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
La Jacobine  
Cour du Commerce Saint-André
59, rue Saint-André des Arts
M° Odéon

Euro - 17 to 24
It was hard not to sit in the warm, cozy interior of this restaurant and not wonder what had these walls seen in their long lifetime.  Just a few storefront down the uneven cobblestone path is oldest café in Paris, Le Procope.  One might even be inclined to make the connection between the name of this restaurant and the Jacobins from the time of the French Revolution.  However, on this night, the only heady outcome was the subpar meals we were about to have.

Our friend Bob had requested that we sampled some “French” food tonight and we all thought that if we walked in a round about kind of way we would stumble upon something of the kind.  In the strictest sense, we did.  In a long, narrow dining room, whose period setting could have relegated the conversations of its diners to the slightest of hush, we sat snugly against our neighbors, most of whom spoke very competent and loud English.  If the adage “go where the locals go” holds true then we were indeed in a very wrong place.
  Soggy bread need not apply:  The subpar soupe maison gratinée aux oignons (9€).

For starters, Bob and Riot had French onion soup, or in this case, with this being France, it was more sensibly called soupe maison gratinée aux oignons (9€).  Whatever its name, it was not very good.  The broth lacked any perceptible taste and although acknowledging the lose-lose proposition of placing toast on top of a molting soup, neither of us cared much for the terribly soggy bread when it arrived at our table.  Nez just wanted a salad tonight (which was terribly American but we got away with it anyhow).  The monstrosity dubbed salade la norvégienne (17€) made a loud thud when it hit the table and Nez immediately knew she would not be able to finish it, not only because of its size.  The arrays of ingredients thrown together lacked any cohesiveness and, frankly, appeal.  In the end, Riot found himself picking at the smoked salmon to help Nez put a dent in the only dish she ordered.
  Maybe not the best pairing for duck:  The magret de canard à la crème de cassis (17€).
  Where is the pork?:  Bob could barely taste the filet mignon de porc au brie de Meaux (16€) that was soaked in all that sauce.
For the main course, Bob ordered the mouth-wateringly named filet mignon de porc au brie de Meaux (16€).  We all speculated what that cut of pork would taste like.  The answer:  It tasted good although it was hard to discern what separated it from the rest of other cuts of pork.  Maybe we lacked the culinary palate to discern such a distinction.  Maybe it was the extra helping of sauce in which the meat bathed.  Riot, in his endless quest for great duck, selected the magret de canard à la crème de cassis (17€).  First reaction:  Crème de cassis works much better in a kir than with duck.  Honey would have been preferable and so would skin not too thick to have single-handedly destroyed the best part of eating this hearty domesticated fowl.  Overall, it could diplomatically be described as assez bon.

The waiter, in his jeans and with his untucked shirt – a noticeable contrast to the room’s setting – brought us the dessert plate consisting of choices we were allowed to make (the pies and cakes) and choices we were not allowed to make (e.g., the ice cream was “le secret,” he declared).  It was a good communal wrap to the affair, which we enjoyed tremendously with a friend who came all the way here for just a short visit.  When we arrived, we had a tremor of a hope that we might have discovered for ourselves a little-known dining gem.  That quest continues after we left.
  Nez just wanted a salad and got this monstrosity instead:  The salade la norvégienne (17€) that remained pretty much in the same state at the end of the meal as it had arrived at the beginning.
  A communal dessert:  We got to choose the pies and cakes, the waiter chose the secret ice cream.
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