France! Day 32: Le Relais de l'Hôtel de Ville


What? Le Relais de l’Hôtel de Ville for lunch (brasserie!)
Where? 50, rue de Rivoli (4e arr, mo Hôtel de Ville, Paris)
Price? 8€-15€
The skinny: Most brasseries are quite similar here in Paris. They usually all serve the usual fare, that being terrines, sandwiches, quiches, pizza, meats. Brasseries are cafés essentially but they offer dishes at a moderate price too. You’ll come to one to relax, sip on espresso, eat, and watch people walk by.

After being disappointed that Breizh Café is now closed for the month (yep, for vacation!) and that my parents didn’t feel like standing to eat falafel at L’As du Falafel, we wandered through the streets until we came here to Le Relais de l’Hôtel de Ville. 

Now 15€ for le midi formule (lunch set menu) is not exactly what you’d call “cheap” even if you do get 2 items so only I tried it. Had we all gotten it then lunch would’ve set us back over $60 CDN!

Entrée: Duck Terrine?
Unfortunately, I forgot to write down the names of these dishes. Now looking back 3 weeks later, my mind can’t seem to remember what this entrée is! :( I believe it was a duck terrine with some foie gras in there? Terrines are filled with flavour as is usually their nature. All the ingredients are chopped up and densely packed into layers. 

Usually served cold, we all shared and really enjoyed this appetizer! :) Cut a piece, put it on some bread, top it off with a slice of pickle MMMM! 

Plat: Tagliatelle avec la sauce à la viande
At least that’s what I think I got. haha  Either way, the pasta was cooked perfectly! It had a nice spring to it and I genuinely had fun eating it! The sauce was also very yummy. It didn’t smother the pasta and although a meat sauce, it wasn’t too heavy. 

Of course it was missing one final touch. CHEESE!! Perfect. I was stuffed by the end of this meal. 

Omelette Mixte
I remember on the menu in the description was “fromage” and “jambon.” That’s cheese & ham. A very classic omelette and one done well according to my dad, who ordered it. He was confused by the tiny salad that was served on the side. And I don’t blame him either. Sure it adds colour to the dish but it’s rather disjoint. 

Quiche Vegetarienne
This is the first dish listed as a vegetarian option that I’ve seen in France! It ‘s one of the specials of the day. Doesn’t it look delicious?! It was. Served warm, the quiche was light but teeming with the freshness of vegetables! Now here the greens fit in a lot better than in the omelette dish above. 

By the end of our meal, we were all pretty stuffed. Not cheap at all but that’s Paris for you! In general, it’s one of the priciest city to dine in.

TIP! You’ll notice people sipping espressos or coffees outside, watching the streets. That’s great and relaxing but if you’re looking for your caffeine fix without the price, then grab a drink at the bar, standing. Who knows, maybe you’ll strike up a conversation with the bartender and learn a thing or two as well! :D

Ahh, full, it was time to walk it off. A few minutes away is La Seine, the river that runs through Paris, dividing it into 2 banks, la rive gauche & la rive droite. On nice days, you’ll see young couples sitting by its edge, drinking wine and chatting. 

You’ll also find many iconic bridges connecting l’île de France (think Notre Dame) and la rive droite. This one’s unique. It’s called “Le Pont des Arts” (the bridge of the arts). There are hundreds of locks littering the bridge, left behind by couples (friends do it too). On the right is me looking for a lock two of my friends left behind for me to find. I wasn’t able to locate it, even after an hour of searching! :( 

Verdict: This meal was enjoyable. Everyone has to have a brasserie experience when in France so I can officially check it off my list now! This particular one had a great view of l’Hôtel de Ville (city hall) so that was a perk.

3.5 out of 5 NOMs