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Yoony Eats Paris: Bastille Open Market

I woke up early Sunday morning in Paris to check out the Bastille open market, which is actually considered the best one in Paris. And lucky me, it was only a stone's throw away on the other side of the block. The huge open market was bustling, filled with so much fresh food, and exactly the Parisian experience I was looking for. From produce to cured meats, prepared foods, olives, pate, kitchen knick knacks (I bought a nice oyster knife there), cheeses, freshly baked bread... it was so awesome. I felt at home in Paris right about then. I can definitely live there, even with the cold weather. Riding the metro would do my health good, I would fall in love with so many restaurants, have perfectly crusty baguettes everyday with a nice piece of cheese that would only cost me a few euros. I dream. But then there is no Mexican food there.... hrmph.

Anyhow, here are some pictures I took. Enjoy~!

Delicious saucisson that nourished me for a few days. Yes the sparkling wine was nourishment too.


Yoony Eats Paris: L'Ourcine


Dining at L'Ourcine was one the Paris highlights for me. This cozy gastro-bistro is run by Sylvain Daniere, one of Yves Camdeborde's proteges. L'Ourcine serves a three course meal, which one can put together from a selection of four to five dishes for each course. For only 30 euros!! How crazy is that?!

A few of us started off the evening with absinthe, me no included since I abhor licorice. The presentation was quite elaborate and beautiful, with the tall spouted vase, beautifully designed spoon, and the impatient *drip drip drip* of water over the sugar cube. I however started with my choice aperitif, champagne.


We were served an amuse bouche of pea puree with crispy croutons and chives while we sipped booze and waited for our first course.

My first course was the Raviole d'Araignee de Mer, Emulsion Cremeuse de Citron - crab ravioli with citrus cream. Such beautiful presentation. And taste? So delicious! Writing about it is making my mouth water. Amidst the blurred consciousness of mind that only be caused by something very delicious in my mouth, I forgot to take a picture of my second course - Noix de Saint Jacques Poties dans sa Coquille, Beurre Persille, Endives Braise - scallops in the shell with parsley butter and braised endives. This one was such a pretty one. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture!


However, I did not forget to take pictures of other people's food. The above is Boy's Veloute de Topinabours, Creme Legere d'Oeufs, Harengs Fumes - creamy jerusalem artichoke soup with light egg cream and smoked caviar. The texture was so velvety and the smoked caviar added such a nice meatiness to the dish. The above picture is the soup before the creamy veloute is poured over at the table.


Boy's second course was Parmentier de Boudin Noir. He was being quite adventurous getting the blood sausage gratin considering he doesn't really eat blood sausage. It's definitely an acquired taste.

cod dish

Sigh, I also forgot to take a picture of my dessert, which was a delicious Traditionelle Pot de Creme Vanille, Langue de Chat. The custard was so creamy and the cat's tongue (this is a cookie by the way) so crisp. Perfect for scooping up the creme. Yum~.

Clafoutis Maison aux Amandes, Pruneaux a l'Armagnac

Boy got the generous almond clafoutis with armagnac prunes. This clafoutis was more cakey than the ones I have made in the past but I think it makes a better presentation to serve like the above.

Marcilles, Mesclun Breton

N ended her meal with a cheese course of this huge piece of stinky cheese and a spicy mesclun salad.

The dinner at L'Ourcine was quite memorable and definitely one of my favorite meals ever. From presentation to detail, I was very impressed by the food that was put out. And serving it for such a low price too. I miss L'Ourcine!


Yoony Eats Paris: Fast Food in Paris


Fast food for us one night in Paris was a seafood stand that operated as an extenstion of a restaurant. The stand had loads of shellfish which they would shuck for customers. We were on our way to dinner at some Moroccan place and thought why not some oysters for appetizer. We were not allowed to eat it there on the stand. This operation was meant for more of a take away purpose.


We stepped a few feet back and ate the oysters out of the box though. Hehe. It was good. My fingers were freezing. After tossing the cold empty oyster shells in to the trash bin we were eating next to, we gave the little wooden box back. And off for couscous~!

here is yoonyang with crazy oyster man~!


Yoony Eats Paris: Le Comptoir


Right before I left for Paris I was flipping through Food & Wine magazine which had an article on Yves Camdeborde and his restaurant Le Comptoir at Hotel Relais Saint-Germain, which he owns and operates with his wife. Perfect timing! I thought. At this point getting a dinner reservation for our whole group would be impossible but luckily for us Le Comptoir also opens for a more casual dining for breakfast and lunch. Plus dinner is one set menu, meaning no choices and that wouldn't have fared well for the vegetarians in our group.

look at the great crust on the baguette... makes me swoon

After a short wait we were seated in twos at three separate tables (the place is really small and most people were in pairs), and we started off with a bottle of beujolais. After perusing through the menu for a bit and trying to translate any hazy words, which were many, Boy and I each settled on a starter and then a main course.


