7, rue Boccador
Metro Station: George V (Line 1), Franklin Roosevelt (Lines 1 and 9), Alma Marceau (Line 9)
Type of cuisine: French
Days & hours of operation: Mon to Fri Noon – 2:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. – 10:45 p.m. Sat 7:00 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
Credit card: Visa, MasterCard, Amex
At lunchtime, passersby will notice several cloth-covered sidewalk tables set for dining on the corner of rues Boccador and de la Trémoille. These are stylish symbols of the gourmet experience awaiting them at Philippe and Jean-Pierre. The subdued colors of the beige façade, the light brown awning, and the polished brass menu frames are additional signs of the elegance that diners will discover within.
As soon as we stepped in the door, we were greeted warmly by Philippe Garon, co-proprietor of the restaurant with Chef Jean-Pierre Brault. Garon invited us to take a window seat that gave us a fine view of both the restaurant and rue de la Trémoille.
As we studied the menu, my partner sipped a white port apéritif and we nibbled on olives served in a small cup. The menu offers a great range of choices, from seafood to meats, making the decision difficult. For the starter, I selectedLangoustines marinées au Saté, fine râpée de fenouil à l’huile d’olive-citron. The marinated scampi rested on a bed of grated fennel flavored with lemon-scented olive oil. The scampi had been lightly dusted with what appeared to be paprika and chopped chives. Whatever the spices, this was a moist and flavorsome dish with wonderfully subtle aromas. My partner opted for the Mascarpone d’artichaut en ravioles, jus de poulet, huile d’argan & Pécorino. This was a complex dish of ravioli stuffed with mascarpone cream and artichoke, flavored with chicken broth, oil from the argan tree, and Pécorino, a cheese from Italy made with ewe’s milk. Beautifully presented, it was light and savory.
When I spotted Thon rouge grillé cuit bleu, chutney d’oignons rouge aux mangues on the menu, I leapt at the chance to taste this wonderful fish. I was served two thick slices of pan-seared tuna, cooked very rare (bleu), resting on a bed of red onion and mango chutney. Thanks for the memories! My partner selected Quasi de veau rôti au laurier, petits pois frais, gingembre-citronelle. (A quasi is a cut of meat from the upper part of the leg of veal.) Two large morsels, cooked to slightly pink, rested in a deep dish in their gravy. Garden peas cooked firm to the bite with lettuce, onion, gravy, and ginger, provided a tempting side dish.
As a beverage accompaniment, I ordered a glass of Chardonney from Maison Bouchard in the Burgundy region of France. I found the wine to be crisp, as well as slightly fruity, with a light citrus bouquet. My partner ordered Côte de Beaune, a light-bodied red wine from Burgundy.
Could it get better than this? For dessert, I requested the dessert du jour: Quatre figues rôties au vin rouge. The waiter brought a shallow bowl containing four green figs that had been roasted, then poached in spiced, red wine, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and served at room temperature. The spiced wine evoked memories of mulled wine at Christmas, and I delighted in the semi-sweet dessert. My partner ordered Tajine d’abricots “rafraîchi,” lait d’amandes glacé & cumin. Her four apricots had been stewed, bathed in their own juices, dusted with cumin, and served with a dollop of almond-milk ice cream. She was enchanted with this dish.
The bill for two persons, including one apéritif, a bottle of mineral water, two glasses of wine, and two three-course à la carte meals, came to 124€. The service was gracious and the cuisine delectable…two important elements of a great dining experience.
Tom Reeves has been a confirmed Francophile since he first traveled to France in 1975. A native of northern California, he moved to France permanently in 1992. Reeves’ love of French language and culture inspired him to create Discover Paris!, a travel planning service that caters to Americans interested in cultural travel to Paris. His book, Paris Insights – An Anthology, has been called “the kind of insider’s view of the French capital…that first or even second time visitors pine for.” He publishes a monthly newsletter entitled Paris Insights about history, culture, and contemporary life in the City of Light, and posts daily information about the French capital on Facebook.