Thursday, October 24, 2013

Buvette Gastrotheque, another taste of New York in bobo Paris

A very smart idea of a French bistro from New York, reimported back to the mothercountry for easy consumption by Anglo or Anglo seeking hipsters in South Pigalle, Buvette Gastrotheque is a simulacrum, a Kinfolk wet dream of an eatery, a little too perfect, a little too Brooklyn meets Pigalle, but still, I liked it a lot.

Rant over, it’s a comfy, friendly place that serves up old school Gallic comfort food as seen through the eyes of a Yankee chef (Jody Williams) , and it’s very decent, although I couldn’t help thinking “what a great business idea” all the time. The space is all eclectic, with rickety vintage school chairs, bar counter stacked with fresh desserts, a vintage ham slicer, glass jars full of apples.. half of the clientelle seemingly bobo lifestyle journalists and bloggeuses whiling away the afternoon, strutting their Isabel Marant press sale threads while furiously jotting down details in their Moleskins and iPads.

The copious croque Madame, unfortunately sans oeuf (forgotten) was thick and crunchy, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs textbook, ratatouille quite delish, accompanied with fresh goat cheese and the desserts just what the doctor ordered: homemade waffles with fresh forrest berries, tarte tatin with fresh, just slightly sour as it should be, cream. All in all, it did seem a little too much esprit de Village , but sometimes that is just what you need (either that or a cheapass flight ticket to JFK). And plus they're open all day long, and closed only on Mondays.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Les Enfants Rouge (another very good Franco/Nippon bistro)

When a member of Paris' expat food blogging royalty invites you to join him for lunch, you just can't say no. Especially when he takes you to a place a friend of a friend heard of that opened a week ago, in a former wine bar gone south, now creative French bistro run by a young Yves Cambdeborde trained Japanese chef and his wife (he the kitchen, her the front of house), and put it all up in the virtually unchanged storefront in a tiny street in the Nord du Marais, and you have a recipe for success.

This soon to be Figaroscoped and Fooding'd 12 table spot, sandwiched somewhere between the trendy rue de Bretagne and the Marché des Enfants Rouges hits all the right notes: 35€ men for dinner or lunch offering 4 choices for each dish. The amuse bouche was a haddock jelly covered shellfish mousse, and main choices included citrus marinaded salmon coupled with oxtail and celery, a delicious salted codfish quenelle, textbook quality ris de veau and Brittany caught cod with buckwheat risotto and shellfish. Bread was (surprise) not Pain des Amis, but from chef Thierry Bréton. All was comforting, technically perfect (one exception, the cod was a bit salty) , friendly and affordable, and served (slowly) with a smile. Book now before it becomes the new French/Nippon bistro flavor of the month. And, for the moment, make sure you bring cash, as their credit card machine isn't installed yet.

Les Enfants Rouge
9 rue de Beauce, 3eme