Foie Gras-Centric Dinner at Au Petit Sud-Ouest (Paris, France)
When you think of foie gras, you’d normally associate a very high price tag but at Au Petit Sud-Ouest is one of those rare, family owned restaurants that serves lots of foie gras dishes (and a few classic French bistro dishes) but in an casual, unpretentious setting at reasonable prices and it’s close to the Eiffel Tower. The matron running the front of the house is incredibly warm and charming lady that understood that we had to leave a bit early to see a show when we made reservations. (The photos were taken with my iPhone since we’re heading straight to a theater and rather not carry my dSLR.)
Every table is set with an off-white vintage looking four-slice toaster and wooden tongs for toast. The key to understanding this restaurant, you have to embrace the fresh toast bread. The bread itself isn’t the fancy, artisanal loaves, just rustic whole wheat boules thickly sliced and ready for toasting and getting slathered in foie gras, pâté or any food item that would need to be mopped up by bread. The whole eating experience is to have the contrast of crusty, warm bread mesh with something cold and slightly melting on the point of contact to have this seductive moment of these textures in your mouth.
We started off with plates of pâtés — rillettes de canard and pheasant terrine with pistachios — with the mentioned toasts and some Dijon mustard. Both pâtés were good by itself but as aforementioned much better when eaten with the warm toasted bread. The pheasant had a dark meat, game bird whiff of flavor and the pistachios added a crunchy texture. The duck rilletes were a slightly coarse, meaty version of duck fat butter, to describe this aptly and it’s delightful with the toast.
Technically, I don’t normally care to eat a lot of foie gras in one sitting but the determination of my friend to eat was to eat as much foie gras in France as possible. The fresh foie gras with sea salt is considered the house specialty. Served cold and by itself in this state it lacks the luster of a seared foie gras but it makes you appreciate the buttery, silky texture of this fatty goose liver. Again, better with the warm toast. The duck breast stuffed with foie gras is also a cold dish but the duck breast flavor added some heartiness.
For something hot, we had a dish of scrambled eggs with wild mushrooms. While the eggs were overall very good, I prefer to have my eggs not as runny and wet as served (I like them cooked for another 30 seconds).
The other dish my friend really wanted to have before leaving France is cassoulet. I am aware cassoulet is a southwestern French dish, not a Parisian thing but I’ll let him indulge. This homey stew made of white beans, pork sausages, confit duck leg and aromatic vegetables. It’s comforting, delicious and cooked beautifully.
For more photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE for the complete set or see below:
Au Petit Sud-Ouest
46 av. de la Bourdonnais
+33 1 45 55 59 59