I’ve just come back from dinner at Chartier, and, OK, I’ve written about it many times but it has got to be Paris’s best restaurant … And I’ve eaten in several of the alleged best restaurants the Gallic capital has to offer.
For quality, ambience and value, Chartier simply can’t be beaten. It’s noisy, crowded and ancient in its offerings and style — and sometimes its waiters.
But I couldnt give a hoot when you’re served a block of foie gras smoother than a Ferrari salesman for 6.80 euroes — about $A10!!! It came with a slice of fine bread toasted and a smeary prune. I’ve had as creamy, smooth and flavoursome foie gras terrine at restaurants charging three times the price. And more.
I am not in Chartier’s pay, I hasten to add, even though I suspect I’ve brought them customers. (No cheque has ever appeared spontaneously in the mail.)
La Dominique’s rump au poivre was excellent — a tasty and fairly tender paver of beef cooked blue in a smooth, creamy and muscly pepper sauce. And the thin chips were good if machine-cut.
But I forwent the shit sausage I usually order at Chartier for an innovation on the list: “Veritable tripoux ‘La Naucellois’.” I asked about it and was told it was, (a), excellent, and, (b), a traditional dish from the Aveyron region of France.
Oh dear, oh dear. What arrived in its cooking juices — in which small carrot discs and chopped chives drifted — were two paupiettes (rolls) of what I thought was magnificent gras double, the meaty second stomach of the cloven hoofed. I analysed them a bit and found ham wound into the paupiettes.
And then I started weeping, sobbing into the cooking juices the tripe rolls floated in. The dish was so, so good. Fabulous. The juices sublime, the stringy meat soft and carmelly. I usually eat shit snag (andouillette), as I think I’ve mentioned, here, but I’m so glad that this time I went for something different.
I can’t urge you enough to eat here whenever you’re in Paris.You’re mad if you don’t. Nothing beats it. BTW, we paid 53 euros for four dishes and a bottle of excellent bordeaux!
In Melbourne, of course, we have several Parisian bistros/brasseries. The same meal might cost — if they could table the foie gras, which they can’t — three times the price.
Chartier is at 7 rue du faubourg Montmartre, metro Grands Boulevards.