Chez Flottes (Paris)


Let me be clear: I love my bread and I love my Brie.

But last Friday, I was craving a healthier, heartier and more "Parisian" meal.

After five hours of exploring the heart of Paris - Place de la Concorde, the Opera House, upscale shopping districts, antique stores, la Madeleine, and other architectural highlights - we needed a dinner to match the fine city and fine atmosphere. Madison, Hannah and I browsed almost every cafe menu we passed, but one caught our eye: Chez Flottes.

Housed in a gorgeous, cobblestone side street in the first district, Chez Flottes was a quaint, classy space with a serene café patio. Outstanding service is hard to come by in the city, since tip and the English language are both discouraged around here. However, our waiters greeted us in English and treated us above and beyond the average cafe would. I was instantly at ease and ready to order a Parisian feast.

We began with a bottle of chilled white wine, which quenched our thirst and cooled us off after walking in 75 degree weather in jeans for hours (did I mention no one wears shorts here?).

Madison and I ordered escargot since 1) We're in Paris 2) It's a delicacy here 3) I was feeling bold. I was thrilled and frankly relieved when our waiter brought the escargot deshelled and broiling in garlic butter. It's just like home! But better! We soaked up every bit of remaining garlic butter with the baguette.

Next was soup. Madison ordered classic French onion soup with more cheese than soup. Hannah and I loved the tomato gazpacho, which matched perfectly with the summery weather on our patio.

When we didn't think our meal could get better, it did. Oh, it did. Madison's foie gras (which I had never tried before) was mild and smooth. It paired well with the vibrant mango chutney and sprinkle of sea salt on each bite.

Hannah and I both ordered the grilled salmon on a bed of fresh wilted spinach. The light, lemony butter sauce was served on the side in a small copper saucepan - how adorable! I enjoyed being able to control the amount of sauce so I could get the most out of each ingredient.

The meal was pricey, yes; but it was 100% worth it. I ate every bite out of pure enjoyment...and because it's considered rude if you don't clean your plate. I'd go back in a second!