We were in Reims, France for a short stay. Reims is known as the land of champange! So neat.
For lunch, we dined at Le Gaulois. Looking at ther menu, it showed English translated notes beneath the French menu items and we knew that we wanted to try some foie gras and escargots while in France. Le Gaulois occupied a huge property on a corner of a street in Reims with a big outdoor patio for people to dine in and also a nice comfy indoor dining room too.
We didn’t have much time to order and eat as we were to meet with the rest of our tour group at 1 p.m.
We ordered some menu items to share, like the escargots and foie gras. We ended up sharing the main dishes too due to a slight misunderstanding of order items. The food was really delicious and authentic.
We dined outdoors to experience the French patio lunch air. (Unfortunately, there were some smokers to the left of us — there are many smokers in France — but thankfully the smoke didn’t bother us too much.) The service from the female server that we got was blunt and not very pleasant. I’ve heard that French service is quite poor. We did get what we wanted, but there were no pleasantries in the service. Perhaps because we were tourists too and could only communicate in English (and my broken French) so there were some things we couldn’t communicate well.
Seeing as this was the “land of champagne”, we definitely wanted to try out their bubbly drink. I liked it! It was definitely bubbly and fresh. I’m not a champagne connoisseur so I couldn’t really distinguish its quality except that it was really fantastic.
First of all, we had some olives and cracker snacks arrive at the table. I absolutely love olives and loved these ones! The small crackers were also crunchy and tasty.
We ordered the escargots in a platter of 12 and also a platter of 6 for us all to share. Mmm, I absolutely love escargots!! These escargots were different from the ones we had the other night at Le Mondial which were in shells. These escargots were already plucked out of their shells and placed into a dish with grooves in it with lots of parsley butter on top. I absolutely love parsley butter with escargots. It is the best combination!
Not only were the escargots delicious but I dipped the French baguettes into the holes of the platter which had extra parsley butter to eat. It was divine. I mopped up all of the holes with the bread and enjoyed it so, so much! ^_^
The foie gras came with jelly and jam and toasts. We weren’t sure what the proper way to eat these was, so I smeared the foie gras on the toast with the jelly and jam on top of it. Yum! The foie gras was so smooth and chilled. It reminded me of the smooth foie gras at the French restaurant in Toronto called Alo. So this was what real French foie gras tasted like. It really had the taste of thick foie gras. It was dense and rich, so after eating a bit of it, you would feel full.
We ordered a Salade Landaise which had pommes sautées, géisers, magret de canard, bloc de foie gras, and salade verte. In English, this translated as sautéed potatoes, chicken gizzards, duck magret, foie gras, and green salad.
It arrived as a beautiful platter of green salad topped with sautéed potatoes, strips of duck breast, slices of chicken gizzard, and toasts with foie gras on it. These foie gras with toast were the same as the appetizers we got earlier, so in hindsight, we should have just ordered these to share instead of the full foie gras platter.
I really liked the chicken gizzards! These were somewhat seasoned yet I couldn’t tell with what but they were simple and delicious and not chewy or rough at all. The slices of duck breast were also thin but a little salty. The sautéed potatoes were really, really good! They were fried a little bit on the outside so that they were crispy yet soft in its centre. It was delicious!
The portion of the Salade Landaise was big and definitely more than enough for one person. Even sharing it with two people for us fed us quite well!
We also ordered the Salade Savoyarde which contained pommes de terre, viandre de grison, reblochon gratiné sur toasts. In English, this meant: potatoes, smoked meat, reblochon (a type of soft washed-rind and smear-ripened French cheese), green salad, and smoked ham.
This dish resembled the first one a little bit with the potatoes and green salad. The smoked meat and ham in this dish were a little salty but they were authentic French meats and ham which were thin and nicely sliced. The reblochon cheese on the toasts were not too cheesy and I think it would have been nice if the cheese was fully melted on the toasts.
In the end, because we had ordered so much food, we packed up the rest since we were running out of time. I absolutely loved all of the food; the foie gras, chicken gizzard, duck breast, escargots, meats. It was all so true and authentic. I would surely return again.
By the time we left, the outdoor patio had almost completely filled up and there were so many people dining lunch there. This was definitely a great spot for locals and tourists alike!