The sixth is the center of our Parisian universe.  Though we take up just a tiny sliver of its 0.8 square mile (about 300 square feet to be exact), we have spent a large chunk of our dining hours within its boundaries, everywhere from hole-in-the-wall joints to nicer sit-down restaurants to the well-frequented Monoprix supermarket for a meal back at home.  There remain many known and unknown gems to be sampled but we have no doubt that we will get through most of them, or fail trying.  After all, we love eating as much as we love living where we live.
 
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Two Baguettes
   
Café de Paris
10, rue de Buci
01.46.34.84.11
M° Odéon

 
Euro - 9 to 16
On the crowded rue de Buci, we could either go to this or the one across the street and it would likely be the same dining experience.  We might very well have chosen this place because we were walking in a westerly direction and turned right instead of left to look at the menu.  Both were probably packed at dinner time and outside seating was equally hard to come by.  We settled for an inside corner table, by an elegant glass case holding condiments and drawers of silver utensils, at Café de Paris.  (Looking back, had we noticed the name of this place we probably would have moved on to some other place.)

From where we sat, we had a front row view of the cadre of primly dressed waiters merrily going about their routine with an overstated sense of chaos and an outsized display of bravado.  This did not include, however, attentive service.  Nez began with les six escargots de Bourgogne (8€) that came baked in small recesses of a ceramic plate.  We don’t know how the alternative of leaving the snails in the shells affect the absorption of the pesto and butter but this way seemed as good, if not better, to lock in the taste.  Riot had a tasty gratinée à l’oignon et croûtons (8€), that did not come with his pet peeve – soggy bread.  This has got to be one of the more enjoyable onion soup we have had in Paris.
 
 
 
 
 
  Without the shells these snails could be anything:  Les six escargots de Bourgogne (8€) in a delicious pesto and butter concoction.
 
 

 
 
 
In keeping with the guidebook-themed French meal, Riot followed up with the pavé de coeur de rumsteak avec sauce au poivre (14.50€) cooked à point.  The waiter, realizing who we were, had offered up only two meat cooking options:  medium and well-done; Riot did not bite.  The big chunk of meat was decent but Riot had expected the pepper sauce to be more flavorful.  Nez was intrigued by the sound of the lasagne de canard au foie gras (17€) – a declared house special that conjured up images of the layered dish she was accustomed to but with duck and foie gras instead of ground meat.  When the “lasagna” came out we thought they had mistakenly given Nez the wrong dish.  It looked like a limp burrito with duck stuffing.  More than just looks, it did not taste like anything.

We had had high hopes after the starters but slowly saw them slip away as the meal dragged on and as the muzak loudly played on (a sample track: “We Are The World”).  It is tempting to call this a tourist trap had it not been for the many French speaking diners.  We can say, however, that there are better options out there to sample these very same dishes.  We left as Sting’s “The Russians” came on, which redeemed for a few minutes the poor choice of music but then again it, too, is probably muzak to some.
 
 
 
 
 
  One of the best takes on a classic:  The gratinée à l’oignon et croûtons (8€), better known as French onion soup.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Steak and frites, what else?:  The pavé de coeur de rumsteak avec sauce au poivre (14.50€), whose sauce disappointed.
 
 
 
 
 
  A lasagna it’s certainly not:  The lasagne de canard au foie gras (17€) did not taste much like anything.
 
 
 
 
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