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Six Paris Prix-fixe Restos under 45 euros

October 25, 2010

When I was here in April for the Paris Marathon, I ran across an article in the New York Times European edition on six restaurants where chefs, all under 40, offer a prix-fixe dinner for under 45 euros.

The price of admission was right for my budget. I liked reading the food was fresh and not always so fussy.  So I attempted to dine at all six restaurants in the last week of my visit. Ambitious, I only made it to one, Jadis, albeit twice.

So my bucket list for Paris this time is to experience all six restos. Last Wednesday, I had a 9:30 reservation at Restaurant  L’Agrume. When I made the reservation (in French) the hostess said that I would be seated at the “haute table.”  Not sure exactly where my table would be, but understood that it would be bar height.


Restaurant L'Agrume - 15, rue des Fossées Saint-Marcel, 5e


From the 18e, it takes a good 45+ minutes to get L’Agrume (5e).  When I got off the Métro Gobelins, it reminded me of the time Walt and me had a 10:30 reservation on a Friday night to eat at Yves Camdeborde’s La Régalade.  It was dark and only a handful were on the street.  The meal was one of the most memorable dining experiences in my life. The warmth of the place, the friendliness of the staff and guests and of course the food.

I walked into L’Agrume 15 minutes late, apologizing to the hostess.  She greeted me warmly and took me around the corner to the empty seat at the bar which overlooks Chef Franck Marchesi-Grandi’s (FMG) kitchen.  The patron saint of food was looking after me!

For his prix-fixe menu (37 euros), Chef FMG serves five sources.  He started with a Sea Bream Tartar with Preserved Lemon and Wakame Seaweed. The tartar melted in my mouth and was paired nicely with the 4,50 euro glass of vigonier.  I pulled my camera out to start taking pictures.  The gentleman next to me asked me if I always take pictures of my food.  Come to think of it, only in France have I brought out my camera.

Then Chef FMG served a creamy mushrooms soup with salted butter (Creamy Cèpes Soup), followed by Poached Fresh Cod Root Mouseline and Dill Oil.


L'Agrume - Poached Fresh Cod Mousseline Root and Dill Oil


By this time, I formally introduced myself to the gentleman on my left, Gary from DeCecco, and asked him what brought him to Paris. He was here for an international food show.  He took a picture of me with my food and kept me company, ordering a bottle of Burgundy that went nicely with my next course, Roasted Farm Pork with Artichokes and Raisins.


L'Agrume - Me and my "Pig Course"


For dessert, Chef FMG, served a Roasted Pear with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Puff Pastry.  A delicate way to end the evening.


L'Agrume - Chef Franck Marchesi-Grandi whipping up dessert


I plan to back in December at Chef FMG’s table, and I’m bringing my sister.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2010 6:40 pm

    Love this post. At least I feel like I’m living vicariously through you. Keep them coming!

    With Love—Lynn

  2. thomas main permalink
    October 26, 2010 1:23 am

    I’m proud of you!!!!

  3. inspirare permalink
    October 28, 2010 2:03 pm

    this is an awesome window into your french world! love it!!! em

  4. Deb Tankersley permalink
    November 1, 2010 3:29 pm

    Chris, I felt like I was right there with you. Love the food photos.

  5. Tom Newby permalink
    November 5, 2010 1:56 am

    You are amazing. Paris is very lucky to have you.

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