But after that came duck breast, a richly mineral slab of bird, as bloody as the rarest steak, whose flavor sang in my veins all night. You don’t get duck like that in the States. It is why you go to France, and I hold it in my memory so that, even now, if I close my eyes and think very hard, I can still taste it.
Finally, there was rice pudding, buckets of it, served on a wooden board. So thick that the wooden spoon stood upright in the bowl, it was served with confiture de lait, nuts, dried fruit, bits of praline. As I finished eating, I had a brief fantasy of moving in and eating every meal here for the rest of my life.
The chef, Stéphane Jégo, was at La Régalade for ten years before setting up on his own. He has a knack for treating the rustic food of France with enormous respect. But more than that, he knows how to make people happy. L’Ami Jean is the perfect ending to a Paris vacation because you walk out with an overwhelming desire to return.
L’Ami Jean 27 R. Malar, 7th (01-47-05-86-89)
Le Beurre Noisette 68 R. Vasco-de-Gama, 15th (01-48-56-82-49)
Christophe 8 R. Descartes, 5th (01-43-26-72-49)
Hier et Aujourd’Hui 145 R. de Saussure, 17th (01-42-27-35-55)
Lapérouse 51 Quai des Grands Augustins, 6th (01-43-26-68-04)
Ribouldingue 10 R. St.-Julien-le-Pauvre, 5th (01-46-33-98-80)
Robert et Louise 64 R. Vieille-du-Temple, 3rd (01-42-78-55-89)
La Table de Joël Robuchon 16 Ave. Bugeaud, 16th (01-56-28-16-16)
And a Few Other Favorite Inexpensive Places …
Café des Musées 49 R. de Turenne, 3rd (01-42-72-96-17)
La Cantine de Quentin 52 R. Bichat, 10th (01-42-02-40-32)
La Cave de L’os À Moelle 181 R. de Lourmel, 15th (01-45-57-28-28)
Chartier 7 R. du Faubourg-Montmartre, 9th (01-47-70-86-29)
Fish La Boissonerie 69 R. de Seine, 6th (01-43-54-34-69)