Au Passage: A Delicious Layover in this Bustling City
Hello! Today, we will talk about Au Passage, another great restaurant during our trip to Paris. This hidden gem is tucked away from the main touristy areas of Paris. Without the recommendation from my mom's friend, we never would have found this place. Thanks, mom's friend! Given the demographic of the eaters at this restaurant, this is definitely a local favorite! I like how the menu changes every day.
Au Passage serves modern European cuisine and all dishes are eaten "family" or tapas style. As we walked in, we were greeted by a basket of bread and a friendly waitress, who kindly translated the whole menu from French to English. To assist us in deciding what to eat, my dad ordered a nice, refreshing red wine (2005 Domaine Henri Milan Les Baux de Provence). Full disclosure: I don't know anything about wine besides whether I think it tastes good or bad. And, this, to me, was a good one.
Overall, Au Passage is awesome. If I lived in Paris, this would definitely be one of my secret go-to's.
To start, we ordered a saucisse seche, a dense, dry cured, pork sausage made, typically, with 2 parts lean meat and 1 part fat.
We also got the cheese plate, which consisted of 3 gorgeous cheeses. The first was a Saint Nectaire, a nice, firm cow milk cheese with a creamy and nutty flavor. The second was a Fourme d'Ambert, one of France's oldest types of cheese. The Fourme d'Amert is a mild blue cheese with a earthy and creamy taste. Lastly, we tasted the Crottin de Chavignol, a young, mild goat cheese. As this cheese ages, it becomes darker, harder, and stronger in flavor. I love starting my meals with either a cured meat platter or a cheese plate. They're great appetizers that don't ruin your appetite.
During our meal, we enjoyed the Cauliflower with Saffron Aioli a lot. This dish was basically a huge roasted cauliflower on a plate. It was cooked very well. I could probably eat the whole thing by myself, which.. isn't saying much because I can usually eat everything by myself :( Sometimes, it's refreshing to eat something as simple as this.
For our main entree, we got the lamb shoulder thinking it was just another small, tapas-sized dish. However, to our surprise, it arrived at our table as a FULL lamb shoulder on a giant wooden board. The lamb shoulder had a dangerously sharp cutting knife sticking out of it, as if it were welcoming us to dig in. The exterior was perfectly crispy with a numbingly tender interior. It came with a delectable Asian-inspired mint sauce. I can't tell for sure what it was made with but I would guess that it was similar to a Thai-style mint sauce with vinegar, mint leaves, fish sauce, and lime. I confess that I drenched each bite of lamb with this beautiful sauce.