Monday, July 26, 2010

Le Train Bleu - Paris

Why God Created the "Per Diem"
As I've explained before, I'm spoiled - my company covers my costs in Paris. I try not to overdo it but every once in a while I splurge a bit. I mean, it's my duty to help support the French economy, isn't it? Le Train Bleu is a fancy, Frenchy, high-priced restaurant perched in the rafters of Gare de Lyon. It's the type of place that long-ago travelers would sup in style before boarding a train to "summer" in Tuscany. They gracefully made room for the kid and his band of freeloaders, errr, I mean colleagues. Now all I gotta figure out is how to scheme and scam the accounting department to accept a dinner of a couple hundred euros....
Anyone who complains about the forced-feeding of geese and ducks simply hasn't eaten pan-fried foie gras like those above. Heavenly. I bit and chewed slowly, eyes closed, trying to forget the plight of my formerly feathered friends. Equally splendid was the Pata Negra ham accompanied by a sort of corn bread with tidbits of chorizo baked in. If our meal had ended after these two plates I would've been completely happy.

But no, the hits just kept coming. Check out the crab, avocado, tomato millefeuille. This was pretty good, savory delivered in a vehicle you associate with sweet.

Hey, did I mention that this was a really Frenchy place? Yeah, well check it out for yourself. Pretty cool. Lots of carved wood, frescoes and chandeliers. Thank god there is a lot to look at since they take their sweet-ass Frenchy time delivering the food. Hey, welcome to Paris folks.

For my main, I went where I'd never gone before: steak tartare. For those of you who are used to seeing this charred between a bun with some bacon and swiss, yes, this is a completely uncooked hamburger. Not just any hamburger - this is meat from the famous Charolais cow - the white cow of Burgundy which I saw many of on a recent trip to the countryside. I'd say it was "interesting." No complaints about taste, you can get it spicy, which I did. I think you need to eat this a few times to become comfortable with the feel of it in your mouth.

The Dodomode got carved leg of lamb with a side of gratineed potatoes. I warned here that it was bound to be lamb-y and it sure was. I think she enjoyed the potatoes more but she'll chime in on the comments soon enough.

A colleague got "tournedos" of duck (I always picture high wind and damage when I see that word) in a blackcurrant berry juice and sweet potato fries. This was quite nice, very tender.

This is some heavy food, folks. Check out the amateur at a nearby table. He either just got off the overnight from Moscow, had a bottle or three too many of wine or finished both the entree and the main. I felt similarly but walked back to the 3rd Arondissement rather than take a taxi. I was stuffed and felt the need to walk it off. If you're taking a train from Gare de Lyon or are staying near Bastille and have a few hundred euros burning a hole in your pocket, check out Le Train Bleu.

Gare de Lyon
11th Arondissement

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  1. This is so overdue that I cannot remember what my lamb tasted like. I do recall that the potatoes were good... very cheesy. The millefeuille was yummy too.

    I wouldn't order the beef though... totally raw looking.. scary! Mad cow disease!

  2. @Dodomode - I'm glad you admit your commenting is way overdue on this one. That's BIG of you.

  3. Great blog, I've got this puppy bookmarked :) keep the Paris restaurant reviews coming!