27 June 2008
Another lunch at the Café L.-Ph. in Paris
For somebody who almost never goes to restaurants, I had a great month of June. In fact, May wasn't bad either. I got to go have meals in two Paris restaurants where I'd been wanting to eat for years -- one of them twice. Thanks to Cheryl and CHM for the invitations.
I wrote about the Trumilou here and here and about the Café Louis-Philippe here, here, and here. Then CHM and I went to the Café L.-Ph. again last Monday. It was good the second time too.
As it turned out, these two restaurants are located just a few steps from each other on the right bank of the Seine, near the Paris Hôtel de Ville and the Ile Saint-Louis. The Trumilou is an old bistrot that I'd been reading about for ten years, and it wasn't a disappointment. The Café Louis-Philippe is a place I had walked past dozens of times during trips to Paris starting in the mid-1990s, but without ever managing to stop in.
Paris is one thing, and Saint-Aignan is another. I was also lucky enough in May and June to eat two meals at one of our local institutions, Le Crêpiot. I blogged about it too.
At the Café L.-Ph., CHM had a herring salad, which is the same thing that Cheryl had when we went to the Trumilou with Claude a couple of weeks earlier. The one CHM had is pictured below, and the one Cheryl had looked like this. Actually, Walt had the same thing at the Crêpiot in Saint-Aignan a week or so earlier. Looks like a trend.
At the Café L.-Ph., I had what I think is called a Lyonnaise salad: greens with lardons (chunks of smoked pork bacon) and a poached egg. I had had the same salad a the Trumilou a few weeks earlier. The one at the Louis-Philippe was tastier because at the Trumilou the dressing seemed to be watered down. Both had perfectly cooked poached eggs, however. The L'.-Ph's is below and here's a link to the one at the Trumilou.
As main courses, I had bœuf bourguignon and CHM had blanquette de veau (links are to pictures I posted a couple of days ago). We chose those because they are classics but also because the L-Ph. has them on its menu every day. The beef was mostly very tender and falling apart, as was the veal. CHM said he thought the rice with the blanquette wasn't very good — it might have been instant rice. And it had some wild rice mixed in. I tasted the veal, however, and can vouch for its goodness.
The weather was gorgeous and warm, and we sat outside at the Café L.-Ph. The service was very good. The terrace is a little noisy because there is a lot of car and truck traffic on the wide street right there along the Seine, but hey, this is Paris and it is bustling.
The lunch (starter + main course) with a small carafe of rosé and a glass of Burgundy red cost just short of €30 per person. That's reasonable for Paris. We didn't have dessert but I did have an espresso.
The café stays open all afternoon and features a wine for daily tasting and drinking. Last Monday it was Chablis, which, in case you don't know, is an excellent dry French-style Chardonnay from the village of Chablis in the northern part of Burgundy. It was going for €4.50 a glass.