Chez L’Ami Jean

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This legendary Basque bistronomique is a longstanding favorite. While prices run high, the portions are incredibly generous, and you don’t need to order much to leave feeling incredibly full. The setting is casual and friendly. Servers wear jeans and their own clothes. Arrive early and order a glass of wine for an aperitif and it will come with a small plate of sliced cured sausage. The boisterous conviviality is reinforced by tightly packed tables and the communal plates of salumi or terrines with more than enough to share.

Don’t miss the incredible Parmesan Soup or the amazing charcuterie. Order these two dishes followed by the Rice Pudding for dessert and you have a perfect meal. That soup is the essence of parmesan, it comes to the table in a generous pitcher, whipped to a foam which you pour over a bowl of tiny crisp lardons, mini croutons and a heap of chopped chives. The bright herbal chives help cut through the richness of the soup, while the crisp bacon and croutons provide crunch. It is a heavenly combination, and there is more waiting for you in that pitcher.

The charcuterie are a veritable buffet of at least five different house cured sausages, cured ham with salty butter, house-made pickles and a rustic country terrine. The terrine is a classic; rich and meaty with full balanced flavors. It comes to the table in the ceramic terrine. Cut yourself a slice, and then maybe another. Nestled in that basket of sausage is one dark horse, a blood sausage; it is a fantastic example of what this oft maligned dish can be. It has a delicate smooth texture with a slight sweetness. But that basket is full, there are so many there for you to choose from. Slice off as much as you want, from as many as you want.

After such indulgence entrees are unnecessary. But that thick veal chop is amazingly tender and flavorful, you really shouldn’t, but yes, you really should! Where else is it this good? And then there is that Rice Pudding… that Rice Pudding! Like the charcuterie, one bowl is enough for the whole table, an open invitation to come back for more. And come back you will, that is for sure. Just make sure you bring your appetite.

Get It!: Charcuterie Board, Soup Grand-Maman Philomène (Parmesan Soup), Ris Au Lait Grand-Mère (Rice Pudding)

Signature Dishes: Terrine de Campagne (Country Terrine), Soup Grand-Maman Philomène (Parmesan Soup), Ris Au Lait Grand-Mère (Rice Pudding)

27 Rue Malar, Paris. www.lamijean.fr; tel: 33 1 47 05 86 89. Closed Sunday, Monday.

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