Sunday, December 17, 2006

Monsieur Lapin

Note: Not quite spring cleaning, but end-of-the year draft-clearing. Instead of deleting all these half-assed outdated posts that have been sitting languishing at the bottom of the draft list, I'll just get them outta here and release them to teh internets. You've been warned.

Just before leaving to go to Monsieur Lapin, a bib gourmand restaurant in the 14th, I second-guessed the wisdom of my choice, since I don't really like rabbit anymore. But we had a very nice time, from the service to the comfort to the food. And no worries if there is anyone else out there who doesn't really like rabbit: they offer much much more!

We arrived a bit early and so we went to the Artists'Pub next door to have an aperitif. There, the owner filled us in on Monsieur Lapin. It used to be owned by a gay couple, who retired a year or two ago and sold it. She hadn't been since the change but said the new owners had redone the entire interior, and that the food was excellent. A friend had told her that he would treat her for her birthday, which was in September, and she was still waiting on him! We promised to report back to her after our meal.

The decor at a restaurant named Mr. Rabbit is centered around -- surprise!-- rabbits. There is one particularly gruesome print of Alice standing over White Rabbit's dead body, with a pistol in her hand, but this is safely tucked away behind the toilet door. The main dining area is full of small figurines, stuffed animals perched in ledges, and more traditional prints. My young cousin and my grandmother would probably love this, R didn't care, and I was just meh. Another thing unique about the restaurant is that one side borders a courtyard, which is filled with plants and flowers. This makes a huge difference, since you feel like you are in the middle of a garden, or at least certainly not in Paris, when you look out the window.

Monsieur Lapin has a few set price menus in addition to the many à la carte options (click to enlarge):R and I both chose from the 34€ 3-course set menu: When we were seated we were brought rillettes (I don't remember what of...) and cheese-stuffed olives. I started out with the house salad, which was quite the medley. Fruits and veggies and liver oh my! Also two very small organs which I think were kidneys, and hid under a stray piece of lettuce before the waitress cleared the table. R started with the rabbit terrine, which is as good as one might expect from a restaurant thus named.

Sticking with the rabbit theme, R ordered the croustillant for his main dish, which was so cute. Imagine a big, round, crunchy dumpling, filled with rabbit meat, mushrooms, and dried fruits (I think I recall plum or raisins especially but I will have to doublecheck with R to see if he remembers other specifics). I had the tuna, which was enormous, especially for a fish course, especially for France. I didn't come close to finishing it! It was served over mashed potatoes made with olive oil, which I actually didn't like that much because the olive oil was a bit strong and overpowering.

For our last course, we kept it simple. R had sorbet while I got cheese and yet another salad. I had all of my favorites: goat cheese, comté, brie, and brebis.

This is a great place for a relaxing, intimate evening. The service was excellent throughout -- our waiter and waitress were friendly and smiling, the food was served neither too fast nor too slow but just so -- and we had more than enough space in our little corner. When we reported back to the Artists'Bar afterwards we told the owner that she must insist on getting that promised birthday dinner. I don't have much hope for her, though: apparently she is still waiting on theatre tickets promised to her by the same friend on her last birthday!

Monsieur Lapin
11, rue r. Losserand
75014 Paris
01 43 20 21 39
M: Gaîté or Pernety
Open Sunday; closed Monday and Saturday lunch.
Reservations recommended.


No comments: