Monday, February 4, 2013

Gastronomy in Paris: Bistro Viviene

Paris. The city of lights. Beautiful, romantic. The seat of cuisine...well, Paris and least for French cuisine. I am visiting after the SIHH, so with this post, I begin a few posts of new restaurants, and revist some favourites. We start with Bistro Viviene.

I spied this restaurant on my way to La Bourse au la Vie, sitting nearby rue Viviene and rue Petit Champs, right in the center of the 2nd Arrondisment - Paris' central business district. A quick check online, nice reviews, and I popped in after the La Bourse dinner and booked a table.

The restaurant was gorgeous...beautiful, typicaly traditional bistro in Paris...we got to sit upstairs...what is known by regulars as the library. Magnificent decor. It was like dining in someone's drawing room. Nice. We started with some oysters...

Cancale sea oysters no3 with farmhouse bread and churned butter. Succulent, fresh oysters. The breath of the sea was still very much present, the oysters were offered raw, slightly chilled...or perhaps outdoor temperatures during the months when oysters are best...months in French ending with r...which were September, October, November, December, January (Javier), February (Fevrier). I was in town late January, so outside temperature is approximately 0C. No3 means they are approximately medium sized...Oysters are calibrated from 000 to 6 (equivalent to 120 to 20 grams), with the smaller number indicating the larger-sized oyster.

Superb. And tasty, fat. fresh...I said that, but it is worth saying again. Very nice.

Edward had the Pike perch stewed with red wine : mushrooms, pickled onions, steamed potatoes.

Again superbly fresh fish, cooked perfectly. Nice, juicy and moist in the flesh, and the skin is beautifully crisp. Vegetables cooked perfectly. And like most vegetables eaten outside Singapore, where they acutally have fresh produce, it tasted very good.

Kin had the Griddled pluma (tender part of Iberian pork) : mashed potatoes

The pork was very good. Very good. Tender, slightly crisp and charred on the outside, tasty, tender within. The mashed potato was wonderful. Kin declared it one of the best she has eaten...equal to one we raved about by the now defunct Big D some time ago. Smooth, creamy. Beautiful.

I had Roasted rack of lamb, vegetable stew

Another excellent dish. The lamb was superb...if a little fat. I wished it was a leaner cut. But the meat was tender, and wonderful. Very nice. Even the stewed vegetables were excellent. Radish, potatoes, carrots, squash.

Very enjoyable bistro. Excellent food. Great service. We had a carafe of cote du rhone...very inexpensive French wine, but really nice. Recommended if you visit Paris and especially so are near either 1Arr or 2Arr.

Bistro Viviene
4 Rue des Petits Champs
75002 Paris, France

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