Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Photo: © MAP
Monsieur Pramil is – in a very positive sense – the caricature of an old-fashioned French bistro chef. He likes to show up in his very own dining room, a man from another time, who seems never to have heard of counting calories or of the modern obsession with body shaping. No, this grey-bearded guy really likes to eat, quite obviously, and he likes to cook and to share his passion – and he does it very generously too.
His bistro, „Pramil“, is one of the rare finds that you really hesitate to share with a wider public. Hidden in an ancient narrow lane close to République, it is a Parisian oasis of excellent food made of market fresh ingredients, masterfully seasoned, brilliantly twisted and yet casually presented as if you were sitting at the table in a private home.
The chef is an autodidact, meaning in his case that he has just taught himself the techniques necessary to let his great natural talent shine. Every experienced eater knows that there are a lots of cooks and then a few who really can cook. Pramil is one of the latter and his many signature dishes, playing with rare ingredients like bear’s garlic or ficoide glaciale (a forgotten, marvellously crunchy vegetable from Brittany), deliver solid evidence.
It is always risky to use superlatives, like: For 20 Euros you can’t find a better two-course-lunch in Paris – but in Pramil’s case, the temptation is high. The dinner formula comes at 30 Euros for three courses, that still is cheap given the great choice of seven starters, seven mains and six desserts plus one cheese platter.
When we had lunch there recently, it was still the season of Saint-Jacques and they were sumptuous. The same is true for Pramil’s Iberico pork cutlet with three different carrots, the veal onglet, the monkfish, the foie gras, the sweetbread, and, and, and. All starters are worth ordering, all desserts have their surprising hidden secrets (like the raspberry tart – with pepper! Or the chocolate ice cream – with pimento!).
So, please, if you read this: Go there, yes, and enjoy. But afterwards – don’t spread the word too far. This is a place to keep fairly secret – in order to keep Monsieur Pramil doing what he does best: Cooking for a crowd who knows and who cares about real good French food.Pramil