Dining in Paris – where does one begin? It’s the City of Love – love for good food, that is!
Like in Rome, there are tourist traps galore, particularly around the major attractions. And the best way to counter that is research, research, research. Sites like Tripadvisor.com are fairly useful, though I’ll take the reviews with a pinch of salt, and maybe some pepper too.
As for myself, I love French food (like I do most other foods), such as croissants, pain au chocolat, macarons, escargots, foie gras, crêpes, onion soup… just to name a few! Before I get carried away, here are the three most memorable meals we had in Paris, and definitely three of the best meals we’ve had in our lifetime so far! Bon appetit!
Comptoir de la Gastronomie
If you like foie gras, you’ll love this place.
We came here for dinner, and the moment we told them “sans réservations“, the response was that the wait would be anything from five minutes to an hour(!). Luckily, we didn’t have to wait for more than 1o minutes.
Soupe à l’oignon. We had this a couple of times in Paris, and I really liked the one here.
French cheese is an acquired taste, so if all you’ve known is cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan, don’t order a platter of les fromages français “for the experience”. What you will get is an expensive learning experience, like we did.
Le poisson. This was monkfish (if I remember correctly) with bacon, on a bed of beans.
And now for the pièce de résistance…
Escalope de foie gras de canard poêlée sur son pain d’épices et mesclun (pan-seared duck foie gras on gingerbread with mesclun). A-ma-zing!
Comptoir de la Gastronomie
34 Rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris, France
We were more relaxed about the Paris portion of the trip (as compared to Rome), and hence I didn’t plan as much. We ended up dining at a few touristy spots, and this was one of them. The overall dining experience was great, and hence this place deserves a mention.
We each had a half dozen escargots. I’ve always liked escargots, but after having these, I was hooked. For the next few days I’d order escargots everywhere we went, but they couldn’t quite measure up. I must have wiped out an entire garden.
Seabass fillet and a roasted tomato “tart”.
Beef and vegetable stew. I know it doesn’t look like much, but it was so good… The meat was perfectly tender, and a hot stew was just the thing for a cold night!
Edwin had the dessert du moment, which was a chocolate mousse of sorts with lots of cream.
I had the tiramisu “recette maison” (house recipe). They brought out a huge bowl of the stuff, and scooped it out in front of us. It may not be pretty, but BEST TIRAMISU EVER.
Who knew that after my tiramisu hunt in Rome, I’d end up finding it in Paris? Go figure.
13 Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, 75006 Paris, France
Le P’tit Troquet
Un petit restaurant not far from the Eiffel Tower, but it’s tucked away on a quieter street and will require some navigation. Unless you’ve got some natural GPS going on, I’d suggest getting really acquainted with Google Maps beforehand.
We each had a 3-course set dinner. This was Edwin’s starter of salmon with dill. Sorry, I can’t remember its full name, but I do remember that it was delicious!
My starter, risotto wrapped in parma ham and topped with asparagus, was also lovely.
Edwin’s main course: pan-seared duck fillet with roasted potatoes.
My main course: steak topped with a massive slab of foie gras, served with more awesome potatoes.
Pour le dessert, Edwin had the poached spiced pear with vanilla ice-cream, and he couldn’t stop raving about it. This is a big deal because he doesn’t care much for food. (What am I doing with him? I guess opposites do attract.) Which I suppose makes it a must-try, especially if you’re into fruity desserts.
Moi, je préfère le chocolat. La tarte au chocolat avec une glace vanille, c’est très délicieux aussi!
The staff were some of the most polite we’ve ever met, not just in Paris, and the service was excellent. This was our first proper meal in France and for better or worse, it set the bar for the rest of the trip. If you’re in Paris for just one night, you should definitely dine here!
Le P’tit Troquet
28 Rue de l’Exposition, 75007 Paris, France
You can make online reservations for all three restaurants, and you should, especially for Le P’tit Troquet. I heard that it’s almost always full, and while we were there, we saw so many people get turned away at the door. For larger restaurants, you could walk in and maybe wait 30 to 40 minutes for a table, but why would you want to spend precious vacation time doing that?
Paris has a lot more to offer than just good food. Out there is where the magic happens.