Days before I left Medellín last December, I received an email from Mickael Preauchat introducing me to his new French restaurant and café, Paris Paris.
While I didn’t have the time to visit at the end of 2013, I did make it a priority to meet Mickael upon my return. Earlier this month, I arranged for Ryan and I to meet for lunch.
Located near the Primer Parque de Laureles, Paris Paris occupies a tree-lined corner at the intersection of several streets. It seems fitting for Mickael to have picked Laureles, given the comuna was designed by a Frenchman.
The first thing I noticed upon walking up to the restaurant was the French flag placed in the tree. Medellín could do with a few more of them as far as I’m concerned. French food is one of my favorite cuisines, cholesterol be damned!
Mickael greeted us, and brought over a chalkboard with the day’s offerings. Paris Paris was still only four months old, and he explained that regular menus hadn’t been created, but that he enjoyed the interactions with diners that the chalkboard allowed.
The concept behind Paris Paris is to make delicious French-influenced dishes at regular prices most people can afford. Special care is taken to use the freshest possible ingredients, and the restaurant’s own recipes.
Appetizers included Vegetable Soup (5,000 pesos, $2.50), Quiche Lorraine (11,000 pesos, $5.50), Ham and Cheese Crepes (11,000 pesos, $5.50) and Mushroom Crepes (13,000 pesos, $6.50).
Knowing Mickael was from Brittany (aka “crepe country”), I had to go with the classic ham and cheese option. The size of the crepe, my appetizer, was larger than I expected, and it arrived with a small side salad.
These are simple, delicious crepes, not the kind you’ll encounter at a certain other restaurant which shall remain nameless.
Further down the chalkboard were the main courses, like Chicken in Mushroom Sauce and Caramelized Pork. They ranged in price from 21,000 pesos ($10.50) to 25,000 pesos ($12.50).
Chicken dishes made up three of the five entrees, which Mickael said was by design, given Colombians’ penchant for it.
Opting to try something different, I chose the Chicken a la Bretona, which was served in a light, Asian-inspired sauce with a healthy heaping of elbow macaroni and salad. It was something different, and I liked the subtle flavors.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the table, Ryan was digging into his Chicken in Blue Cheese Sauce, which was accompanied by dollops of mashed potatoes and salad.
I liked his chicken too. The blue cheese sauce was strong, but not overpowering.
For dessert, Mickael surprised us with a trio of everything on the menu (6,000 pesos, $3 each). I went for the chocolate cake first. The consistency was velvety, suggesting a lack of flour.
I’m not normally an apple pie person, as my Mom will attest, but I gave the apple crumble a try and was surprised to find I enjoyed it. It wasn’t heavy, but light and fluffy, which is what I think made the difference. Ryan, like me, wouldn’t normally have chosen it either, but he too was a fan.
And finally, there was the chocolate crepe with arequipe drizzled on top. By this point, I was so full I couldn’t even finish it.
Food comas are an occupational hazard in this line of work.
Altogether, including a glass of mango juice, my three-course lunch (assuming one dessert, not three) would’ve run 38,000 pesos plus the mango juice I ordered, tax and tip. Let’s say 50,000 pesos, or $25 for a big lunch.
But for those on a tighter budget, there’s the Executive Menu of the Day. A main course and soup or dessert costs 10,000 pesos ($5), or you can pay 12,000 pesos ($6) and get a soup, main course and small dessert.
Now these may not be the same dishes from the chalkboard. In fact they probably aren’t, but the quality of food, preparation and presentation will be the same. If I lived in Laureles, I’d be taking advantage of these set lunches on a regular basis.
Paris Paris also offers home delivery, as well as catering for special events.
Our lunch was provided compliments of Paris Paris.