Sunday, February 03, 2019

Soupe d'Oignon Part 2

The search for the perfect onion soup on Ile Saint Louis continues. Chilly weather made it essential.
A brief foray into a small corner restaurant on the Isle(which shall remain unnamed) was a disaster. Cook's 1st day? To boot it was served luke-warm. I said, "No thank you" and dashed for the door.
Down the street the lovely cafe St. Regis waited
Service was great as always. Their bread is from Poilane! Perfectly chewy. Sadly the onion soup was only so so. Broth was beefy its true, but the cheese topping careless. No other way to put it. You should practically need a knife and fork to cut through the blanket of melted cheese. Otherwise where's the fun? And no unmelted cheese shreds please. Maybe a 5-6 on the onion soup scale. Triste. (13,50€) Stick with their chicken paillard or breakfast. Pom'Cannelle still wins the day.
I'm becoming adept at sketching on restaurant paper placemats...
Next stop Alsacian, Brasserie de l'Isle Saint Louis earned a darn good 8+. (12€) Perfectly melted cheesy topping. The broth could have been a touch beefier in my opinion, but altogether a very satisfying experience from a classic, traditional French restaurant. Word has it in the old days, there were lines out the door. Its still popular. I remember the surprise of seeing Baryshnikov sitting in outdoor in their cafe one summer. I'll come back here.
When you move to France, you're unprepared for the bombardment of shredded cheese. Who didn't grow up on Kraft's shreaded Parmesan in the green canister? Was there actually any real Parmigiana or even cheese in there? Didn't matter. Sprinkling it on everything was fun. The shredded cheese varieties in France are vast and can be uneven. Enough dishes require it like croque monsieur, crepes, potatoes gratinee, and natch onion soup. Hardly a day goes by without eating some cheese in France. My current fav is Comté rapé. Not a bad snack straight out of the bag. I watched JULIA make onion soup on Youtube this morning. Did you know you must 'cook' the onions for 15-20 minutes before browning them. I'm tempted to give it a whirl. CHRISTINA'S CUCINA has a good recipe. Have you made DIY onion soup? Do tell.
Last night walking along the Seine, it was cold but still beautiful. Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Subscription letters, maps and watercolors are in my Etsy shop. 
Stay warm PBers, with love💋from Paris🐻


35 comments:

  1. My favorite onion soup in Paris is found not far from you at Au Bourguignon du Marais. Heavenly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Debbie
      That's very close by at
      52, rue François Miron 75004

      Delete
  2. Bonnie1:27 PM

    Love Brasserie de l’Isle St-Louis! We ate there more times than I care to admit when we stayed on the island last year. Fabulous place to sit under the awning and watch the world go by. IMHO the best restaurant on the tip of the island.

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  3. The very time I was in Paris I ate at the St. Regis. I had the onion soup and it was everything I thought it should be. I compare every other to theirs now.

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    Replies
    1. You must cross the street to the Brasserie next time

      Its 'le vrai choise'

      Delete
  4. Diane P9:04 PM

    Sunday afternoon in the French Quarter reading and enjoying the moment!! Love this quote

    “..If I were a tablecloth in Paris.....

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  5. Carolyn I12:15 AM

    TOO CUTE -
    the painting of the French onion soup restaurant may be one of my favorite watercolors!!!
    I want it!!
    On Etsy???

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  6. A quest for the perfect onion soup - count me in! Years ago we made Julia Child’s recipe. It was grand, but a lot of work. Also, the “aroma” of onions permeated everything in the house for weeks! I will limit my soupe a l’oignon intake to Paris visits.

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  7. Oh, I love your Onion Soup Mission, Carol! Too funny that you walked out of the first place because that's exactly what my mother and I did in Lyon when we were there. I don't know if they just do this to tourists, but my mother's onion soup was like water (not dark) and had about 2 slices of onions in it. If you think that was bad, they served a slice of untoasted bread and shredded cheese on the side! We thought, "What's going on? Do we have to assemble this, and they'll put it back under the grill?" But no, that was how they served it! My escargot had sand in them (well, the first one I ate did) and when the waiter basically tried to tell us all was well, we simply walked out. Ridiculous!

    LOVE your watercolors of the glasses, and I so appreciate your link to my onion soup (it actually is Julia's!) :) Happy painting and onion soup-questing! CC

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    Replies
    1. Love yr Lyon story!
      Sand in the snails. That is touching bottom.
      You would think in Lyon nothing could go gastronomically wrong.

