24 rue des Tournelles
4er Arrondissement - Bastille, Marais
Metro - Bastille
Tel 01 42 72 03 07
Do you have restaurant karma?
Did you ever get a good vibe by walking by a place then find yourself haunted to go back?
Have you ever eaten at a place you just can't forget?
I walked by L'Endroit and stopped to read the menu a few times on my way to the Bastille Metro station. Each time I swore I'd come back and see if L'Endroit would be my "restaurant discovery" for this trip. It looked nice but I didn't put too much priority on visiting since L'Endroit was not on my "places to eat" list. Tonight, I didn't feel like wandering too far from my hotel and decided that this was the night to try this modern bistro. I wasn't disappointed.
Truthfully, It was a hard decision whether to risk this "unknown" small place or go to the ever popular and massive Alsatian brasserie "Bofinger" located around the corner. I'm glad I skipped Bofinger. When I arrived between 7:30 and 9pm it seemed like no one even knew this place was here. At 9 people started arriving and filled the bistro.
"L'Endroit?" I can't find that in my French-English dictionary, "what does that mean?", I ask... The waitress informs me L'Endroit means “the place I am in” or “you are here”. Yes, I am.
I would call L'Endroit a "wine bar bistro" since they seem to focus on the appreciation of wine with the meal. The atmosphere is casual and it's obvious you are in a wine bistro since the rust colored walls are decorated with chalkboards listing a large variety of wine choices. Wine surrounds you everywhere from the cork screws decorating the walls to the stacks of wine at the front of the bistro. I am also enjoying the music which is everything from classic jazz to the theme from the Godfather to soft classical music with a little Linda Ronstadt thrown in. I may come back just for the music!
Since I arrived early, the bistro didn't seem to smokey, but I am sure that is all in relation to how many people are here at the moment.
The bistro offers two "prix fixe" menu's, a two course menu at €18 and a three course menu at €30. Both menus offer 4 or 5 different selections.
All the menu selections seem very original such as, “goat cheese wrapped in cabbage with honey” and “ marbleized beefsteak with foie gras”, “ provencal caramelized shank of lamb” and “finely sliced scallops with black truffle oil”. How did I translate that? I didn't. L'Endroit has menus written on blackboards in both French and English. When you arrive an English menu board is placed in front of you or you can try to read the French menu on the wall.
[time to eat!]
Entree - I start with the Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard a la Vanille. Eating this is a dream come true and I have now oficially died and gone to duck heaven. The entree is a slice of foie gras that is flavoured with vanilla bean. It's like ice cream. The dish is served with 3 crispy toasts and a tiny bit of watercress. If I die now, I die happy.
The duck feast continues...
Plat - No duck is safe while I'm around. My "plat" or main course is the “magret de canard aux figues” (duck fillet with figs). This is an inspiring dish. There are about 5 slices of tender duck in a fig flavoured sauce. The duck breast is cooked perfectly pink. In the center of the dish is a rice pilaf almondine topped with a slice of roast fig. More heaven.
Wine - For wine there is a medium sized list which I bet was carefully selected. I let my server select my wine for me based on my meal. Her selection for me is a full bodied wine which was a Laurus Crozes Hermitage 2001. The way drinking wine works at L'Endroit is you can get a glass of wine for around €5.50 or they will give you a whole bottle and you pay for what you drink. If you plan to have ony 2 glasses the whole bottle is the way to go.
click photo to enlarge
Dessert - I really want to order the cheese course for dessert but I am curious to see how they prepare dessert. I order the “Marquise Chocolat noir, sauce jasmin”, that's the black chocolate treat with jasmine scented sauce. Doesn't that sound original? Yes, it was original and a truely a delicious dessert. On the plate was 2 thin slices of creamy dark chocolate dressed in a jasmine flavoured sauce. The jasmine flavour was tender and light and perfectly complemented the thick dark rich chocolate. One to remember!
[in my opinion]
I am having trouble deciding if this is my favorite bistro of the trip. I would say it comes very close or is equal with my other 2 favorites. I give them high marks for creativity and originallity. The service was also excellent and English is spoken very well. They also get a big kudos for a very good translation on the english menu.
If you are out for a great meal in the €35 per person range, don't miss L'Endroit. My total bill was €45 ($58) with 2 glasses of wine and a €3 Foie Gras supplement (damn that Foie Gras supplement). It was worth every euro!
While in Paris I wanted to eat here a second time, but I wasn't feeling well on the night I was planning my second visit. When I return to Paris (and I will) you can be assured this is the first bistro I will head to!
I guess my restaurant karma was working this time!
This is a edited blog originally published live via Blackberry from Paris.