So how do I judge how good a restaurant is in Paris? It's quite simple: by how many times I've been back and how many people I've recommended it to. With so many choices and so little time in this culinary cocoon, my method is to quickly cast aside mediocre food and search for something better. Great discoveries, however, are of course treasured and revisited.
Cindy of Food Migration first introduced me to Au Fil des Saisons, a little bistro on the edge of the Marais. (3-courses for about 35 Euros) She ordered fish, I ordered duck. Not just any duck, a confit de canard cooked for seven hours, topped with foie gras that slowly melted and glazed the top of the crispy skin. All this goodness on a bed of crispy roasted potatoes and roasted whole garlic cloves, moistened by a bit of jus. I was in heaven, duck heaven.
I liked the duck so much I went back and ordered it again. And I RARELY order the same thing twice at restaurants if I can help it. I was lucky enough to get the last serving my second visit, I guess the dish is that popular!
Going back also gave me a chance to try other things on the menu, including ordering the painter's palette of sorbets and ice creams that Cindy had ordered the first time. The flavors are all house-made and all incredible, from green apple to litchi to pineapple. The second time around, the server told me to taste and guess what the flavors were- such fun and I got all of them correct except the lime sorbet. (I thought it was lemon- not too far off, right?) Duck and ice cream- how much more decadent can you get?
The service there is friendly, even with little snags like the credit card / ATM machine not working one night. I recommended the restaurant to a fellow Parisienne who has lived here for over 20 years but inwardly cringed at the idea that she wouldn't like the food or that my recommendation would flop. Thank goodness she and her picky companion loved it- and they both ordered the duck! Now I have no problems recommending the restaurant to friends.
The restaurant is in a little alley off a busy main street (Rue de Turbigo)- a little creepy, but the warm glow inside quickly chases away any eerie feelings once you walk inside. I would recommend reservations unless you are going early in the evening, or else take a little walk and have couscous or steak au poivre at Chez Omar instead if the restaurant's full!
Amuse Bouche- Lobster Bisque
Skewer of Herb Breads
Lentils and Scallops
(combination didn't quite work for me)
Ham, Prosciutto, Asparagus, Parmesan Salad
(good asparagus and ham, salad average)
Seven Hours Confit de Canard with Foie Gras
(I dream of dishes like this)
Steak with Potatoes
(nice sauce, cooked perfectly)
Chocolate Pots de Creme
Au Fil des Saisons
6, rue des Fontaines du Temple
01 42 74 16 60
Lunch on dinner M-F, Sat dinner only, closed Sundays
Métro: Arts et Metiers