Destinations Magazine

L'Auberge Du Roi Gradlon in the 13th: Bon, Belle Et Bretonne, Bien Fait.

By Johntalbott

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6.4 L'Auberge du Roi Gradlon, 36, Boulevard Arago in the 13th,, (Metro: Gobelins or Bus # 83), closed Wednesdays and Thursdays (don't believe Rubin), is the second resto of L'Auberge du 15 (called that because it's at 15 Rue de la Santé but in the 13th not 15th) which I liked, so a Breton place open on Sundays appealed to me despite the vertiginous prices.  It's a hole in the wall in more ways than one; on the street, it's almost hidden, but it has a big cave, whose stone walls were part of the Convent/Abbey of the Cordeliers, of which little remains.

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The lunch "menu" is a very reasonable 30 E for 3, but I wanted the ormeaux (abalone) at the vertiginous price of 56 E - oh hell, you can't take it with you, or maybe you can.  While debating these serious choices, I had some lovely sliced crudities with sorrel butter, lovely warm crusty bread with (I assume, straight Breton butter) and some lovely wine.

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The very genial chef, serving 75% of the dishes himself, started me off with a cup of the Dubarry soup, rich and relaxing; then I had 6 (unpictured) Prat-Ar-Coum oysters (at 4 E each); and three ormeaux with an incredible puree of artichoke hearts in each shell; and finished with - what else - a perfect Kouign Amann with salted butter caramel.

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My bill, was, as I intimated, big, because I had the most expensive items on the carte, plus a coffee (which came with slices of Breton cake made from his grandmother's recipe), but even this way, plus a 1/2 bottle of wine and no bottled water, we're only talking about 108.50 E - but for a couple who took the "menu" and a full bottle of wine and two coffees, the damage would only be 97 E.

Go?  It depends folks.  Sunday, Brittany, fresh product fresh from the sea; what's the price of that?  And quiet - 74.6 dB.

PS As for the name of the restaurant, wiki has it that he was "a semi-legendary 5th century "king" of Cornouaille who became the hero of many Breton folk stories."

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