Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Au Trou Gascon: Paris, France

Unfortunately, I did not have the good sense to carry a pen along to this meal to jot down some notes, but the meal was so good, it requires recognition. Au Trou Gascon, as the name suggests, features the cuisine of the Gascony region of France. Fortunately, you don't have to go far from the center of Paris for the experience: the restaurant is located within an easy stroll of the Place de la Nation metro stop in the 12th district at 40 rue Taine. This restaurant was recommended by friends, and I will be sure to do the same for others in the future. It was that good.

We started off with an apertif, which consisted of a prune soaked in armangac in a glass filled with champagne. This was an intoxicating combination, made richer by poking the prune to release the flavor into the wine. You eat the prune afterward.

My meal started with a foie gras pie, with a light, whipped pistachio cream. Unfortunately, my wife liked it so much she ate most of it -- igniting a passion for fois gras that she was to pursue throughout the rest of our weekend. I made up for it by eating the shaved, cured ham appetizer that she had ordered (the leg was on display in the center of the restaurant and absolutely irresistable). Fatty and utterly outstanding.

The main course I selected was a rich veal innards platter (mostly kidneys and sweetbreads, as far as I could tell). Absolutely delicious. The meal was accompanied by a Loire Pouilly Fume, which was sweet and well matched. My wife had a cassoulet, which was rich and quite flavorful.

Following the main course, I enjoyed a cheese plate consisting of a large cut of a hard cheese I couldn't quite identify and a small cake of goat cheese. The goat cheese was very soft, almost runny, pungent and sharply flavored. I had a glass of 1962 port, which was a very smooth and appropriate companion to the cheese.

Dessert was a baked fig special. I have a weak spot for figs, so this was right up my alley. Paired with a small glass of rare Armagnac, it just seemed perfect.

I'm not usually taken to gushing over a meal, but this was one of the best I've had in some time. Apologies for the lack of details overall, next time I'll remember to bring along a pen.

If you decide to visit, dress sharp. A sport coat sans tie was acceptable, but plenty of gentlemen were wearing suits. Evidently, a pilot's watch is de rigeur for Parisian diners...


At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Au Trou Gascon restaurant serves dishes prepared by one of Paris's celebrated chefs Alain Dutournier. Au Trou Gascon features the cuisine of the Gascony region of France. The restaurant is a great place if you are not looking for something extravagantly fancy but would looking for the taste of South of France, then the Au Trou Gascon is definitely a good option. A great mix of French and Gascony food is available here at very moderate prices.



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