Paris Stories and Tips

"I'll have a plate of snails please..." Dining in Paris

I must say I am rather partial to Escargot (snails). When cooked properly with garlic or tarragon and with a side order of Fenouil (Fennel) and Epinard (Spinach) they simply slide off your tongue. Of course eating is the national pastime in France and nowhere is more particular then the city of Paris. Fast-food is gaining in popularity, but even then it is French fast-food such as baguette's and crepe's. The Parisians still enjoy sitting down for a big evening meal, it makes them feel civilised - and they can talk away the worries of the day over a glass of wine.

As a tourist high on your itinery will be to eat out, after all what could be more romantic then a meal on the banks of the Seine. You will have no trouble finding excellent restaurants anywhere but my advice is to go where the Parisians go for better quality and value for money. Whenever we head for Paris we never eat anywhere near the Voie Triumphal or the Quartier Latin as it is full of expensive restaurants or mediocre ones praying on weary tourists. We always head for Le Marais, Montparnasse or the Bastille area where the Parisians enjoy their night's out. Even Les Halles, which caters for out-of-towners enjoying the bright lights, has some reasonable places to eat. Watch out for the Formulae (set-price meals) as a glass or bottle of vin will send prices soaring

So you have found your bistro, brassiere or restaurant - what are you going to have? There will be things on the menu that you have never thought of trying before such as - Lapin (rabbit), Oie (goose), Tete de Vevre (calf's head in jelly)and Lievre (hare) not to mention the famous Rognons Blancs (I'll tell you what that is at the end of the entry). But the French have a genius for coming up with delicious sauces to enhance these dishes. Such as Aioli (garlic mayonnaise with a touch of salt cod), meuniere (butter, lemon and parsley sauce), Payes D'Auge (cream and cider) and Chasseur (white wine, mushrooms and shallots). All washed down with a delcious provincial house wine - the experience can be unforgettable.

You will find your own little restaurant in Paris. I would include L'Excuse (Rue Charles V) and Le Counde Fou (Rue du Bourg-Tribourg) as the places I head back to. But you will find your own little gems.

And as to Rognons Blancs - they are bulls testicles - delicious cooked in a red wine sauce...

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