France: Le Trumilou
Europeans eat dinner a bit later in the day. That's one of the first things we learned. We got to Le Trumilou after an afternoon of taking silly kung fu shots in front of the Louvre only to discover that it wasn't yet open. It was rainy and cold and we miserably walked around the neighborhood until the restaurant was open for business. (I was so eager to get inside that I forgot to take a picture of the exterior. Sorry.)
It was a while before other people started trickling in:
Le Trumilou offers a great prix fixe deal. For 16.50 €, you can choose an entree plus either an appetizer or a dessert. The four of us decided to order three prix fixe sets (with two appetizers and one dessert) and tack on another entree.
First came the bread:
Oh, how I love bread. Beware of the mustard though. It's guaranteed to clear your sinuses.
Our first appetizer was the caviar d'aubergine:
The thing about high school French? It doesn't really prepare you for decoding entire menus. We knew there was eggplant in it and that's all we really cared to know. And dayum was it good. Especially with the bread. I love bread.
Our second appetizer was the celeri remoulade:
Very bright and refreshing. A good compliment to all the heavier dishes to come.
We didn't know what to expect when we chose the poulet forestière as one of our entrees. We only knew that it had chicken in it. We definitely didn't expect this lovely pot of chicken, mushrooms, and potatoes in a rich, savory sauce:
A rich, savory sauce that went beautifully with the bread.
Duck was not one of the prix fixe entree options, so we ordered it separately. We skimmed through the menu, spotted "canard" (French for duck) and went with that. Which is how we ended up with the canard aux pruneaux:
The photo is slightly blurry because I was shaking with excitement. We guessed that pruneaux meant prunes, but we didn't realize that the prunes would make the sauce sweet and SO GOOD WITH BREAD.
Sensing a theme here yet?
The mignon de porc à la moutarde was a little less exciting:
When pork is cooked in thin slices, it tends to get kind of dry...which is where sauce comes in. While this sauce was creamy and yummy and yes, good with bread, it wasn't particularly memorable. With "à la moutarde" in the name, I anticipated a bit more spicy mustard flavor.
Then again, maybe my sucky French skills just led me to have false expectations. That happened more than once while I was in France.
We had no clue what eglefin was, but we figured it was some type of fish. We were right. Apparently, filet d'eglefin creme de basilic is haddock with basil cream sauce:
Google translate came come in handy sometimes. It's sad when the veggie sides stand out more than the fish itself. Which is what happened here.
We were surprised when our server brought us not one, but two extra potato sides. There was the pommes de terre au gratin:
And pommes frites
Potatoes are always welcome. In any form. The best kind of potatoes though, are unexpected potatoes. Those are the best.
To round out our meal, we ended with the tarte aux poires à l'acienne:
Or in plain English, the pear tart. Good, but not quite mind-blowing.
Le Trumilou is a good place to escape from the tourist crush, practice your French on really patient staff, and most importantly, enjoy a good French meal (with lots of bread!). Just make sure you check the restaurant hours before you head on over because you might get stuck outside in the rain.
With the dog poop.
So yea. Learn from our mistakes.
84 Quai de l'Hôtel de ville
75004 Paris, France
+33 1 42 77 63 98