Thursday, April 5, 2007
When in Paris, I loved a couple of places we went.One was in the middle of nowhere, far, far from the maddening crowds,on a little quiet side street.It was called Urbane,and it is the kind of restaurant I love: small,with the chef/ownner at the stove,minimalist decor with a hint of artsiness, where all the small touches feel thought of and just right.As an exemple, we loved the streamlined salt and pepper grinder on each table, and went to the Bon Marche to buy the same for us, now I can grind my grey salt and not have any complaint about the crunch....back to Urbane: the food was so, so good, the flavors complex but fresh,the presentation was pretty and the staff,a lovely Irish woman, was perfect. We absolutely adored the pace of the meal ( everywhere actually),where there is no rush to get you out.We always had to ask for the bill, when we were ready, isn't it civilized ? two things stood out from the trip: truffle oil and rectangular plates. At Urbane the dessert was a stand out: brochettes of almonds and macereted prunes in a phyllo lollypop with a cinamon and star anise ice cream.........the spring raviolinis had a tiny spoon of that trufle oil to pearl on.the wine, a served cool red Chinon refreshed palate and mind.
The other place was called Da Rosa, and this one was smack in the middle of things, rue de Seine to be precise, in the Saint Germain area of cobblestone alleys and touristy cafes.This place is a store where the owner imports top of the line canned, jarred, smoked, aged,packaged artisanal ingredients, and set up a few tables for lunch to serve simple meals with those said ingredients.Quite a good concept.the food was bold and simple.The plat du jour was Bellota ham ( supposedly the best ham in the world, from Spain, where the pigs are fed a diet of acorns and other goodies, have a good life until the end....) with mashed potatoes with .....truffle oil.very good indeed.On the way down to the toilets, the bellotas were still aging in the cellar....