Restaurant Les Tantes Jeanne in the 18th

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I have a new favorite restaurant in Montmartre: Les Tantes Jeanne. With elegant mismatched furniture, pots of tarragon, bay and rosemary flanking the doors, a genuinely warm welcome, and a superb location (a block from the popular market street rue des Abbesses), my first impressions were excellent.

Then came the menu. Though the friend who recommended Les Tantes hadn’t told me, the restaurant specializes in beef. The menu has lots of possibilities and provenances, among them hamburger from Limousine, entrecôte from Argentina, Spain, and Japan, and côtes de boeuf for 2.

I chose from the 2 course 20€ formule, which included a glass of wine, starter and main. First a roquefort salad with peppery greens, walnut halves, creamy, salty blue cheese that melted in my mouth, and a light, mustardy vinaigrette.

Then the daily burger special. While I don’t eat beef often, when I do it’s organic, raised a mile from my house, and I have a hand in raising it. My favorite cut is burger, grilled.

This burger met my expectations in every way. It arrived rare, as I had ordered, topped with caramelized shallots, slices of fresh red onion, ruffles of radichio, and a delicious tomato sauce (if this is the French version of ketchup, I want stock in the company).

It was tender, rich—and, accompanied by the Côtes du Rhône that my server suggested—luscious.

Not a beef eater? No worries. The menu has fish options; vegetarian possibilities include a vegetable platter and a truffle salad.

Another nice surprise: Les Tantes is open daily for lunch and dinner.

 

Do you have a favorite resto in Montmartre? I’d love to hear about it.

Paris Restaurant—Le Cottage Marcadet in the 18th

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Le Cottage Marcadet opened in 1984, but in the last half-dozen years, young chef Cyril Choisne (trained at Plaza Athénée and Le Grand Véfour), has made the restaurant a favorite of Paris gastronomes.

Fine china and velvet seats hint at the elegance of the food, but the setting is traditional in comparison to the cutting edge cuisine. Foie gras, light and buttery, is flavored with truffles, and comes to the table in the shape of a pyramid. Wild duck is glazed with chestnut, frogs’ legs served with tomato confit.

The seasonal menu divides the offerings into appetizers, fish, meat, and dessert, each with only a few choices. Or, you can leave the selection to the chef.

M Choisne’s 3 course lunch menu (44€); and 3, 4 and 6 course dinner menus are popular. (The last includes 2 appetizers, a fish and a meat main dish, and 2 desserts, for 124€.)

The restaurant isn’t central—it’s in the 18th, behind Sacré-Coeur—and Le Cottage Marcadet isn’t a cottage, but rather a sophisticated dining room.

It’s a great stop on a food-lover’s vacation; so reserve (essential!), dress up, and splurge.