Monday, November 9, 2009

Paris Bistro Favorites Old and New from my October trip

During my Paris Off the Beaten Path tour in mid-October, we ate in three marvelous very 'true' Paris bistros. The new to me 'find' thanks to Alex Lobrano's "Hungry for Paris" was the delightful Hier et Aujourd Hui on rue de Sassure in the 17th out beyond Batignolles and the rue de Levis market street. This is one of those super little 'true' Paris bistros that makes you want to pick up, pack up and move to that quarter. A husband and wife team of chef and server offer delicious bistro classics (with intriguing contemporary touches), well chosen, fairly priced wines and friendly ambience in this sweet, off the beaten track bistro. My braised saddle of rabbit with a deeply flavored wine sauce and savory notes of preserved apricot was worth the longish walk! Lunch formules run 26 E for three courses with several choices for entree, plat and dessert. The chef also sells his Foie Gras and Pain d'Epices to take home. Take some home!

During our Canal St. Martin/Belleville day, we enjoyed a robust lunch at the very true Auberge Pyrennees Cevennes, 106 rue de la Folie Mericourt, in the 11th. Take a look at the attached video. This is not a dining spot to nibble a salad. The Lyonnaise style menu includes hearty and exceedingly well-made classics like Cassoulet, Saucisson Chaud et Pommes à la Creme, Pied du Cochon, steaks, confit de canard and such. There is a delicious salmon with sorrel sauce for fainter appetities. Add splendid profiteroles, Ile Flottante that just about floats out of its dish, and a perfect Tarte Tatin, some hearty red wine.... and you will be deeply content. Lunch formule (including the enormous Cassoulet in a copper braising pan as a main course choice) runs 28 Euro.

Bistro Paul Bert on the rue Paul Bert in the 12th also upheld its high standards for French bistro classics with excellent duck, roasted rack of suckling pig and a completely decadent Molleux aux Chocolat and a superb cheese board. Happily yet another of my favorite central Paris bistros, La Ferrandaise on rue de Vaugirad just off the Luxembourg Gardens in the 6th remained superb as well with its good value 32 E dinner formule and nice choice of wines by the glass... good for a single diner. Dinner at La Ferrandaise was escargot on a bed of new potatoes from the Ile de Ré, braised confit of lamb, and, delectable roasted mirabelle plums in a cocotte accompanied by caramel-salé icecream. Their new seasonal menu has just been posted. Check their website.

Happy bistro-ing in Paris! Let me know about your favorites.

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