In France up until a few years ago kids did not have school on Wednesdays. Crazy I know, but they do end school later in the day (at 4.30pm) and Wednesday has typically been used to go to your music lessons, catechism or sports. After petanque, I think the national sport is changing the school schedule. The Minister of Education has the bright idea to change the vacation schedule or the curriculum every few years. This causes people on the left, right and center to lose their minds and usually results in a teacher strike.
A few years ago they changed the school schedule adding workshops twice a week (2x 90 minutes) on Tuesday and Friday afternoons to expose public school kids to art, sports or games. This was done to offer access to cultural or fitness activities to all children in France, not just ones whose parents could afford to pay for it. They make up those three hours on Wednesday mornings. My boys are now in a private school and they don’t have school on Wednesdays but when they were in public we really liked our Tuesday and Friday programs. Both learned to play chess this way! Now in a private school, we get to sleep in a little before doing homework then heading out to track and football (soccer) on Wednesdays.
Unlike my American friends I’m not the soccer mom with the big minivan and the honor roll/student of the month stickers on the back. On Wednesdays I take one boy to track and by bus then take a tram with the other boy to football then take the tram or walk back to pick up the first boy then we walk together on an above ground trail (la Petite Ceinture) to get the second boy then we all take the metro home. Want to know why French women don’t get fat? It’s all the metro stairs and walking we do! If I had a Fitbit it would resign by the end of my day on Wednesday.
Every week on the track drop off I walk past a restaurant called 750g La Table. Coincidentally I occasionally buy a cooking magazine called 750g. I’ve always found it to be very informative, aesthetically pleasing and it’s one of those foodie magazines that I keep to reference later. Putting two and two together… I wondered if the restaurant had something to do with the magazine, it does, and there’s more!
750g is the concept of two brothers, Jean-Baptiste and Damien Duquesne. Jean-Baptiste has a background in business and in the late 90’s he started a website selling wine- 75cl.com. He found that many of his clients would write to him asking about food pairings for the wine. He knew just the guy to help him with the food side of it and that was his brother Damien who was a chef and a professor at a culinary institute. Noticing the trend of people cooking more at home and also the development of forums and community websites the two brothers launched 750g. 750g is also the exact weight of a bottle of wine. Chef Damien and another chef named Christophe create videos and test recipes on the VERY successful 750g YouTube channel. The videos are so helpful and such high quality. The two chefs are professors so they know how to explain their techniques, it is seriously a pleasure to watch and it motivates you to make that soufflé you never dared to try to make at home. Besides the videos on YouTube they’ve expanded to include a magazine, cookbooks and now three restaurants. Check out Chef Damien on YouTube (fyi- it’s just in French):
So, after months of walking by 750g La Table every Wednesday I finally had the opportunity to eat there last week. The restaurant is on rue de Vaugirard, which for all of you trivia lovers out there is the longest street in Paris!
As a starter I split the razor shell clams with my friend. They were sautéed in a garlicky sauce that we sopped up with our bread. It was soooooo good.
Next I had the sea bass on a bed of roasted vegetables. The fish was perfectly cooked and I was surprised that it was served with roasted sweet potatoes. I took a bite of the vegetables and was hit with the sweetness of the potatoes and it was a fantastic combination with the fish. Something I’ll be making at home.
My friend chose the linguini with pesto, roasted vegetables and pine nuts. Which looked super good and he enjoyed. I restrained myself from reaching across to try some since I think it was me doing all of the garlicky juice sopping with the clams.
For dessert we shared a serving of French toast with roasted pineapple and a small scoop of caramel ice cream. French toast is funny to me because in French it is called pain perdu (lost bread) and it is eaten as a dessert. They wouldn’t imagine eating it for breakfast as we do in the US.
We arrived after 1pm for lunch without a reservation and had to wait just a couple of minutes. The restaurant is down the street from the convention center so if you are coming at lunch it might be wise to make a reservation.
After lunch I showed my friend the Petite Ceinture, the stairway up to the above ground trail is just outside the doors of the restaurant.
According to Wikipedia “the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (French for “little belt railway”) was a Parisian railway that, from 1852, was a circular connection between Paris’s main railway stations within the fortified walls of the city.” It is no longer in use and the tracks have long since been abandoned but since 2011 there has been a movement to turn this area into a green space.
I love it for its calm and the chance to look at some interesting Parisian architecture from a different angle.
It is also a special moment every Wednesday that I have with my son a little above the city walking on the tracks. In the fall we saw a lizard sunning on a rock but most days we just walk and talk and he even brings a book on trains to study the type of tracks.
I’m a huge fan of the 750gYouTube channel and magazine and the restaurant did not disappoint. I hope you have the chance to try it out and then work off that “lost bread” with a digestive walk on the Petite Ceinture.
Address: 397 rue de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris
Hours: 12 noon-11pm
Metro: Porte de Versailles