"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)!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Canard & Champagne -- Restaurant Review

57 passage des panoramas
75002 Paris
Tel: 09 81 83 95 69
Metro: Richlieu-Dourout (8,9), Grand Boulevards (8,9)
webiste: http://frenchparadox.paris/fr/

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+)

3.10 - Star......................................................€€ ......................................................... 2.5 - Bell

One of the things I love about Paris are all the secret gems, well they're not really secret, but gems none-the-less. This is one of many passages throughout Paris. This restaurant is located in the "Passage des Panoramas" in the 2eme arrondissement.

The interior is quite lovely, and there were a few tables out in passage itself. We had a table by the window. It's a great people watching restaurant.  There are shared tables as well as tables for 4. The tables are set high with eclectic bar stools. Once seated you're fine, but they were very impractical bar stools. They were difficult to get into and to get off of, and not easily adjustable, nor were they easy to maneuver. But, all-in-all it's a lovely quaint restaurant.

It was a rainy day the day we went, so lucky for us the interior of the passage was a nice refuge from the rain, and also a great place to wander before or after your meal to window shop and as I mentioned, just people watch.

Well as the name implies, their specialty is "canard (duck) and champagne".  They didn't have a large menu, but sufficient. As many know, I prefer small menus to large menus. I prefer fewer items done well, versus lots of things done mediocre. Aside from the canard, they did had a swordfish special the day we went and they also have a steak option. We opted to have what they're known for, duck.

They had a "formule" or prix-fixe menu for 26€ which included an entrée and plat. We were 4 and to start off 3 had the "coupe de champagne" which was a reasonable price of 8€ a glass.


For the entrée you had a choice of "Foie gras with chutney" or a salad. We all opted for the foie gras. How can you go wrong with a foie gras for an entrée. The foie gras was very good and partially encrusted with black pepper. It came with a toasted slice of baguette and a sweet apple/raisin chutney.  It was nothing out of the ordinary, but it was a nice start, albeit heavy.


Confit de canard.  This dish was developed before refrigeration. The French would slow cook the duck, typically the legs,  in its own fat, and once cooled it is stored in the fat to preserve it. And, when needed, they would just pull pieces of the duck, and either quickly pan fry it, grill it, or broil it. Characteristically, this dish can be slightly salty. As simple as this dish is to prepare, it can be horrible if not prepared right. In fact, if over-cooked it can become stringy, or if under-cooked the skin can be extremely soggy and just plain fatty. This duck was cooked well and it tasted good, with the characteristic saltiness from the preservation.

Magret de Canard (duck breast). The waiter did tell us that this dish is cooked the Chef's way. Meaning, you don't have a choice whether you want it e.g.., medium or medium well.  Duck can be cooked rare versus chicken which needs to be well done. The general reason behind this is that duck has a very, very thick skin with a thick layer of fat, so during the butchering process, the chances for cross contamination is minimal, whereas with chicken the skin is thin and cross contamination is high.  The duck breast was cooked "pink" as is typically done in France. Although it was very tasty, I found it a bit rubbery and tough. Personally, I think it could have been cooked a tad longer.

Our plats were accompanied with fries, which were delicious, sweet pureed carrots and some mixed vegetables.


They had quite the selection of desserts. From my understanding, the restaurant offers just desserts. So, if you'd like a nice place to just have some desserts and/or coffee, you can come here.  We opted to share a the "tarte citron meringuée, sorbet citron basilic" and the cheese plate.

Tarte citron meringuée, sorbet citron basilic. (lemon tarte with meringue, and a lemon sorbet with basil). Hmm, I thought this looked interesting. The waiter later came by to explain that this was a "deconstructed" lemon tart. Personally I thought it was quite creative in that the Chef thought outside the box. There was of course a layer of crust. The sorbet was nice and tart and you can definitely taste the hint of basil. With this and the cooked meringue, the dessert almost reminded me of a "vacherin dessert"  Overall, it was a good dessert, but nothing extraordinary.

Assortiment de fromages (assortment of cheeses).  Like I always say, you can't go wrong with cheeses in France. This place was no exception. They gave a nice range of different cheeses, my favorite was the blue cheese.


The restaurant is in a quaint beautiful location with criss-crossing passages where you can explore different shops and restaurant. I would imagine this is what the malls of the 18th century would've looked like.  The restaurant itself was quite cute and quaint, with regular tables on the outside and bar height tables in the inside, some shared.  Overall, I found the food good, but nothing out of the ordinary. As their name implies they serve duck and champagne. The champagne list was quite extensive and also quite expensive by the bottle, but they did have some reasonable "coupes" (by the glass).  The foie gras was very good, the confit de canard was very good. Although it was good, the margret de canard was my least favorite. The desserts were good, but nothing out of the ordinary. Service was very good. The prix-fixe were reasonably priced. I slightly bumped up my overall rating because of the "cool factor" location and ambience. Would I go back? absolutely, even if just for the location and ambience.

With a bottled water, 3-coupes de champagne, 4-prix-fixe menus, 2-bottles of rosé, and 2-desserts our bill came to 212.50€ or 53.13€ per person.

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