Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Edible Whole - Les Bouquinistes (Paris)

Les Bouquinistes is owned by restaurateur and chef Guy Savoy. Located near the Pont Neuf, it is named after the old booksellers on the Seine. We ate lunch there after visiting the Pantheon and other 7th Arrondissement hot spots.

It's around 1:30pm. I am so excited because they have a lunch prix-fixe for 29 Euro, which includes a glass of wine. I have been raving about these prix fixe deals since before we left! When we get seated, we are given a 2-page menu with no prix fixe anywhere to be found. The "plats" are 30 Euro++. We are both negotiating with the menu, trying to determine what to buy since this wasn't in the budget. Who wants to spend 50 Euro on Lunch?! I begin to doubt all my researching skills because I could have sworn I saw it on their site.

How could we avoid the embarrassment of leaving immediately.... we decide just to ask the waiter if there is a lunch prefixe. He responds, "Oh, you want the lunch menu."

I don't know... is this one of those crazy cultural things - not to expect the "lunch" menu at "lunch" time.

He brings us a much smaller menu. We are obviously relieved, except we really can't translate it and have to ask the english-speaking couple next to us to make sense of it.

Despite a rough start, we did enjoy our three-course lunch. Remember, when in France, you may have to consult your watch and ask for the appropriate menu.

Entree (Annie):
Salmon Tartare w/ "espandon" and beet vinaigrette
Entree (Zena):
Duck skewers w/ Marinated Cantaloupe

Really delicious. Duck was cooked well, but still tender. The balsamic drizzle on the plate was a nice acidic touch to a rather sweet plate.

Stewed veal breast w/ artichokes and carrots

Dissimilar to the night before, this was a move savory preparation of veal with some root vegetables, olives, and some micro greens. The jus or reduction was well seasoned, buttery, and very rich.

Dessert (Zena):
Exotique Mousse w/ tonka beans and melon sorbet.

Pros: good contrasting textures. The mousse was passion fruit flavored w/ tonka bean specs (substitute for Vanilla).

Cons: awkward presentation. The glass is a little too tall.

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