Thursday, July 15, 2004

La Galere des Rois - Paris - France

8 Rue Cavallotti, 75018 Paris.
I'd heard so much about this place from Fred, I was relieved that we found time to pay it a visit for lunch on our last full day in Paris. Fred, who had worked nearby over 7 years ealier, had been quite a regular at this pokey, small, smokey restaurant modelled inside like the galley of a ship. The decor is not a suprise since the English translation for the name of the restaurant is "The King's Galleon". Quite some excitement was generated by Fred's arrival, proving that despite a 7 year gap, this once loyal customer had not been forgotten. Neither had the small staff changed in that time. There were warm greetings all round from the Patron, Bernard, the Chef Jean-Marie and the waitress Sylvie. We started with Kir Royales at the bar. I noted they were very cheap and that they also offered a wide range of flavours other than the standard cassis. As mure (blackberry) is my absolute favourite kir flavour, that was my choice for today.

The food was just standard. A chevre with toast was ok, but nothing special. It displayed no evidence whatsoever of the tarragon that was part of its description on the menu. Fred's steak was completely undercooked (he's more of a medium guy than a rare one, and had ordered it to his preference)and so he had to send it back to the kitchen for some extra browning. As I found quite common in French restaurants I visited, the dressing on a crisp green salad was, thick, hot, spicy and absolutely superb. These, not very oily, but incredibly mustardy, piquant dressings are something we now try to create at home with huge dollops of Amora Dijon mustard that is difficult to get hold of in the US.
I had my last Canard Confit of the vacation. Estimating that I had probably eaten at least six ducks on my trip so far, with this final lunch I was all "ducked out", especially as I faced another pile of greasy potatoes cooked in duck fat. Delicious as these initially are, after nearly 2 weeks of eating them nearly everyday and with the belt tightening, I concluded, that for the meantime, I'd had enough.
Other customers started to trickle out slowly over the course of the afternoon, but I couldn't help noticing that there seemed a lot of people (mainly groups of men) in the restaurant who seemd to be fans of the "boozy long lunch" phenomena. We lingered over bottles of wine whilst Fred chatted (in French, so I wasn't following much) to Bernard and Sylvie, catching up on local gossip he'd missed over the years.

La Galere des Rois - Paris - France


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