Tuesday, 16 August 2011

L'Escargot Montorgueil Paris, France - Excellent service and food! Très savoureux et indulgent!

Rating Service 8.5/10, Food 9.0/10
This post has been long in the making.. mainly because I was dragging my feet in translating and matching the food pics with the menu items... my grade 5 French teacher would be rolling her eyes at me lol!  Late is better than never right?  Especially for a little gem like L'Escargot Montorgueil... it is not a place you want to pass up if you're in Paris. Its hard to miss with its giant golden snail at the entrance, and its been a go to place for Parisians to eat the tender and sweet delicacy - escargots since 1832... they were a grocerystore where you could buy them and cook them yourself before they changed into a restaurant in 1874. The food is made with attention to detail, fresh ingredients and classical flavors in a beautiful historical building fit for a king... and plently of fanciful snail decor amidst the warm brown wood panelling. Servicewise, they're friendly *gasp!* and eschew the haughty snobby attitude you will find at 99.9% of all restaurants in France. They treat you like you don't have atrocious French and butcher their beautiful language everytime you open your mouth... and they have waitstaff that communicate in English rather than pretend they do not understand. Trust me, you'll understand what I mean after you hit up a few higher end restaurants and brasseries.


the WINE
Being in Paris, I swear they start drinking wine when they're wee kids... wine is everywhere, and by North American standards, even if you go with the generic tablewine - its actually passible and occasionally surprisingly good. Its very hard to go wrong with a wine pairing while you're in France, and the waitstaff are helpful (when you can understand them and vice versa). Despite wine being vilified recently in France, you can find afforable vino practically at every and any type of food establishment, so cheers and À votre santé!


The FOOD
We started off with their bread sticks - thick crispy exteriors and chewy tender interiors, they were stacked with precision into a Jenga like cube of breadstick-y goodness.  Lightly drizzled with olive oil and some fleur de sel, these freshly baked breadsticks disappeared quickly, and we were left waiting in anticipation for the...

L'Escargot Montorgueil's 6 escargots de Bourgogne en colimaçon des trois saveurs or 6 Burgundy snails in the shell in three flavors.  These tender morsels were divine.  Sweet, savory and packed with rich buttery garlicy goodness.  We ate the one in the center before we took a pic lol!  We went with only the traditional flavor of garlic and parsley - there is a mild curry and Roquefort blue cheese available as well... the garlic and parsley escargot recipe is one that hasn't changed since 1837. You can't leave L'Escargot Montorgueil without trying their signature snails.. paired with a fruity light white wine (or champagne).. yummmmmy!

Next up was the soup of the day. And it probably the most richest and creamiest mushroom soup ever.  Drizzled with a truffled herb oil... it was sooo yummy.  The silky smooth soup was also garnished with a crisp and flakey cheese crouton and a trace of herbs for tasty textural elements. Nom!
Another must have was their steak. Seasoned, and wrapped in rich layers of caul fat, it was cooked to your liking.  The caul fat kept the steak moist as it cooked, leaving behind a crisp tasty layer around the steak.  The steak was succulently tender, moist, juicey and flavorful.  The steak is plated on some grilled caramelized eggplant, and caramelized onions and caramelized julienned fennel... lots of sweet to contrast against the steak's rich savoriness.  Its garnished with some greens (baby zucchini and herbs) for some color, and drizzled with some of its savory cooking juices.  NOM!

The fresh seabass was moist, and its inherent rich flesh worked well with the buttery light batter it was coated with... and all the butter it was cooked in.  Served with creamy mashed roasted golden turnips for a contrast in flavors, this unassuming and simple dish is executed well, with a trace of truffled herb oil lacing the dish.  I would have preferred a punch of red on the plate, as the plate was a bit 2 toned in yellow and green, but that was a small quibble.


the VERDICT
Overall, one of the best places in terms of service and food in Paris. Regardless if you live in Paris, can speak the language fluently, or if you're a gawking tourist, you'll be amiss if you pass up the escargots at L'Escargot Montorgueil.


L'Escargot Montorgueil
Address
38 Rue Montorgueil, 75001 Paris, France
Phone 33 1 42 36 83 51
Hours call!

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