Last weekend my friend Kat had a visitor from the US and it was her last night, so a group of us went out to dinner. We made reservations at Chez Gladines, a Basque restaurant popular with young (read: broke) people (but probably also with other ages too). I was excited because I rarely eat out and I’d heard great things. It didn’t disappoint!
We reserved a table but because we decided to have an apéro chez Kat beforehand we were a bit late. We ended up waiting two hours and we were seated at 11pm. If we hadn’t had an apéro (cheese and wine) and if there wasn’t a bar across the street (beer, and champagne to celebrate the friend leaving) I would be super pissed. But I had an alcohol-fueled breezy attitude – eating at midnight didn’t seem to matter at all. So if you aren’t planning to drink a ton, make sure you arrive before your reservation.
The others decided we needed to get escargots – something I’ve avoided tasting the entire 2.5 years I’ve lived here. I probably would have had to eat them my first Christmas here, but I was uninvited from the Christmas dinner with my French family so I avoided that one! It could have been the booze helping me, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked them. We got the traditional preparation with parsley, garlic and butter, and another kind with Roquefort and cream. Both were great and the heavy butter and cream masked the slightly squishy texture. If you pay too much attention to the interaction of snail and tooth, you are in an experience not unlike the chewing of oysters – for me, pas agréable. The French guy sitting across from me missed my first taste, so he made me eat another one while he watched (weirdo), expecting me to be grossed out. I gladly ate a few more of the Roquefort ones – any excuse to eat blue cheese I will happily employ!
Our waiter was so nice despite having to navigate through a packed restaurant with millions of glasses, bottles, and huge plates. The food is good for the price – it’s not 5-star, but there are generous portions, fun and nice service (not found everywhere in Paris), and a great ambiance. I spent 20€ for a duck dish, the snails, and a few glasses wine and a coffee. So worth it!
My recovery time after a night out drinking is longer and longer each time…troubling. I’m getting old!
several locations but I was at the Butte aux Cailles one:
30 rue des 5 Diamants