Bonjour y’all! I hope you don’t mind terribly if we talk about food again. Because I am still thinking about the dinner we had Friday night, and thinking about it makes me want to tell you about it.
Before we left Houston, I made a few dinner reservations at Paris restaurants that we had not yet tried, just so that we would be set and not have to think about it. The Friday dinner was supposed to have been shared with good friends, but unfortunately the “Madame” got sick. We considered canceling, but ultimately decided to just change it from 4 to 2 people. Thank. Goodness.
Chez Georges (there are several by that name- this one is on Rue du Mail) is a quintessential Paris bistro that appears not to have changed in the 100 years since its founding. Long and narrow, flanked by large mirrors and banquettes, it is not gorgeous or glitzy, but is handsome and comfortable.
I sat on the banquette side of the table, facing the restaurant, and Mark enjoyed watching the waitresses hustle by in the mirror facing him. He also quite enjoyed seeing the table of four sexy young women sit down at the table right behind him. Cheeky devil.
Apparently Chez Georges was a favorite of one Julia Child, when she lived and dined in Paris. I could totally picture her there, savoring the food and chatting up the waitresses. Because these waitresses were chatty! And smiling! And helpful! Unlike some authentic restaurants in this city, Chez Georges seemed to be happy to serve English speakers, and even provided a menu in English. The menu wasn’t overly extensive, which is always a relief, and everything sounded tempting.
As soon as we sat down, our waitress brought us some radishes, bread, and butter.
I never ate radishes at home, because they always seemed so strong, but French radishes are mild and tasty, and a popular appetizer with salt and butter.
For starters we shared a lentil salad and snails. The lentil salad was the best I have ever eaten. The lentils were perfectly acidic and accompanied with tiny, tender onions. Amazing.
We don’t typically order snails, but these were recommended. Full of garlic and butter and salt, how could they not have been good?
Our waitress kindly asked if we would like to pause before our main courses, and that seemed like a great idea. We were enjoying our wine, which was a house wine served “by the meter”. That meant that we ordered a bottle and only paid for what we drank. Which meant that, theoretically, we didn’t need to feel compelled to drink the whole thing. I liked the idea, but when it came right down to it, why wouldn’t we drink the whole thing? Yeah- we did.
Next we enjoyed steak with béarnaise sauce and grilled turbot with béarnaise sauce. Both of us loved our choices.
The evening almost ended tragically, however, when I was told that the “tarte du jour” was my favorite, lemon, but that “il n’y en a plus”. Yep- they were out. Note to self: order it with my meal next time. The profiteroles were not a bad second choice, I am happy to say, although I would have preferred the chocolate sauce to be a tad hotter, for that perfect contrast with the ice cream.
Chez Georges definitely merits a return visit with friends.
Reserve ahead. And reserve your tarte au citron ahead, too.
1 rue du Mail (2nd)