L’Ami Jean and a Tribute to Restaurant Roger Lamazère – Paris

L’Ami Jean
27 rue Malar 75007 Paris.
Tel : +33 1 47 05 86 89
Opening Hours: from Tuesday to Saturday
Credit Cards: Visa, MC
Prices: Moderate

L’Ami Jean, in the Seventh Arrondissement happens to be the best place in the city now to sample South-West and Basque cooking, which some time ago was taken over by Stéphane Jego, a chef who in the past worked at a favorite of mine, the Parisian bistro, La Regalade.
I still have fond memories of going to the restaurant Roger Lamazère, which disappeared in 2000, it  was at the time the best choice for South-West cooking. I especially went there to eat Ortolans, during a very short season of two-weeks in October. Of course, today in France it is illegal to sell them but not to eat them, so if you know some farmers that are netting these birds you can still have them although they cannot be sold in restaurants.
The procedure to eat them is to view the little birds that were roasted whole with their heads and legs still attached on a platter in front of you, and as they were wild, field birds (buntings) they were kept in a dark place and fed grains to fatten them up and not cleaned, you ate them whole with a large napkin draped over your head in an attempt to savor and capture the delicate perfume of the little birds, and a snifter of Armagnac close-at-hand. You popped the whole bird into your mouth and slowly chewed it bones and all with frequent doses of Armagnac during the procedure that took a good five minutes to complete. It is one of the rare gastronomic experiences that one can have, and agreed it is not for everyone; it is indeed an amazing experience.
Another specialty of Lamazère was the whole black truffle eaten au naturale as well as the entire goose liver (foie gras frais). These delicacies were not inexpensive at the time although, compared to prices that you would pay today it is almost unbelievable how inexpensive they really were.
Also the Cassoulet was memorable as it had been enriched with a piece of confit de canard, in addition to the Toulouse sausage and pork loin. It was put to melt in the pan where the cassoulet completed its cooking. The incomparable creaminess of the beans was as much the result of a slow simmer, and the presence of goose fat and garlic formed a delicious crust. Roger Lamazère and his staff were so kind and helpful in giving us incredible service and wonderful friendship. Roger Lamazère was “A One of a Kind” restaurant!

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4 Responses to “L’Ami Jean and a Tribute to Restaurant Roger Lamazère – Paris”

  1. Thank you for the nice memories of my dad.

  2. Kit Marshal says:

    Dear Régis Lamazère,
    Thank you for your response. We had many wonderful times at your father’s restaurant and the BEST whole foie gras I have ever tasted; and it never varied time after time. Sublime! Your father was a lovely gentleman and we really appreciate his dedication.
    Thank you again for your comment

  3. Fred Stare says:

    It was 40 years ago during my first trip to Paris that I ate at Lamazere. I can never forget the meal. My first taste of Foie Gras. I had never had such a rich, unctuous, dish. And then the fish, A Loup de Mer in an incredibly bright green sauce. I can not say what was in the sauce, but boy was it memorably delicious. And Mr. Lamazere at the entrance welcoming clients and at least for me, always insisting that I stick my nose in the jar of truffles. An education. I subsequently ate there several times on all too infrequent visits to Paris. My memories and fondness for Lamazere have stayed with me.

  4. Jan Ferrari says:

    Did the diners (ghouls) take part or at least get to watch the little Ortolans being drowned alive in Armagnac? That must have been the highlight of the meal!