Food drunk…well, where to even begin? For Ryan and I, there have been a few standout meals in our lives that are so far beyond our barometer for deliciousness, that we’ve become a little overwhelmed, and, well, food drunk. We become super chatty about our food, and basically can’t stop “oohing” and “aahing” and talking about how delicious everything is (sometimes for hours). And I’m hoping that for our sake (of not wanting to feel like complete weirdos), you can relate.
Most recently, Ryan and I had the pleasure of experiencing this sensation in Paris, at Bistro Paul Bert, home to the famous steak au poivre. From the online photos and reviews alone, we were beyond excited to try this special dish; and we were also really hopeful that it would be as delicious as we were imagining it to be.
To the restaurants dismay, we did not order two, four course prix fixe meals; we ordered one steak au poivre and one heirloom tomato salad. (Our waiter was probably thinking something like, “those damn Americans.” But in our defense, I really can’t imagine that any of the French could eat all of that food and still look the way that they do.)
Luckily, the restaurant graciously (or at least as gracious as the French can be) accepted our “small” order. And to our delight, I am pretty sure that we ordered the two best things off of the menu.
I started with the tomato salad, and although I had figured that it would be good, I really had no clue that it was going to be great. Really great. Really really great. Amazing in fact. For being a French dish, it encompassed all of the Italian sensibilities – they used the best possible ingredients in a very simple way, and focused more on the flavors than on the presentation.
There were so many layers – the tangy vinegar, the creamy olive oil, fresh sweet basil, and those sugar sweet heirloom tomatoes. And as if all of that wasn’t enough to woo you, they were generous enough with the dressing, making for the perfect opportunity to dunk in some of their delicious Poilâne bread.
While I was already getting swept away by my tomato salad, Ryan had this look on his face like, “oh man, you are going to just die when you try this.” And truly, if there was ever a moment where I felt like I had died and gone to foodie heaven, this was it.
What sat before us was a perfectly cooked steak, enveloped in the most creamy and peppery sauce. To be honest, I’m not even really sure what was in the sauce (aside from loads of butter and cream), but what I do know is that it was heavenly. Like bathe myself in it, heavenly.
Sadly as of now, I have no recipe to share with you, only the tale of our experience (and the honest truth that we are still gushing over that meal). But what I can say, is that if you are planning on going to Paris at any point in your life, Bistro Paul Bert needs to be at the top of your list. While we did enjoy many meals beyond that meal at Paul Bert, nothing really stood a chance. I’d say that it was the crème de la crème, but really, it was just the au poivre.