There’s no shortage of quality Italian food here in Paris. From restaurants to multiple stands in every market, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Even the real Italian foods like ‘nduja or tripe. I’ve even seen jarred sanguinaccio, which does contain chocolate, but if you’re unaware of what else is in it, perhaps it is best left this way.
Nevertheless, I was walking between Bastille and Republique yesterday, and–as usual–searching for something to eat. This was made difficult by the fact that it was between lunch and dinner, when most things are closed. It was also made even more difficult by the fact that it is August, when all things are closed. Seriously, it’s been like a post-apocalyptic world ever since I got back from New York. The streets are empty and all the stores are shuttered.
Lo’ and behold, I come up on Casa Frascati on Boulevard Beaumarchais. The best thing you can do is put your menu outside. I’m sure to read it everytime. I was sold before I even walked in.
But what a scene I entered upon. Not an inch of wall space (or ceiling space, for that matter) was left uncovered. Magnets, stickers, photographs, shiny objects. It was like a scene from an old movie in there. Two men were inside, one behind the counter, which was filled with meats, stuzzichini, and antipasti of every imaginable variety. He was shouting to the other man across the small room. This man was seated at one of their few tables eating a rigatoni in a mushroom sauce. I’d like to think it was a truffle and porcini sauce, but I can’t taste food with my eyes…
…Breakthrough. I now know what my one chosen super-power would be…
Anyway, it’s a little half-restaurant, half-market establishment. An épicerie, en français, si tu veux. I love places like this, because they’re always about the food. Like, you know this very happy man has this establishment because he loves Italian food. The antipasti behind the glass were calling out to me, and I could have browsed all the little jarred items–tapenades, oils, various tomato-based products–for hours.
But alas, I had ten bucks on me, two of which I needed to get home. Every sandwich sounded wonderful, but most were eight or ten euros (but with lots of ingredients). I went with the Calabrese, 6€. Salami picante, gorgonzola cheese and mascarpone. It was about a foot long, the bread was so fresh, the ingredients were really loaded in there, and the taste was great.
Where: 89 Boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris 3. Metro: 1 St. Paul / Bastille, 8 Bastille / Chemin Vert, 5 Bastille / Bréguet-Sabin. Open: Monday-Saturday, closed weekday afternoons. | How Much: Market prices vary, sandwiches 6-10€.