We’ll be trying to write about food and restaurants while we’re staying in Paris. This is the first in (hopefully) a series….
Friday was my birthday and Shannon and I were able to arrange a great babysitting option (another post on this later I’m sure) and therefore able to go out to a nice dinner. We chose Louis Vins, a restaurant recommended by Yves Epelboin, a colleague at UPMC (as well as by Pudlo, the definitive restaurant guide to Paris). It was fantastic. You should eat here. Probably more than once, unless you’re only staying one day…
The decor (check the photos on the website, they are pretty good but don’t give a sense of how it feels at night) is very cool. Yellow tabletops, really thoughtful lighting, and quirky but carefully selected objects throughout the room gave the room a more intimate and romantic feel than you would expect from peering in the window at mid-day. We were shown to a table right by the window and were able to watch other couples peruse the menu posted outside. After the appetizers it was all we could do to stop from running out and telling them to come in.
I had the terrine du chef, which was served in glass jar with a lid (again, see the website photos). But Shannon scored. She had this little black pot of foie gras and egg and mushrooms…almost a soup. It was so good, I dare say it was one of the best things I’ve ever had. Really.
The main courses were also great. Shannon had fantastic steak tartare and I had the tete de veau. The steak tartare was beautifully presented and delicious; as light as a cloud (well, considering it was 1/2 lb of raw ground beef). Tete de veau consist of various parts from the head of a calf, including brain, tongue and cheek. I’ve had it before (at Ribouldingue, a restaurant that specializes in offal). The brain was poached in butter and served in a separate dish with the traditional sauce gribiche. It was heavenly. If you think you can’t eat something like brain, well, you need to try this.
For dessert I had the pruneaux armagnac, which was a perfect end to the meal–a sweet and a digestif all in one. Shannon enjoyed her “vrai charlotte” as well. And we had a nice walk home along the Seine taking a route which, in fact, wasn’t too far out of our way.
The menu (3 courses) is 27 euro. That’s about $40. When you factor out the 25% we would normally pay for tax and tip, that comes to about $32 (32*1.25=40). As much as we want to complain about the weakness of the dollar, try taking that to a restaurant in the Bay Area and see if you have enough to order dessert when the time comes. We did spend too much (it was my birthday) on a very nice bottle of wine, a 2005 Volnay.
We’ll be going back, definitely. We hope you’ll join us 🙂