Monday, 30 September 2013

Sunday in Paris - dinner at Au Petit Marguery

Tonight's restaurant was one of my choices, having done quite a bit of research on a place that would be most likely to have game on the menu *and* be in walking distance of our hotel. This was one of our rare forays outside of our trusty Clotilde, but one that came recommended from a few of the Paris foodie blogs I follow. So with some confidence we arrived almost spot on time for our 7:30 reservation and the dining room was still mostly empty. This meant that the service, at least at the start of our meal, was attentive and prompt.

Aperatifs ordered (kir royale for me, an "americano" for Stephen) we settled down to review the menu - which was enormous for a prix fixe. At least 15 different options for mains, a good dozen for starters and around 10 desserts. I have no idea how the kitchen manages. But! I was pleased to see several different offerings of game, both of the bird (grouse, partridge) and beast (wild boar) varieties. Naturally, I chose the boar in the form of ribs (though with a good chunk of belly meat also attached) with roasted girolles (remembering the ones I spotted in the market the day before) in a fig-pomegranate-red wine reduction. Yum! if slightly overcooked for what I expected. The girlies were the star of the meal however, deep rich, intensely flavoured with just a little bit of caramelisation. I was super glad that I had them both with my main and with my starter of artichoke hearts (which tasted rather like it had come out of a generic tin - disappointing) and radiccio.

Stephen opted not to have a starter, still being a little full from lunch, and was quite pleased with his main of duck breast with mashed potatoes (truffled, I believe) although he said it could have done with another veg on the side. Again his meat was slightly over done and just a little on the tough side. For a restaurant of this caliber it was rather odd. We wondered if it had something to do with the very large American and British clientele (we were one of the only tables in our corner of the dining room speaking French) who generally prefer their meat cooked rather more thoroughly than the French typically do.  

The other star of our meal was a brilliant half bottle of Saint Emillion (2008 Chateau Robin des Moines). I was very sad when Stephen poured out the last drops into my glass. If I had to drink no other wine for the rest of my life, this one would be an excellent candidate for that spot.

The desserts came a little bit late, the dining room by now being completely full, but they were worth the wait. Stephen had a dish of poached pears with almond milk ice cream and I had a crumble of Reine Claude plums with classic vanilla ice cream. 

Unfortunately, with our very early train the next morning (and the increasingly slow service) we opted not to have coffee or tea and instead got our bill and headed off into the damp (it having rained while we were at diner) Parisian evening.

Overall, It was still a very good value for money and certainly an excellent meal, but not quite as well executed as the dinner we had the evening before. Still I'd say it is worth a visit if you're in the area, but perhaps not worth making a detour for. 

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