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L'Etoile Venitienne

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Snail experience in Paris

Published by Nika Logvinova — 5 years ago

Have you ever tried real snails, also known in France as Escargot? Well, if you are coming from the southern country, then you probably have. I am coming from the North so snails was on my on my top check list when I came to Paris.

Some people consider eating snails disgusting... This mostly happens because they think that those snails are usual ones we see on the roads or on the plants, especially after the rain. This is not fully true. Those snails that are served in the restaurant are grown in the special places, taken a special care so that they become big and fat.

It appeared that it is not to easy to find a good restaurant in Paris that serve snails. I had around three unsuccessful experiences in different restaurants when I tried to order snails and the kitchen was running out of them.. What is more, if you try to ask real Parisians - even they might find challenges to name a good restaurant. The reason for that is that snails is not something typical any French would eat, it comes from the history and now became more a touristic attraction. As a consequence, a lot of restaurants fool tourists offering bad quality snails or contemplate them with some cheaper sea food. Of course, you can also buy snails in the supermarket but then you need to make sure that you know 100% how to cook them.. 

Finally, while walking in the Champs Elysees area, I suddenly found a  restaurant that did not have many tourists. All the people there were French so I thought it might be a good place if Parisians appreciate it. I walked in and asked about snails. They had them! I was so happy that I just stayed to try. The interior of the restaurant can be called as *typically French* - the tables had white coverings and the waiters were posh and fancy. The kitchen is located downstairs so you can see only a big bar place. Make sure you look appropriate for this restaurant, otherwise, you would feel really uncomfortable among rich business people (that's how I felt)

You have two options to take snails: six or twelve. The reason for that is that most tourists try snails for the first time and a big amount of them find them disgusting after the first bite. In order to save amounts of food wasted restaurant chefs decided to offer half-portions for those who are not sure about their taste. I was among them. To tell the truth, I could have taken 12 because I really liked them! Snails do not have any taste to be honest, they have a jelly consistency and served grilled with some garlic-basil souce, The souce was the one that saved them from fiasko. You need to be careful with the cutlery - there is a special knife and fork for it. 

By the way, my friend didn't like it at all so I was lucky to eat her portion as well. 

Concerning the prices, they are the same as in any other restaurant in the center of Paris: half-portion costs 8 euros which is quite affordable for *just to try*. However, full portion costs 16 euros which is already expensive. And you will not get full with 12 small snails. The interesting fact is that snails consists of 80% of water so even if you feel full, this feeling will not last for a long time. Snails are usually served as an apetizer before the main dish.

After the snails I was still feeling hungry and decided to try something French for the dessert. What I chose was creme brulee which costed nearly 6 euros. It was a big disappointment because the cover of the creme was burnt so it had an awful taste of burned sugar. For those who don't know what is creme brulee: it is made of mostly custard but has a strange taste of a light omelette. The top is a hard caramel. In this restaurant caramel was burnt :( My advice is to buy creme brulee in the nearest supermarket and to make it in the oven or in the microwave. I have tried it and the taste was the same (or even better because it wasn't burnt)

I also took tea which was quite expensive (around 4 euros) but it wasn't enough for the dessert. 

I should say snails was my only good experience in this restaurant..

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