You know those meals where the next day you can hardly recall what you or your company ate let alone how it tasted? And then do you know those meals where every flavor from each dish lingers for weeks or months after? This was one of those meals. Not only was this my favorite meal in France (so far), it was one of my favorite meals, period.
To start, got a recommendation for this place, went with my mom and dad who were visiting me at the time. From the outside it looks non-descript, from the inside the it is very friendly and open with a yellow glow, dried meats hang from the wooden ceiling vaults and the décor is of ugly flower patterns. It all adds to the ambience of the place.
There is a fixed price meal and a normal menu. The fixed price is good to save a dime and get their classic bohemian dishes, the regular menu is good to get the not so common dishes. My mom and dad each got fixed price, I decided to make it up as I went along.
To start we had our incredibly lovely waitress bring us a kraft of the house wine. Nothing special but it fit.
For appetizers (entrée):
Me: Escargot; classic French with butter, parsley and garlic but served in porcelain bowls. Very good, It came out literally boiling. Snails were fresh, butter parsley and garlic were powerful with flavor and the excess was mopped up with bred by all three of us.
Dad: Foie Gras Salad: The Foie gras was very good, house made; I felt like the lettuce did not balance well with the richness of the foie gras. I would have preferred it solo.
Mom: Salad with lardons and a poached egg; Amazing, I will only eat salads with pork fat and poached eggs from now on. Served on a bed of fresh baby greens, the smoky saltiness of the lardons and the richness of the egg yoke combined perfectly with the fresh salad greens. Ohh, and the croutons I believe were fried in the pork fat. Overall delicious, don't pass this up, even if you're a vegan Jew.
Me: Veal Head. Delicious, but I would only advise to the adventurous eater. It was served de-boned, with each type of meat (tongue, cheek, brain, mystery meat) in its own place on the plate, garnished with boiled carrots and potatoes. The cuts were served in different preparations, some seemed baked, others poached and others braised. It was served with a basil/parsley sauce that was superb. It balanced so well with the richness of the dish, I still have its flavor in my mouth while writing this. I was not a fan of the brains, but that could just be me.
Dad: Pigs feet, breaded and deep fried; The flavor was intense. The meat fell of the bone and was very rich. It was served with a potato au gratin of sorts. Creamy and delicious. Everything was rich about this dish and a little overwhelming. But cut it with a swig of wine and get back to it.
Mom: Cassoulet. Superb! I believe this is what put this place on the map. Rich, creamy, not overbearing in anyway, the various meats were cooked down enough to be cut with a fork. Lots of beans, (dates beware!) which I felt was too much filler, but they were so good on their own that I cannot complain! Overall the best cassoulet I have ever had. You need to try it for yourself. Ample in size to, so bring an appetite or a bucket to bring the leftovers home with you.
Dessert / Digestifs
Me: Cognac, alas I do not know the name. It was nice, with lots of earthy tones. Finished with some spice.
Dad: Sorbet with lemon/lime liquor. Great, sour, refreshing, The alcohol cut through the sourness and sweetness of the dessert.
Mom: crème brûlée, Congac. My mother said it was the best crème brûlée she had ever had. It was superb, rich and perfectly brûléed (?) balanced well just like everything else at this restaurant. Cognac was smooth and a little sweet.
Overall, great place to eat, the food is great, the service is great, the ambience is great, the décor...well not everything is great. But everything about this place is worth the visit. The food is what I would call gourmet comfort food. They prepare excellent traditional dishes. The menu will not surprise you (well except for the veal head) nor does it need to. Just simply excellent traditional bohemian food at a fair price. Go here and indulge.
Lovely country-style place! I had Cassoulet + Escargot and can confidently call this one of the better meals of my life. Cassoulet is a specialty of theirs and considered the best in town. Truly worth the hike.
Great family owned and operated restaurant. Very good and reasonably priced, for Paris.
My husband and I went here with a big group of friends (some live in Paris and some don't), and we were all wowed. The restaurant is cheery--and feels like you're in the country and not Paris. The staff is very friendly. The menu is classic. The patrons, besides most of us, were all French.
When our meals came, the food was served in big portions and delicious! The cassoulet, which four of us had ordered, was in a copper pan bigger than I'd ever seen cassoulet served in anywhere. It was charming as all get out. I knew they had to have doggie bags, which is rare in France, because no one could eat this much. They did.
This is a wonderful spot for those who like rustic places with a classic French feel.
A husband chef / wife waitress run palace of southwest French cuisine. If the meats hanging from the ceiling or the dead animals on the walls do not tell you enough, this places is a mecca for the OFFAL scene. (Offal is a staple of the cuisine.) It was a great. For the non-French speaking, English was not an issue here. PS, given the location, if you are not using the metro, have the place call you a taxi.
Although off the beaten path, the 30 euro prix fixe menu is worth the trek. We (2 of us) had the following:
Pork charcuterie -- a sample of five different cuts from the pig. Each was better than next, with the huge chunks of fat plugging up the meat and bringing a power-packed punch of flavor.
Omelet -- a wonderful dish of softly scrambled eggs mixed with tomatoes and meat. I could not eat this fast enough. A great amount of flavor but each working uniquely but in combination with the others.
Cassoulet -- the southwest France staple that basically is a a tremendous pot of warmth and soul. The dish is famous here and the reputation is well-deserved. The casserole comes with sausage, pork, and a large portion of dark meat from fowl, all smothered in white beans. This dish would rival chicken soup as the dish you want to cure your sniffles. I could not eat enough of this dish.
Pork feet -- a large plate of three pork legs all breaded and fried. This dish is not for the faint of heart. This dish is heavy in fat, tendons, and other parts many may not eat. But for the brave of heart, you will be rewarded.
Profiteroles -- I never had a chance to taste them as the non-chocolate dessert eater who ordered the dish did not even give me a chance to sample. That should say enough.
Tart tartin -- an apple pie of sorts served with a huge bowl of clotted cream. just so good. A perfect way to end the meal.
As an FYI, this place offered the largest assortment of desserts I saw the entire time in Paris from an prix fixe menu. They had may 8-10 desserts on the menu, which will surely offer something to please everyone.
We had a wonderful dinner at Auberge Pyrenees tonight! What a lucky discovery to have this great place right next door to the rental apartment we're staying in! The goose confit was amazing, as was the salmon bernaise, with an amazing wine from the cote d'azur. And the tarte tartin topped the meal off to a beautiful finish. Yum
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