Letter from Paris: The Last Good Brasserie in Paris?
By Alexander Lobrano
Obsessively interested in good food, I always have the makings of at least one or two good meals on hand at home so that as someone who travels often, I never end up being forced to call out for a mediocre pizza or Indian food of unknown quality at the last minute. Returning home to Paris after ten wonderful sunny days in Greece on a cool, rainy Monday night, however, I knew I needed something happier than a bowl of spaghetti carbonara, an all-time comfort-food favorite, to revive my wilting spirits.
Waiting for our luggage to come up, Bruno and I had talked about going to Hokkaido, a favorite Japanese noodle and dumpling place in the rue Chabanais, but since it took forever for the bags to arrive–why is Charles de Gaulle sooo slow?, I knew we’d never make it. So we were hurtling into town in a cab when he turned to me and voiced the very same thoughts I was having: “How about going to Le Vaudeville for some oysters and a steak tartare?” Yes! Oysters and steak tartare were exactly what I wanted after a gastronomic sojourn dominated by grilled octopus and squid, Greek salad, white wine and ouzo.
ALEXANDER LOBRANO was Gourmet magazine’s European correspondent from 1999 until its recent closing. Lobrano has written for almost every major food and travel magazine since he became an American in Paris in 1986. He is the author of “Hungry for Paris” (Random House), his personal selection of the city’s 102 best restaurants, which Alice Waters has called “a wonderful guide to eating in Paris.” Lobrano’s Letter from Paris runs every month in Everett Potter’s Travel Report. Visit his website, Hungry for Paris. (Photo by Steven Rothfeld)