Friday, January 7, 2011

Paris - Josephine "Chez Dumonet"

Finally, finally - here are my Paris posts. I made three dinner reservations for the week we were there, leaving the rest of the nights open to stumble upon restaurants to try. This one was a heavily researched reservation. Here's a review I read somewhere, it was copied and pasted into my itinerary long ago so I don't remember where it came from.

Chez Dumonet should be declared a national monument, so well does it represent the old-world bistro. Its menu illustrates why I came to Paris in the first place: help-yourself marinated herrings with warm potato salad, potent boeuf bourguignon, crisp-skinned duck confit, pan-fried foie gras, monkfish with white beans, and some spectacular desserts such as a millefeuille big enough for three and a Grand Marnier soufflé whose architecture rivals the Eiffel Tower’s. I pray that Josephine will never change, with its 1930s light fixtures, white-linen-draped tables, and jokey waiters (who speak a little English). Just don't try to order your steak well done or ask for cream with your coffee, as the staff cannot bring themselves to commit such heresy against French tradition.

How can you NOT want to go there after reading that? Here's the funny part. They're closed Saturdays and Sundays. Can you even imagine? Try pulling that off in New York or Chicago. I don't think so. There are a lot of restaurants in Paris closed on the weekends. Luckily I was able to get a Friday night reservation.

Ok, let's get to the food. First up - smoked salmon. The French employ smoked salmon on the dinner menu a lot, which I appreciate. I love smoked salmon and I don't think it should be reserved for brunchtime with a bagel. Here it is served with a lemon, a creamy dressing, and a basket of toasts.

Peter's daily dose of foie gras:

And my sister's warm artichoke salad:

Ok, now this next course...may be the best thing I ate all week. That's a bold statement, but I feel pretty confident in it. Beef bourguignon with buttered noodles.

It was served in a little pot, and a dish of noodles on the side and you combine the two on your plate. That's only a half order which my mom and I both got. My dad had a full order. I can't even put into words how good it was. The sauce was very, very reduced so it was really thick. The meat had definitely been cooking all day, it was just falling apart. The carrots and pearl onions...mmm. Halfway through eating it I got sad because I know I'll never get to eat anything like this in the U.S. Here's the side order of potatoes we got for the table:

And last, but definitely not least, the Grand Marnier soufflé. You have to order it along with your dinner to give them enough time to make it. And they bring out two little glasses of Grand Marnier, so you can poke a hole in the top and pour them in. The French...they really do it right.

An amazing dinner, a very snowy walk back to our apartment...a perfect Parisian night.

Josephine Chez Dumonet
117 Rue du Cherche-Midi, Paris 75006

No comments:

Post a Comment