Paris steak frites
This has been a whirlwind trip, so I haven´t been able to do the things I had on my list. La grand Epicérie, G.Detou, and banh mi sandwiches will have to wait for the next time.
But we went to L´entrecote.
This is where I say, very offhand, "every time I´m in Paris
I go to L´entrecote". Which would be true, technically. But this is only the second time I´ve been in Paris, so I don´t think it counts. Still, it´s so great, I´ll probably return, so I guess it´s true, in the end.
Anyway, this place was recommended by a savvy friend, who just told me the name and that it was on the street off St. Germain where the Café Flore is. Nice geography, and all the info you need to find it.
It´s a bistro, just the kind of place you imagine you´ll go to when in Paris. It´s crowded and noisy and friendly, woodpanelled and upholstered in red velvet, with little tables nestling together and the odd potted palm or two. And just the place to take someone like my father, who redefines the term "meat and potatoes man".
The beauty of it is that once you´re in, you are free of the weighty responsability of choice. The thing to eat is steak frites, and that´s all. After a morning spent walking in a daze, trying to choose what monument to see next, you really don´t want to have to grapple with a menu. So you just tell the nice brisk waitress "I´ll have the menu".
First, to get you in the mood, they bring a salad of green leaves and walnuts, dressed in a hot mustard dressing.
Once this is cleared away, you´re brought your steak, as you asked it, and a golden mound of frites, thin and crispy. Over the meat some creamy greenish tarragon sauce is spooned. Silence descends, as the flavour starts hitting you, and a slow but sure elevation to heaven begins.
The real beauty comes afterwards. When your plate is cleaned, thewaitress suddenly arrives with a serving dish on which rests more steak. And when that is on your plate, a vision of paradise arrives in the shape of a second serving dish, piled high with more frittes. Be still my heart. This is seriously wonderful, comfort food with a chic French twist, and just what you need to sustain you through a long afternoon of sightseeing.
And if that were not all, it´s very close to Ladurée. Talk about my kind of town.