A gem in the 14th-Le Quatorze Juillet

The 14th arrondissement has a treasure trove of family owned, menu-on-the-chalkboard, delicious and inexpensive restaurants for lunch or dinner. They are found in the general area of the rue d'Aiesia. One street the crosses Alesia, the rue Didot, has several. I recently tried the Quatorze Juillet (July 14), which happenes to also be Bastille day, France's national holiday. It's a classic one room restaurant with a young and energetic staff.

A sidewalk chalkboard had the menu du jour, at the unbelievable price of 14 Euros for either an entrée (always the first course in France) and plat (main course) or a plat and dessert. But a minute after I sat down, I was brought a small plare of sliced sausage. A nice touch.

The entrées were:

-Couteaux (razor clams)  with parsley or

-Herring filets with warm potatoes in oil

For the main course:

-Filet of trout cooked with butter and almonds and basmati rice or
-Sautéed pork with olives and basmati rice

The desserts were:

-Chocolate fondant with crème Anglaise (a buttery creamy sauce) or  

-Crème brulee with Cointreau

I chose the herring. The slightly smoky herring and potatoes were lightly bathed in
a vinaigrettte.

The pork sautée with olives is a classic French dish and jumped at it. The pork pieces are sautéed in olive oil and herbs the olives are added, then it's all finished with white wine and cream. The olives provide a tangy balance to the cream sauce. I ordered a small carafe of Rasteau, a southwestern red that held up well to both courses.

The lunch was filling and I skipped dessert. You will never find a better meal for 14 Euros.

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