Around Paris: 6th: Wadja

12 03 2010

On a quiet street just off the busy boulevard Montparnasse, around the corner from such grandiose eateries as Le Dôme, La Coupole, and La Rotonde, sits the laid-back bistro Wadja.

Outside Wadja.

Nick and I met here for lunch on a sunny day last week, and despite the long list of more expensive offerings, we thoroughly enjoyed the 14-euro, two-course lunch menu.  As we do in these situations, we split a starter and dessert, so as to make up a three-course lunch that doesn’t put us into a postprandial coma.

Lentil salad at Wadja

After ordering beers, we started off with the lentil salad.  It was good, with nice firm lentils and big chunks of meaty sausage.  The lentils were dressed with a punchy red wine vinaigrette that really helped take the edge off the richness of the dish.

Next, I had the bacon-wrapped monkfish.

Bacon-wrapped monkfish at Wadja

I didn’t know it would be wrapped in bacon when I ordered it, but I sure wasn’t about to complain.  The fish was perched atop a bed of buttery, buttery cabbage.  I wiped my plate clean with bread to sop up every last drop of the sauce.

Blanquette de Veau at Wadja

Nick had the blanquette de veau, which, given its ideal look of uniform whiteness, doesn’t exactly make for an exciting picture.  It tasted delicious, though (he let me have a bite).  The veal was falling-apart tender in a flavorful, mushroom-studded sauce.

Panna Cotta with Caramel Sauce at Wadja

To top off the meal, we shared a near-perfect panna cotta.  The texture was just right – softly set, with just enough structure to maintain shape en route from plate to mouth.  The caramel sauce was buttery with a hint of salt.  I only wish there had been some vanilla bean in the panna cotta.

As the lunch menu here is a chalkboard affair, I’m sure it changes regularly.  I’d happily return to find out how the offerings change with the seasons.

On this day in 2008: Sufferin’ Succotash

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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15 responses

13 03 2010
Food lover

Bacon and fish look like an interesting combination… Pictures looks amazing as usual!

13 03 2010
Tammy McLeod

Do you have a recipe that you follow for the roasted beets with bacon and balsamic? I’d like to try it tomorrow.

13 03 2010
Michel

The dishes look delicious! The price quality ratio seems way above average. I have eaten at all of the places you mention that are in the area but not to Wadja. We will definitely go there next time we are in Paris.

13 03 2010
croquecamille

Food lover – Thank you! I love the way salty cured bacon enhances fish, especially ones with character, like monkfish.

Tammy – The basic recipe is here, and also listed in the Recipe Index. If you’re wondering about the parisian gnocchi I wrote about on my other blog, the necessary links to recipes and techniques are there, highlighted in green.

Michel – It was definitely good quality for the price, especially in that neighborhood!

14 03 2010
Tammy McLeod

I don’t know lardon and didn’t have water chestnuts – used red onion in place of shallots. It was perfect. I had two or three non-beet eaters tell me that they loved it.

14 03 2010
croquecamille

So glad you liked it! Lardons are chopped up, thick-cut bacon. Water chestnuts DO NOT BELONG!!!!! Chestnuts. I’ve also used pine nuts and pecans, and nothing at all. The nuts are not integral to the dish.

13 03 2010
Conor @ HoldtheBeef

What a great lunch! The panna cotta is such a perfectly smooth disk. I’d like to see it wobble :D

13 03 2010
Hannah

Mmmm, buttery caramel… I love that I could technically go here right now :D Camille, I didn’t make it to Pierre Herme today on account of, well, the misadventures of the day, and after two hours wandering around trying to find the Dalloyau or Lenotre I’d (incorrectly) marked on my map, I bought something from Lenotre that was SO DISAPPOINTING. But it looked pretty, so I’ll put it on my blog anyway :P End hijacking of your post.

14 03 2010
croquecamille

Conor – I know, the panna cotta was delightfully smooth, with just the right wobble. :)

Hannah – So sad about the wasted tummy space! In general, I’d say the only “grand maison” (i.e. Lenôtre, Dalloyau, Ladurée, Fauchon) worth visiting is Fauchon. The rest are too hit-and-miss to be worth it, although they are more easily accessible with the multiple locations.

14 03 2010
hungry dog

What a gorgeous lunch!Bacon-wrapped monkfish over buttery cabbage -my mouth is watering! Lovely photos too. Sounds like a great outing.

15 03 2010
croquecamille

hungry dog – I wish I could do things like this every Thursday! :)

17 03 2010
Jessica

That looks amazing. Especially the panna cotta – there is something about the orb shape of it that is truly captivating.

17 03 2010
croquecamille

Jessica – I was so delighted when it came to the table – and even more so when I dug into it! :)

22 03 2010
A

Do you get weird looks taking pictures of food in a French bistro? When I lived in Japan it was practically required to take pictures of food if you get something good- hence the “food” setting on Japanese digital cameras!- but I would be soooo embarrassed to do something like that in Paris. Do they take it as a compliment, assume you’re a tourist, or?

23 03 2010
croquecamille

A – I try to do it quickly and discreetly. Food blogging is gaining in popularity here, too, so I guess it’s a common enough sight, although now that you mention it, the only other people I’ve ever seen taking pictures of their food are Japanese tourists.




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