Le Vaudeville Reborn

June 15th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Le Vaudeville brasserie in Paris has one of the best interiors in that fabled city. Lots of marble and brass. Art Deco flourishes and other influences. Fabled stained glass door to the men’s room. During its glory days it was frequented by HG/BSK and was a favorite of HG’s late sister and brother in law, Beulah and Daniel K. Great traditional dishes: Cod with truffle-infused potato puree. Steamed mussels. Oysters. Grilled pig’s foot. Sole. Salmon in sorrel sauce (a Beulah fave). Marinated herring. Tete de Veau. And, much more. Best desserts: Creme caramel and ile flottante. A happy place. Then, it was taken over by the Flo chain. Industrialized food. Plummeted downhill. HG/BSK had a disastrous meal and vowed never to return. Now there’s good news. The brasserie has been taken over by new owners. Refurbished terrace. Bar serving champagne and snacks. Alec Lobrano of “Hungry for Paris” just ate there and gave the food and service a glowing report. Lobrano (in a dead heat with SJ as world’s best food writer) can be relied upon. If HG manages to get back to Paris, Le Vaudeville (and Le Stella) will be the favored brasserie destinations for HG/BSK.

Sorrel Sauce

August 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Many years ago in Paris, HG/BSK dined with HG’s beloved sister, Beulah Naomi, and her husband, Daniel Katz, at the bustling, art deco brasserie, Le Vaudeville, near the Bourse (French stock exchange). Vaudeville was a splendid brasserie in those days. It has gone downhill since taken over by a restaurant chain. HG/BSK started the meal with a big platter of oysters (and a bottle of crisp Muscadet). Beulah and Dan were happy with their starter of marinated herring. HG/BSK went on to mains of steamed cod and mashed potatoes with black truffles. Beulah and Dan ordered saumon a l’oseille (salmon with sorrel sauce) and boiled potatoes for their main dish. It was a “Voila !!!” moment for Beulah. She chortled with delight with each forkful. BSK brought back this happy memory last night with BSK’s version of this dish. BSK’s sorrel sauce: chopped sorrel (from the BSK herb garden);butter, chicken broth, shallots, lettuce and an egg yolk). All the ingredient cooked gently and swirled into an unctuous topping for a thick slab of salmon. The fish was purchased at Prince Edward Island’s ByThe Bay Fish Mart. The salmon is farm raised under excellent conditions in Nova Scotia. HG/BSK pan broiled the fish very carefully (overcooked salmon is disastrous). The fish was perfect. The sauce was lush and herbaceous. Only wish that Beulah was here to enjoy it.

Celestial Salmon

August 31st, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

A few decades ago, HG/BSK and HG’s late sister and brother-in-law, Beulah and Daniel K., were seated in Le Vaudeville (Then very good. Now downhill.), the beautiful art deco brasserie opposite the Paris Bourse (stock exchange). Following some glorious appetizers (oysters for HG/BSK and Baltic pickled herring with warm potato salad for other duo), HG sipped chilled Muscadet and examined the carte. Saumon a l’ oseille was featured. This was grilled salmon with sorrel sauce, a dish made famous by chefs Pierre and Jean Troigrois at the brothers’ Michelin three-star restaurant in Roanne. Everyone at the HG table ordered it and it was a revelation. Salmon and sorrel were meant for each other. The slightly bitter and herbaceous sauce seemed the proper counterpoint for the rich (cooked semi rare) salmon filet. Sorrel is a rarity in American food markets. Here on Prince Edward Island, BSK cultivates a big crop of sorrel in the BSK herb garden. That means abundant sorrel soup and sorrel sauce. Salmon, of course, is the problem. Wild salmon has become ridiculously expensive and farm raised salmon is pumped full of artificial coloring, flaccid and tasteless. (HG/BSK are spoiled by their years in Vancouver where wild salmon is always available, inexpensive and delicious). The salmon HG/BSK purchase at By the Bay Fish Mart in St. Peters is farm raised in Nova Scotia in an apparently natural environment. Not as good as the wild but still tasty. HG/BSK grilled a big slab for dinner last night. BSK made sorrel sauce (sorrel, shallots, chicken broth, butter, egg yolks). Sublime. There were other good things on the table. Grilled asparagus. Fresh sweet corn (in season at last). Little potatoes dug from the Noel and Yossi M. garden earlier in the day. EM styled crisp fried pork bellies and mushroom caps smothered with chopped scallions and herbs. Another spectacular PEI dinner.


Balzar & Gopnik

May 13th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Brasserie Balzar on the Rue des Ecoles in Paris was (before its takeover by the Flo Group) HG/BSK’s favorite dining spot. Just a sprinkling of tourists. It had a true Parisian ambience. It was patronized by Left Bank publishers, writers, arts and antiques dealers plus many academics from the nearby Sorbonne. Many pretty women. Chic without pretension. The decor and lighting were slightly deco and infinitely comfortable. The waiters were wonderful. True professionals. No servility and no arrogance, collaborators with the diners in creating a delicious experience. The food? Classic, plain spoken French. Roast chicken. Broiled liver. Oysters. Mussels. Skate wing in black butter with capers (HG’s favorite). Choucroute garnie. Tarte tatin with gobs of creme fraiche. Sadly, Balzar is now just a shadow of itself, another soulless Flo brasserie like Coupole, Vaudeville, etc. You can read about efforts to save the old Balzar in Adam Gopnik’s book, Paris to the Moon. In HG’s opinion, this is the best book ever written about Paris and contains many brilliant perceptions about French culture, food, manners, etc. Gopnik has also written a very rewarding book about New York, Through the Children’s Gate–A Home in New York. It’s a wry and knowing view of New York (plus many insights into the rewards and trials of parenting). There’s also a comic masterpiece in the book, a chapter titled, Man Goes To See A Doctor. Its portrait of Gopnik’s psychoanalyst is indelible. Gopnik is a fount of wit and erudition. But, he’s not perfect. Born in Montreal, Gopnik prefers that city’s sweet, honey flavored (feh!!) bagels to New York’s robust bagels, the traditional companions of cream cheese and Nova.


Paris: Day Two (Le Vaudeville)

January 5th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Day Two in Paris was New Years Day. Most restaurants closed. Brasseries open. HG made a dinner reservation at long beloved Le Vaudeville, an old, art deco establishment opposite the Paris stock exchange, Le Bourse. While most Paris brasseries have gone downhill, HG has always loved Vaudeville’s great oysters, bustling waiters, the signature dish of grilled cod with truffled potato puree, the exuberant Ile Flottante dessert. And the atmosphere was always very chic and Parisian. Well, the 2014 Vaudeville was a disaster. Avoid it when you are in Paris. Dinner started badly with the maitre d’ unable to find the HG reservation even though it had been made by the head of the Flo Group (owner of Vaudeville and many other once-good brasseries) PR department. Finally gave us a table in a dark hole, worst table in the house. HG would not accept it. Got another table which proved to be the target of cold winds. Finally got a comfortable table. Service was ludicrous. Didn’t pour wine. Didn’t provide carafe d’eau after being asked three times. Food was just okay and prices were astronomical. Special (bad) holiday menu and none of the old time favorites were available. Ambience? The restaurant was 100% tourists from Germany, Italy and Japan — plus many louts in dirty sweatshirts. Looked up at the ceiling and the paint was flaking (just ready to fall on an unsuspecting diner). That about sums up Le Vaudeville.


Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with Le Vaudeville at HUNGRY GERALD.