When I decided I was going to Paris I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t know any French, and I didn’t know anything about the city of Paris other than the Eiffel Tower. The only French food I’ve ever had were omelettes, crepes, escargot, and some pastries, but my experiences have never been with authentic French food. I also did not know the extent and the varieties of french food that there are probably because we don’t have a lot of French restaurants at home.
I went into the trip not having many expectations about how the trip was going to go. I arrived early in the morning the first day, and we immediately headed to the Louvre museum for an audio tour. Outside the museum before we began the tour we decided to grab some food from a small sandwich stand. The stand had many sandwiches laid out behind glass made on smaller rolls of French bread. We bought the one with salami and pickles, which sounds like an interesting combination, but it was delicious and to my surprise they lubed up the bread with creamy butter instead of mayo, and it made it all the perfect combination. Not to mention the French bread the roll the sandwich was made on was some of the best bread I’ve ever had in my life, a delightful surprise from a food stand.
Later that day we walked by Notre Dame and the river before we decided on a place to eat for dinner. The restaurant we found was only a 20-25 minute walk from Notre Dame, so we started on foot. This walk takes you through a great part of town where we went shopping in Paris the next day. The whole area is so cute and full of character with good restaurants and shops. We figured that next time we visit we’ll try to find somewhere closer to Notre Dame and this area.
When we arrived at the restaurant Le Comptoir De La Gastronomie it was around 6:00pm ish and there was a line of people waiting to sit down and eat here, which we took as a good sign. If you want a true French experience while visiting Paris I definitely suggest visiting this restaurant! I will be going back the next time I visit the city.
We had to stand in line for about an hour waiting for a few tables to clear up because we had a group of five people. If you go and there are only two of you it would be much faster to get a table. When you eat in France you do not rush through your meals you sit and savor the food, you put away your phones to find good conversation, and you take in the atmosphere while you are there. Waiters in France don’t rush their patrons because they don’t live off of tips, so whether you’re there or not they are making the same amount of money. This is part of the reason why it can take so long to get seats at a busy restaurant for dinner because the customers are enjoying their food and time together.
Once we got a table it was around 7pm, and after that the line of people waiting to eat at this restaurant just kept getting longer and longer. This restaurant is specifically known for their foie gras, which I had never tried before. For the appetizers we ordered French onion soup, which of course in France is just onion soup, and I got an order of snails. I had never actually had onion soup before but I’m glad my first experience with it was in France. The snails were so good, and they were hot and cooked in butter, and I used my bread to soak up every last drop.
Most of their entrees centered around the foie gras, so I ordered the foie gras shepard’s pie, Mom ordered foie gras ravioli, Mandy ordered beef tartare, and Rebecca ordered a duck steak. We basically all shared each other’s food, which was the best option, so we got to try all the food! 😀
I can honestly say they were all my favorite! I forgot to get a picture of her duck because I wanted to eat so badly once the all the food arrived at the table. This had to be the best dining experience of my life, and I hope to have many more like this one, but I just don’t know how anything could top this. The ravioli noodles were so thin and perfectly coated with truffle cream sauce it was like you could drink it. The beef tartare was perfectly ground and mixed with the sauce it was so good. I have never had tartare before so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was delicious. The duck was good, it was cooked confit, which made it yummy juicy duck breast. My order of shepards pie was a layer of tender meat pulled apart covered in mashed potatoes and topped with gravy. It was perfectly layered together and just melted in my mouth.
We ordered a bottle of white, dry, and crisp wine, and I’ve never had smoother wine. Usually white wine has a bite at the end for me, but this stuff was perfect and went well with dinner.
For dessert we ordered salted caramel creme brulee and an apricot tart with apricot sorbet. The dessert was spectacular, and something to keep in mind is that if you’re used to your creme brulee being served warm just know that they serve it cold in France. Then I ordered some espresso before we headed off to end our night sitting on the lawn at the Eiffel tower.
The next morning we woke up hungry from all the walking we had done the day before. If you have never watched Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix you definitely should. He travels all around the world and shows you were to get the best food, and we decided to take one of his suggestions for breakfast.
Once we mapped out how to get to Les Deux Magots we were off for the day. We took the subway and got lost switching trains, but eventually we made it there! This restaurant is where Phil goes on the show to try their hot chocolate because Angelina was closed for renovations. He said he liked it better than Angelina’s hot chocolate, and I figured Angelina’s would be busy because almost every travel guide to Paris says to try the hot chocolate there. Hot chocolate in the middle of July sounds crazy, but we had to do it!
Les Deux Magots is actually a pretty nice restaurant and I would like to go back and eat dinner there one night because judging by what we ate for breakfast I’m sure it’s incredible! We ordered the old style hot chocolate on the menu and the waiter said the only difference between that and the Viennese style hot chocolate is that the Viennese style comes with whipped cream on the side is what I think he said. I also ordered their ham, cheese, and herb omelette, and my mom got a croissant.
So when they serve you the hot chocolate the waiter brings out small pitchers full of warm chocolaty goodness along with little cups, and you pour yourself the hot chocolate. Guys, this is as good as it gets. Their hot chocolate is so thick, creamy, and smooth. It honestly tastes like warm chocolate melting cake batter in a cup! I’m not a huge fan of milk chocolate but this stuff was amazing, and I’m craving it now as I type this. We couldn’t finish one each and we probably should have just split one cup especially because in the middle of July it made us pretty warm, but we definitely “suffered through” to drink as much as we could. I think if I ever visit in the colder months I could finish a whole one.
It is a little pricey. One cup was like 8.5 euro if I’m remembering correctly, so if you just want to try it there will definitely be enough to split.
At this point we hadn’t even started eating. Once the food arrived it was a lot of wow all over again. My omelette was amazing! Perfectly cooked and gooey with cheese and slices of ham throughout. Their croissants were delicious as well unsurprisingly. They had the perfect flaky outside with a warm soft center. And to answer your question, yes you can dip your croissants into your hot chocolate, and yes it is a good as it sounds!
These are the food experiences I wanted to mention from my two days in Paris. When I go back I will revisit these and dine at many more. There were a couple other places we went that were less noteworthy and one that was just straight up bad because apparently you can find bad crepes in Paris. I suggest reading reviews of places along with their menus before dining, and watching Phil’s episode in Paris definitely doesn’t hurt.
When planning your trip to Paris I think it is safe to say that you are going to want to be able to splurge on good food, so plan for this and save up, but most of all enjoy!