Paris – the city of love, so everyone calls it. For me, Paris was a city which I disliked the first time I headed there. Don’t ask me why. Perhaps I was a poor student. It was November 2005. I was still studying architecture and had spent about two months in Italy before my school mates and I went to Paris for a week’s trip. Back then, everything was too ‘structured’ to me. Paris was ‘unfriendly’, nothing like what Italy was.
Three weeks ago, the dude and I made a trip to Paris. One of those weekend trips that you do just because you live in London. This time round, my experience was a whole lot different. Perhaps I was with someone I love, but most definitely, it was also the food we had. After discovering many food blogs over the last couple of years, I do my research into where to go for food whenever I travel. You see, tourist traps worry me and having only two days there, everything could possibly go very wrong. The trip was planned around the meals and they were really the highlight.
Les Cocottes de Constant was the first restaurant we headed to for lunch. It was recommended by a colleague from Paris, who mentioned that everything there was served en cocotte, thus the name. This restaurant is owned by Chef Christian Constant and is rather affordable. We managed to stroll into the restaurant at about 2pm and were guided to our bar seats almost immediately. Luckily for us, we did not have to queue. This restaurant has a no reservation policy so you have to be there at the right time.
We glanced around at what the locals were having and were tempted by EVERYTHING on the menu. For starters, we had the cream of parsnip soup with diced duck and croutons and the flaked tuna with aubergine caviar and tomato jelly. The soup was smooth but slightly on the salty side.
As for the les verrines (served in a glass jar) – flaked tuna with aubergine caviar and tomato jelly – it was simply divine. Beautifully presented with matching colour tones, the combination of textures and taste were perfect. The dude and I were yelling out for more when we finished.
Scallops cooked on the plancha served with polenta was next. The scallops presented were really fresh and cooked perfectly. The biscuits clasped between them were crispy and cheesy, giving the dish the saltiness it needed.
Funnily enough, we finished off by sharing dessert and we selected the most ‘tourist-y’ dessert on the menu – waffle with chantilly cream, chocolate and salty caramel sauce. I read somewhere about Jacques Genin salted caramels and when I saw the caramel words on the menu, I was sold. We were both extremely full by then but decided to try it out. The salted caramel was YUM and the waffle: light and delicious. They were way too generous on the chantilly cream, and if I was to head back to Les Cocottes again, I would try ‘The fabulous Christian Constant chocolate tart‘ instead.
We left with very happy stomachs and vowing to go back again, next time we are in Paris. The service was top notch and we had an exceptional lunch at the price of 78 euros for starters, mains and one dessert to share, together with 500ml red wine. I would highly recommend it, if you are heading to the City of Light.
DishPiglets rating: 8.5/10
Les Cocottes de Christian Constant
135, rue Saint-Dominique (7th arrondisement)
Tél: 01 45 55 15 05