My Favorite Parisian Restaurant

I was speaking to an old friend from Vancouver yesterday
and we were reminiscing about our favorite restaurants in
Paris.  I had recommended Cafe Constant to him when
he was in Paris and it quickly became his favorite
bistro as well.  Out of five nights in Paris, two of those
dinners were eaten in this special place.

Because I am heading back to Paris, I thought
it might be fun to re-run a previous blog post from 2010
and give my new readers an insight into this 
"must-go" to in Paris.

Here it is....

I gave it considerable thought before writing this post because I hate waiting in lineups to eat at my favorite bistro in Paris but this restaurant is such a treat in so many ways, it would be ashamed not to share with you this wonderful little gourmet gem in the 7th arrondissement,
very close to the Eiffel Tower.

Café Constant is on the corner of rue Saint Dominique and rue Augereau. It's small and it does not take reservations but if there is room at the bar,
you may get a tasty treat to eat with your drink.

The Café is a cozy bistro that has a loyal following and also attracts tourists in those busy months. It's a place that I feel so comfortable going on my own, and I try to eat there at least once or twice a week. There are two floors but if you are eating solo
or want to be in the center of all the action, eat downstairs.
It's smaller, noisier but a lot more fun because that's where the locals eat.

The tables are close together so you can't help getting to know your neighbors. The last time I was there, I sat next to a single older Parisian woman who comes every night to Cafe Constant with her little dog. I had the opportunity to practice my French with her as we talked about her Fifi which attracted a lady from South Carolina to come over and join us. I got to be the translator for the two of them, which was pretty rough at best but I DID IT. Of course, neither of the two ladies knew if I was translating their conversation correctly anyway!!??...

There are no menus. A blackboard listing the night's specials is brought to your table and then the big decision has to be made. Which Entrées will you choose to lead off your meal? And the bread ... oh my Lord ... you can't stop eating it slathered with the sweet French butter.

And then Les Plats ... all of the dishes sound like something you should try before you leave Paris. And when I don't know what it is ... I do not ask ... I just order it. I love surprises.

Two of my favorites are the Grilled Sea Bass filets sitting deliciously on a soft mound of sweet potatoes and the Berry Roasted Chicken with herb butter on top of fried polenta with shavings of aged parmesan. Of course, a carafe of rosé wine always accompanies my meal.

photo by David Thomas
This is the chicken dish that was served the night my nephew David visited Café Constant in August. He said it was the best meal that he had in Paris. Check out the gravy!

Now, the DESSERTS. Notice the capital letters. Christian Constant is known for his sweet touch with the last course of dinner. My two favorites are Ile Flottante and Profiteroles.

The Profiteroles are made from lovely French puff pastry in which there is a large scoop of so-creamy vanilla ice cream topped with the most sinfully rich warm chocolate sauce. And the Ile Flottante (Floating Island) made of meringue, almonds and creme anglaise will have you licking your plate.

Christian Constant is one of the best known chefs of Paris after having been a chef at the Ritz and Executive Chef at the Hotel Crillon. He has 4 other restaurants on rue Saint Dominique that are more upscale than the Constant.
I know I should try them but my heart and stomach belong to Café Constant.

Maybe I'll see you there. I'll be the one making "yummm" sounds.

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