Neo-bistros, street food, international fare, and fine dining abound in the City of Light. But where to go when your friends are in town and want a memorable French meal? Quality French food that won’t break the bank, in a fun atmosphere? In recent years a handful of establishments have stepped up to the plate to fit the bill. Amongst them, Canard et Champagne, offering classic French food in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.
Location and Interiors
The restaurant is located in the charming Passage des Panoramas (itself a gourmet foodie destination), not far from the Opéra district. The modern interior remains playful rather than staid. There is a grand communal table in the center of the interior of the restaurant, individual tables inside, as well as along the interior of the Passage des Panoramas. Additional seating is found on the lower level. The service is friendly; atmosphere, festive.
The brainchild of Jean-Francois Monfort, and partners Jean Valfort and Pierre Dutare, the restaurant unsurprisingly focuses on duck. They source grain-fed French duck, reared in the open air. It also promotes champagne as a table wine, to be paired with meals, not just served on festive occasions. The champagne is sourced from the finest small producers, as well as larger houses.
The prix fixe menu offers good value at 29 euros for two courses at dinner, and 17.50 euros for two courses at lunch. There are interesting wines, not just champagne to be paired with your meal.
For good measure, a few non-duck items are on the menu, including seasonal vegetables and a sucrine salad. However, duck is the star of the focused menu (just four starters and five mains to choose from). The narrow focus means the restaurant has honed its craft.
The outstanding foie gras is one of the highlights on the menu. It is served with a perfectly balanced seasonal chutney to cut through the richness of the dish. The confit de canard and parmentier de canard are comforting, stick to your bones fare, executed well. The sides include light and crispy allumette fries, smooth pommes purée and moreish roasted vegetables. The accompaniments are all-you-can-eat and served family style, ensuring that the atmosphere is one of generous conviviality.
If you can still muster room for dessert there is an excellent mousse au chocolat (once again all you can eat) along with other sweets such as a tarte au citron, apple crumble, cheesecake and panna cotta.
The brunch menu ventures away from duck, but is no less hearty than Canard et Champagne’s other menus. Pancakes, oeuf en meurette, chicken supreme, salmon benedict, magret de canard, French toast, Mariage Frères tea and Valrhona hot chocolate are just some of the goodies on offer.
Is this the place in Paris for a quiet, intimate dinner to linger over for hours? Maybe not. It’s not the most vegetarian-centric either. But if you are looking for satisfying, traditional French food, executed well, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, in a fun and friendly setting, you’ve found your place.
Canard & Champagne – 57 pass. des Panoramas, 75002 Paris
- Looking for more classic food? Here is where to eat traditional french food in Paris.
- Or to learn more about French cuisine here are 24 traditional French foods to try in France or at home.
- Learn how to perfect your own dishes with these French cooking classes online.
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