Frog’s legs … a classic of French cuisine…yet how many French people have ever tried them? As a 30 year-old French girl, I can safely say that I had never tried frog’s legs until I ate them at the brand new restaurant Rainettes !! I remember travelling to the UK and having people asking me if it was true that French people ate snails and frog’s legs on a regular basis…when I said no, they thought I wasn’t really French!! The ‘cliché’ used to make me laugh. Maybe in the past it was more accurate but it seemed that the tradition died down a little. My parents do have snails for Christmas though. I believe you only eat these things for ‘special occasions’!
However, good news – Rainettes is trying to renew the concept of Frog’s legs ! It can now be something you eat on a regular basis if you want as it’s a normal restaurant and it’s also a great place to try them if you never had them before whether you are French, an expat or a tourist in Paris.
How did they came up with the idea ?
In 2014, Yves, a successful maître d’hôtel and Ombeline, a dynamic and cosmopolitan young woman met whilst working in a Parisian restaurant. Both felt it was very important to make sure their customers had a good experience and an impeccable service. Whilst talking about their love of good food and French dishes known all over the world, they shared their surprise at the fact that it was very hard to find Frog’s legs on restaurants’ menus weather it was at a Michelin star restaurant or a local bistro. Had the French really forgotten one of their national dishes ? The rest of the world think they eat them all the time with their baguette and cheese. All of this while wearing a béret bien sur !
They decided to find out how many French people had actually eaten frog’s legs…they were astounded to find that only 55% of French people had ever tasted them !
With this knowledge, Yves and Ombeline decided to embark on a new adventure and open the first bar restaurant serving frog’s legs, cooked in many different ways, either as a meal or taster plates, in a friendly and chic atmosphere in the heart of Paris. So, for all the nostalgic or the one who are willing to give it a try, you can now enjoy the delights of their freshly prepared plates of frog’s legs.
Our review :
Rainettes is ideally located between Bastille and St Paul in a small street called Rue Caron with a lovely little square. The restaurant is very nice and cosy with a small room upstairs with a bar and a big space downstairs (perfect for groups or if you want to privatize the restaurant !). We were greeted by the lovely Ombeline who helped us with the menu as we did not know anything about Frog’s legs ! If you just come for the ‘apero’, they have all sorts of cocktails (with names such as Pélodyte, Rana Temporaria…) and little portions of frog’s legs so you can try them. We went for a proper meal to fully embrace the experience!
We had a plat de grenouilles with a sauce and a side. For the sauce, you can choose among 5 different ones. We tried the sauce called Provence with garlic and parsley and Alsace with Riesling wine, shallots and parsley. For the side, we opted for a potato gratin. We were very impressed with the quality of the meal, clearly home-made! The potato gratin was delicious. As for the frog’s legs, we were surprised at how excellent they were! We found that they tasted like chicken with slightly less taste though so it’s good there is a sauce because i think that plain frog’s legs would be a little bit boring. The sauces are absolutely divine. The amount of food per person is just ideal, it is a good portion and you actually feel very full at the end! The cost is about 25 euros per person for a « plat de grenouilles ». If you are not as hungry, you can try the « dyptique de grenouilles » for two with smaller portions for 35 euros. The home-made desserts are also worth a try!! We had a Charlotte chocolate cake with fresh chocolate mousse inside – delicious!! Simply a lovely experience trying a famous national dish! FUSAC recommends Rainettes!
Practical Information :
5 rue Caron – Métro Saint-Paul
09 86 59 63 85
Open Tuesday to Thursday 6PM-11.30PM
Private room for up to 16 guests