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On 716 que je vois la vie, I recommend restaurants (716 Food), music (716 Music) & I propose my special Paris Tours (Le Vrai Paris).

I have eaten and have paid my meals in all the restaurants recommended here."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Le Petit Vendôme - Paris (75002)

Le Petit Vendôme
8, rue des Capucines
75002 Paris
Tel : 01 42 61 05 88

The pitch
A killer sandwich!

The back-story
The Figaroscope recently did a special report on the Americans of Paris and several celebrities shared their three favourite venues. I was

immediately attracted to the one from the New York Times correspondent in Paris. I like the newspaper for its reliability and Steven Erlanger’s selection was very interesting indeed. He included a sandwich place in the 2nd arrondissement as well as a fish restaurant in the 7th (Les Fables de la Fontaine, in a very different style and price range, also delivers seriously good food). You could just tell that this guy prefers substance to trifle.

The restaurant
It’s a real lively and busy Parisian bistrot, full most of the time. I’ll just mention the sandwich although I have eaten there previously.

The sandwich
The owner himself takes my order, I ask him for a suggestion and although he could’ve joked around he fires back that his favourite is "jambon de pays-cantal" (1). Go!
-"and a glass of red, please"
-"Saint Pourçain?"
-"… ok"
-"because that’s what I drink"
-"Let’s do that then !"

The sandwich
It’s faultless, like the one from le Bistrot des Halles. This is for real.
You could think that it’s easy to make good sandwiches and there’s no problem preparing your own at home, but as soon as you’re dealing with cafés or bistrots there is something irresistible that gets certain restaurateurs thinking ‘what a great opportunity to make a couple more euros, I’ll just put a little bit of this and a little bit of that and it should be nice enough’. Or:’ I’ll put some of this really expensive ingredient in a baguette and I’ll sell it for minimum of €5’. But as we know that doesn’t make for a good sandwich’.
Example: the chicken sandwich I discovered the other day thanks to a friend in the 19th arrondissement. It was simple with an unpretentious lettuce leaf but amazing!

There is a subtle balance to find: an osmosis of textures and flavours with an underlying freshness which gives it all its bite.

(1) Dry cured ham and cheese


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