If you have a birthday near Christmas you’ll appreciate the pain of combined presents and being upstaged by the festive season. So I promised A. that he would have a birthday celebration to remember this year, and we set off to Paris on the Eurostar.
For our first evening in one of my favourite cities we were looking for an authentically Parisian bistro and used the local equivalent of Open Table, La Fourchette (The Fork). They came up trumps with Le Petit Médicis, although we nearly passed it by as the photo showed the less appealing modern downstairs dining room. What did we do before apps and social media?
Speaking of apps, I had been using Duolingo to brush up on my very rusty school French and had been looking forward to trying it out on the Parisians. At Le Petit Médicis the welcoming Catherine and Philippe Bracon spoke excellent English and were equally keen on trying it out on us, resulting in a strange Franglais mash-up. It was all very good natured, and we were made to feel at home despite La Fourchette not having notified them of our booking.
There is no other word for the food than divine. A. started with a melange of finely cut seasonal vegetables topped with a poached egg whilst I went for the goats cheese terrine. We were aiming for light, but both were rich although not too hefty. Now, on the main courses and A. chose his favourite sea bass with olive oil sauce and sweet potato quenelles – he looked ecstatic! I decided to be adventurous and went all out with a beef tartare. I’ve worked in Brussels and France extensively but never been quite brave enough to order it before. It’s clearly not a usual choice for a Brit, and the lovely Catherine double and triple checked ‘You know what this is, yes?’, ‘Raw beef, yes?’. I stuck to my guns and was so glad I did – it was absolutely delicious! Confirmation that sometimes it’s good to take a chance, and step outside of that comfort zone.
On to desserts, and A. had the house speciality panacotta, a delicately creamy confection topped with fresh raspberries. I love ice cream and went for the pistachio ice cream cake with fresh cream and fruity sauce drizzled artfully. We wandered out into the night, glad that our hotel was a good 20 minute walk away!
Without a doubt we would recommend that you visit this beautiful little upmarket bistro. We loved it, but of course there is so much to explore in Paris that we would be spoilt for choice on a return visit – and I hope we’ll be back soon. Pricewise, our three course meal with wine came in at just under €100.
Loo Review (PMC rating): ★★★★☆ Lovely, just watch the iron spiral staircase!
Le Petit Médicis, 13 Rue de Médicis 75006 Paris Saturday, December 16 2017