Paris Bistro: Le Pharamond, Classic Norman Cuisine
Founded in 1832, Pharamond is a historic restaurant that offers homemade traditional Norman dishes. As a matter of fact the Paris bistro became famous for its Tripes à la mode de Caen, a specialty from Normandy made with cow stomach.
YUP, you heard me correctly.
The restaurant is super cute and looks exactly like a traditional half-timbered house in Normandy. The Belle Epoque décor inside the place dates back to the end of the 19th century and is exquisite; filled with mirrors, intricate woodwork, and glass.
For my starter I had a Vegetable Millefeuille. I really enjoyed this appetizer. The velvety fresh Norman cream cheese was simply delicious and well balanced with the tasty grilled vegetables. Simple, but so-effective.
My friend had the Scallop Carpaccio with Truffle Oil. I found this dish a tad disappointing. The texture of the scallop and the overall taste of the dish were perfect, but the texture of the truffle oil was kinda thick and there was too much of it, making the dish a bit gluey.
For my main I chose the Vallée d’Auge Veal with Vegetable Medley. Vallée d’Auge is a Norman sauce made with shallots, apple cider, calvados, cream and butter. This will definitely satisfy any meat’n’potatoes man. The veal was tender and juicy, the sauce was deliciously rich and the vegetable medley nicely executed.
My friend had their famous Tripes à la mode de Caen. Served in a cast iron pot, the tripes were stewed in white wine and accompanied by moist potatoes, carrots and parsley. If you’ve ever tried chitterlings or rocky mountain oysters, this won’t faze you. If you have no idea what I just said, then you’ll probably have to muster up some courage before trying something like tripes. The tripes were nicely cooked, very tender, with just a hint of gaminess. Seriously, for someone who’s not into eating animal insides, this wasn’t bad at all!
For dessert, I had a Poached Pear in Brioche with Almond Cream. Damn was it rich and heavy…and DAMN was it good. The poached pear was surrounded by a warm and moist cake-like brioche. The bottom was rather chewy, but it didn’t ruin the dessert. No frills, just straightforward granny-style comfort food.
My friend chose French Toast with Praline center and caramel ice cream.
This dessert was even more rich and decadent! The French toast was scrumptious and it worked really well with the caramel ice cream. The whole dessert is really quite sweet, clearly not for diabetics.
If you’re looking for that hearty traditional French countryside taste in a traditional turn-of-the-century setting, you’re in the right place. I can’t say that the joint is the best traditional French restaurant I’ve been to, but Pharamond offers excellent value for your money, 30-40 euros for starter/main & dessert.
About the Author: Fooled one too many times by tourist traps, Paris for Epicureans scours the city hunting out restaurants worth your time and money. Fabulous, so-so, flat out bad, she tells it like it is! Photos taken by Paris for Epicureans unless noted.