pairings can run as much as the price of your meal.  

Amuse Bouche
foam pigeon, beet, parmesan chip
smoked white fish, goat cheese, macaron
wasabi, peas
It was a nice start with this little trio of bites.  My favorite was the peas and wasabi.  A smooth delicate vegetal sweet with a little bit of kick.  I think the smoked white fish was a bit strong on its own, and the goat cheese just took it over the top.

Roasted Baby Squid mango, galangal
The flavors here were surprising.  I pegged Rostang as a classically French, but the wasabi from the prior dish and galangal here really brought the East to the West.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fauchon

Fauchon is an international food company that dabbles in everything from pastries, confections, artisanal meats and cheeses.  At this outpost in Paris, they operated a small restaurant, bakery, and deli with some quick to-go items like sandwiches and salads.  Everything was soooo pretty and cute and of course cost an arm and a leg.  It made for a nice small meal/snack.  We were trying to hold out for dinner which was gonna be a big one.  Let's just say eating less so you can eat more isn't really my thing.  I need at least 2 square meals a day and if its happens to be 1 normal meal and 1 ginormo meal, I'm OK with that.  But don't give me 1 measly meal and 1 ginormo meal.  I was famished when we arrived.

I wanted to eat this whole leg of ham.

As delicious as it was pretty.


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