I only had 1 day to enjoy Paris, one of my favorites cities, again. So I was determined to visit at least 5 of the best boulangeries, eat an ópera gateaux and find the perfect brasserie. Three modest goals to leave Paris as happy as I could be, at least for now!
After several hours of walking and crossing Paris from side to side by subway, I decided to step out at a random station and walk until I could find a brasserie to eat, I think I was in the surroundings of Montmatre.
A couple hours of walking later, I crossed the street and saw a place with no color, old wooden window frames and a very old typography -almost inexistent- that said “Brasserie”. I saw through the window and the place was illuminated with warm light, with only 6 very old tables with chairs that reminded me an “arts and crafts” workshop, the bar was next to the kitchen -visible to everyone- and full of french people.
So I knew I had found the perfect Brasserie and got myself in.
A woman came to me and asked if I was going to eat or drink in the bar. Right after I told her that I was hungry she banged a metal bell, said something that I did not understand and a couple of guys yelled something, I was kind of embarrassed but determined to endure anything for a great meal.
After sitting she put the menu over my table -a blackboard with a golden frame- and explained it to me. In order to make this a memorable moment I ordered the confit de canard and some red wine. The place was so stereotypical and authentic that I couldn’t do anything but record what I was hearing so the memory wouldn’t go away with time.
It was the best duck I’ve ever tasted, with a golden crispy crust and dark traces that revealed the roasting method, the inside was juicy and tender with a middle layer of the characteristic sweet and almost ethereal fat that makes the duck one of the best kitchen-birds. At the side, vegetables that had been carefully cooked and enhanced with nutty flavored butter. Of course you can’t properly eat french duck without potatoes. The secret: potatoes of the best quality and several cooking methods.
Because I was the last man eating, the kitchen was clear to step out and eat. The chef and his staff seated in front of me and ate an entrecôte et purée de pommes de terre. Its hard to explain why after having my confit de canard I was so jealous!
So the next time you feel like being in a parisienne brasserie, cook something you like and play this audio.