I hope you are having a great summer wherever you are reading this!
It’s the season of pétanque, rosé and le bikini. In the past I’ve mentioned the French Paradox (see my article on la Chandeleur), how do the French have low rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease (and stay so damn skinny for their bikinis) and eat such calorie laden rich foods. In case you want to test the theory of the French Paradox there is a restaurant in Paris based on this idea. It’s called Champagne et Canard or in English, Champagne and Duck!
Not too far from the Bouillon Chartier that I wrote about is this little gem of a restaurant. I’ve had the good fortune to have eaten there twice. First with my friend Ying who was visiting from Brussels. While I was living in Brussels (Uccle to be precise) Ying took me to a hole in the wall restaurant known to have the best Peking duck in Brussels. When she visited Paris I wanted to find a French duck restaurant and I came upon this one in my search.
The second time I ate here was with a student who is from the Landes region of France. We were celebrating his great score on an English exam and what better way then with duck fat and champagne! The Landes region is where foie gras comes from and their collective culture is seeped in the raising of ducks to be used in many different culinary forms.
The restaurant is located at number 57 of the Passage des Panoramas, in the 2nd arrondissement. This is across the street from the Grevin Museum, the Madame Tussaud’s wax museum of Paris. On first impression the passage is a very beautiful tourist trap but in fact there are some really trendy restaurants that are frequented by the French and local ex-pats. Two of them being the Gyoza House and Noglu, a gluten-free restaurant/bakery for the hipster crowd. It feels like the passage and area is being reclaimed by the locals, especially the young.
Obviously with a name like Champagne and Canard you know not to order the fish (actually I don’t even know if they have fish on the menu, but God I hope not!). The specialty is the magret and confit of duck and a new addition is the duck burger. There were people next to us that ordered the burger and it looked awesome. I will definitely try it next time. I’ve had both the magret and the confit and both are very good, my preference being the magret.
Although the restaurant touts a lengthy champagne list, as I prefer red wine and that is what I went for. I appreciated that they have a nice glass with a long thin stem, not the generic, too sturdy/stocky wine glass.
To accompany your main dish you can chose your side. The specialty of the house is the puree of carrots with cumin. This is fantastic- order it, trust me. I recreate it and make it often at home now.
For dessert you can’t go wrong with the mousse au chocolat façon Paul Bocuse. It is rich and creamy with a crumbly top. The waiter said it is bottomless and you can have a second helping if you desire but after my starter of foie gras and the magret plus the sides, one serving was enough. I think that is the secret more than anything else of the French Paradox. Everything in moderation, that goes for the best chocolate mousse you’ve ever tasted.
I have no hesitations recommending this restaurant. It was a great lunch choice both times and since they specialize in two things I trust that the quality is consistent. Try it and let me know what you think!
Address: 57 Passage des panoramas, 75002 Paris
Metro: Bonne Nouvelle (lines 8 and 9)