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Hero-2006


Slow Traveler
posted
I dined one day this week at the Ravigotte on the rue de Montrueil in the 11th arrondissement. I've mentioned this little Paris bistro before. This isn't a restaurant review; just some thoughts over a meal.

Late lunch in a 12-table neighborhood spot with blow-ups of old scenes of nearby streets from vintage postcards and other art scattered on the walls. Red-and-white checkered curtains on the windows on the street-end of a long rectangular space. Lovely, patterned mat-glaze tile floor. White paper table covers. Shades of red and wood tones. Very warm.

A table to my left of woodworkers, a tad boisterous, one in coveralls, the other three in casual clothes. Two businessmen across the way and a bit to the right, leaning over their "tete de veau, the specialty (which I dare not order, but may some day before I die), inhaling at some length before they dig in, each with their own bottle of wine.

My first course: charcuterie, five kinds of pork pate and cold cuts. Where are the cornichons, little pickles in the footed dish in sight on some other tables, and the butter? Ah, there they come!

Pierre, the chef, in whites, all smiles, working the room. Off and on sitting to chat. A quarter of everyone knows a quarter of everyone else.

Main course, "fricasee of duck." Brought to the table boiling hot in a thick china bowl, with a joint standing up in the middle. White beans, but not a cassoulet. Wonderfully simple.

A pitcher of wine and all the time in the world to enjoy the light and a large new painting on the wall. Something (a pot-au-feu, I think) cooking in a copper pot. The technique a little rough, yet it's just right in this place.

Desert, a rustic chocolate cake with a low-key chocolate icing. A coffee.

Paying the bill at the "symbolic" bar, where no one ever drinks. Pierre's wife asks: Don't I think he paid too much for the painting, 700 euros? Yes, I do believe that's a bit high, but it's wonderful just the same.

This was a perfect meal in a humble place. No stars needed. A meal never to be repeated -- part of the grace and the joy.

Dave
 
Posts: 1641 | Location: Paris | Registered: 04 January 2005Report This Post

Hero-2006


Slow Traveler
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Read that rue de Montreuil. I appologize for the typo in the street name. The Ravigotte is at No. 41. The nearest Metro station is Faidherbe-Chaligny.

Dave
 
Posts: 1641 | Location: Paris | Registered: 04 January 2005Report This Post

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Picture of Chris
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Lovely description, Dave! Almost as good as being there.
 
Posts: 8217 | Location: Sacramento, CA | Registered: 18 June 2001Report This Post

Slow Traveler
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Sounds like my kinda place! Smile
 
Posts: 1789 | Location: cambridge,ma.usa | Registered: 27 January 2003Report This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of MarionP
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Thank you for this lovely post. Felt like being there. A good rejoinder for those who insist on only eating at Paris restaurants with stars. Merci!
 
Posts: 1378 | Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada | Registered: 05 September 2002Report This Post

Slow Traveler
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Thanks, Dave, I really enjoyed that. Do you think the place is open for lunch tomorrow?
 
Posts: 1593 | Location: Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, France | Registered: 13 January 2004Report This Post
Slow Traveler
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Dave,
How lucky we readers are to have such a gifted writer do pieces like this one for us. Your feeling for atmosphere and skill at seeing enrich our experience on this site. I've read a lot of accounts of dining in Paris Bistros, and yours is the best. What say you write more pieces like this: Say once a week. Oh now I'm getting greedy. Really though, thanks a lot Dave; I can alomost smell the duck.
Dennis M M
 
Posts: 196 | Location: Tacoma/France | Registered: 24 February 2005Report This Post
Slow Traveler
Picture of Riana
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I swear that I have been there! Our friends live around the corner and we went for a nice dinner last year. And my husband had the
quote:
tete de veau
, I had a bite, but that was as much as I could take. He must have aquired the taste growing up. (Just as I have the aquired taste for Dr Pepper which he thinks is 'degu')
 
Posts: 311 | Location: South of France | Registered: 01 June 2004Report This Post

Hero-2006


Slow Traveler
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Hi Ken,

Sorry I did not get back to you sooner. We've been hanging out in central France for the last two days. The Ravigotte is closed on Sundays. Aralynn is checking on Mondays, since she's thinking of taking friends there if they're open. I'll follow up on that. Let me know when you're going to be in Paris next. We could go together.

Dave
 
Posts: 1641 | Location: Paris | Registered: 04 January 2005Report This Post

Hero-2006


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Chris, Dennis, Ken, Marion,

Thanks for your kind words. I'm not good for that kind of musing once a week, I'm sure. But one day, I hope.

Dave
 
Posts: 1641 | Location: Paris | Registered: 04 January 2005Report This Post
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