Le Villaret – Paris

On our last night in Paris we dined at Le Villaret, which is in the 11th arrondissement.  A slightly more upmarket restaurant compared to the casual bistros we had dined at during our stay in Paris, it was a warm and bright spot on an otherwise dark street.

Tastefully decorated with friendly service, we sat down in the main dining room, ordered a bottle of red wine (my brother did the ordering, he’s the wine buff), and chose our courses.

I started with baked pork belly, poached egg, and small shellfish in a frothy cream broth.  The pork was quite salty, however once I cut open the egg and mixed it in the broth, it balanced out well.  I didn’t eat the shellfish as I used to be allergic to them and have since been scared of them since.  Mr Ana polished the shellfish off with glee.  The entree was a simple dish, reflective of French country cooking.

Baked pork belly and shellfish - Le Villaret

Mr Ana and my brother both had small white fish pickled in olive oil.  They received a large baking dish and picked out as many as they wished.  I left it to them, as I’m not a fan of fish at room temperature.  Mr Ana quite enjoyed it, as he’s never eaten such a dish before.

Fish pickled in olive oil - Le Villaret

My main was a baked chicken leg with vegetables.  The chicken was baked perfectly, and was firm but moist to eat.  The vegetables were cooked in a vegetable stock that reminded me of a soup I used to eat as a child.  Only this one was better as it had a heap of olives in it which influenced the flavour.

Baked chicken - Le Villaret

Mr Ana’s main was braised beef on a bed of potatoes, and it arrived in a warm pan.  The beef was incredibly tender and rich in flavour.  I enjoyed tasting it as it was more to my taste than my own more delicate main.

Braised beef - Le Villaret

For dessert, we both ordered the panna cotta.  It was honestly the best panna cotta I had ever eaten.  It was super creamy and bouncy to eat, with little vanilla seeds peeking through the cream.  The panna cotta came with vanilla ice cream, a gingery biscuit and some fresh strawberries.

Panna cotta - Le Villaret

Overall it was a good dining experience, but for some reason the panna cotta is the dish that sticks in my mind the most.  Must be my sweet tooth.  I’ve made panna cotta a number of times since eating it at Le Villaret.  And of course, it is never as good…

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