I had just finished hugging and kissing my guests after another Paris Through Expatriate Eyes literary salon with Gourmet’s European correspondent and author of Hungry for Paris, Alec Lobrano and was joined by two regulars in search of dinner.
But why search-I merely turned to Page 49 of Hungry for Paris and found a convenient bistro.
Le Mesturet is a classic Parisian bistro near the Bourse that overflows at lunchtime with an equal ratio of men to women in search of consistently good food and wine at reasonableprices.
This being late on a Monday night we were immediately seated by owner Alain Fontaine. I held up the book and explained that a favorable review was included and he swiftly returned with three complimentary glasses of Sauternes and fifteen euros for the book.
Since the Sauternes deserved an accompaniment he returned with a platter of luscious foie gras on toast surrounding a ramekin of confit de figues.
For starters Uncle Den-Den and I ordered the aubergines grillé à la tomate au chèvre frais and Dr. P., one of the world’s leading neuro-biologists working on the causes of Parkinsons chose fromage blanc ciboulette et ail on a bed of arugula-and this is a house that is not afraid of garlic-silkily fantastique. Alain recommended a Cote Roannaise (Gamay) from his excellent cave that features wines from producers whom he knows personally.
As a main course Den-Den had a second starter, rillette de lapin au romarin et pain de campagne grille. I chose the plat du jour, a grenadin de veau (filet) and Dr. P savored an aioli de morue fraiche avec legumes vapeur.
Over coffee another surprise awaited-Alain arrived with three snifters of La Vielle Prune, a distillate of plums with a finish redolent of the fruit and at 42% alcohol it packs a wallop. Since the bottle was nearly empty Alain encouraged us to drain it-hardly necessary.
Ten years later it remains one of Paris favorites.
77 rue de Richelieu
Metro: Bourse or Quatre de Septembre
Lunch & Dinner M-Sat