We started off with the Creme de Lentilles Vertes du Pay, Perle du Japon, Foie gras de Canard. Ok, that was a really long title, hope I got it right. It was a lentil soup with duck foie gras and tapioca. It was so beatiful when it was brought out in these adorable soup bowls with I've placed on my must-get-a-set-of-immediately list. At first sight the soup seemed creamy and frothy, but once you got past the cloudy delicate top the deep darkly hued soup came into view. And boy was it flavorful! There were bits of lentil floatin about as I swirled the soup, and the bits of foie gras melted into my mouth, all brought together in the deep flavorful broth. Boy and I finished this lickity clean, all the way to the bottom of the bowl.


Our other starter was a beautiful plate of Foie Gras et Poire Confit Presse. Such a beautiful dish. I think this was my first real taste, besides the bits in the soup, of foie gras. I loved the combination of the pear conift and foie gras and the extra bit of pear with toasted pinenuts on the side. Besides the few bits of cartilage that we bit into, which I assume is normal and from the hammy outer layer that held the presse together, this dish was delicious and what a great intro to foie gras.


I got the Joue de Boeuf Braise au Vin Coquillette - braised beef cheeks with wine and small tubular pasta, in this case which we would call macaroni. The beef cheeks were so tender and the brasing liquid, like the soup, so deep and flavorful. You can just tell by looking at the pic how flavorful this dish was.


Boy ordered the Parmentier de Queue de Boeuf - rustic gratin of shredded oxtail meat topped with a crusted potato puree. Mmm delicious! His came with a side of salad though. :/ You know I love my veges so I fully participated in the comsumption of those perfect looking romaine hearts.


Lightly dressed, super crisp, and topped with fried garlic I devoured the refreshing salad. It was so simple but so satifying. Definitely a salad I need more of in my life.

As you can see the meat courses were plenty generous so we didn't have much room for dessert. France does not to do "take-away", a concept so ingrained in the convenient, get your money's worth American culture. I loved the long delicious meals in Paris but it made me sad to see unfinished food being taken away to the trash. Supposedly the concept of taking away leftovers is rude. I guess alls I'm saying is I would have gladly taken the leftover braised beef cheek dish home for a snack later.

Anyhow, I loved our lunch meal at the super cute Le Comptoir. Although busy and bustling from the lunch rush, the staff of only a few people did a great job managing the room and seemed to really enjoy serving the food. I really look forward to staying in the Hotel Relais Saint-Germain and enjoying dinner next time I'm in Paris. Hopefully soon!


Yoony Eats Paris: Falafel, then Falafel Again

place next to L'As du Falafel

Having read about L'As du Falafel all over the blogosphere and also in our cute guidebook, I was quite excited about having this some time during the trip. I made my move one night when I decided I must try the falafel even though I was not that hungry. The guidebook stated that the place closes at 11 so we headed out around 1030.

But we were wrong. And wronged by the book. The place was closed when we got there. But guess what was right next door? Another falafel place. I got the falafel normal and we merrily headed back to our flat. The falafel itself was moist and delicious and the pita nicely toasted, but overall it was kind of dry and didn't have as much condiments and pickles as I would have liked. Boy was I thirsty when we got back.

L'As du Falafel

But the L'As du Falafel set back didn't stop us from trying again. This time we actually went at the proper dinner hour. It started pouring outside and by the time we got there we were pretty soaked. The place is pretty small and there was nowhere to hang our drippy coats except our chairs. But we sat down eagerly waiting for some falafeling.

I once again ordered a falafel normal. Then we noticed something really weird as we waited for our food. The employees were bringing the food from outside, and not from the kitchen. Hrmm? They were bringing the falafels in little trays from next door. Now the other falafel place is next door from the direction they were coming from. But was it right next door? I don't remember. Perhaps the kitchen was located next door? Very very weird though watching the food pass by in the window we were sitting next to. I was expecting any second now for our server to bring the exact falafels I had the other day.


But no, these were more moist and soft. Nicely sauced with tzatziki and topped with veges, this falafel made a satisfying delicious dinner. It's the best falafel I've had lately. But not the best that I've ever had. That spot alone goes to the ones from Maoz which I had in Amsterdam years ago. They have a fixins bar where you can load up on veges, pickled roots, and sauces to your heart's content. I find out now there is a Maoz in Paris. Damn! :P

Yoony Eats Paris: Le Petit Machon

After being thwarted one day by the Catacomb tour and our inaccurate guidebook, we puttered around Montparnasse a lil bit, sitting down for a nice cafe at Le Select while trying to dodge the spotty rain. Once the rain settled down we headed out and hit up a photography exhibition. Then when hunger kicked in we headed to the Lyonnais restaruant Le Petit Machon, which was nearby where we were strolling around. We almost got rejected since we came without reservations but thank goodness they let us in because my tummy was a grumblin.


I went for their two course prefixe menu which went for around 35 euros. The Saucisson Lyonnais au Vin Rouge starter was delicious and nicely presented. Boy thought it reminded him of sausage and beans. The red wine sauce was velvety and flavorful and studded with a few raisans. I of course loved the sausage. And I spooned up every last bit of the delicious sauce.


