Blai and I had ourselves a long weekend in Paris at the end of the summer, something we felt we had to do as it had been four years since our last visit. Four years! We were going to use this opportunity to finally visit Montmartre and thoroughly explore the Left Bank and also um… miss Versailles again. On our first night there, we had built up an appetite walking from our hotel near République all the way to Montmartre and we were ready for some eating.
I’d read about Relais Gascon on Robyn’s blog and her description of their salads topped with garlicky fried potatoes made me put the restaurant at the top of my Montmartre eating list. We found the place quite easily, chose from the menu and then settled in to dinner. Sure their name on the menu (Salades Géantes) should have given us a hint as to their size but they were still shocking!
Each of our salads was a huge brown bowl of lettuce and tomato dressed in a mustardy vinaigrette and then scattered with toppings before being buried under a pile of those thinly sliced fried potatoes that have been tossed with fresh garlic and parsley. My Salade Gascon (€15,50) was the most expensive on the salad menu all thanks to its slice of foie gras on top. In addition, there were slices of smoked duck breast layered in there.
Blai’s Salade Fraîcheur (€12,50) seemed ironically named, fraîcheur meaning freshness. Freshness is probably the last thing you’d think of a salad topped with black olives, ham, lardons, a fried egg and, of course, the fried potatoes with garlic! And what a quantity of lardons too!
They were fantastic. The crispy edged potatoes were very addictive and the actual vegetables were excellent for refreshing the palate in between bites of all that richness.
I was glad we didn’t order starters and after these behemoth salads, unfortunately there was no room for dessert too. If salads aren’t for you (and if they’re not, are you sure? Have you looked at these salads?!), there are other traditional dishes on the menu too – such as steak or confit de canard – and a lot of them are served with those potatoes.
Le Relais Gascon
6, rue des Abbesses