Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Sunday Jump -- Paris

The Duck Crusher:  There's nothing like French food and while Paris offers all sorts of culinary delights, the absolute finest meal I had during my visit was rare duck with blood sauce.

The famous La Tour d’Argent or The Silver Tower was established in 1582.  The restaurant boasts that Henri IV was a patron, his favorite dish the Heron Pate.  Richelieu also treated his guests here, the restaurant serving a whole ox prepared in 30 different ways and offering something new for dessert:  coffee. 

Located along the Seine River, today the opulent restaurant has waiters dressed in tuxedoes and doormen who escort you through finely decorated rooms to a small elevator that brings you to the top floor.  The dining hall, filled with duck memorabilia (even the wall paper in the bathroom has a duck motif), offers an excellent view of the Notre Dame as well as a several course meal.

Their signature dish is Caneton Tour d'Argent, a duck cooked rare, which they breed on their own farm.  A waiter brings the whole duck to your table to see, then goes up to a podium where he places the bird inside a several hundred-year-old silver crusher.  There are only two duck crushers in existence today, both housed in the restaurant.  The duck is placed in the body of the crusher, the lid fastened, and then the waiter turns the top.  In this way, the duck is pressed so that its blood squeezes through a spout and into a silver pan.  

The waiter puts the pan of blood over an open flame and carefully mixes several alcohols to create a heavy brown sauce.  The meat is then finely sliced and placed onto the plate along with the sauce.  At the end of the meal, each patron who orders a duck receives a postcard with the bird's serial number.
You can Google the restaurant for a virtual tour.

Getting There:  Flights on Ryan Air from Rome to Paris cost 5-10 Euro one-way. Make sure to check out their amazing deals and then read all the fine print.


Diana and "Guido" said...

I'm sorry a whimp about this. I wouldn't be able to eat for a week.

Barbara said...

LOL! That is just too funny. The French have their own unique way of calling things 'gourmet' that others might think is gross. It's true. Fortunately, they've also got other things on the menu that are a little more tame for the faint at heart. :)