Bistro de Paris • 06.23.08
Bonjour! Andy and I have been taking French language lessons for 9 weeks now. We are contemplating a move to France at some point in the future, and we’d like to be prepared if and when that day comes. Andy has a natural knack for languages that I seem to have been born without. So, whilst he is making lots of progress with his vocabulary, I have focused more on the “cultural” side of our education. Specifically, reading books about food in France and cooking things from my French cookbooks.
Last Wednesday we were in French class- and it was hard. Not just the typical “learning a new language in your late-20′s hard”, but “we’ve worked a long day already and this is mentally exhausting” hard. About an hour into the class I wrote Andy a little note on the top of my study guide- “Do you want to leave at the break and go have dinner at Bistro de Paris??” He nodded, looking relieved, and we snuck out.
Bistro de Paris is a small French restaurant just up the road from us in Bondi Junction. I figured we could practice our French with the waitress (la serveuse) and get a good dinner while we were there. And I was right on both counts! Here’s me carefully considering my next French phrase:
The restaurant was crowded with groups who seemed to be having a swell time, all seated at comfy tables and booths in the dim room enjoying glasses of wine. Were it not for the very loud man with the very Aussie accent at the table next to us we might have thought we were in Paris.
We started with a platter of mixed charcuterie served with lovely bread. My favourite part of this dish was the bundle of fresh herbs placed on the serving platter. I’m not sure if this is traditional, but adding a fresh basil leaf to a bite of spicy salami on top of a piece of crunchy baguette was genius. It brightened up the whole plate.
For mains we each ordered the specials. I had perch in a white wine and herb sauce and Andy had Toulouse sausages on pasta with blue cheese.
The fish was great, but the best part about this dish was the large slice of braised eggplant that the fish was resting on. It was sweet and smoky and creamy and wow! I could have had a whole serving of just the eggplant and the sauce. These pics aren’t great- but it’s hard to photograph food in a dim restaurant. We did our best!
Andy’s pasta was great, but his favourite part was the sausages. I tried his meal and I will admit, whilst overall it was a bit too rich for me, the sausages were stellar. Just simple pork sausages with minimum seasoning, they tasted exactly like you want your pork sausages to taste like- pork!
Overall, Bistro de Paris is a cozy neighbourhood place and we’re lucky to have it nearby!
And don’t worry- we did practice our French. Andy ordered our drinks in French (Deux verres du pinot noir, sil vous plait), I asked for the bill in French (L’addition, sil vous plait) and I even complimented the food in French (L’abergine est tres bonne)! So if all we ever do in Paris is go to restaurants (and I do think that is possible) we should be all set!