Friday, February 01, 2008
Rêver du Entrecote Mis le Feu par Bois
Sometimes, I can't help it. In Paris, there are thousands of places to eat that it seems absurd to eat at any place twice. Why do it? There's more adventure to be had.
But that fireplace and the wood-fired beef at Robert et Louise was getting to me. I couldn't get the vision and aroma out of my mind. I had chosen poorly and now I must pay a return visit. Which, to be honest, isn't really a hardship. I'm a convert.
This time, I got there early. As close to 7pm as I could manage and the place was empty save for the six top by the fireplace. The girls offered me a seat at the bar and said it was their "best seat in the house." Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't, but it's tucked into the corner of the bar with a side table filled with reading materials, a place to hang my jacket and in a spot where I'm out of the way from people entering/exiting and just trying to squeeze past the bar. I guess it is the best seat in the house.
The plan was simple: eat more. And eat only what's cooked on the fire. First course: Gambas, Tiger Praws. Four of them sauteed in butter and served with sauteed potatoes that were fire-seared to a crisp and baguette. These were whole, large prawns and I tore into them. Not knowing the local custom, I used the knife and fork to de-shell the prawns, but later they brought a plate and wet napkin so I suspect that hands would have been perfectly fine.
The prawns were good. A little overcooked because the shell was sticking slightly to the meat, but the flavor was tremendous - especially when you split the head and sucked out all the good stuff. Heavently.
Not too long after, the entrecote of beef came out. The cuts of beef here are thinner than in the Unites States. For the same price, my ribeye would have been twice as thick. Doesn't mean this was bad though. This steak was perfectly cooked au point and the uneven angled thickness of the steak meant that this was hand cut. Nice to see real butchering still being done today.
Not only was the steak perfectly cooked but it was perfectly seasoned as well. Just enough salt to pop the flavor. Combine that with the smokiness of the wood fire and it's just divine. Well worth the effort of going back.
I'm already looking forward to another meal at Robert et Louise.