If you find yourself in Paris this winter, looking for a traditional, honest French restaurant, that serves warming, hearty fare, then Ambassade d'Auvergne would be one of my top recommendations. This restaurant is a long-time favorite of mine, which I have been visiting for over 30 years, and it never fails to satisfy. Here's my review from The Food Lover's Guide to Paris 5th edition to whet your appetite!
Returning to the folkloric, dependable L’Ambassade d’Auvergne is like going to visit a favorite aunt and uncle. You are welcomed with open arms and settle in to enjoy a few sips of meaty Cairanne Côtes-du-Rhône from Domaine Brusset while examining the menu that’s familiar and rich in the fiercely staunch traditions of the storied Auvergne, the mountainous center of France. Meat is king here, as in the delicious pot au feu d’agneau, a warming winter classic of chunks of lamb simmered with an avalanche of cold-weather vegetables. There are, of course, thick, seared slices of rich and fragrant foie gras; fat and rare-cooked magret de canard or duck breast; a surprisingly modern take on boudin noir, or an individual upside-down tart with chunks of hearty blood sausage. In abundance is the region’s pièce de résistance, the thick and creamy aligot (being served in the photo above), a potato puree laced with the fresh local cow’s milk cheese, a dish no one can possibly turn away. For the first course – to prepare for the hearty fare that’s to come – try the tartare of sea bass, filled with giant chunks of bar, tons of mustard and fat crunchy slices of celery, a refreshing starter if ever there was one. Save room for the smooth and addictive chocolate mousse, served out of giant bowls, and you are forcefully urged to go for seconds, even thirds.
AMBASSADE D'AUVERGNE | 22 rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare | Paris 3 | Métro: Rambuteau or Etienne-Marcel | Tel: +33 1 42 72 31 22 | Open daily 12-3.30pm and 7.30pm-midnight | À la carte 35-50€, 33€ regional menu | www.ambassade-auvergne.com. NOTE: They are open during the Christmas holiday period but are closed December 25, dinner service on December 31, and all day January 1, 2015.