Macarons from Ladurée
With only 3 days in Paris, it was imperative that a dining strategy was in place. Mine was pretty straightforward: a Michelin-starred restaurant, a classic Paris bistro, and macarons from both Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. If I hadn't had a Cancale oyster overload at Saint Malo in Normandy right before Paris, a healthy dosage of oysters from the famed Huitrerie Régis would be in order too. After all, oysters are my favourite.
Macarons from Pierre Hermé
The macarons. I opted for the Salted Caramel and Chocolate macarons at Laudurée, which were both luscious. I loved how the beautiful pastries/sweets literally crumble once you bite into them, giving way to the tantalizing flavours hidden within. Surprisingly, neither of the flavours were too sweet, and were in fact very well-balanced. They were superb, really. At Pierre Hermé, I opted for Infiniment Rose (rose and petals) and Mogador (milk chocolate and passion fruit). The Infiniment Rose was divine... it tasted like rose petals melting on my tongue. It tasted like romance. The Mogador didn't strike the same chord with me though - I found the flavours too jarring. Frankly, I don't see why I have to choose between Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. They are selling such different concepts. To put things simply, Ladurée is pretty and Pierre Hermé is sexy. If I went back to Paris again, where I choose to have my macarons would be a matter of mood.
My bistro of choice was Chez Josephine Dumonet, a classic French Bistro famous for their Duck confit, Foie Gras Terrine and generous portions. The service was warm and impeccable. Once seated, we were served the bread basket, amuse-bouche of lentil soup, and complimentary glasses of spanish wine. A fantastic start to the meal, for sure.
Foie Gras de Canard Frais Maison, half portion, 18€
Don't fret if you think the terrine doesn't look generous enough (though I'm pretty sure they used to be even more generous), it was plenty for the three of us and insanely smooth and luscious. No wonder it has been raved. I've never had better. Paired with the warm, toasty bread, it was so good we couldn't stop. Definitely worth the 18 euros.
Confit de Canard Maison, 23€, Côte de Boeuf grille with Béarnaise sauce, 39€
We were all smiles even before our mains arrived. And when they did, boy, were we spoiled. My best friend, S, and I asked to share the Duck Confit, and was pleasantly surprised when they plated it separately for both of us. We each had a plated portion of Duck Confit complete with generous sides of salad and potatoes. Though I wouldn't say that the duck confit portions were huge, it was comfortable for two girls, and the generous sides was a great gesture. My other friend, W, had the Grilled Beef with Béarnaise sauce for one person, and the portions were definitely good enough for two - He was stuffed. The beef was incredibly good - fresh, juicy and perfectly grilled. The sauce was hardly necessary. Dessert was the famed Grand Marnier Soufflé, which was the only dish that didn't steal our hearts. Needless to say, it was a hugely satisfying meal. Don't forget to make a reservation!
Chez Josephine Dumonet
117, rue du Cherche-Midi, Paris, France
Tel: (1) 45 48 52 40
I really wanted to make this a single post, but it got way too long so I'll break it into two parts instead. Look out for Part II!
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