July 2, 2015 (Thursday) – After walking the streets of Le Marais, we aimed our smartphone maps in search of a golden snail. This golden snail perches proudly upon the sign of a restaurant on the edge of the 1st Arrondissement. This is L’Escargot Montorgueil.
My wife had somehow discovered this restaurant specializing in the consumption of our shy, slimy, and ensconced friends. It quickly made our Paris dining list.
We even walked past the famed Centre Pompidou in favour of trying some of the fine French gourmet at L’Escargot Montorgueil. The real reason we bypassed the Centre Pompidou, though, is that neither my wife nor I are huge on contemporary art. We decided that if we were going to see art on our first trip to Paris, that it would be of the more classic variety.
So food beat out art.
We lucked out with a great seat on the edge of the patio that looked out onto the intersection of Rue Montorgueil and Rue Etienne-Marcel. We watched busy Parisians strut past us in this busy shopping area.
The sun was not shining directly onto the patio. So it was comfortable to be out there in the shade even with the midday heat.
When it came to ordering, we must have ordered the gastronomic trifecta of French cuisine – escargot (but of course!), foie gras, and frog legs. I’m telling you. You couldn’t get more #French than this meal.
The proper implements were laid on the table and this French lunchtime feast was about to begin. Of course, the French have developed a special clamp/tong designed to hold the shells of the succulent escargots. (Apparently I’ve placed the fork the wrong way with the tines facing up. The French place the tines facing down onto the table)
I was blown away at how large the escargot was. Okay, yes. Maybe the shell is just big and the snail itself can be tiny on the inside. Sure enough. The snail itself was smaller, but it was definitely tasty.
Next up was the foie gras. This was my first crack at foie gras in France. The pan-seared pâté was exquisite. There wasn’t enough of it to spread across the bread that came with the dish.
Then the cuisses de grenouille, or frog legs, were fried up in the iron skillet and were also very tasty. I’ve had what the Chinese euphemistically call “field chicken.” However, this French version has much more seasoning and was less saucy than what the Chinese version would be.
To add to the French trifecta, we ordered duck breast. It was part of a set lunch that included the escargots. However, we were really full after the first 3 dishes. I could have done without the extra dish. However, you cannot go wrong with a French duck breast dish.
With the power of the French gastronomic trinity tucked away in our bellies, we were ready to hit the road again and wander about the Parisian cityscape.