For my second course I chose the Andouillette Lyonniase Rotie Moutarde Fine. Two sausage dishes in a row? Yep! I hope I got that name right. I knew it was a sausage dish because andouillette sounds like andouille and that is a sausage fosho. But this French andouillette sausage is actually made from pig chitterlings and stomach. If it tasted really good I would be fine with this but it was kind of rubbery and gamey. I kept trying to like it but gave up in the middle of it. I kind of wish our server told us what it was then I would have order the pot au feu which would have been perfect for the cold evening. The potatoes that came with it were delicious though, all saucy from the creamy mustard sauce.


Boy got this chicken dish which came with the same sort of creamy mustard sauce that seasoned my potatoes. The chicken was super moist but overall the dish was kind of boring, like my dish. Although maybe if the sausage was something delicious I would have exclaimed excellent! After all potatoes and sausage make an excellent team. Overall the place was cute but I think everyone agreed the food was kind of plain and nothin special.


Yoony Eats Paris: Charcuterie, Cheese & Dining at Georges


Waking up pretty late from clubbing the night before and having had a lot to drink, we needed some nosh and more libation to get our evening going. A quick look into N's guidebook led us to Cafe de L'Industrie, which conveniently was just around the block. It was still pretty early and the place was empty and calm. Which was good because the seven of us were able to comfortably settle into a few tables in the back.

One bit of French dining that I love is starting off the meal with an aperitif. I do often start my dinners out with a glass of sparkling wine or Champagne but being presented with an aperitif menu upon arrival was nice. A drink to keep me company while I make food and wine choices. For my aperitif I ordered a glass of lillet, which I actually had once at Chez Panisse.


While sipping on the lillet I perused over the menus on the wall. I saw a "assiette de charcuterie" and I knew that was exactly what I needed. A nice plate of thinly sliced jambon, saucisson, pate and onion jam. My favorite was the saucisson, a dried-cured sausage ever so perfectly sliced into very thin pieces. The ham and pate were also delicious and I gobbled these up with the endless baskets of crusty baguette slices.


We also ordered the cheese plate which featured a blue, a fresh goat cheese, a creamy brie, and a semi-hard cow's milk cheese like gruyere. Maybe it was gruyere but I didn't ask! The likelihood of me asking a question leading to mass confusion was very high. All the cheese were delicious and each piece so fresh and in such generous proportions. The blue cheese was so creamy and had the perfect amount of pungency. It was choice pairing for my charcuterie and glass of red wine.

After our casual noshing and chatting at Cafe de L'Industrie, we headed back to our flat for a short rest for we had a dinner reseravation at Georges at the Centre Pompidou. The restaurant which sits atop the top of the museum was supposed to have a great view of Paris. Because we were not early birds we didn't get a chance to take a look at the Centre's exhibitions and instead went straight to our dinner.


The restaurant was super modern, diners were posh, and people who worked there all looked like models. It kind of felt like being back in LA. The view was great though from the top with the city being all lit up and stuff. However, we were seated right next to the entrance which didn't a view. :/ Instead, there were two sets of industrial heating vents that was blasting some hot ass air making the space really hot and stuffy. We ordered their supposedly famous mojito (although I don't know why a French restaurant would be good a making a proper mojito), and it was pretty bad. And we were shocked to find out it cost 15 euros!

And then it was time to wrestle the menu which had all sorts of cryptic names on it, like Crying Tiger which one would think was a spicy shrimp dish. But noo, it was steak marinated in cognac. We were all quite confused and bombarded N, the only one in our group fluent in French, with so many questions. Their menu was pretty international, covering French and also Southeast Asian flavors.


After much debate Boy and I ordered the King Crab in a Thai curry sauce for 39 euros. I was pretty skeptical of how the dish may turn out especially after having the very bad mojito but the dish was really good and the amount of crab was generous. I just wish I was having it at a restaurant in Thai Town for half the price. Anyhow, back to the delicious part - the crab meat was so tender and juicy and the curry sauce perfect for sopping up with a bowl of jasmine rice. And I got a few bites of E's steak dish, also an Asian twist, which came with nuoc cham for dipping. The steak was cooked so perfectly tender and juicy. The thought of it is making my mouth water now.


T ordered Escargot only to find that two of the shells were empty. After many unsuccessful attempts to pry out the elusive snails, T turned to demolition determined to get those snails out. There he is up there fighting with the escargots. This was the highlight of the dinner for me, the *smash*smash* part that is. When cracked open the shells were indeed empty and the kitchen graciously sent out four more for him.

Whew, we finally got through the very long dinner of menu translating, menu explaining, escaped escargots, and non-mojitos, we walked out into the refreshingly brisk air and got a the quick view again of beautiful Paris from atop Centre Pompidou. Then we quickly made our exit and started our night of club hopping.

Here is me tired at about 2 in the morning. The crepe cart parked right outside the club we were in line for was selling beer. How awesome is that! It was awesome until I really had to goto the bathroom. But here I am enjoying a crepe au fromage and a cold heine.