Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pere Yvan

There is a tiny restaurant just around the corner from our apartment here in St-Gilles.  They have a simple menu (that I guarantee you hasn't changed in 20+ years) displayed in the window, along with a cage of cute little birds who seem to be puffed up and half-asleep more often than not.  (B says they are parakeets, I say they are of the finch variety.  I also say it's better that they're soporific so that they're not kicking up too much bird dust in the air of an eating establishment.)

We just got around to trying Pere Yvan the other night, and it is the real deal.  Couscous and fondue bourguignonne (with 8 house-made sauces!) are their specialties.  We tried the couscous royale, and it was some of the best I've had.  We knew it was going to be good when we saw the older gentleman (Pere Yvan himself?) put the skewers of chicken over the wood fire to cook.  (Just like Robert et Louise in Paris!)  YUM.  They also served the couscous with a broth that you pour over your entire plate.  I don't remember having this broth with any couscous I've had in Paris, and it really is nice.

The couscous was such a success that we are definitely going back for the fondue.  We chatted with the owners (an older Belgian couple) upon leaving, expressing our enjoyment of the food (in French, mostly) and offering a handshake to them both (you can take the American to Belgium, but you can't take the excitable handshake out of the American), which they heartily accepted!  (Phew!)

Can't wait to go back.

Bad iPhone photo of the spread.  Doesn't look like much, but it was.

Kitch rules at Yvan.  Happy santa times at left, a child's rendering of Bob Le Sponge at right.

Birdcage in the window.

This is Eros.  He is a grand shih tzu who popped out from his owner's table toward the end of our meal.  Of course, I had to have a broken-French conversation with his owner about how glorious he was!  Especially after he put on his sweater to leave, at which time he made his snaggletooth apparent.  If there is one thing that brings out my French without thought, it's dogs.

Also of note, he appears to be the EU-doppelganger of a friend-of-a-friend's dog back in SF.  I wish I had a better one of his face, but it's true!  Kinda like Snoopy's Mexican cousin!

Camping it up in sequins and a topper at Bar du Matin.