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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…