We've been inside for most of the afternoon in air-conditioned comfort so it's a bit of a shock to the system when we step outside for the walk to Restaurant L'AOC. It's quite balmy and I'd much rather be inside but from past experience, our destination will be well worth it.
Tonight we've all gone for dishes from the A la carte menu and for starters we enjoy:
Carpaccio de tête de veau, sauce gribiche (Veal head cheese with gribiche sauce)
Don't be fooled there are actually two layers of head cheese on that plate - an incredibly generous serve. The Gribiche was a tangy, fresh sauce made with parsley, capers and chevril.
Os à moelle rôtis à la sel, pain Poujauran frotté à l'ail (Bone Marrow, Garlic rubbed toasted Poujauran bread)
This had to be Paalo's choice - two huge ox bones, heavily infused with garlic - the marrow perfectly cooked, it effortlessly melted in the mouth.
Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard maison (Foie Gras Terrine)
Curtis choose this rather decadent Foie Gras Terrine and the size of this left us quite staggered - I don't think I've ever seen so much foie gras on one plate before.
Terrine de L'AOC et sa confiture d'oignons (L'AOC Terrine with onion jam)
There are a few terrines on offer and Leigh choose the Terrine de Campagne - they bring the whole terrine, a huge bowl of onion jam and that large container of pickles to your table and you can then serve yourself. Leigh decided to ask the waiter to serve the terrine and he certainly gave her quite an enormous slice.
At this stage we've been amazed by the quality but also the quantity and in reality you could probably call it an evening but as we've already ordered our mains we must go on.
Tartare de boeuf d'Aubrac haché à la commande
Both Curtis and I have ordered the Beef Tartare - when you order it, they ask if you want it mixed or not and if you have them mix it, they then ask how spicy you'd like it.
First thing I immediately notice is that it is huge - the second is that the it's not served with an egg yolk on top. It has also been chopped to order so the flavour and texture is incredible. It's soft and velvety and quite creamy.
Foie de Veau aux girolles (Veal Liver with Girolles)
Paalo can't resist his liver so ordering this was a given. It's presented as a whole piece - we're used to seeing liver served in thin slices. It's utterly delicious and perfectly cooked with a tinge of pink running through.
Cochon de lait rôti (Roast Suckling Pig)
Leigh's dish of Roast Suckling Pig gave us the case of saucer eyes as we sat amazed at just how much pig was on the plate. Beautifully cooked it was napped it a seriously delicious jus.
We are all left quite stuffed and none of us can finish our mains let alone think about having dessert but we have been impressed by the quality of all the dishes we've enjoyed. I know that if we're coming back to Paris in the future, we'll definitely be dining here again.
14 Rue Fossés St Bernard
75005 Paris, France
Tuesday - Saturday 12pm to 2.30pm and 7.30pm to 11.30pm
01 43 54 22 52