I wanted to start off the new year with a good restaurant, but the places I've gone to recently were mediocre at best. Some friends came into town, so not only did I enjoy great company, but we ate at a very good family owned restaurant last night :)
Le Triomphe at 5 Blvd de Port Royal in the 13th, is worth making a detour for if you want a quiet, spacious, delicious repast where the father is the chef, the daughters are the wait staff, and the prices are incredibly reasonable. Nothing on the menu was over 16€ ($20) including two scallop main courses, and if you book through The Fork, you can get an additional 30% reduction for ordering either an appetizer and main course or main course and dessert. They have enough of a selection for vegetarians (the daughter of the owner is vegetarian), they speak English, and they welcome dogs :) They have a nice selection of wines by the glass or bottle, so we shared a bottle of Haut Medoc between the three adults.
Our group ranged in age from 16-70+ with palates as diverse as our ages, so when the youngest wanted to order a Croque Monsieur, we all literally said, "No!" in chorus. It would have been a crime to forgo the duck confit for a sandwich here, and after she tasted the duck she was glad we all insisted she order it.
I couldn't decide between the steak tartare with wonderful hand cut fries, or the lamb, so my friend and I shared both between us. The tartare had good flavor, but my friend added tabasco (I would have too if I had known they had it available; she saw it on a neighboring table and asked for the bottle). The side salad was fresh and simple, but a very thoughtful addition.
The vegetarian in our group ordered the salad with hot chevre and was about to order something else until the waitress said to wait until she ate the salad; wise counsel since the salad was California sized! One of the reasons we came here was the menu offered organic tomatoes and you can see from the picture, they use quality produce in their main course salads.
Simple staples like steak and potatoes were done as ordered, in this case, very rare.
The dish I split was this lamb served with potato purée that arrived with a smoking flame of rosemary, adding a wonderful aroma and some theatrics to dinner. It was a marvelously tender and gigantic portion.
I don't know how we managed to find any room for dessert, but since the 30% discount only applied if we ordered another course, we forced ourselves:)
Even basic crepes came with a delightful salted caramel or chocolate sauce.
The tiramisu was colorful but we preferred some of the other choices.
This cheesecake with a tart raspberry sauce was so light that I took two bites!
The chocolate covered pear was the most popular dessert at our table, so if you want to finish with a healthy (fruit and chocolate are healthy, right?), this would be the way to go.
This was my idea of a perfect start to a new year, around a table of friends sharing a great meal:)