Jumat, 19 Agustus 2011


Eating out right in Paris: the second installment of my new article series, I introduce you to Tante Alice, a good restaurant that deserves a place in the ranks of French provincial cuisine. Yummy!
Life after Chez Georges
In an article written earlier on the 'Eat in Paris' theme, I described the grandiose experience I at' Chez Georges. Own Chez Georges brought French cuisine flag with pride, and their number in circulation.
After such a satisfying meal I was wondering who could rise to the challenge to get as excited my taste. Rescue comes in the form of a dinner invitation by my partners in crime, Angelo and Vinni.
"To Tantalis!" is their battle cry.
Tantalis ... or not
Tantalis. With a name like that I do not know what to expect really. Tantalis does not mean anything in French. This sounds like a word coined, made it possible to wear some Nouvelle Cuisine joint. For me, Nouvelle Cuisine means product advertising, very little substance, and the high dollar. Not so promising. However, I rallied their flag, thinking they would know better.
Arriving at the scene I realized that I have erred in my linguistic assumptions: Tantalis not at all - Tante Alice it's always been.
"To Tantalis!" is their battle cry.
Now, Tante means aunt in French, so Aunt Alice. Alice is one of the names used to accept girls in the 1930's, but very few people dare giving their branches today. Aunt Alice brings back pictures of the old relative boondocks adorned with a mustache (and unsightly) is not possible, but endowed with a golden motherly heart. Type of an aunt who used to serve you and your friends delicious home-made berry jam on a slice of fresh bread at the end of the day mid-summer.
Outside and inside
There we were, at Tante Alice's door. From the outside, where it makes a good impression. The building is modern, the restaurant sign above the door is pulled in a classic font, in a deep burgundy red. Good street environment, with many stores that look clean. We are in the southern district of 10, about 10 minutes walk from Place de la R├ępublique.
Patrons entering the bar the face of the wood. Decorations appear simple tastes. Abundant use of wood and the Vichy-style tablecloth reminded me of a Normandy inn. Although not a large restaurant space, tables are far enough apart from each other that you may be comfortable having a private conversation with your better half or love interest.
We were greeted by one of two restaurant owners, and quickly led to our table. There is room on the second, which I was told to use at lunchtime when the staff of the neighboring business' to attack the place. It was about 07:30, and on the first floor is currently operated at 80% capacity. The noise level is very acceptable, local customers calm.
When we sat down our hostess handed us menus and asked if we wanted to start with alcoholic beverages, alcoholic soft drinks are usually consumed the French people right before lunch and dinner to open up their appetite. I ordered a Kir Royal, a mixture of blackcurrant cream and champagne. Owners of Chez Tante Alice offer their own versions of mint cocktail, which my friend Vinni ordered.
Tante Alice's menu simple, with a choice of 5 to 7 fares per section. Every dish in French cuisine terroir mantras, ie. Traditional cuisine from the countryside. For appetizer I opted for the dish of pan-burn cepes (mushrooms). I will be a delicious dish subtle: steak sauteed duck liver.
While we sipped our aperitif, our second hostess came to take our order. He cooks, and she lent herself amicably to our questions. The woman is good advice.
Patrons entering the bar the face of the wood. Decorations appear simple tastes. Abundant use of wood and the Vichy-style tablecloth reminded me of a Normandy inn. Although not a large restaurant space, tables are far enough apart from each other that you may be comfortable having a private conversation with your better half or love interest.
Do we want wine? Yes please, a half bottle of bright red Reuilly or Chinon-both wines are from the Touraine-to accompany our dishes. Chef shows that we have chosen the most expensive, and we might want to reconsider. A very honest attitude worth mentioning in a business known to rake in huge profits on wine orders. We chose to keep our half-bottle of red Chinon though.
This is where the food
We have a lot of business to discuss about your friends, so we do not keep our eyes on the watch. It's probably better because Tante Alice has a rhythm of its own. You should not expect a record-breaking serving speed. Food is prepared on order, so everything takes a little time. My appetizer came only when I began to feel hungry.
The smell and sight are the first senses you use to evaluate your food. Fresh Cepes must have a very strong odor and taste simple. Indeed they are. And they look delicious. I serve the thick, something surprising. Go to a restaurant in rural France and for the same price you would pay in Paris, they serve you three times the amount of food. Part I watched it was worth every penny I'll pay for it.
Proof of the pudding is in eating. I Cepes savory, with rich earth tones and wood. They were pan-seared to black light, and as tasty as they should. One sip of light, red grapes helps them go down in style. What began satisfying!
Our dishes come with not too long after we wiped our plates clean.
Steak pan-fried duck liver is a delicacy of the French countryside. Recipes vary from chef to chef, but basically the cook dips the raw duck liver in flour, pan both sides in oil is less than one minute (the steak may not burned), then pan-fried steak set aside, discard the oil, pour a little vinegar or raspberry balsamic in a saucepan, and reduce it, then add the bottom and peanut butter, and bring the sauce is simmering short. Sauce is then spread over the steak.
If properly prepared with excellent ingredients, the steak of duck liver melts in your mouth. So much so that you do not even have to chew. Smooth taste can easily be mastered, so it is served with light sides such as artichoke hearts, mango chutney, raisins and cooked apple slices, or dried plums.
Tante Alice's chef has excellent hands, and his fried steak of duck liver lived up to expectations. It was very brittle, and melts on the tongue with no chewy parts. Chinon is a good choice to accompany it. Some people would prefer a white wine such as Gew├╝rtztraminer (wines from Alsace), a Loupiac or a Sauternes (Southwest and Bordeaux wines, respectively).
Dessert and check please
To this end satisfying meal with a cold record, I ordered 3 tablespoons of vanilla and coffee ice cream. Menu describes the vanilla and coffee flavors in such terms as curiosity aroused you can not help. I was not disappointed: the coffee really tasted like coffee (not like licorice), and vanilla has a very rich natural flavor. I have a double espresso to top it off.
Check came to about EUR35 per person ($ 43), wine included. For such a performance the night, this price is very reasonable. Eating after it was perfect, no digestion problems. The product is fresh, and both our hostesses give us the right amount of attention during the meal.

20 komentar:

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