inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #201 of 227: kayili! (kayo) Tue 10 Jun 08 14:55
    
Pounti sounds intriguing!
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #202 of 227: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 11 Jun 08 08:39
    

> a loaf of pork, spinach, Swiss chard, onions, prunes and herbs

oh my god. That sounds amazing! I immediately went looking for recipes for
pounti, and found this:

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2004/10/pounti_auvergnat_imbb9.php

The above recipe calls for chard, but no spinach. I also found recipes that 
called for guinea fowl instead of pork for the dish. I interpret this to
mean there's plenty of leeway to play, which is my favorite way to create
in the kitchen. 

(Off to the store in seach of some pork...)
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #203 of 227: kayili! (kayo) Wed 11 Jun 08 09:22
    
Really? you're going to make it? post photos!
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #204 of 227: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 13 Jun 08 14:05
    

(OK, I admit it, I haven't yet made it to the store. That's on Sunday's to-
do list...)
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #205 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Fri 13 Jun 08 15:19
    
The best pounti I've ever had was in a tiny restaurant across the
street from the train station in Rodez. Drop dead delcious. In Paris,
you can sometime find it on the menu of the Ambassade d'Auverge, which
is a fabulous restaurant specializing in Auvergnat cooking. The aligot
there is to die for, as is the stuffed cabbage.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #206 of 227: Ed Ward (captward) Sat 14 Jun 08 01:49
    
Got any suggestions for Montpellier other than Jardin des Sens, which
is sorta way out of my budget range (not to mention too far to walk)? 

Headed down there on Monday. 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #207 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sat 14 Jun 08 09:56
    
Ed,

Two ideas in Montpelier.

The hottest table in town is Insense at the Musee Fabre, the latest
restaurant from local gastro czars the Pourcel brothers. The beamed
gray ceiling of the edgy battle-ship gray interior reprises the
museum’s interior and they serve outside on a wood-decked terrace on
warm nights. Their version of a chicken Cesar salad puts most of those
served stateside to shame, and the succulent rouille de seiche comme a
Sete, is tender squid braised in a shellfish sauce like they do in the
nearby port of Sete.  Tamarillos has a pleasant terrace overlooking a
quiet square, and chef Philippe Chapon love to cook with fruit,
vegetables and edible flowers. His tuna tartare with orange and black
currants is superb, as are his baby vegetables in coconut milk. 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #208 of 227: Ed Ward (captward) Sat 14 Jun 08 10:42
    
Thanks. I know both those places, but too bad Insense is only open for
lunch, or so it seemed when I was there in March. (The Pourcels are
Jardin des Sens, right?) Tamarillos is a few doors from my
bargain-basement pick Bistrot d'Alco, which is behind the Prefecture on
the same street, where you can usually get a good meal with wine for
€20. Sometimes better than others, and it varies widely, but if you hit
them on a good night -- they've got killer garlicky sauteed seiches,
for instance -- and when they've got a good wine special, they rock. I
should check out Tamarillos, though, when I get settled; too much
classic Fronch food will, I'm sure, get boring. 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #209 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sat 14 Jun 08 15:20
    
Ed, You should check and see if Insense is open for dinner during the
summer. I remember walking by the museum at night last summer and
seeing people seated on the terrace adjacent to the front entrance.

Not sure if you're going to be in Montpelier for a while, or if you'll
have wheels, but if you have time and can motor, check Le Tracteur,
about 30 km north of the city. It's one of the best little bistros in
southern France. 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #210 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sat 14 Jun 08 15:26
    
Calling all couscous lovers--I went back to Chez Omar in the rue de
Bretagne, 3rd, for the first time in ages last night and it was better
than ever. Omar is rightly proud of his meat and his merguez (spicey
lamb sausages to the uninitiated) are fabulous. Pastries come from La
Bague de Kenza, the best North African bakery in Paris in the 11th,
too. 

North African food is v. popular in London, Brussels, and other large
European cities, too, but aside from a couple of ho-hum places on
Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, I've never had a great couscous in the
U.S. Does one exist? And does anyone want to suggest a favorite of
their own in Paris?
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #211 of 227: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Sun 15 Jun 08 19:16
    

I was dyin' to go to a couscous venue in Paris when I was there last fall,
but there are just so many meals you can eat, and we ran out of time before
we got to one. sigh...

By the way, I *did* get to the market for the pork I needed to make the
Pounti Auvergnat. I used pork shoulder, which I figured would work well
because it's so marbled that I knew it'd shred nicely once I'd cooked it up.
It did. The dish is a big hit in my house.

here are a couple photos:

  http://www.fotothing.com/gcook/photo/ccd4c8fcaf20daff42ca32b84f24b2a9/

  http://www.fotothing.com/gcook/photo/bd08eb0d0b8c3c51db21eb0b43052c88/
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #212 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Fri 20 Jun 08 16:03
    
Cynthia,

I love the idea that pounti has migrated to the other side of the
Atlantic! It's a great party dish, too, since it can support being
lukewarm for a longtime.

