The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Charming bistro eats @ Bistrot Le P'tit Troquet, Paris (France)

This little restaurant came on my foodie radar primarily due to its location near the Eiffel Tower, where we planned to spend the evening of our first day in Paris. I actually had other plans for the afternoon and evening, with reservations at another restaurant, but one of the most important thing required when travelling with a young child is flexibility. We decided to cancel our original plan and satisfy our boy's yearn to see the Eiffel Tower. The earliest time Bistrot Le P'tit Troquet could accept a booking at such late notice was 9:30pm, which was indeed very late for our family who is accustomed to eating dinner around 6pm to accommodate our son's early bedtime. Since our body clocks were out of whack anyway after crossing several timezones on a long-haul overnight flight from Hong Kong, we decided to take the time slot and play it by ear. The evening actually worked out quite nicely. We had a leisurely time admiring the tower, and the late dinner meant that it was nightfall by the time we were finished (the sun sets around 10pm in Paris during summer), so we could see the Eiffel Tower all lit up. We were absolutely exhausted by the time we got back to our hotel after 12am, but we got to see the most famous Parisian landmark in both the daytime and nighttime, and also enjoy a great dinner at a cosy bistro nearby.

Le P'tit Troquet resembled a home, with a smaller dining room and a tiny kitchen further back:

Bistrot Le P'tit Troquet is a small place with a charming atmosphere. The staff were friendly and welcoming, and they were happy to help answer our questions. The menu was bilingual with English translation, so ordering was quite simple. There was the choice of a prix-fixe menu where you could order three courses from the regular menu and week's specials board for 33 Euros, or you could opt for the a-la-carte and order entrée for 10 Euros, main course for 19.50 Euros and/or dessert for 9 Euros. One doesn't need to be a math genius to see that the prix-fixe option was better value for money, but it was nice to have the option to eat lighter or heavier. We enjoyed the food, which was delicious in a simple home-style manner.

Hubby's Foie-gras maison, servi avec toasts et chutney de mangue aux epicés (home-made foie gras served with mango and spices chutney, 5 euros extra). Hubby is a great fan of foie gras, but he wasn't expecting this to be served pâté-style. He's not a big fan of pâté, but said this was not too bad. I quite liked it as the flavour wasn't overly rich and gamy like foie gras can be:

My entrée was Gougère aux escargots et pleurotes, beurre persillé (gougère [French cheese puff] with snails, mushrooms and parsley butter). I had no idea what a gougère was, but I figured that I had to have escargot in France, and this was a good choice. It was like a mini-burger with buttery snails and mushrooms, and the flavours and textures all combined very nicely together:

For his main course, hubby chose the Souris d'agneau rôtie au romarin (roasted lamb shank with rosemary). Roast lamb and rosemary is the perfect combination, and the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender:

I got my main course from the week's specials board - Duckling aguilettes with cider. The strips of duck breast were tender and moist, and the sweet cider sauce was a lovely accompaniment:

We shared a plate of Assortiment de fromages de Normandie (assorted cheese from Normandy), which held three types of soft cheese - Livarot, Pont-l'Evêque and Camembert (I'm so glad I asked the waitress to write down the names). A great choice if you fancy cheese:

We also got a Tartelette bourdaloue (poire/amandine) et glace au lait d'amande (pear and almond tartlet, served with almond oil ice cream). This was a lovely sweet dessert, and thoroughly enjoyable. Pear and almond - a rather delicious combination:

This is a great little bistro to try out if you're in the area to see the Eiffel Tower. Reservations are highly recommended, as it is only a tiny place.

Bistrot Le P'tit Troquet
28 Rue de l'Exposition
7th Arrondissement
75007 Paris
Tel. +33 1 47 05 80 39

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