I go back and forth trying to decide what types of restaurants we should go to for our lunches. One part of me is eager and curious to find the newest restaurants and upcoming chefs, the other wanting to dine at the classic, old time restaurants, more for the history, atmosphere and sometimes legend rather than innovative food.
L’Escargot is one of the classics and I’ve passed it many times in my travels, longing to sample their namesake dish. Alas, the menu prices were not in my reach, so put it on the backburner for when a friend on an expense account visits town.
Last month I passed L’Escargot again and a sign outside listing a two-course formule for 17.50€ with appealing dishes caught my eye. I said, Ah-Ha! Here’s my golden opportunity to finally dine at a place long on my wish list.
Lynn had never been to L’Escargot either, so it was a first for the both of us. It was a hot July day with glaring sunshine and we sat inside, coping with the lack of air conditioning. As lovely and tempting as it was to sit outside, there was a perverseness about sitting inside among the plush, burgundy velvet banquettes, stone floors, dark wood carvings and bentwood chairs in summer. We learned from the waiter the restaurant was first opened in 1832 and the painted panels in the bar area, which adorned the dining room of Sarah Bernhardt, were donated to the restaurant after she died. We squinted our eyes and imagined someone like Proust would have eaten in the opulent salon at the turn of the century, dressed in his finest three-piece suit and a monocle to peer at the menu. We also imagined how cozy it would be in winter with a roaring fire enjoying a hearty cassoulet.
Of course the first order of business was to sample the legendary snails and the formule offered them cooked with Roquefort cheese. I thought it was an odd pairing and hoped the strong blue cheese wouldn’t overpower the taste. Served in a handsome metal pot with copper handles, the more than ample sized snails with their brown striated mollusks were beautiful to behold before eating. They were perfectly cooked, tender and not too rubbery and the flavor of the blue cheese was faint but added just enough to give an extra flavor.
For the plat, Lynn had a half roasted chicken with was flavorful but slightly tough and a large mound of crispy fried potatoes. Not only did my rascasse look divine topped with parsley, foam and summer vegetables, its taste matched its presentation. Crispy on the outside without being greasy and the vegetables cooked just enough to have some crunch.
The friendly waiters were cutely dressed in khaki shorts and white button down shirts.
Lynn and I will venture to L’Escargot again in the winter months to fulfill our Proust fantasy.
38 Rue Montorgueil, 75001
Metro: Etienne Marcel
Eye Prefer Paris Postcards
I am thrilled to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Postcards, a 3, 6 or 12-month subscription service where the subscriber receives three physical postcards of my iconic Paris photos every month. Each month will have a specific theme, from architectural street scenes to romantic outdoor cafes to beautiful gardens to unique shots of iconic monuments. Each mailing will include two postcards in color and one in black & white or sepia, beautifully packaged in a special French Blue postcard holder with a custom designed seal.
Each 6” X 4.25” traditional size postcard is printed on thick matte coated card stock, similar to traditional vintage postcard stock that enhances the vibrancy of every image.
Only $30 for a 3-month subscription plus shipping or
Only $60 for a 6 month subscription (plus shipping)or
$110 for a 12-month subscription (plus shipping)
Click here to order a 3-month subscription from my Etsy store
Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more. In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.
Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 195 euros per person (about $210)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.