Meanwhile, this lousy summer in Europe (overcast and cool) relented
long enough for me to have to deliriously wonderful sorbet experiences:

Violette-Black Currant at Laduree, 21 rue Bonaparte, 6th. Like eating
a Colette novel.

Apricot-Rosemary at La Maison du Chocolat, 52 rue Francois Ier, 8th. A
week-long vacation in Provence in one scoop.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #213 of 227: Howard Levine (hll) Sat 21 Jun 08 07:25
    
 Alex - Any suggestion on going for lunch vs. dinner at Pierre Gagnaire?
Specifically, is everything available on the menu for luch?

Looking forward to our vist next month.

Thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #214 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sun 22 Jun 08 14:50
    
Howard,

I much prefer lunch at Gagnaire, since there's more atmosphere and the
dining room is more likely to be filled with a French (powerbroker)
crowd than with foreigners. Only a dish or two not available at lunch,
so you won't miss anything either. Lunch or dinner, by all means go,
though, since I don't think Gagnaire's food has ever been better.

Alec
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #215 of 227: Howard Levine (hll) Sun 22 Jun 08 15:42
    
 excellent - thanks Alec - lunch on the 24th it is.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #216 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Mon 23 Jun 08 05:50
    
Great new restaurant alert: INTINERAIRES, rue de Pontoise, 5th. Chef
is Sylvain Sendra, who used to be at Le Temps a Temps in the 11th.
Superb market cooking and very reasonably priced.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #217 of 227: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Mon 23 Jun 08 09:48
    

What do you mean by "market cooking," Alec?
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #218 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Mon 23 Jun 08 16:18
    
Sylvain decides what he cooks everyday according to what he finds in
the markets, local ones but also the big mother of all Paris markets at
Rungis. This means that his cooking is incredibly seasonal, fresh, and
inspired. Don't miss this place if you're coming to Paris this summer!

And speaking of which, after my recent trip to sublime but
shudderingly expensive Croatia, I have to tell you that even with the
dollar in the dumps (Some French newspapers call it "Bush's Peso),
eating in Paris is still excellent value for the money as long as you
skip the whole haute cuisine thing and do bistros. 
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #219 of 227: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 25 Jun 08 07:09
    

> if you're coming to Paris this summer!

Wish I could. That "Bush's peso" problem isn't limited to the value of
the US dollar outside the States. It's buying power is shrinking
drastically right here at home, too. Most everybody in the the US's 
economic middle class is doing a lot of belt-tightening these days. 

But I still love all this talk of restaurants and food. It inspires me
to expand my own kitchen repertoire. That pounti dish is a great example.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #220 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Wed 2 Jul 08 23:08
    
Soaring prices, a sinking stock market, and the utter misery of air
travel are powerful deterrents to any travel right now, of course, but
the good news is that Paris remains relatively affordable. With a
little bit of planning (eat your main meal at noon, for example), you
can still eat extremely well in Paris for prices that are lower than
what you'd pay for a mid-level meal in the U.S. Of the many good-value
places in HUNGRY FOR PARIS, friends have recently loved Le Mesturet and
Au Vieux Chene.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #221 of 227: Howard Levine (hll) Sun 6 Jul 08 06:44
    
 Alec - We're thinking of visiting Itineraires later this month.  Do you
recommend lunch or dinner there, or does it matter?  Are reservations
becoming necessary due to the current reviews?

Thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #222 of 227: Alexander Lobrano (aleclobrano) Sun 6 Jul 08 09:14
    
Howard,

I think dinner's livelier and more "Parisian" at Itineraires, and yes,
do book a week ahead of time, since it has become very, very popular.
Another new place that I like very much is La Bigarrade, rue Nollet,
17th arrondissement. It's a tiny little spot where the chef cooks a
single prix-fixe menu nightly at 60 Euros, a bit expensive, but
well-worth it in terms of the food. 

And just in case you were thinking of going to Aux Fin Gourmets, the
old bistro on boulevard Saint Germain near the rue du Bac: Don't. It
may have new owners--a young crew that trained with Alain Ducasse--but
the food is awful and it's very expensive for no good reason.

Best, Alec
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #223 of 227: Howard Levine (hll) Mon 7 Jul 08 20:26
    
 thanks Alec.  we'll try for a dinner there.
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #224 of 227: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Thu 17 Jul 08 09:44
    
Great article in NY Times today about how the hamburger is taking paris by 
storm.

<http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/16/dining/16paris.html>
  
inkwell.vue.327 : Alec Lobrano, Hungry for Paris
permalink #225 of 227: Ed Ward (captward) Thu 17 Jul 08 14:48
    
Hey, Alec, I went to the Musée Fabre in Montpellier today to see the
Courbet show and checked the restaurant there. 

It's still only open for lunch. Which is a shame: it's simply too much
for lunch for me, but it does look like an exciting menu.
  

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