Tag Archives: french

Cheap Eats: Petit Robert Bistro


Sometimes, when my schedule isn’t packed and I’m not home asleep, I like to head downtown to visit The Russian at work.  Last week, he urged me to come downtown to visit him because he had a place to eat that he thought I would enjoy.  He was right.

so right.

so right.

We went to Petit Robert Central, a French–style bistro downtown.  Lunch was simple, affordable, and delicious.  I had a beer and the Cobb salad, witch chunks of bleu cheese and bacon and ham and frisee, which all complimented one another very nicely. It was also $12, definitely making it without reach of my wallet.


and it was pretty.

The Russian had the smoked salmon BLT, which was served on soft thick–cut bread with crispy bacon, and the salmon was perfectly light and flavorful. $14.


This was the sandwich The Russian has been thinking about for a while, and the reason he brought me there for lunch.  It’s that good.

I was checking up on the menus online, and it looks like there are a lot of options for the dinner crowd to have an amazing experience here as well.  With escargot on the menu, I’m already reminded of my time in Paris last year and I fall in love a little.  I will be back for more, but in the meantime, try this spot out for a quick lunch bite.



Shark Week Recipe: “Shark Food Soup”


To top off a wonderful week of Sharks, I wanted to make something that would really satisfy.  I decided to make my own spin on Bouillabaisse, a traditional French dish involving lots of seafood.  You know what eats a lot of seafood (other than me)? Sharks.  Seafood is shark food, too.  Might as well dub it “Shark Food Soup” in honor of our jagged–toothed friends that we are celebrating this week. This was my magnum opus of Shark Week recipes, and I hope you’ll agree (the recipe was inspired by a old French cook book I received from The Russian’s mother).  I swear it’s not as hard to make as it looks! The only thing is, it’s a bit expensive for all the seafood.  In total, The Russian and I spent about $35–$40 for the ingredients.  There was plenty leftover, however, and it was delicious. Well worth it it o drop a few more dollars when celebrating Shark Week. It only comes one week a year, after all.



2 Leeks  [$2]

Celery hearts [$2]

Carrots [$2]

1 28 oz can tomatoes in juice [$3]

1 small can tomato paste [$1]

2 8 oz bottles clam juice [$5]

1/2 lb cod filet [$5]

1/2 lb littleneck clams (about 7) [$3]

1 lb mussels (a lot of mussels) [$4]

1/2 lb shrimp [$4]

bottle white wine [$10]

baguette (optional, but you’ll want it to sop up the juices) [$3]


I shredded the leeks, carrots, and celery with some garlic in a food processor, but it was slow going, so i recommend just using the blade to finely mince the mirepoix. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the veggies and sweat for 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste, and then I added dried thyme, Tabasco sauce, paprika, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. I also added some saffron, which is a pretty expensive spice, but I (of course) got a deal on it while I was in Spain.  About $7 for a really nice–sized container.  Here, it should be around $15.  I know it’s pricey, but trust me, it makes a huge difference.  Only use about 15 threads in the soup. Let that cook for about a minute, then add the wine to deglaze and let cook for about 5 minutes, then the clam juice, and a little extra chicken stock if desired. Let simmer for 10 minutes to let some flavors develop.

Cut the cod into 1–inch pieces and clean the clams by rinsing them in cold water until there is no grit on the shells (most supermarkets have cleaned clams already). Add to the pot, and let simmer, partially covered, for 5 minutes.  Add the shrimp, and mussels (cleaned as well, of course) and cook for another 5 minutes.

Top with fresh parsley (optional) and serve with baguette, if desired.


Curl up with a bowl of this and some Shark Week specials on this rainy day, and all will be right with the world.