Monday, June 4, 2007

Le Relais Charbon (Paris) - QQ

We started the night off at Chez Papa, a bistro specializing in cuisine from southwest France. I met my friend's sister Y and her friend W there. The Chez Papa in Paris (101 Rue de la Croix Nivert; M: Felix Faure) is different than the Chez Papa in SF. The one in Paris is a very low-key place where the food is very so-so and non-flavorful. I'm not too familiar with southern French cuisine but it was extremely greasy. I ordered the grilled duck breast with seared foie gras. I'm a huge fan of foie gras but this one was just so bad it almost turned me off foie gras for life. There was a thick layer of grease at the bottom of my plate I could literally see my heart clog. The portions were extremely generous though, but with not very good food, do you want generous portions?

We all felt pretty greased out after dinner and decided to walk it off. We joked about how we haven't really met any cute French men and semi-challenged each other to see who could get the most phone numbers tonight. We wanted to grab some coffee to wash off the grease and there were several cafés/brasseries nearby. We checked all of them out and picked Le Relais Charbon (right next to M: Charles Michels) because it looked most promising. And sure enough, as soon as we sat down, some very drunk guy next to us starts talking to W. He was very drunk so we tried to ignore him. Then our waiter comes over, and as we discussed in Mandarin what we wanted to order, our waiter, who was very boyish-cute, starts to speak to us in Mandarin. We were pretty shocked. As it turned out, he took three years of Chinese and is hoping to work in China someday. He kept coming by to see how we were doing and we would converse in Mandarin and a bit of French. He was very friendly, and at Y's encouragement, W managed to get his email and phone number. Go W! The restaurant was pretty packed and the bartender and the other waiter were both pretty cute as well. Everyone was extremely friendly. I can't vouch for the food since we didn't eat there but just for the cute waitstaff, I'll have to give it 2 Q's.