Le Grand Pan

Grand Pan Eggs and Truffles

This elbow-to-elbow meat lover’s paradise tucked away in the southern edge of the 15th arrondissement, is a classic of it genre, a bistro where friends gather with two thoughts in mind: Copious food and lots of laughter for the sounds of good times. Waiters all but skate through the crowded duet of dining rooms, arms held high, delivering gigantic seared steaks cooked rare and juicy, double-thick veal chops ok so rosy, thick pork chops and giant bowls of oversized French fries. There’s a good Morgon on the list from winemaker Georges Descombes, a smooth wine with a pleasing flavor of lightly smoked meat. The service is familiar and friendly in the best sort of way, while in the winter months the menu might announce a lovely baked egg topped with slices of authentic, fresh black truffles (photo). If so, go for it!

LE GRAND PAN,  20 rue Rosewald, Paris 15, Tel: +33 1 42 50 02 50 Métro: Plaisance/Convention Open: Monday-Friday. Closed Saturday & Sunday.Lunch: 28€ menu. A la carte, 35-55€ Dinner: A la carte 35-55 €

Soothing, succulent bistro fare

How’s this for a lineup of winter bistro fare?  Coq Faisan Roti, Fine Choucroute de Navet (roasted pheasant with turnip sauerkraut);  Pot au Feu de Joue de Boeuf (beef cheeks with winter vegetables) Quasi de Veau Roti, Potiron Gratiné (roast rump of veal with pumpkin gratin);  Lièvre à la Royale (slow-cooked wild hare in red wine and blood sauce), and the triple-threat Oreille, Pied et Poitrine de Porc et Petit Salé (pig’s ears, feet, and breast with pork belly and lentils.) (photo). There’s all that and more at the three-week old L’Epicuriste, the new 15th arrondissement home of  Stephane Marcuzzi and chef  Aymeric Kraml. We last saw them at the small and charming L’Epigramme in the 6th, where the pair outgrew the miniscule kitchen, and set out in search of a bit of breathing room.

The new space is spare, a bit cold, but the welcome, service, and cuisine easily make up for that. Last night the restauarant was filled with sounds of good times, as diners tucked into the same soothing, earthy fare we loved at L’Epigramme. The Saint Jacques Roties au Beurre Demi-Sel Persillé (fresh scallops roasted with salted butter topped with parsleyed garlic puree) was just as remembered. The triple-threat pork specialty was not only beautifully presented  but unctuous, confit-like, velvety, rich but not the least bit heavy. The same can be said of the succulent wild hare stew, all mahogany and glistening, a masterful example of what can be accomplished with long, slow cooking.

I found that overall the food lacked just a touch of brightness, and the absence of any real vegetables truly deplorable. The wine list is brief and well-priced,  and the well-balanced red Grand Tinel Cotes-du-Rhone, at 32 euros, appeared a perfect match for this wintry fare.  I’ll be back for sure. Already looking forward to the beef cheeks and pheasant.

L’Epicuriste, 41, Boulevard Pasteur, 75015 Paris. Telephone: 01 47 34 15 50. Metro: Pasteur.  Closed Saturday lunch, all day Sunday, and Monday lunch. 34-euro menu.