38 rue Cler, 7th Arrondissement
(Corner of rue Cler and rue du Champ de Mars)
Rue Cler is a food lover's destination. A neighborhood street with open markets, each one having their own specialty - meats, cheese, fish, fruits, vegetables, baguettes, flowers, etc. Just walking down this streets gives a small village-like feeling. It was certainly a change from the being at the tourist-packed monuments.
We had a late dinner at Café du Marché, a corner restaurant with plenty of outside seating for eating and people watching. As usual, we were seated very close to other patrons, which was fine except for woman next to me who smoked a few too many cigarettes throughout the meal.
We first ordered the house wine and a prosciutto salad with a generous slab of paté.
Glancing at the plat du jour written on a chalkboard, we ordered the boeuf tartare and confit de canard, both served with a light salad and seasoned scalloped potatoes.
Since I never tasted boeuf tartare, I was not sure what to expect. And just looking at the raw ground beef was intimidating. When I built up my courage to try it, I found the flavor to be mild, and the texture was very soft and kind of just melted in my mouth. I was hoping there would be a tad bit more flavor or seasoning to it though.
Confit de canard - this dish is usually prepared by salting the leg of the duck and then poaching it in its own fat. I thought this dish was average and undersalted, nothing spectacular.
Maybe experiencing these 2 traditional French dishes shows how we, living in America, are used to the full robust flavorings as opposed to foods from other parts of the world that are more mild.
But nevertheless, I've read several favorable reviews and may come back one day, especially during the morning or afternoon, and watch the outdoor action of locals shopping for their fresh daily produce.