Subject: Paris restaurants (long)
Hi Ziners,

The Faubourg St. Antoine / Bastille area is a wonderful area for reasonably priced restaurants. It is also close to good transit at Bastille. Not as many tourists around when you get away from Bastille itself although there are a lot of hotels. You must book for evening meals at most restaurants.

Here are some restaurants that we enjoyed last spring:

Les Amognes Les Amognes 243, rue du faubourg Saint-Antoine. 11ème The prix fixe menu was 30 euros for three courses. White asparagus with lovely creamy sauce and two oysters for three of us and tart of fresh sardines for Richard. Brandade stromboli (whole fish, sea bream, I think, with olives) for three of us, lamb for Richard. Pears with chocolate sauce and ginger for two of us, crepe with cardamon flavoured eggplant filling for Chris (delicious!) and strawberries with creme anglaise and pain perdu for Richard. Friendly service. Wine, coffee extra.

Le Square Trousseau. 1, rue Antoine Vollon, 12th. We chose this restaurant because it is has a Belle Epoque interior and the reviews are good, moderate in price and within easy walking distance. The meal was good, a little more expensive than A La Biche au Bois (no prix fixe or formule). Richard had scallops with lemon and olives - the scallops were very small (chopped?) but dish was very tasty. I had tomatoes with mozzarella - sizable, good and with creamy cheese but perhaps a better sharing plate. Richard had a small rack of lamb with mushrooms, eggplant and green beans in a brown sauce (??!) - excellent. I had duck slices with caramelized carrot - tasty but I wished that I had had the courage to ask for rare, not medium! My dessert was peaches in butterscotch sauce, light and sweet. Richard had #exotic# fruit (not really!) with a biscuit on top (like a brandy snap). Coffee came with soft chocolate fudge. Next time, I will forgo dessert and wait for the fudge - delicious! We shared a half bottle of Morgon and of sparkling mineral water.

A La Biche Au Bois. 45, av. Ledru Rollin, at rue de Lyon, 12th 20 euros for a four course meal. I had the same starter as the last time, the pike terrine with creamy red pepper sauce; rich coq au vin with lardons and mushrooms served with potato in a small casserole dish; two small pieces of cheese (Cantal and Pont L#Eveque for me); and ile flottant for dessert. Red Rhone wine. Chris had the same starter as me; Richard had a pate with mushrooms; Anne had mushrooms a la Greque. Richard and Chris had goose with lovely fluffy mashed potatoes as a main course; Anne had salmon. They all had plum pie for dessert. The restaurant is a warm and friendly place with many locals. Tables are very close together and the room is packed. Staff speak English. Recommended.

Le Saint Amarante, 4 rue Biscornet, 75012 near Bastille. ( Closed Saturday and Sunday. 22 euro three course meal. A complimentary snack of black olive paste #caviar# on bread started us off well. Salmon mousse with salad in a balsamic vinaigrette. Richard had cantaloupe with a black pepper jelly. We both had lotte filets (angler fish) on a bed of cooked spinach with mushrooms, carrots and chestnuts. Very tasty. My dessert was simple but delicious - fromage blanc (a creamy pudding-like cheese) with strawberries topped with a biscuit like a brandy snap but more caramelized and containing almonds. Richard swooned over his chocolate cake with a soft creamy chocolate centre. It had a rich chocolate flavour but without too much sweetness. We shared a half bottle of a very nice wine, Les Marcet Meneton Salon 2000, a light fruity white wine. Very good value and Richard thought it was one of the best meals we had during our holiday. Well recommended. And it wasn#t too heavy! The tables were well spaced, a rarity in the price range of restaurants that we have been frequenting and service was excellent. English spoken.

Le Mange Tout is at the corner of Jules Cezar at 24 boulevard de la Bastille (01-43-43-95-15). Closed Saturday midday and Sunday. The cooking is from Auvergne with blue cheese, local wines and friendly service. There was a set meal for 20 euros (3 courses plus cheese) but we elected to go a la carte because prices seemed reasonable and we were interested in other dishes. Richard had pears on toast with grilled Auvergne blue cheese topping. His starter came with its own glass of sweet white wine. I had a taste and it was fabulous. My grilled fish (hot) on a green salad as starter was tasty. His main course was a sea bass plainly cooked with spinach, but very fresh. I had chicken au bleu (with Auvergne blue cheese), potatoes and spinach. Richard had said he didn#t want dessert so he had a large plate of profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce! I had the dessert du jour, pomme en cage - a baked apple in pastry with some caramel. Coffee for both of us. The wine was a nice white - a Gaillac, Domaine de la Barthe, Jean Albert et Fils, Castanet, 2000. It was a local restaurant with nice service, tables reasonably spaced, good food. Price similar to A La Biche Au Bois. The waitress spoke some English but not as much as the other restaurants we have been to in our area. She shook hands with me as we left!

A real bargain: L#Ebauchoir at 45 rue Citeaux, 12th, M° Faidherbe - Chaligny. This small restaurant is recommended by several books and by Jack of and it should be. The food was excellent and very good value. We both found something we liked on the cheaper 12 euro menu - salmon and rouget in a red pepper sauce for me and lamb kidneys in a balsamic vinegar based sauce for Richard. My plate was garnished with a round of black olive flan and cooked leek. Richard#s plate held pommes Anna (yummy potatoes!) and fried julienned celeriac. Our starters were a red cabbage coleslaw, very tangy for me and hard boiled eggs with thin mayo for R. Wine, mineral water or other beverage was included in the 12 euros and we chose red wine, quite drinkable. For dessert, Richard chose the house specialty, rice pudding with a caramelly topping, creamy and wonderful. I had very good pot de creme caramel, very good too. Coffee was extra but only 50 cents each for expresso and the waitress was kind enough to put a #gout de lait# in mine. Friendly service by a waitress who spoke a little English - she offered to translate the menu for us but we didn#t need that. Very plain room but clean. Definitely recommended!

La Gavroche, 19 Rue St. Marc (Montmarte/Opera Metro) - we had a Travelzine GTG at this wine bar. Friendly service, good food. Moderate.

Pain Quotidienne (Daily Bread). A chain restaurant with branches in the Marais and on rue Mouffetard. We sat outside where the action is! Inside is mostly communal tables. We had a daily special from the chalkboard - carrot soup, fresh and with a hint of curry, a gouda and ham sandwich with tomatoes and cucumber on great sourdough bread with a mixed salad. Very tasty for 10 euros.

Creperie de Josselin, on RUE de Montparnasse (not the main road named Montparnasse which is around the corner. Many Breton creperies here. A good quick tasty meal for about 27 euros. It was extremely crowded however: it is not a good place for a romantic meal or a tete a tete. Late in the evening might be different - this was 7:30 or so.

Frances Toronto, Canada