18 June 2011

Last Date Night: Le Pantruche

The very soon-to-be hubby and I had our last "date night" as boyfriend and girlfriend.  Yes, we know that in order to make a marriage work, we will need to have date nights, but we wanted the relish in a last moment before family comes in and wedding madness begins.  Knowing my foodie tendencies, he selected a restaurant that is starting to creep its way out onto the Paris review scene:  Le Pantruche, Bistrot Gourmand.

Le Pantruche

As I have said before, the bistrot scene is pretty hip right now in Paris.  Parisians and tourists alike are flocking to these restaurants that take us back to basics, all while adding modern touches (molecular cuisine for example) and using fresh, seasonal produce.  Many newspapers, food blogs, and food magazines are bonkers for the bistrot right now.

Le Pantruche is located in the 9th, just off the lovely rue des Martyrs.  This area is one of my favorites in Paris since it is not that frequented by tourists, and the rue des Martyrs is the quintessential Parisian market street.  Food stores, pâtisseries, boulangeries, boucheries, flower shops spill out onto this street on Sundays, allowing for pedestrians to meander leisurely up this street, and eventually, it affords a very picturesque view of Sacré Coeur.

The interior of Le Pantruche is very simple.  Mirror mosaics are on the two dividing poles in the room, and the back wall is also a large mirror.  The menu is presented on a chalkboard or ardoise.  People can wait at the bar, sip wine, and munch on tartines.  Fab and I were seated by the door, which is my least favorite place to sit in any restaurant because of the draft, as well as feeling crowded by people as they wait to be seated.  I asked the waiter if we could change, explaining that we really were hoping for a romantic little corner...but the only other table for two that they had was by the toilets...my other least favorite place to sit in a restaurant.  Door it was.

Le Pantruche
Interior decorating isn't really my thing...so let's get to the food!  I went for the poached egg in a sauce of chorizo and it was amazing.  It was presented with a ring of toasted bread around the egg, and the chorizo sauce had roasted peppers and onions in it, lending it a smoky, peppery flavor in combination with the chorizo.  Fab had the gaspacho, which was poured over a lovely mound of avocado and crab meat that was sprinkled with small bits of lime.  Y'all are gonna have to take his word for it, since I can't eat tomatoes...but based on aesthetics, it sure looked delicious!

Poached egg with chorizo sauce
We have this really bad habit, Fab and me, of choosing the same dishes whenever we go to eat.  He normally sacrifices and lets me order what I want and he'll take his second choice. But this was our last date night, and he wasn't about to relent.  We both ended up ordering the caille or quail, which was stuffed with onion confit and served over a bed of green lentils in vinegar and a bed of mâche.  Overall, it was pretty well deboned, making it easy to eat.  The knife wasn't "delicate" enough to allow for us to fully clean the legs and thighs.  The meat was juicy, and the onion confit added a terrific flavor.  The lentils were so delicious, and the vinegar didn't overwhelm the flavor of the quail.

Quail stuffed with onion confit, vinegared lentils
While waiting for dessert, I glanced around to see what others were eating.  They have a delicious côte de boeuf for two, served with roasted potatoes.  The men at the table next to us were enjoying this plate, and my mouth was watering despite just having polished off quail.  But then I heard them talking about their sexual exploits à la DSK and I lost my appetite.

Until dessert arrived anyways.  I had a moelleux au chocolat with a caramel almond sauce and bourbon vanilla ice cream on top.  Very simple, but an amazing combination of flavors, none overwhelming the other.  Fab had a chocolate ganache macaron that was in the shape of a éclair and served with coffee ice cream.

Moelleux au chocolat

Macaron façon éclair
Overall, Le Pantruche was an excellent experience.  The service was friendly, and rather fast.  We didn't have to wait long between courses.  Fab and I could easily talk and not feel like the noise was overwhelming.  The food isn't something that knocks you off your chair, but it is definitely a good address to have for when you have friends in for a visit, and they want to eat good bistrot food.  I definitely plan on going back!

1 comment:

  1. Why?? Why would you post this, when it's ten to nine, there's nothing but a small round of goat's cheese in the fridge and I already ate dinner?? Mouthwatering and beautifully described!