Imagine this – it’s cold, wintry, wet and you’re roaming round the streets of Paris.
It’s supposed to be romantic and charming, as what people say about Paris. But you’re not really getting into the mood when your fingers and toes are freezing and you are feeling kind of lost in a foreign place.
Then the hunger pangs strike and there’s nothing worse than feeling cold and hungry. So where can you find some food before hangry-ness creep in?
Thankfully, we found Le Baratin.
This cosy restaurant was sort of off the beaten track, being located away from central Paris. But I managed to source out this gem after reading some local blogs.
There was a buzz as we entered the restaurant and it was filled with locals (which is a good sign!). The first thing we were asked was if we made a reservation and we said no. Fortunately, they had a table to accommodate the 4 of us. But we did get a sense of the bistro’s popularity so I guess it would have been better to make a reservation!
There is no fixed menu and lunch is always served as a 3-course meal – the French really know how to dine!
As you can guess from the above picture, we had a little problem deciphering the menu. The restaurant staff didn’t speak much English as well but they tried their best to explain to us, without a hint of impatience or the infamous French snobbery. Phew!
So finally, after a long morning, we could sit back and relax in this cosy warm bistro :)
I of course, being a fan of French cuisine, was happy to come to this really authentic looking bistro. But I was also feeling excited for my family; this was the first time that they were going to be exposed to a full-on French meal… how would this work out for them?
Ok, let’s see how we went with the entrees…
The duck was tender and the salad was fresh (no wilting leaves please!). It was a good balance of soft and crunchy textures, and the seasoning of the duck didn’t make the salad dry. My brother enjoyed this, which is something as he is not big on salads!
But this, my friends, is a winner of a dish. Those tongues were so soft, totally melting in the mouth. The accompanying sauce was also buttery without it being heavy. My family was impressed with this dish, and I was glad that they fully appreciated this!
My mum went for the soup as she wanted something warm. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what soup this is but she did slurp up every bit ;)
So, the entrees have set the bar already… what about the mains?
Again, the meat was tender on the inside and it went well with the red wine jus. No complaints there!
But this just edged out the venison. I always enjoyed duck done the French way but this one by Le Baratin just beats all my previous experiences hands down.
Where do I begin? The skin was seared to a good crisp, the meat was oh-so-tender and you are guaranteed enough meat with the wings thrown into the dish. And of course, the creamy lentils and sweet onions just go hand-in-hand with the meat.
I guess my only complaint would be that the duck breast came out a little bloody (as you can tell from the above pic) so it probably didn’t rest enough.
And finally, to end it off with something sweet…
The desserts were decent but not as exciting as the entrees and mains that we had. Oh well, I guess you can’t have it all!
And guess how much this 3-course meal cost us? 19 euros per person – what a steal!
And that was Le Baratin in a nutshell – no Michelin stars but unpretentious and homely food, where you get to dine just like one of the locals. With that, I’m happy to report that the family enjoyed their very first French meal – yay!
So we may not have gotten the greatest weather in Paris, but we did get the best meal on our Europe trip, getting a taste of the local Parisian life. That, I guess, counts for a memorable experience ;)