Glou: Simplicity and Style in Paris’s Marais

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Glou: Simplicity and Style in Paris’s Marais
  As much variety as Paris has to offer in terms of restaurants and cuisines, it’s not always easy to find clean, simple food. A dish like grilled tuna with roasted vegetables was standard fare on almost every menu in New York when I lived there, but I don’t find dishes like that are as readily available in Paris. Glou in the Marais makes the kind of clean food I miss and they offer a two-course formule for 15 euros—appetizer and plat or plat and dessert. The starter of guacamole with toast and red pepper coulis looked great on the plate but tastewise was underwhelming and a bit bland. It basically was a puree of avocado with very little or nonexistent spices and two pieces of peasant bread toast. They could have at least served it with some interesting chips, breadsticks, or another type of bread. Simple doesn’t have to be boring. I fared much better with the plat, an appetizing piece of daurade fish with the skin charred and crispy, surrounded by a healthy portion of stir-fried julienned vegetables that were well spiced. Dessert was a light, delicious and ever-so-satisfying strawberry trifle with Mascarpone and crumbled biscuits, which gave it crunch. Our spoons were fighting one another to taste every last bite, since we were sharing it. I liked the casual, neighborhood feel to the restaurant and the staff was relaxed and friendly. We spoke with the very good looking owner Hervé, whom my dining companion dubbed as the French equivalent to Patrick “Dr. McDreamy” Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy. He told us he was a food writer and editor for many years before he opened the restaurant with two partners. The front and back of the restaurant has community high tables and we sat in the one in the back by the open kitchen. Shiny red enamel lanterns and red enamel brick wall gave the neutral, calming interior a bit of dash. Some of the food is organic and is prepared with ingredients from local or nearby growers, fishermen, and artisanal food companies. For instance, the beef for the hamburger and steak tartare is prepared with meat from the Aubrac region of France and is freshly ground when you order it. Vegetarians, who are sadly neglected in most French restaurants, will rejoice with the hearty seasonal vegetable platter, which currently is a purée of eggplant and fig, tomato confit, and squash. A refreshing Moscato, a dessert wine from Italy, has star quality to it—it’s provided by super-chic ex Bond girl Carole Bouquet, a neighborhood regular of the restaurant. So if you are craving something besides foie gras and smelly, rich cheeses, Glou is the place to get back to solid, well-executed basics. PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Glou 101, rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 3rd Metro: St. Paul, Saint Sebastien-Froissart Tél. 01 42 74 44 32 (reservations suggested) Open 7 days for lunch: 12-2:30pm and dinner: 8-11pm PHOTO CREDITS: Large photo of dining counter: ©Glou Photo of counter section: ©Richard Nahem, Richard Nahem leads Eye Prefer Paris Tours; please click on his name to see other stories by Richard published by BonjourParis. Subscribe for FREE weekly newsletters with subscriber-only content. BonjourParis has been a leading France travel and French lifestyle site since 1995.   Readers’ Favorites: Top 100 Books, imports & more at our Amazon store Update your library…click on an image for details.               Thank you for using our link to Amazon.com…your purchases support our free site.  
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Richard Nahem is the creator of the popular blog www.eyepreferparis.com, with three weekly posts about art, history, fashion, food, shopping, architecture and restaurant reviews. He also writes about Paris and European travel and his articles and photos have appeared in The Guardian, Romantic Paris, Passport Magazine, Travel Agent Central, Luxury Travel Advisor and Bonjour Paris. He recently edited the National Geographic "Walking Tours of Paris" Guidebook. Richard also leads private insider tours of Paris, www.eyepreferparistours.com, showing clients the Paris they never usually see on their own. With over 440 five star reviews on Tripadvisor, his specialty tours include Le Marais, Saint Germain des Pres, Chocolate and Pastry Tours, Flea Market Tours, Gourmet Food Tours, and Cooking Classes.