I’ve had many memorable meals in Paris, but none so heartwarming (literally) as a prix-fixe dinner I had at a little spot called Les Papilles in the 5th arrondissement. It was late December, and Paris was bitingly cold, foggy and dark. A friend insisted I visit this grocery/delicatessen/restaurant where you chose your own bottle of wine off the shelves and let the chef do the rest. All four courses (for an incredibly cheap 30 euros) were delicious, but I’ll never forget the arrival of the first course, a beautiful vegetable puree. The waiter poured it from a gorgeous tureen over a bowl filled with seasonal vegetables. It was visually stunning, and I seek to copy that when I have friends over for dinner. This one is available at Sur La Table for $50, and includes the ladle.
Les Papilles: 30 Rue Gay Lussac, nr Luxembourg Gardens. Visit their website here.