Reims Dining:

Brasserie du Boulingrin

November 30th, 2015 § 0 comments

Paris brasseries have entered a sad period. Once delightful places like La Coupole, Vaudeville, Bofinger, Balzar, Flo have been purchased by giant restaurant chain-conglomerates and now roll out industrialized food. Glittering decor and fresh oysters can still be relied upon. But, that’s it. The old time hip, lively and happy atmosphere has disappeared. Only Le Stella in the 16th keeps the old traditions. Its carte is a virtual parade of traditional dishes: Tete de veau; steak tartare; sole meuniere; choucroute; Iceland herring; steak frites; ile flottante, etc. The affluent residents of the 16th have impeccable manners but restraint is cast off when they confront Stella’s vast plateau de fruits de mer. In Reims, the Brasserie du Boulingrin maintains the old brasserie spirit. Art deco interior. Smoked glass and mirrors. Red leatherette banquettes. Young, smiling waitpersons. Dinner conversations are animated but the noise level is kept at a civilized pitch (This seems characteristic of French restaurants in contrast to their noisy American counterparts). On a second visit, HG sipped a cold, dry Muscadet, while devouring a dozen big, briny oysters. This was followed by very generous servings of sole meuniere. Two large fish were deboned deftly by the young woman serving HG/BSk. The filets were gilded by spoonfuls of buttery lemon cooking juices. Served with bowls of buttered boiled potatoes dusted with parsley. Dessert was, in keeping with Boulingrin’s generosity, dinner plate-sized creme brûlées. HG sipped an after dinner glass of cold Mirabelle and reflected upon the good fortune of having a splendid wife, a loving family and an appetite geared to the delights of old fashioned brasserie dining. HG interrupted this happy contemplation with a bout of severe envy as he watched a choucroute garnie presented to a young man at an adjoining table. The platter of kraut, sausages and pork was kept warm under a glass dome. This single portion seemed large enough to feed a platoon of Prussian Hussars. HG vowed to sample it if HG ever makes it back to Reims and Boulingrin.Restaurant-Reims-13

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