A Tour of France's Flavors

Regional Fare

The restaurateur and former journalist Philippe Lemoine had a great idea: Open a restaurant in Paris that features a constantly revolving taste of regional news and regional French cuisine, serving Nicoise fare one week under the guise of Nice Matin and specialties from the Auvergne and L'Auvergnat de Paris another.

Under the skillful direction of Thierry Enderlin, Le Kiosque offers sane, sensible, well-considered food. Everything is prepared with the finest ingredients (beautiful grain-fed chicken, farm-fresh pork and lamb, artisanal charcuterie, excellent baguettes from Boulangerie Bechu, and cheese from one of the best in Paris, Alleosse).

In addition to the week's regional offerings, the regular menu now features an original salad of spicy octopus paired with artichokes in a black olive vinaigrette, and a warming roast chicken served with a delicious tarragon-flecked potato puree.

The 1998 Brouilly from Domaine Sanvers et Cotton is easy to swallow, as is the well-priced 149-franc menu. Service is efficient, youthful and friendly.

Le Kiosque
1 Place de Mexico Paris 75016.
Open daily. Menus at 149 and 179 francs. Children's menu at 79 francs. Sunday brunch, 149 francs. Credit cards: American Express, Visa.

Beaujolais Boredom It should be so easy to get it right. A great Left Bank location, a giant rotisserie and a full list of what may well be the world's best known wine. But a meal the other evening at the popular La Rotisserie du Beaujolais proved to be a total bore.

Corner cafes have more charm and personality than this worn-down affair, where waiters bicker, service is lackadaisical and disorganized, and the food simply monotonous, with undistinguished roast duck, a truly tasteless grilled onglet (flank steak) and endless portions of pearly white potato puree.

Even rivers of George Duboeuf's cheery Saint-Amour couldn't make me love the place.

La Rotisserie du Beaujolais
19 Quai de la Tournelle
Paris 75005.
Tel: 01-43-54-17-47
fax: 01-56-24-43-71.
Closed Monday. A la carte, 250 francs, including service but not wine. Credit cards: Eurocard, Visa.

BOOKS More Truffles With black truffles ever on my mind, there was no way my eye could not catch the title of Gustaf Sobin's ''The Fly-Truffler: A Novel.'' While most people know that the earthy tubers can be hunted with pigs and dogs, most probably do not know that true aficionados identify the truffle's hiding spot by painstakingly following the flight of tiny flies that hover above the earth that envelops the black diamonds. Sobin, an American who has lived in France for 35 years, weaves a sad, sensuous love story with fly-truffling in Provence as the obsession. Now that the time for truffle harvesting wanes, read this to extend the season.