Friday 22 March 2013

Another Weekend in Paris - Dinner at L'Entredgeu

One of the trickier aspects of staying a bit further out is that it becomes slightly more difficult to find a place to have dinner. And as anyone who has been following our Paris trips knows that dinner in Paris is one of the most important events. Stephen and I both love the French tradition of long, lingering dinners in a buzzy atmosphere filled with people who take delight in the food & wine on offer.
We started, as we almost always do, with  my very well annotated copy of Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris*. The pickings, unfortunately, were quite slim for nearby our hotel and while we could have gone further into town, now the search started to have an air of a challenge. After searching some of our other gotolistings for Paris restaurants, they all seemed to converge on a single place: L'Entredgeu. And no, it doesn't have a website. Yes, it's one of those**.
I had Stephen call and work his magic French (amazing what a good accent can accomplish) to obtain us a reservation. We duly turned up at our appointed seating (9pm***) and the restaurant was bursting to the seams, and it didn't look like anyone was going any time soon. Offering to go away and come back again, we were informed by the lovely waitress that "if you leave, no one will ever get up!" But she quite sweetly produced some snacks for us to munch on (as our tummies were properly rumbly) and the chalkboard menu**** for us to begin to think about our selections.
Not long after, a table finally cleared for us and we settled on our choices (£35 for 3 courses) and our wine. The wine list was impressive with a good mix of both regular and half bottles of wine. Nothing by the glass, unfortunately, but with the half bottles on offer it was easy for us to find something to match what we wanted to eat.  We ended up choosing 2 half bottles: a white Sancerre (2011 Paul Prieur et Fils) for our starters and a red Bordeaux (2010 Chateau La Grolet) for our mains.
For me:
  1. scallops in the half sheet with a roasted tomato & squash puree with a deeply umami sauce
  2. a filet of pork belly with wilted spinach and celeriac puree
  3. a Mont Blanc with a glass of Armagnac

For Stephen:

  1. chicken & fois gras pressé with a mustard vinegrette & salad
  2. a ragou of beef layered with macaroni & some steamed veggies
  3. a baba au rhum

My starter was definitely the highlight of the evening - the scallops were perfectly cooked and tender seared just enough that they had a good flavour to stand up to the sauce & puree. It was a really stunning complement to our wine - I could have eaten this three times over and still been coming back for more! The remaining dishes were perfectly executed and lovingly presented, but nothing outstanding. The service was swift, professional and only a little bit harried (considering they had a very full dining room, it was totally understandable). Since we were seated a little later, it meant that we were hurried away from our table and could linger, which suited us just fine.

While it wasn't the most impressive meal we've ever had in Paris, it was very good indeed and just what we were hungry for; very good value for money. Even better, it was walking distance to our hotel - a walk I was very glad to take at the end of the evening. I'm not sure that I would go out of my way to visit again, but it's clear that it's well loved by the locals and for good reason. If anyone ever finds themselves in the 16th, this is probably your best option, and you definitely won't regret it.

*highly recommended. If you are going to Paris, you absolutely must have this book

** and in Paris, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Usually, it means that they have a loyal enough following that they don't need to bother with maintaining a website.

*** for popular restaurants we've had much more success in booking rather late seatings.

**** hard to read, but totally worth it as it usually indicates the chef is cooking seasonally


Read about the rest of the weekend. . .



The pictures for our trip, as always, be found over on flickr:

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