Ultimate Bistro Salad:
Salade de Laitue
Living whole heads of Bibb lettuce, high quality vinaigrette components, and the synergistic combination of a few fresh herbs result in a deceptively simple yet exquisitely balanced salad, one that is the best imaginable of its kind. Period.
Chef Thomas Keller writes in his fabulous bistro cookbook Bouchon, “The word laitue comes from the Latin word for milk, from the milky juices some lettuces can exude. Hearty, buttery Bibb leaves are a good example of the rich juicy quality lettuce can have. They’re so big and rich, in fact, that this salad almost qualifies as a meal in itself.”
Salade de Laitue Recipe
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CLASSIC BISTRO DUCK AND WILD MUSHROOMS
Sautéed Breast of Duck with Crispy Skin
Oyster, Shiitake, and Porcini Mushrooms in a Beef Stock Reduction
CONTEMPORARY BISTRO DUCK AND WILD MUSHROOMS
Sautéed Breast of Duck, Seasoned with Szechuan Pepper & Flor de Sal
Roasted Wood Ear and Shiitake Mushrooms
Crispy Polenta Cake and Wilted Mizuna Greens
Porcini Reduction Sauce and Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette
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Allard Restaurant has been serving traditional old-time bistro fare on the Left Bank since the 1930’s. Once, one of the greatest gourmet restaurants in Paris, the menu doesn’t change, except for daily specials and it is as good ever. On our trip to Paris, we thoroughly enjoyed eating at some of the modern cutting-edge restaurants, but it was also a treat to dine on the classic bistro foods including escargots, frisée lardons salad, filet de beouf, gratin dauphinois, duck with olives, and roasted Bresse chicken with potatoes at Allard. The place is lively, authentic, well-worn and legendary! The old-fashioned décor, especially the zinc bar once a gathering spot for celebrities, is especially charming.
Bastille Day is the French national holiday, celebrated on July 14th. It is called Fête Nationale in official parlance, or more commonly le quatorze juillet. It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution.
Happy Bastille Day!