"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)!

Monday, January 23, 2012

La Fontaine de Mars -- Restaurant Review

La Fontaine de Mars

129, rue Saint-Dominique
Telephone: 01 47 05 46 44

Website: "La fontaine"
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............................................. (a la carte)............................................1 - Bell

This restaurant has existed since 1908 and specializes in southwest French cuisine, (e.g., confit de canard and/or cassoulet). The restaurant is actually quite large, since there is also an upstairs area. It’s a typically Parisian styled restaurant. And, it’s one of the few restaurants that is actually open for lunch on Sundays.

There was originally suppose to be five of us for lunch; unfortunately, one of our friends had to go out of town unexpectedly and another was sick. But the restaurant didn’t seem to mind at all that we were going to be less than expected.

We started off with some aperitifs of kirs (casis and peche), while Just Jack had a traditional pastis. 

We perused the menu. They do not have a pre-fix menu.  And, although they had a Sunday lunch special of roast chicken with mashed potatoes (20€), and they also had their specialty of "confit de canard, and cassoulet, it just sounded too heavy at the time, so we opted for something different.

Tête de veau salad

For starters: Our friend Mimi ordered the tête de veau salad with potatoes.  We all tasted it and agreed it was really, really delicious, it was cooked beautifully.

Game terrine with fig chutney

Jack had the game terrine with fig chutney. This terrine was good, but nothing to write home about.

Poached egg with foie gras in a cream sauce

I had the special trio of bad-for-your-health poached egg, cream and foie gras.  Oh my God, I just died and went to heaven, but what a way to go. It’s difficult to serve a hot dish with a poached egg, because oftentimes the egg is overcooked and becomes semi-hard rather than coddled.  This was cooked to perfection.

Sea bass

For our plat, Mimi had the sea bass with leeks and with specks of truffles.  The fish was excellent, crispy skin and tender white flesh.  However, Mimi thought the leeks were a bit salty for her liking.

Black pudding

Just Jack had the “black pudding” (boudin noir) served with apples. Surprisingly, when you think of boudin, you think of sausage; however, it was served without the “casing.” I have to say, I really liked this dish a lot because it was the first time I had it served this way, and I’ve always liked foods with a crispy exterior and tender interior, which was the case for this particular dish.

St. Pierre fish with tomato confit

I had the fish “St. Pierre”, otherwise known as “John Dory” fish with a confit of tomatoes.  Loved, loved this dish. Very simple, but tasty in its delivery.

At this point we were actually all full for dessert, but opted to share a cheese plate of a nice hard sheep cheese, brie and a chevre.

And, the service was EXCELLENT! 

In summary, I liked this restaurant a lot.  Would I recommend it, “biên sur”, I would go back in a heartbeat. It’s not an inexpensive restaurant.  For the three of us for lunch the bill came to 193€, this included the aperitifs and 3 'pots' (jars) of their house wines, which by the way were excellent at 12€ a jar (maybe 50-60cl).


  1. Isn't this one of the restaurants where the Obamas ate?

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. It is clear from these reviews that Jack has a thing for any kind of blood sausage. Latent vampirism?