On our second night in Paris, after spending the day exploring the Louvre and Notre Dame and wandering around the St. Germain area (snacking on croissants and macarons and enjoying a light lunch at Da Rosa), we met one of my high school friends and her husband for dinner at one of their favorite spots (they've been living in Paris for a year): Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes. It's near the République metro stop and trekking over there gave us an opportunity to explore another area of Paris. The restaurant was on a little side street and didn't look very impressive from the outside, but inside it was cozy and homey and the waitstaff was incredibly friendly.
They offer a choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert for 36 euros, and we all opted for that. Jeff started with a frisée salad with lardons and a poached egg (which he passed along to me; I'm happy to report it had a perfectly runny yolk).
My friend's husband had the foie gras salad, which looked rich but balanced.
My friend had the tomato mozzarella salad, which had a beautiful layered presentation.
And I went for lentils du Puy, something I was determined to have on our trip. The portion was enormous for a starter and the lentils were hearty and bright, with a lemony flavor.
Jeff and my friend both ordered the pepper steak, a nice piece of beef with a luscious gravy.
My friend's husband had andouillette, which was not quite the compact andouille sausage he was expecting.
The meat dishes came with some potatoes au gratin on the side.
The cassoulet with its base of white beans was chock-full of duck, pork, and sausage. It was so hearty and the portion was huge.
We all ordered different desserts: profiteroles, poire belle Hélène, ice cream with chocolate sauce, and apple tarte tatin. The poire belle Hélène was my choice, and it's a poached pear in a dish of ice cream and chocolate sauce.
It was a great evening catching up with an old friend, meeting her husband, and trying some traditional French dishes.
What dishes do you think of when you think of French food?