About

"The reluctant Francophile..."

My husband Jack has always wanted to live in Paris and learn French. I thought it would be good for him to achieve his life time dream. Hence, we moved to Paris in 2008. My first year was difficult. I started "missives" to relieve some stress and chronicle my life so friends back in the US could read what I am experiencing. I currently write about my food and travel experiences, which is my passion.

It is definitely a challenge to live here, but each year it gets easier, and quite enjoyable, in large part because I value friendships over locale. I have a love/hate relationship with Paris as do most Parisians, mais La vie est belle (but life is good)!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Carette Place de Vosges -- Restaurant Review


25 Places des Vosges
 tel: 01 48 87 94 07
Hours: 7:am to midnight 7/7
website: http://www.carette-paris.fr/?lang=en
Metro: Saint Paul (1), Chemin Vert (8), Bastille (1,5,8)


Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

3.25 - Star......................................................€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell



Never say never. The last time I ate at a restaurant at "Place des Vosges"  it was so awful and expensive, I  swore I would never eat in such a touristy area again. Well, all I have to say is "never say, never."  At the recommendation of a friend, he suggested we go to this restaurant for brunch.  We didn't have reservations, but because it is a tourist area, they do turn tables, so it would be a matter of waiting, if it was crowded. Although we could've immediately gotten a table when we arrived to the most exterior part of the restaurant, it was cold and damp and that area did not have any lamp heaters, so I requested a table inside. The maitre'd said it would be about 5or 10-minutes.  The interior was lovely, large and spacious.


I was quite surprised, as you can see on the left side of the photo, there were seats available and there were no signs that they were reserved, but in Paris, you never question the maitre'd's motives, so we waited. As you enter, you're taken aback by the beautiful pastries which the restaurant is known for, especially for brunch or afternoon coffee/tea.


Standing next to the pastries while waiting for our table I was so close to taking one and just eating it. But a table under the heating lamps outside became available and the maitre'd asked if we wanted it, and we unanimously responded yes, especially since we had already been waiting more than 15 minutes.

They have an extensive menu and even cocktails,  and surprisingly American mimosas, not common in Paris. The brunch menu for 30€ consisted of fresh squeezed juice of your choice (e.g., grapefruit or orange) coffee/tea/chocolate of your choice, a croissant (plain or chocolate), scrambled eggs with toast and jam. Three chose this menu, and I got the chicken sandwich with fries, whereas a friend got the chicken salad. The hot chocolate was similar, although not quite as thick, to Angelina's but is their own version and was delicious.


The croissants were amazing, they were enormous. Extremely flaky, buttery, light and overall delicious.

The eggs; all three liked the eggs.  I personally found them a bit odd. I think of scrambled eggs as being fluffy and soft. It was almost as if they took a plain omelette, cut it into cubes and folded it into the scrambled eggs, which made it appear and almost taste like cubes of tofu were mixed with the eggs. Mais, pas mal (but not bad).  Even JJ, who hates eggs, enjoyed his omelette.
















I had the chicken sandwich, you can have it on whatever bread they have available, I selected a baguette. The baguette was nice and crunchy, the way I like it. Although you don't get a lot of chicken, what I did have was good. There was a nice helping of tomatoes and lettuce and some dijon flavored mayonnaise.  The fries were out of this world crispy and delicious.








A friend got the Chicken salad. And, she loved it. There was a nice variety of fresh vegetables, cheese, olives, and a boiled egg.  And, although it only had a few slices of chicken, what was there was moist and went well with the salad.  So, overall a very composed salad.











SUMMARY

I've walked by this restaurant innumerable times, but have never even considered eating there. Brunches are becoming very popular in Paris, so if you're looking for a place for brunch, this is the place for you. Forewarning, it is in a very touristy area, but you are in a beautiful setting. The service was excellent, and many of the wait-staff spoke other languages besides French and English. In fact, I noticed a few were Spanish and/or Italian.  It's not the fanciest or most sophisticated food, but it's simple, basic, and unpretentious. Although, for brunch (actually breakfast) it's not inexpensive. For three prix-fixe brunch menus, 1-chicken salad, 1-chicken sandwich, 1-order of fries and 2-large glasses of rosé, the bill came to 154€, or about 31€ a person, but you're paying for the location and atmosphere.  Speaking of location, they do have another location at Trocadero.  In fact, that was the original location and has been well regarded for many years.  Would I go back, for brunch, YES!  It is a pastry shop (and the pastries are to die for) so you can come and get the pastries to go without sitting at the tables.







2 comments :

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  2. The Place de Vosges was a place I discovered quite by accident on my first trip to Paris. I later learned that it was the very first public square to be built in Europe and became so popular that other towns followed suit. This restaurant sounds perfect for brunch and I will definitely check it out. Et chocolat chaud aussi!!! Miam, miam!!! I'll be there in June and July. I can't wait! Cheers, Stephan

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