Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Essex Eating in Paris - L'Epi Dupin

Another night in Paris, another restaurant. This one I didn't research on the Internet and it wasn't in the guidebook, but it provided the best meal I ate in Paris by far. A fellow food blogger, Gastrogeek recommended it to me via Twitter for which I'm extremely grateful.

I successfully managed to make a reservation for this restaurant myself, which had less to do with my frankly extremely poor French skills and everything to do with the fact that the Manager speaks perfect English. (and Japanese, as I found to my amazement when he started explaining the menu to a table of Far Eastern tourists next to ours).

L'Epi Dupin is located in a side street on the Left Bank, not too far from Bon Marche, the venerable Parisian department store.
We arrived on yet another sweltering Friday evening, in a bit of a fluster, as per normal we'd cut things a bit 'fine' getting ready, and despite the restaurant only being a brisk 20min walk from our hotel - we hadn't left enough time, and then to top it all managed to get lost.
The Manager was all smiles, no mention of our tardiness at all, politely showed us to our table and suggesting a glass of wine whilst we studied the wine menu.

Wine ordered - the chalk written Menu board was brought over for us to study, and I was surprised to see it was a set menu, three courses for 33 Euros. The waiter, also speaking excellent English happily (and patiently) talked us through the whole menu.
I ordered Duck Leg confit Pastilla with honey and coriander sauce, My GF ordered a Thai type dish of shredded sesame Chicken, with noodles in a lemongrass broth. (Bit vague on exactly what this dish was - but it tasted fantastic).
Before our starters arrived, an amuse-bouche was placed on our table of what I can only describe as a layered soup of cucumber and sweet potato. The cucumber layer was light in consistency, the bottom sweet potato layer was thicker almost syrupy, I thought it worked pretty well and was an unusual combination. My GF on the other hand was less impressed, and I ended up finishing hers off as well. Her loss.
Onto the starters, and the presentation was great, my Duck confit pastilla being in an unusual conical shape. The pastry shell was crisp but light, the duck filling had a subtle almost smoky taste which worked beautifully dipped in the sweet honey and coriander sauce on the side. I finished this course off in pretty short order, it was delicious.

Our mains were brought out next, I had ordered (literally translated) Beef Cheeks of twenty hours with carrots and sesame. My GF had gone for Duck Breast with petit pois, carrots and onions.
I've never eaten Beef Cheeks before, and what can I say - amazing. The beef was so tender and moist it literally just fell to pieces at a touch, stunning combined with the carrots, some pomme puree and crispy puffs (I presume these were the sesame?, they provided an interesting crunchy texture opposed to the softness of the beef, I'd be interested to know how to make these, if anyone has any idea?)
Honestly, one of the best plates of food I've eaten anywhere.
My partner was pretty impressed with her Duck, which was perfectly cooked, but we both agreed that I'd been more fortunate in my choice of main course.
Our empty plates cleared, Dessert arrived I'd ordered a Pistachio Macaron with cream of rhubarb and raspberry coulis. The GF went for the Apricots with raspberries, ice-cream and praline.
Again, nicely presented and again, I'd picked the better dish. Believe me, It was so good, the lightest crispy pistachio macaron sitting on a heap of sweet rhubarb cream - utterly gorgeous.
Expresso finished, it was time to settle up - and amazingly for a meal of this quality, three courses with wine - 120 Euros.
Gastrogeek recommended it to me, and now I'm recommending it to you - if your ever in Paris and want an excellent meal at a bargain price - Eat here.

L'Epi Dupin
11 Rue Dupin




Anonymous said...

Dan, so glad you had a good meal there too! What a brilliant write up, lovely descriptions, especially those beef cheeks. That manager was a proper legend. Reading this I felt like I was back there all over again...sigh!

Jafar said...

I'm going to paris soon and i have to try this. this is hunger-inducing.

franmouse39 said...

Lovely report and lovely pics, Dan

Dan said...

Thanks Gastrogeek, had an excellent time. Thanks again for suggesting it - brilliant choice.

Jafar - I don't blame you!

Fran - Thanks!

The Ample Cook said...

What a fantastic photo of the Eiffel tower! Very 'Film Noir' Another great meal Dan and very good value. Again, your research really paid off.I've got some ox cheeks in my freezer, if this weather continues over the weekend I think a hearty dish is on the cards!

Hollow Legs said...

Sounds great - how annoying for your girlfriend, to have picked the lesser of the dishes every time!

Dan said...

Lizzie - Karma - it's normally me who picks the worse dishes. Makes a change for it to be the other way round!

Food Urchin said...

Dan, you should start a business taking people on foodie holidays, really impressed by the research.

Only been to Paris once on rugby tour, can't remember a thing but must take Mrs Food Urchin soon. We always get competitive at restaurants, arguing over who ordered best.

Good read.

Unknown said...

Dan - really wanted to go here after this great review but sad to say it is closed for the whole of August (might be worth pointing this out to other readers as well). Have to put it on the "next time" list.

Dan said...

Gourmet Chick - thats a real shame it was closed. Seems like you found a hell of a lot of excellent substitutes though! Very impressed, you ate extremely well in Paris.