Destinations Magazine

L'Escargot (1903) in Puteaux: Well Worth a Trip, Detour, Schlep; No Wonder It's All the Big Boys' Favorite.

By Johntalbott

June 2012 0548.0 L'Escargot aka L'Escargot 1903, 18, rue Charles-Lorilleux in Puteaux (Metro: La Defense but you're better off taking the T2 to Puteaux and trekking a bit up the hill than traversing the impossible alleys of La Defense), 01.47.75.03.66, closed weekends and Monday nights is the 2nd of the guys who run La Fourchette de Printemps in the 17th, which is itself a great place.)

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It is, at the same time, a classic auberge you could tumble on in the Midi and a hip/quirky/Bobo joint in the 11th.

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The 37 E "menu" is a good bargain (my pix omitted the other desserts - an oeuf a la neige, lemon tart and hummmm).

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While awaiting my big stuff, I had a top-of-the-line tapenade slathered on terrific toasts and as an amuse gueule a veloute of surprisingly sweet carrots with cumin.  So far, so good.  Can they hold up?

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The answer is a resounding "Yes."  My warm langoustines and asparagus in a lukewarm smoky puree vers soup was outasight; my magret, which I forgot to specify should be underdone, was, and sliced, sat atop a mound of simply wonderful morsels of Grannies, pears, apricots and melon - atop that was a caramelized wafer of nuts which neither added to nor detracted from the dish (let it go guys!); and my strawberries with orange wedges and peel in a divine coulis topped off a great meal.

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Despite the horrid weather, I was in a festive summer mood awaiting Colette's arrival and had some of a quite pleasant rose from Aix, which, with no bottled water and a coffee added up to a sum of 51 E or 102 E a couple.

A note about the service.  Using meaning #1 - the waitfolk - they were eager, attentive, enthusiastic, young and very unpolished in a most charming way, asking every few minutes if I was pleased (I do think they caller ID'd me, so I did get the best langoustines, duck breast and strawberries, but rank has its privilege).  Under meaning #2 - delivery of dishes in a prompt but not rushed way - the kitchen rolled out the food in precisely the manner one looks and hopes for.  So 3 stars there.

Go?  Well, I left one happy boy; if it's good enough for me, it should be...........


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