Le Troyon

Update, spring 2004 : Le Troyon is now closed, but the same team now runs Caïus at 6 rue d’Armaillé in the 17th (01 42 27 19 20).

[Very surprisingly, Le Troyon does not give out little address cards like most restaurants do, so I don't have a picture for this entry!]

Last Monday, my parents invited Maxence and I to dinner at Le Troyon, Maxence’s favorite restaurant in Paris. This was our fourth time eating there, we had raved about it to my parents, and they were eager to try it. The setting is elegant but intimate, and the service is professional yet friendly. They have a three-course menu that runs at 33 euros and changes every day but for some signature items.

As is the style in a lot of Parisian restaurants, the menu is hand-written in chalk on blackboards, that the waiters carry to each table for diners to read, propping it up on your table, or balancing it on a chair or a shelf close to you. I like the dynamic of that, because people squint, they turn their necks, they comment on the spelling, wonder about a word that they can’t quite make out, and is it “cul” or “col“, and they’re all looking in the same direction, instead of being isolated behind their own menu.

When you are ready to make your choice (or not, as is more often the case), the waiter will stand next to the board and answer questions, decipher the handwriting, describe dishes, give advice, discuss the choice of products. I love that part because that’s when I get to enquire about what this or that is served with, and how is it prepared, and do you recommend it, and will I like it, and does the chef like it, and where do you buy the bread, and what’s a good wine pairing, and how’s the business going, and can I work here? Until I feel everybody’s getting impatient and I just shut up already.

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Garlic Press R.I.P.

Garlic Press R.I.P.

I broke our garlic press yesterday, and now I can’t help but wonder… Is this a sign of the Gods? Do I use too much garlic? Do I *eat* too much garlic? Have I pressed too much of it? Or too hard? Is this the first spasm of the Worldwide Garlic Mutiny? Some people are violently against garlic presses, so was this affirmative action from a commando of those guys? Sabotage?

I think I will hold off buying a new one for now, see what happens… But if you hear anything, do let me know, okay?

Le Thé Mariage Frères

Le Thé Mariage Frères

I could not agree more with Amy. Tea from Mariage Frères is one of those things that just make life a whole lot better. The beauty of the tins it comes in does nothing to hamper my feelings, nor does the beauty of the boxes the tins themselves come in!

And the names, indeed, the names! If you can’t make it out on the pic above, I have : “Thé sur le Nil” (fruity and lemony green tea), “Casablanca” (Morrocan mint and bergamot) and “Jasmin Mandarin” (sweet jasmine green tea). The last two I received as a gift from our friend Chacha on my last birthday…

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La Famille

La Famille

La Famille is a restaurant that opened a few months ago in Montmartre. It got an impressive amount of flattering reviews in the press (whoever takes care of their PR would get my business!) which naturally teased me into trying it. I’m a sucker for new restaurants, and when they open just two blocks from us, what’s a girl to do?

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Lemon Thyme Crème Brûlée

Lemon Thyme Crème Brûlée

Ever since we bought the Oxylaser Blowtorch I’ve been pining for an opportunity to use it. My sister Céline has (at least) as much of a sweet tooth as I do, so I decided to make us Lemon Thyme Crèmes Brûlées for dessert on Saturday.

I found a disturbing number of very different crème brûlée recipes out there, calling for widely discordant oven temp, cooking time and quantities of eggs/cream/sugar. They starred various ingredients for flavor, and I was tempted by several combinations : rosemary and vanilla, cinnamon and orange flower water, as well as a version that included chunks of honey spice cake! As is often the case, I ended up using several recipes for inspiration, choosing the ones I figured should work, and sort of blended several into my own version. For flavor, I decided to use lemon and thyme, which I had on hand and sounded like a promising duet.

And without further ado, my friends, let me share that recipe…

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