Paris: Robert et Louise

March 4th, 2009
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Tragically, this piece of loveliness was not mine. I have to mention it anyway. It’s the Ribeye steak for two, cooked on the open wood fireplace in the back of Robert et Louise, in the Marais.
I first read about the restaurant in Ruth Reichl’s extended Editor’s Note in last year’s Paris issue of Gourmet. I immediately added it to my short list.
We passed by one night hoping for dinner, but walk-ins weren’t available. The small space fills up pretty quickly, so you’ll need to make a reservation a few days in advance.
When we got there for our reservation, the beautiful old tavern space was packed tightly from the entryway down to the kitchen. I stood next to the open kitchen watching the staff work as we waited for our table.
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My main was duck confit, while Tammi had a Beef Bourgignon. Our meal was wonderful, although even now the most memorable part was the steak we didn’t have. I had a pair of sausages, a boudin noir and a boudin blanc that were grilled in the open hearth in the back wall of the restaurant.
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The spectacle of the fireplace drew our attention for most of the night. Hunks of meat grilling above, while firewood burned to charred embers below. Days later, Tammi and I were still smelling the wood smoke in our coats. I got hungry again every time.

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