I haven't been blogging about restaurants in Paris much because we've been going to places we already know or have had dinners that weren't particularly remarkable. But we're on our stride now with the Bistrot de l'Oulette, a lovely casual place near Bastille. In theory the place focusses on cuisine of the southwest, but while the wine list was specific the menu had choices from all over.
It was too hot for cassoulet, so I ordered escargot and rabbit. The escargot was fantastic; 10 or so little snails served wrapped in a cabbage leaf, with a lovely light parsley/garlic cream. It had all the flavour of your usual Burgundian snails presentation without the sinking feeling of eating half a stick of butter. And my bunny was delicious, tender slow cooked meat slightly shredded and served in a glass with some rich highly aromatic broth. My friends' duck confit was a traditional presentation, beautifully cooked and with some amazing pommes sarladaise on the side. My dessert was impressive too, a fresh apple tarte baked in a fantasy of phyllo rather than the usual flat pie shell. Yum!
The service is casual, but very friendly. The restaurant was over half tourists but not in a bad way and I think the English menus and non-smoking room make this a good choice for trepid Americans. It's not terribly expensive at 33€ for a three course meal, and the cooking is honest and careful. I'm sure we'll be back.
PS: it used to be called the Bistrot Barcane. New decor, same owners. There's a more formal sister restaurant in the 12th.