Those of you who follow Food Lover's Odyssey on Facebook have had a sneak preview of my pastry binge sampling in Paris. That's not all I've been sampling though. I've had a few fabulous meals, too. My dinner at L'Epicuriste was one of the best of those meals. Making it even better was the very reasonable price. Serving "bistrot classics revisted" according to Gault-Millau, a friend and I had a 3-course meal priced at 34 euros per person.
Once inside, the interior doesn't make you think French bistrot. The dark wood tables, metal accents, and modern lighting could easily make you think you're dining in any U.S. city. Well, that is until they set the chalk board at your table with the evening's fare listed solely in French. The couple next to us saw us struggling with a few words and happily went through the entire list of dishes. They also mentioned that the wine list was great. When our very warm and welcoming waiter suggested a red from the Rhone, we went with it. It paired perfectly with our meal.
For the starter, I dove mouth-first into their terrine of foie gras. A thick slice of it is served with a quenelle of fig, raisin and apricot jam. Creamy, rich and always a must for me when in France. My friend went with a lighter pumpkin soup, which he devoured faster than I did my dish. Between slurps he mentioned something about crunchy bits of bacon/lardons in the soup that made it very nice.
My main course was a classic French dish, paupiette de veau. Traditionally the veal is pounded thin, stuffed with sausage and seasonings, and wrapped with a thin lining of caul fat. It's then seared and braised. This version was a lighter one, stuffed with a mix of parsley, garlic and breadcrumbs and instead rolled and tied at each end. Served on a bed of potatoes and carrots with a veal sauce. It was cooked perfectly to a beautiful pink color and so tender I was tempted to cut it with my fork. Bliss. My friend took the recommendation from our dining neighbors and had the porcelet (baby pork) confit on a bed of daikon radish. A little twist on the classic sausage and saurkraut Alsatian dish, the radish was served in the Alsatian "choucroute" style.
The dessert was a nice ending to an already great meal. I had the "mi-cuit chocolat." The molten chocolate flowed out of the cake and into a "soup" of pineapple and passion fruit juice. I've seen the molten cake a lot, but it's usually paired with whipped cream or creme anglaise. I especially liked the acidity of the soup, which played nicely against the very dense dessert. Again, my friend was extremely happy with his dessert, devouring any before I could get a taste. His was a rice pudding with a fruit compote at the bottom.
Classic dishes (sometimes with a little twist or addition), simple preparations and perfect execution, the meal was also a very good value for the price. The foie gras was an extra 5 euros. Our half-bottle Hermitage appellation wine was 22 euros. Both my friend and I agreed that this was one of the best meals of our week in Paris. So great, I might be back again before I leave Europe.
41 Boulevard Pasteur - 75015
01 47 34 15 50
Closed: Sunday & Monday