Dog’s Life

By Suzy Gershman Anyone who has ever told you that dog’s go everywhere in France has not tried to visit The Ritz with (or as) a dog.  They are decidedly unfriendly toward dogs.  And while many palace hotels do invite dogs to sleep over, not all of them allow dogs in their dining rooms. “Arf to that,” as Annie might say.

While the Hotel Meurice, refurbished about two years ago in the more gorgeous than a museum style, does not allow canines into their one-star Michelin restaurant, they are abundantly friendly at the Jardin d’Hiver, a small restaurant under the hotel’s glass dome.

I have enjoyed this restaurant since it opened.  For some reason, it attracts a generous clientele that are easy with hand-outs provided under the table.  I also like the circular, velvet banquettes that are at the right height for a small (and somewhat grosse) girl to jump onto. Once on the banquette you can sniff into various handbags or be at nose level with the table.

Things got even juicier when I last visited the Jardin d’Hiver a week ago - Chef de Cuisine Marc Marchand decided to create a special dish just for me.  I have, bien sûr, eaten off the carte before, but this time chef made: Les Pennes Au Poulet de Samantha, which I am certain will go on the doggy carte once there is one. The portion served me was so large that I actually went home with a, don’t laugh, doggy bag! Naturally, my dish is fit to be eaten by people too.

Like every ‘swish’ restaurant in Paris, Jardin d’Hiver has a set menu with two price choices- two selections for the fixed price of 34 euros and three courses for 42 euros.  With your selection you get either a glass of wine or a bottle of snazzy mineral water- this restaurant is famous for its wide selection of mineral waters.

Should you opt for the regular carte, there are scads of choices including: sandwiches, pasta, and then the fishies and meats.  They make a great steak tartare (of which I am an expert) and I used to be quite fond of the roasted leg of lamb stew. But now, of course, I have my own dish.  Whatever one orders, it’s important to leave room for dessert and to sample the caramel ice cream log that is smothered in gooey sauce and almonds.

Les Penne Au Poulet de Samantha
150 grams of cooked penne
80 grams cooked chicken breast
2 tablespoons spaghetti sauce bolognaise
1 teaspoon chopped chives
10 grams butter

Le JARDIN d’ HIVER, Hotel Meurice
228 rue de Rivoli, 1er
open for breakfast, lunch and tea daily.

© Suzy Gershman
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