Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Long Lunch in the Third.

Third arrondissement that is. Coming here on the train, I read my way through Pudlo Paris, a book of reviews by Gilles Pudloski, restaurant critic for Le Point. I jotted down names of places that were close, interesting and affordable which is how we came to have lunch today at Au Fil des Saisons. Pudlowski describes it as "snug" and "rustic," seductive adjectives on a rainy day. 

Eventually we found it, or rather we assumed we must be in the right place even though this particular restaurant had no sign or street number. 

Inside were 36 seats. A couple of elderly ladies sat at one. A couple at another around the corner of a huge circular brick column which contained a staircase belonging to another building. At the table next to us was a solitary businessman. Another came later, obviously a regular--he's the one in the shot at the top of this post. 

The menu was written on a large blackboard carried from table to table. Dishes looked simple but inventive and that's how they turned out. Peter began with artichoke flan served with ham from the Vendée and a mesclun salad. I had confited gésiers (gizzards)--chicken rather than the usual duck ones we get in the south. They were mixed in with Puy lentils and lardons with--the unusual element--shavings of Parmesan cheese on the top. It sounded weird but worked. 

Main courses. Peter's was chicken breast with a sauce of ceps and cream, and a little potato flan. My slices of pork fillet were interspersed with smoked ham; the sauce had a whiff of truffle in it. The potatoes, sliced and cooked with cream, were in a small side dish but too rich to finish. As I write this, it's after 8 p.m. and I very much doubt we'll want anything for dinner beyond the baguette, cheese, grapes and wine we bought on the way back to the apartment.

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