La Fontaine De Mars - Institutionalized

In accidental honor of the start of a real-life heatwave, with Paris finally joining the global warming trend, Co. and I hooked up with our Texan- pardners-by-way-of-New Jersey and now in Paris to stay for a dinner at La Fontaine de Mars, a Parisian dining institution in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.  You get to be called an 'institution' when you've been in business at the same address since 1908 - other than the same address part, I am rapidly closing in on
institutional status myself, but let's not go there.  For me and Co., this was our first return appearance at said institution in 13 years, a rather unimpressive debut for which all I could remember is that I ate something with an egg in it.  Not a good sign, but I was up for giving La Fontaine a second chance, the first since the famous "Obama ate there" cache.  Now expanded, the restaurant on this balmy Friday evening had a very open and airy feel about it,
with a stable of tables in the front, and scattered along an adjoining courtyard.  Even our indoor table had the feel of being outside, with the open area leading to the courtyard right off one side.

Another part of being a restaurant institution is that those tables tend to be filled, with a combo of tourists and locals, and the carte never seems to change.  Yes, there are eggs on the dinner menu in one façon or another, a peculiarity of the southwestern cooking emphasis.  One of the entree specialities, oeufs meurette (11€), or two eggs baked in red wine, shallot and bacon sauce, received high praise from our pardner who knows a thing or two about searing bacon in reduced red wine, and in his humble opinion, La Fontaine got it right.  I enjoyed my special plat du jour, supions a la plancha 21€), at least more than our other pardner who expected something more in the way of grilled.  Co. really appreciated her magret canard (29€), and once we swapped dishes mid-stream, I had to agree it outdid my calamari.  The three of us who opted for dessert all curiously trended toward lemon, maybe thinking the tarte du jour would slake the heat or something, and it did the job, without anything spectacular to tell granny about.  Here's a pictorial display for your delight (click to enlarge and save your eyes):

Roulé d'aubergine confite au chèvre frais (14€) - you don't see this on many cartes; nice sauce.

Terrine de canard Maison au foie gras (15€) - half gone, once Co. and I did our swap.  This trumped the eggplant dish.  I was surprised - positively - that this wasn't more of a jellied terrine dish.  Pretty tasty.

This here is the soupions Friday special, the baby calamari resting comfortably on a bed of mashed potatoes (21€).

Tartare de boeuf (21€) - how else to follow up reduced wine and bacon?

The lemon tarte du jour (11€)

All in all, an enjoyable meal, and as mentioned, I'm glad our pardners recommended it, because I wouldn't have gone back on my own after our initial rather disappointing excursion.  I can't remember the servers at all, which is an especially nice asset when you prefer to concentrate on conversation with your friends without unnecessary interruptions.  My gripe, and you've heard this before, is that the carte is of the 'a la' nature, lacking a more affordable fixed price menu.  Nonetheless, we did wine on the cheap, going with a couple bottles of the low-priced, but decent house wine,“Sélection Fontaine de Mars” at 16€ a pop, and the total for four came in at a reasonable 203€.  Check out those red and white checkered tablecloths - an institution in their own right.


129, rue Saint Dominique
75007 Paris
tel: 01 47 05 46 44

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