After discussing my love of food with my cousins, they thought it would be a good idea to dine at a Parisian bistro for dinner one night (as a change from the french-style home cooked dinners that my cousin Alexis kindly prepares each night).
We headed to the Latin Quarter and dined at Grand Bouillon a bistro that opened in 1906 as a food hall for the university workers and is now heritgate listed (or as the French say: "classified monument"). The style of the restaurant is Art Nouveau: intricately carved wood and ceramics with mirrors and glass paintings.
The exterior of the restaurant
The interior of the upper level
For entree I ordered Gratinée du Boullion à l’oignon (french onion soup). The broth was packed with flavour and the onions were melt-in-the-mouth tender. It was a clichéd french dish that was on my list to try. Was it good? Yes. Did everybody else's soups seem better? Yes.
French onion soup
For my main course, I again ordered off the entree menu and had Os à moelle gratiné à la moutarde, pain grille et fleur de sel (bone marrow with grilled bread and salt) which was divine. I have always enjoyed the taste of marrow but am still a little put-off when I think of what it is I am eating so I just close my eyes and enjoy!!
The bone marrow with grilled bread
I also managed to take some photos of some of the dishes the rest of the group ordered. I seemed to be an oddity by taking photos of the food so I tried to be discrete.
Risotto de Saint Jacques et gambas au coulis de homard (Risotto with scallops and prawns, in a lobster sauce)
Confit de canard, pureé de légume oublié (confit duck with mashed forgotten vegetables) - in this instance, "mashed forgotten vegetables" means "mashed potato"
For dessert I ordered the gaufre fourrée à la crème brûlée (waffle with creme brulee). Although very sweet (I only ate half), this was delicious. Two of my favourite desserts were combined on the one plate. The burnt sugar on top was perfectly crisp (and not bitter) with the smooth custard underneath supported by a crispy waffle - c'est magnifique!
The dessert of the day was a savarin chantilly (pictured below) which three members of the group ordered. By all accounts, it was well received.
All in all, it was a wonderful evening in Paris and the food certainly lived up to the high reputation that Paris' bistros have obtained.