A great wine from a very nice friend: Sylvia at Le Petit Célestin Bistro & Restaurant. It was excellent!
And a great send off back to the USA. We hope to be back in the Spring…
Look for the smallest ancient building tucked between quai des Célestins and rue Saint- Antoine in the Marais and discover our neighborhood café, Le Temps des Cerises on the rue de la Cerisaie. In June 2011, we arrived in Paris with suitcases and camera bags and headed for the metro stop Bastille, a direct route from the Gare du Nord. Settled in for the ride, we immediately discovered that the Bastille stop was closed for construction. Two transfers later after lots of stair climbing (France is very stingy with its escalators) and a walk in the rain from the metro stop St Paul, we stumbled into Le Temps des Cerises, mid-afternoon, too late for dejeuner and too early for dîner. Not a problem for Sylvie Antoine: a plate of charcuterie and one of fromage, some bread and two beers magically appeared just before we passed out from exhaustion. Now all was right with Paris, the rain, and even our over-stuffed luggage.
We were surprised and relieved to find Le Temps des Cerises open because on previous visits to this Paris neighborhood, it was always closed. The young, new proprietor, Gregory Detouy, has expanded hours and the café is open every day (which is especially good for Monday, when many restos in Paris are closed). Facing a boulangerie-pâtisserie and around the corner from the local elementary school, Le Temps des Cerises is at a crossroads of one-way streets where there is busy foot traffic but relatively few cars.
Three days later we returned for Sunday lunch. We shared an entrée of terrine de lapin, served with sweet/savory onions braised to a warm nest of flavor. For our main course, chosen from two plats du jour, we both had églefin (haddock) rolled, sauced with dill, and served with mixed vegetables. Following this delightful meal, we sauntered home, one of the joys of neighborhood dining.
Our recommendation to travelers: choose a restaurant or café in your neighborhood and put down roots, even if only for a day or two. While it’s fun to savor new experiences and tastes, a café on your block where you return a few times during your stay for a coffee, a kir, or a meal, can weave you into the local fabric of life. You’ll recognize the locals, be greeted a bit more warmly, and relax: for a moment, this street in Paris—or wherever—is home.
Home cooking is one of the pleasures of staying in a place for an extended time. We visit various markets and shops to find the great ingredients often difficult to find or non-existent at home. We found some delicious Merguez sausage at a boucher at the market at Bastille. the market is on Thursdays and Sundays from 8am to 12pm.
Merguez is a spicy lamb and beef sausage from North Africa. Below is our take on preparing Merguez, with pommes de terre and haricots verts instead of the usual couscous.
Bon appétit !!!
Le Petit Celestin is a warm, friendly, red-checked tablecloth place that does not list the menu in English or serve as a tourist outpost in Paris.
Yet this small restaurant on the edge of the Marais welcomes everyone with a relaxed atmosphere and a selection of delicious, traditional offerings on its blackboard menu.
Host Sylvie is vivacious, funny and friendly and speaks English so she can explain the menu to English speakers without French language skills. She is sensitive to varying perceptions of “medium rare” and “à point” for meat dishes, and is helpful with recommendations. Her cheerful warmth sets the tone for a fun and relaxed evening.
We have visited Le Petit Célestin with groups as small as four and as large as 10. The prices are truly reasonable with most plats (main dish) in the mid-teens and most entrées (starters) less. There is always a cut of steak (pave or entrecote) duck (magret) and slightly more exotic veals—foie, rognons, or riz—which are mild but savory. Plus you will find shrimp or fish. The main course is served with a supporting starch and vegetable.
Our favorite starter is moules farci (mussels broiled in the half shell with garlicky breading.) A small hors d’ouevre appears while you discuss the menu choices and share an aperitif. Desserts are traditional and worth the calories. The wine selection is affordable and appropriate for the cuisine.
A summer treat…salade de gésiers from Perigord.
The new “team” as of 2012: Sylvie, Cédric and Jean-Marie. Sylvie and Jean-Marie are your hosts… Sylvie speaks English, as well as French, and is jovial and helpful…and Cédric provides attentive and quick service.
As you’ve guessed, this is one of our favorite local restos – traditional cuisine, great atmosphere, and reasonable prices, especially for the Marais. Just a few short blocks from the Sully-Morland Metro stop (Line 7) on Quai des Célestins.
12, Quai des Célestins, 75004 Paris Tel: +33 (0)1 42 72 20 81
We visited Paris, the Lauragais near Toulouse, Lyon, the Jura, Provence, and Collioure near the border with Spain. In Provence, we rented a house right in the center of a small village, Cucuron, for two weeks… a wonderful spot with many great local people, but many problems with the house – more on this later…
Please see other posts for more info on our trip.
…but more postings about France coming…(now that we have Internet…)
Posted from WordPress for Android
In the small hilltop village of St Julia de Gras Capou is an Auberge with an excellent lunch.
A new venture, this good resto provides a single menu choice for lunch – trés simple! And Chef Pierre Batigne’s food is delicious. We enjoyed three courses including dessert – all for about 13 euros per person – and passed a pleasant afternoon talking with friends and the new owners, and sipping an excellent local rosé.
Auberge de St Julia
Rue du Vinaigre
31540 St Julia de Gras Capou
Tel: 05 61 83 04 79
We have discovered a fabulous charcuterie-traiteur where one can buy the most sumptuous prepared foods available in Paris! This is one of the benefits of renting an apartment instead of staying at a hotel i Paris: you have a kitchen and space to have meals. This not only can save expense, but often allows a better choice of meals and wine than you may find in the local restos.
The family that runs Au Sanglier is very friendly and helpful, suggesting sauces and accompaniments to your main choice of meal. We experienced fabulous terrines – salmon, vegetable, beef – highly charged with the excellent taste of of their fresh and unique ingredients. Especially the vegetable terrine: the essence of flavors of haricots verts, artichoke and carrot, all suspended in a silky-smooth creamed gelatin – cool and refreshing for a light dinner if you’ve had a big lunch…
Au Sanglier – D.Gouas Charcutier – Traiteur
“Qualité et tradition depuis trois Générations”
49, rue Saint-Antoine
75004 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 48 87 85 87
We have eaten at La Remise a number of times and have always enjoyed their warm and friendly service and excellent salades composés during the long, hot Provence summers. They have indoor dining and a friendly garden, each table shaded with it’s own umbrella.
Owned and operated by Franck and Claire de Best, La Remise et Son Jardin is a pizzeria as well as a restaurant. The pizza is excellent, with a thin, crispy crust and a wide selection of delicious fresh toppings.
Always one of the best lunches in Provence, visit them when you’re traveling in the Vaucluse…
La Remise et Son Jardin
Boulevard de Nord
84160 Cucuron, France
Tel: +33 4 90 07 53 44