We are going to have almost one full month to enjoy Asian food, so it sounded like a logical idea to do a typical French meal before departing France. What we particularly fancied was duck: either magret de canard or confit.
In the summertime, and when we are particularly hungry, we visit Chez Papa in front of the Montparnasse Cemetery. I now hear you thinking “aren’t there so many more sophisticated restaurants to eat duck in Paris”, and I agree with you, but I have my reasoning. Chez Papa is a franchise so the quality is not exactly the same in each restaurant, but we like this particular Chez Papa because it is very reasonably priced, the portions are huge, terrace is nice and the manager pleasant. Additionally, knowing you are so close to Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir adds something to your dining experience…However, this time we wanted to find something within walking distance from our home and headed toward Boulevard Saint-Germain. We had a vague memory of walking by a rather large terrace of a Sud-Ouest (southwest of France) restaurant in the 5th arrondissement last summer, and soon enough we arrived at Chez Gladines.
As we entered, we were greeted by a genuinely friendly young man who said we would have a table in few minutes –just enough time to have un apéritif it meant! Before we noticed, we got our table.
The menu had plenty of variety: plates of different cold meats, potato dishes, three types of snails (parsley, blue cheese and Basque style), entrecôte, different types of duck as we had wanted, etc. There was also a large offer of Basque specialties and even andouillette, the famous (very smelly!) sausage made of intestines and pork…We shared parsley snails for a starter. The snails were good-sized, but maybe lacked some garlic and more parsley to be perfect. For his main course my husband chose magret de canard (served with sautéed potatoes and salad) and he said it was high-quality duck. I took piments piquillos à la morue because while in the Basque country last September, I chose this dish whenever it was on the menu and I like the combination of ingredients. Basically you are eating cod-stuffed piquillo peppers that come from Northern Spain (and are very rich in vitamine C). I love fish, I could eat a dozen of these piquillos. At Chez Gladines they were served in a creamy sauce that softened the fish taste.To show our respect to the lovely Basque country, we ordered a bottle of Irouléguy (red wine) and finished our dinner with local cheese served with cherry confiture.
The clientele was quite student-like, but we will definitely return to Chez Gladines, at the latest during the summer to eat at the terrace. Moreover, the restaurant is very down to earth and the service friendly. Yet a bit noisy, I would imagine this restaurant being a nice place for a family to taste typical Sud-Ouest and Basque dishes. Worth mentioning are prices: wine bottles start at an unbeatable 12.50€, snails cost 8.90€ and main courses are around 13€ (mine was 10.90€ and my husband’s 12.90€). What else –go and enjoy as we did.
Chez Gladines: http://gladines-restaurant-paris.fr
Chez Papa: http://www.chez-papa.com