L’Avant-Goût (Paris)

// Visited: 1.2.10 //

Sometimes I try to determine the exact moment at which amateur food photography jumped the shark.

“Stop moving the napkin,” the five-year-old at the neighboring table barked at his mother as she accidentally shifted her hands, which were holding the makeshift cloth background in place behind the dish he was attempting to photograph.  “If you keep moving, I can’t white balance this photo!!”

Mildly alarmed at the child’s bratty behavior, yet marveling at his command of intermediate photography techniques, I kept quiet at my table, focusing on slathering the good house bread with more vanilla-scented foie gras and shoveling it down my gullet.

I was at the well-loved bistronomique L’Avant-Goût (13th ème, near the Place d’Italie), a recommendation from a friend who enjoys Jeffrey Steingarten’s books as much as I do.

By the time the famous pot-au-feu de cochon (pork stew with sweet potatoes) arrived, I was already full from the foie, bread, and the antics of precocious American children.  For better or for worse, I was no more impressed with this pot-au-feu than with the rendition I’d just had at Le Cinq.  Perhaps this sort of heavy meat stew is just not my thing.  But the unusual vanilla foie gras certainly was.


Outside L’Avant Gout

Waiting for the restaurant to open…


Vanilla foie gras with mango and pineapple “gazpacho”

The famous pot-au-feu de cochon aux épices, with sweet potatoes, fennel, and horseradish sauce

Lemon-almond cake with rosemary-vanilla ice cream


26, rue Bobillot
75013 Paris
Tel. :01 53 80 24 00


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