Something I really want to do throughout my stay here in Paris is restaurant exploration. We’re supposed to have in mind a list of places for the upcoming 6 month stage (internship) in a restaurant. My budget cannot support a tour through all the Michelin starred restaurants in town but can give me a better knowledge of the traditional and modern French cuisine and maybe discover some jewels and surprises. My planning was to go for lunch or dinner in the weekends, about 1-3 times a month, according to the pricing. I told Shane about my plan and he was excited to join my adventure.
We hadn’t had the chance to make any reservations this weekend but decided to try go for a walk on Saturday evening to find someplace local, with a daily menu. We met in the Odeon metro station and walked around the 6th district which is packed with all kinds of restaurants. Now that we read and understand a great part of the chalked written menus outside of restaurants we could really aim for something particular.
We ended up entering Roger La Grenouille (Roger the frog). The staff were really nice and welcoming even though we came without reservation and the place was almost full. The decor starts with everything that has to do with frogs, pots and pans hanged from the ceiling and ends with specially made tiles in the toilets. Very cozy and convenient feeling.
The Menu has a formula of entree+plat+dessert in 30 euro or entree/dessert+plat for 24 euro. You can also see in the menu the variety of home made foies gras and in the back there’s the special frog’s legs menu.
Alternatively one can choose from the daily menu entree+plat+dessert for 24 euro.
We went for one menu of the day and one entree+plat.
The tartar was light and fresh, with dill that I’m not a fan of but worked well (classic combination as Shane remarked). I liked the balsamic reduction as well. The creme brule was indeed the surprise of the meal. It looks like a dessert but it’s a not! Other than that, it was perfectly made. The caramelized crust, the rich creaminess of the mousse inside, sweet and savory. There were little squares of a terrine of duck’s foie on top and an edible flour that I ate. The only problem was the brioche with honey that was too dry and sweet for me, I preferred to use the fresh bread. Another thing is that I had to ask for a teaspoon, the default was a fork. It was so rich Shane thought I couldn’t finish the dish but I did my best to return it clean.
First Shane received an empty bowl.
But then luckily he received fresh pasta and a sizzling pot.
The mains were good, It was Shane’s first trail with steak tartar, he didn’t want to order it himself because of preconceptions but was impressed and the fries were perfect. The rabbit stew was a bit chickeny in flavor but the sauce was rich and we were both very happy (I took half of the dish with me because I ate a lot of soup in lunch).
The desserts were really nice, the Baba, a bit too sweet, looked like a plum in syrup but it wasn’t, the sorbet was great and the chocolate cake was more chocolate mousse but a good one.
Then we had our second dessert of the evening, as we were walking around later that evening, still looking on every restaurant we pass by. We passed by a seafood restaurant that caught my eye because it had leveled raised center table plates. A group of people just left their table and on their top level sat a crab and smiled at us. Too bad their leaving this crab, I said to Shane. We could grab him, I suggested in a hypothetical humerus manner, but as if waiting for a conformation sign, Shane rushed and entered the closed balcony through the side door and grabbed the bastard with his bare hands, almost stumbling on his run back out. One of the ladies from that table froze her gaze over the sight and myself, I was very amused. We ran across the street, and shared the crab as a very last dessert for the night, spitting the shells the trash bins on the way.
It was defiantly memorable and a beginning of a tradition of dining in Paris!