"The evolving 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)!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Restaurant du Marché -- Restaurant Review

 59 Rue Dantzig
75015 Paris, France
01 48 28 31 55
(closed Sunday/Mondays)
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 (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)

  4 - Stars................................................................................................3 - Bells

This restaurant is not too far from our apartment. It's been around a long time. We oftentimes walked by it to take the tram to Chinatown (13eme) or to go to Porte de Versailles (Convention Center). So we decided to go with our friends Dan, Bill and Steve. It was very easy to make  reservations. We made online reservations with  "lafourchette", it's hassle free. But be forewarned though, it doesn't always work smoothly. Sometimes, the restaurants forget to tell lafourchette that they are closed for e.g., Easter break, which recently happened to us so you can imagine the rest of the story.  Normally LaFourchette confirms instantly, but in this case the confirmation was delayed several hours but eventually worked out well.

Mascot of the restaurant, the pink pig

It's quite a small restaurant. We got a nice round table by the door. They do have a few tables  outside surrounded with a wall of tall green hedges giving it a very private feel, but allowing you to dine al fresco.

All the wait-staff wore "Chef-coats" which made it a little unique. A chalk board came out with the menu and specials of the evening. As we sat they immediately gave us some thinly sliced saucisson sec.  Shortly thereafter our waiter came back to get our order for aperos. Prices are very reasonable, the formule was 32€ and you got an entree, plat, and dessert.

Pickled Salmon

For the entrées Dan and Jack got the salmon à la façon du hareng. It was served in a little glass jar reminiscent of prepared pickled herring, in fact it was pickled.  Although, the jar made it a little bit difficult to eat,  none-the-less it was delicious.

Duck foie gras with warm bread


Steve and I had the duck foie gras. It was surprisingly light compared to most foi gras, which we preferred. It was delicious and was accompanied by a crispy exterior toasted bread, but the inside was warm and soft to allow some of the fat of the foie gras to melt like butter. Yum!

Terrine of beef shoulder and foie gras


Bill had the terrine, and he too thought it was delicious. It consisted of shoulder of beef layered with foie gras, now how bad can that be?


They seem to have a good selection of wines, our waiter seemed very knowledgeable and as he gave his recommendation he actually gave the prices as well, which is unusual. What impressed us the most was he took the time to explain each wine that we were interested in, without being rushed.  In the end we shared a bottle of Medoc (34€) , it was an excellent choice.

Before our entrees were served, we were all given warm plates, nice touch. What was really surprising, rather than "plating" our dishes, our plats came out family style. In essence, if we wanted to, we could have all shared each others dishes, which in my case I did.

Braised pork cheeks

For our plats: Dan and I had the joue de couchon (pork cheeks) braised with broccoli, carrots, onions. It was quite simple, and although it was good, it really lacked any sophistication and was quite bland. Thank God for "sel de guérande".

Filet of Bar

Jack and Dan had the "filet de bar" (mullet), now I did mention simple is good. Well this dish was not only simple, but well executed and was delicious. Very simply pan friend with fleur de sel and the skin was nice and crispy whereas the flesh was tender. It wasn't masked with any sauces or lots of seasoning, so the flavor of the bar came out.  It sat atop of a bed of broccoli, zucchini and carrots. It was our favorite dish of the evening.

Grilled duck breast

Steve had the grilled magret de canard (duck breast) served rosé (pink), and again, although the dish was very simple, it was packed with lots of natural flavor and accompanied with great mash potatoes.

For dessert:
Rhubarb compote

Jack had the Rhubarb compote. He's biased, he likes anything with rhubarb. He said the dessert was excellent. Not too sweet, but had a nice tartness just like he likes it. It was covered with  toasted gateau.

Madeleine with citrus cream

Steve and Dan both had the "madeleine with creme de citron," served in a little jelly jar. Both said it was nice, very simple and delicious.

Chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream

The chocoholic in the group is Dan. He ordered the moelleux au chocolat, glace. Basically its a very rich chocolate "lava" cake with rich chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Now how can you go wrong with this dish.

Since I'm trying to stay away from sugar, I was the only one that had the cheese course. I had the "brie de meaux",  as soon as it arrived, slightly warmed, you could smell it. It's definitely not for those who do not like strong smells, and a strong taste.  However, I loved it. It came with a salad, I was going to ask for bread, but decided I didn't need to add any more calories.

Brie de Meaux

In Summary:

It was a Thursday evening, every table in the house was taken. We were the only Americans there, and it appeared that a lot of the patrons were regulars, since everyone seemed to know each other.  All the dishes were simply prepared. We enjoyed every course, but I think I'll stay away from joue de couchon next time. What impressed us most was the service, their attentiveness, but not in your face, and not ignored. It was like "French comfort food" served by our neighbors.

Although it's quite a distance for those who live on the Right Bank, it's well worth the trip. You will be rewarded with great hospitality, excellent meals, and just an overall nice experience.

It is definitely more of a neighborhood restaurant and will certainly be our new "neighborhood hangout."


  1. Hi Randy! I found your blog through Aurelia's Facebook page. I met her recently because we've just moved to Paris from LA in April. We live in the 15th, too, so I'll be checking out your resto reviews. Have you been to Bistro d'en Face on Rue de Dr Finlay? It's right around the corner from us and we had a great meal there. They have a nice terrace area which got busy during the recent warm weather (Where did that go? It made us Angelenos feel at home!)


  2. Merci Susan... Hopefully, we can meet up a tout de suite!