Paris – the city of love. Strolling à la belle étoile of Paris reminds me of why I first fell in love with this city.
When I first visited Paris last year, I have to say it definitely wasn’t one of my favorite spots. But as I trekked across Europe, bit by bit I came to appreciate and fall in love with it’s natural charm and beauty.
Aside from the delicious macaroons from Cafe Laduree, bonbons, and sexy accents…one of my favorite restaurants resides here, quietly tucked away on 2 Rue Vivienne – Le Grand Colbert.
This place was recommended by my local Parisian host last time I was in town, and since then, I’ve dined with them on 3 occasions – each time fully surpassing a normal human being’s capacity for food consumption. Let’s start with the decor.
It takes on a lively historic1900s look of Paris, complete with Pompeian style paintings and mosaic floors. The walls are about 6 meters high and are a reminisce of old school charm. Its red booths and quaint Tearoom are a testament to a moment in time when the place was filled with patrons in suits, chain smoking cigars and chugging espressos.
Onto the food. One word usually comes to mind – “wow”. Cheesy? Nah. It’s simply the truth. I started with a homemade foie gras dish, set atop a piece of French bread, thoroughly soaked with the fig sauce. Next to it, you’ll find a deliciously poached fig, lightly drizzled with olive oil. Not only is the foie gras the creamiest, the texture is the best I’ve had across my travels. Just
thinking blogging about it makes me wish I had a dish of it in front of me.
Patrons are invited to have their palettes amazed by flavors of traditional brasserie meals served here. Not an exaggeration either. This brings me to my next two courses: Braised beef and veal stew. The tenderness of the beef is a result of 30 hours spent in the oven, slow roasting it to perfection. The dark sauce was an extremely rich reduction of wine, onion and herbs.
Next came the veal stew (and no, I don’t support the slaughtering of baby cows and usually don’t order it) which was marinated in a light cream sauce with porcini mushrooms, baby onions, carrots and all sorts of goodies.
If I compared the two, the beef was definitely the richer of the two, but the stew complimented it well since I tend to like a balance in the dishes I order.
After my main course, I finished off with a creme brulee for dessert – I know, not all too adventurous – but it was perfect. The sugar was carmelized to a crisp and made my espresso just the right touch to end my dining experience here. This place to date, is still one of my favorite restaurants in the world. I have a lot more traveling and tasting to do, so that may change.
Till then, Le Grand Colbert will remain at the top of my list as the Grand Brasserie Parisienne.
Being in France was such a great way to kick off 2012. Spending NYE in Paris, counting down in St. Germain, strolling the streets while eating macaroons, seeing Paris at night from the Eiffel Tower, and of course…
…..my signature jump at the Louvre! I mean, how could I leave Paris without doing that again?! Bonne année, mes amis!
P.S. In case you’re curious, here is the addy for it. Now you have no excuse not to go the next time you’re in town! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog. No spam, just food goodies, I promise!
Le Grand Colbert
2 Rue Vivienne
Paris, France 75002
01 42 86 87 88