La Cadole: Hey There, Authentic Paris Dinner ;)

I know you've been wondering: If there are only two times the Chowgypsy goes out to dinner during three months in France, where on earth is the second place going to be (remember the first)? Of course, it has to be good. In fact, it has to be great. And in Paris, the options can be a bit overwhelming. So, with the occasion being my faux birthday, I took the liberty of passing the responsibility of choosing off to my apprehensive boyfriend.

And he passed the test in finding this one. I’m not sure which test, but I give him an A,000+, which is a really high score that you’ve probably never even heard of it’s so high.
So tiny and unassuming. Then it sneak attacks you with its awesomeness.
Walking by the La Cadole in the morning or on a Saturday or Sunday (when it’s closed!), you wouldn't dare guess that it’s ranked number THREE of 8,230 restaurants in Paris (according to TripAdvisor in August 2012). Nor would you guess it looking at their modest menu and relatively modest prices for their set (prix fixe) menu. You can choose from two different three-course menus (one priced at $32.5 and one at $42.5), with each course having four to seven options, between which you must painstakingly decide. 

Surely to get to number three in Paris you have to be mildly pompous and disturbingly expensive? But no, here was proof that you can be a vagabond Chowgypsy who only dines at a restaurant once a month and yet still be accepted in one of Paris' best. And the menu changes almost weekly based on what's in season. It makes me want to cry a little thinking about it. So beautiful. 

Just take a look…
la cadole paris
Salad with smoked duck, duck pate, and grilled duck. Duckage a trois.
Am I embarrassed to say that we got our server (who, ahem, also happens to be the owner) to tell us his favorite choice for nearly every course? No, of course not. I had no plans of messing this up. This man knew what he was talking about.
la cadole paris
Seasonal mushrooms in puff pastry and cream sauce--perhaps the best meal of the night
How can I explain? The portions were perfect. The flavors were united. There was a complete lack of the pretension that you so often hear about regarding Parisian cuisine. 

This was happiness. 
la cadole paris
A French-Style Lamb Kebab
He also suggested to us the best wine I have tasted so far in France--Juliénas Domaine de Bergeron. If I knew wine lingo, I would explain it to you with zeal and poeticism, but I don’t. I just know that it was smooth and lovely and special. Like your face.

My only complaint, if I had to find one, would be that the sides were the same for both of our main courses. But I assume that this something he does in accordance with seasonality, and I would much rather receive three sides on my plate than only one side that was different from the other person's.
la cadole paris
Kidney time, with a side of roast potatoes, zucchini casserole, and haricot verts
That complaint is further mitigated by the fact that we each had an amazing and (very) French meal of three courses for $43 bucks each--including tip. Go ahead, book your plane tickets.

And how could it be a birthday dinner without embarrassing me with a candle and the birthday song at the end of the meal? 
french toast
And by the way, that's actual French French toast I'm eating in the photo. With caramel ice cream. 

You might be surprised to find that the only item that I did not get a photo of was our second dessert that I can only describe as a French rendition of chocolate lava cake.  I’m sorry, I was a little distracted...I think maybe I blacked out upon the first bite. I'm sure you understand.

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And hey, what's your favorite French food experience?


  1. Thanks to the Chowgypsy for her comments on La Cadole! Looking for those Paris restaurants where I want to relax among locals in a non pretentious scene eating non pretentious food is a challenge as I usually only stay in Paris for several days on my semi annual trips. Doing research before hand utilizing Trip Advisor, blogs and resources have been most helpful in making those difficult choices when you have so many to choose from.

    It was our first night to dine out and with reservations already made at La Cadole, we went about our day. When we were able to get an earlier booking on a Seine River excursion, we had a chance to eat earlier.

    Thierre, I believe to be the owner, was very gracious in accommodating my request for an earlier time for our group of 6. When you see how big the location is, you can appreciate his flexibility even more.

    When giving our taxi driver the address and name of the restaurant, he took pause as seemed a bit unfamiliar with the location. After a bit of thought, he started off and wove his way around the streets finally getting us there. As in most Paris restaurants of this type off the beaten track, I had expected a small space but it was actually a bit more "quaint" than I had imagined.

    Thierre warmly greeted us. He had that quiet, sort of relaxed ease which you don't see often in Paris restaurants. He led us to our table in the small and "very" cozy dining room where the tables were "very" tightly packed in a appropriate decor and ambiance. It was as I had hoped for. Almost all locals and a menu that was tailored for our wishes.

    As for the food, it was as the Chowgypsy stated so clearly above. The six of us created a tasting form the menu so we could see and savor a variety of the available items. Other than the duck being a bit dry for my friend's liking... He acknowledged that it was the way it was supposed to be prepared...the food was in most cases superb. Thierre asked us about our wine preferences and we asked him to select one that he would himself would personally drink with the cuisine that we had selected. It was wonderful and very reasonably priced at around €35 as we didn't inquire about the price nor did he mention it.

    I could go into more details about the cuisine but doing this from my Blackberry so a bit tedious. Check out the menu online and remember, they are closed on Saturday and Sunday and "make" reservations! Don't be like that idiot who commented on Trip Advisor who gave them a terrible review because he continually tried to "walk" in!

    Thanks again to the Chowgypsy who help to lead us to La Cadole.

    1. Wow--I'm so happy to see that my review was helpful and that you enjoyed the restaurant! Thierre is a wonderful man and he certainly deserves a little acclaim!
      Thank you for such an in-depth account of your experience, it was lovely to reminisce through your words :)

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