We had our first full meal today at lunch, after miraculously waking up refreshed and unjetlagged. We walked around around Montmatre looking for a nice spot. What you're aiming for is a restaurant away from the main avenues and boulevards. Also to avoid are restaurants with the word "traditionelle" in their names and restaurants with the menu in English. We assume those places are catering to tourists who need assistance.
We happened upon a restaurant called Le Cepage Montmartrois(http://www.cepagemontmartrois.fr/) on a quiet street in a mainly residential neighborhood. After looking at the special board, we decided to give it a shot. The prices were reasonable and the staff seemed friendly.
Melissa is discovering that she remembers a lot more French than she anticipated. She surprised me yesterday--I overheard her asking a fully-conjugated question to a man in a shop. This is great, since people can't understand a damn word I say, despite my months of cooking in France a decade ago. She ordered for us and the waitress walked away
"I need more verbs," she said.
The food. We started with a plate of charcuterie, which everyone knows I love. The plate ended up being huge, too much for two people. Ham, prosciutto, hard salami, pork rillettes, and a liver pate. With bread and mustard, naturellement.
Although we were full, we moved onto a main course after ordering a small pitcher of Sancerre. I had the foie de veau avec le vinaigre de framboises (seared veal liver in a sauce of raspberry vinegar, served with roasted potatoes and a small slice of vegetable quiche). It was good, a tad overdone for my taste, but still delicious (I will say that it is extremely difficult to cook such a thin piece of meat properly to temperature). Here it is:
Melissa ordered the carre d'agneau roti (roast lamb). The cut is something I'd have a really hard time sourcing in the States, so I was glad she ordered it. It basically is an un-Frenched rack of lamb with the breast meat still attached. Like the veal liver, it was served with the roast potatoes and the delicious carrot and zucchini quiche. The meat was incredible, seared to a perfect juicy medium. Here's a picture of the lamb:
We were too stuffed for dessert, but I still managed to put down two coffees. A steal at 50 euros.
We ended up loving this restaurant, going back several more times and trying numerous specials, all of which were outstanding. This restaurant is a beautiful 15 minute walk from the heart of Montmartre, if you're in Paris and in the neighborhood.