Thursday, April 3, 2008

Paris in Spring 3 - restaurants

While frolicking arouund the arrondisements of Paris, my sister and I rarely ever sat down for full meals. We probably only did that about 2-3 times; but we did splurge on chillaxing with cups of strong coffee and wonderful pastries. The few times we did go to restaurants, we had a pleasant time.

We had lunch at Le Castiglione while we were strolling around the chic shopping area. A friend of mine works in this district and recommended it for lunch. Their menu offering is mostly classic bistro fare. The dining room was a rich velvety red; the furniture is mostly wood and the lighting was "flattering". As with all restaurants in France, every meal starts with bread and pure butter, which was one of the indulgences I love about France.

Starting with a delicious glass of red wine (yes, I had wine with lunch! As they say, in Rome, do as the Romans do), I had their "special" of the day, which was a pot roast with mashed potatoes. The roast was cooked very nicely, i.e. medium rare (more rare than medium, the way I like it). The mushroom sauce was yummers too. Although I'm not a big fan of potatoes, the mash was quite tasty and very well-seasoned.

My sister had their salmon cooked (fried, really) on one side with a bed of baby greens and potatoes. The fish was on the salty side but the greens were super fresh! (BAD PHOTO ALERT!)

The other restaurant we went to was Thoumieux. I wanted to go here after reading about their cassoulet (which I had) on David Lebovitz's blog. A classic French restaurant, Thoumieux's menu is nothing but French. The dining room is quaint, with mirrors lining the walls and small tiles lining the floor. It reminds me very much of Balthazar. in New York. Actually, Balthazar probably tries their best to emulate this classically comfortable French restaurant decor. Besides a restaurant, Thoumieux also has a cafe and a hotel in the same building. With a jar of pungent mustard on every table, how much more French can you get? *winks*

We started our dinner with an appetizer of stinky and melty but so deliciously creamy chunks of cheese on toasted bread on a bed of greens. That's not its official name, but I can't remember what it is!

I had the cassoulet, which was basically a slow-cooked bean stew containing different kinds of meat. The one at Thoumieux a piece of fatty pork belly, a sausage and some chicken. Talk about meat overload! But anyway, is that a beautiful cassoulet or is that a beautiful cassoulet?


My sister had their fried fish, which was too oily and overly salted; but with the fresh greens, it wasn't too bad.

We ended with a profiterole drizzled with dark chocolate sauce. I was too excited by the prospect of French profiteroles to even take a picture. Silly me! But anyway, the ice cream and the chocolate were superb. This might sound mighty snooty of me to say but I've made better puffs at home. The puffs were a tad dry but were acceptable partners to the ice cream. The highlight of the evening was the sight that greeted us outside the restaurant. With the cool spring air bathing our faces the sight of this, how can you not be satisfied with life?

Le Castiglione
235, rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris

79, rue Saint Dominique 75007 Paris

1 comment:

glamah16 said...

Well you seemed to order all the right dishes. Yumm.Cassoulet!

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