      Delete
  8. I love the painting also:)We only had one in Paris in the 1 er arrondissement I think in front of Le Palais de la Cité..elle était bonne..w/ un verre de vin.Ile de la Cité.Le Caveau Du Palais...or Brasserie Les Deux Palais..I can't remember;)Pouring rain..cold..LOL
    Bad croque-monsieur at Maxim's.

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  9. Chas Z11:09 AM

    Not surprised and delighted Le Brasserie won the day,
    it's been my canteen for 49 years and still tasty.
    John Frankinheimer learned to be a chef there--
    between directing his great films.
    Stunning sketches as always!
    DZ …dans les vignes in Provence

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually Pom'Cannelle is still the winner from a previous post 👍🏻
      But the brasserie is more upper crust

      Delete
  10. Anonymous11:18 AM

    We make Julia Child's onion soup frequently -- it's not difficult and the result is wonderful -- patience is key to getting the onions right. Yes, as another commenter wrote, the aroma of caramelizing onions permeates the house, but that's OK -- it's not a raw onion smell. We do experiment with the cheese.

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you...I would love the aroma of carmelized onions in the house

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    2. I make Julia's onion soup a few times a year. Being patient with the onions is key, but also key is having the broth hot (all of it) and the 2nd is to put the flour in with the onions off heat and to let it cook in. I also make sure to add more onions than Julia's instructions.

      Delete
  11. The best I've had in Paris was at Zimmer but I haven't had it at very many places - have always wanted to try it at au Pied du Cochon as they have always been known for it. It's really pretty easy to make at home - tho I haven't made it in a long time (no one else will eat it & my husband is allergic to onions). Trader Joe's sells a frozen one that isn't bad and is in individual portions.

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    Replies
    1. TRADER JOE'S....yum yum
      Never heard of Zimmer - must investigate!

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    2. Ooops forgot..Au Pied de Cochon is terrific and really fun too

      Delete
  12. I make Julia's French Onion regularly and it never fails. (I don't add the cognac at the end because I never have it, though I'm sure if I had purchased a bottle it would be gone by now, I make it that often!) Just keep an eye on the onions and give a stir every five-seven minutes; otherwise, they might stick to the pan! (Says the voice of experience.) Love the soup sketches and are you quite sure you didn't give away the name of restaurant #1?

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  13. Brilliantly written and presented, today’s missive was/is. Be proud. Cheers. J

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  14. Kate S8:03 AM

    So comforting even from afar. Love a traditional bowl of French onion soup on a rainy day.

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  15. thanks for this tour of onion soups on the ile saint louis.

    you should definitely try making Julia Child's soupe a l'oignon. it's the recipe i always use and it's the standard by which i judge all onion soup. it is wonderful with homemade beef stock but it's great with store-bought broth too. it's the sage that really makes it.
    keep warm.

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  16. Brilliantly written and presented, today’s missive was/is. Be proud. Cheers. J

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mary S8:15 AM

    french onion soup is my husband's favorite...i make an excellent one...carmelizing the onions is essential as well as some wine and of course
    for us the cheese has to be gruyere...we are currently on the island of st. martin on the french side and he is, as usual , on a search for the best
    french onion soup on island

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  18. The BEST Onion Soup recipe in the universe is by Alton Brown of the TV Series "Good Eats" on the FOOD Network.
    About 10 years ago, my husband got on a Onion Soup kick & tried dozens of recipes. Alton's was the very best & we have made this recipe every New Years ever since ( & many other times over the year).
    It always comes out perfect...
    I 'm sure you can Google the recipe...not as good as in Paris, but darn close. Thanks for this cool post Carol.

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  19. I recently made Melissa Clark’s recipe in her new book “Dinner in an Instant”
    It was delish! Loved your post

    ReplyDelete
  20. Pam S3:20 AM

    Are you saying that Pom’ Cannelle has
    great onion soup? I always stop by
    for quiche and Berthillon but have
    never had it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Pam, Pom has
      best price
      best taste
      best cheese
      Biggest portion for the price
      So far...

      Delete
    2. I must go back and taste Pom's quiche now..
      These French trad dishes are not helping my ligne at all!

      Delete
  21. BTW you should try the onion soup at Pain d ‘ Epices at 12 rue Jean du Bellay . I think you will approve. Bon journee. R

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    Replies
    1. I went to Pain d'Epice yesterday...I could not resist temptation and it was on the plat du jour menu. Pas mal but too salty for my taste, but then I never salt anything.
      Otherwise the cook is in love ❤️ IMHO

      Delete
  22. William Ternay4:51 AM

    A very fun post. Love knowing you' are sketching from life?
    Watch out! You may become a genuine Plein Aire artist.
    You made me yearn for some onion soup.

    ReplyDelete

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