Au Vide Gousset is an old-style bistrot in the 2eme arr, a step away from the Place des Victoires. I didn’t enjoy my meal much because I ordered a salad (what was I thinking??? on a cold and snowy day too). Well, I really wanted their oeufs bio but they were out of it. And I was not up to charcuterie which they seem to specialise in—they have charcuterie Ospital, Basque pâté guindillas, Aubrac beef hamburgers, Stilton and Cantal cheese platters. Also when i was there, the place was still empty and rather dim and drafty. So all the time i was having my crab and haricots verts salad, i was really smelling some gentleman’s burger (it was all I could do to not whip around and stare at his plate) and eyeing another’s choux farci, a mysteriously dark mess that was strangely tantalising. Later when the bistrot started filling up, such that i could hear a trio’s uncensored opinion of their company’s syndicat, and another man listing all the Christmas gifts he had bestowed on his daughter,things looked up. Because what is a bistrot if you can’t hear your neighbour’s conversation huh?
Next door was its boulangerie arm. Perhaps they haven’t finished setting up because there weren’t as many choices and there were some chairs stacked up in an empty space beside, but it’s a pity because there is a lovely Belle Epoque decor going on. I hurriedly bought what looked like their signature breads: the pain de ferme, a sourdough miche that reminded me of Du Pain et des Idées’s Pain des Amis and of Gambette à Pain’s Pain Préféré. I would say this is one of the ‘sourest’ breads I’ve had here. In general, the French don’t seem to like their sourdoughs pronounced. As well as their fouasse. This one was new. I saw it on the menu but had no idea what it even was until the vendeuse pointed to this flat round loaf. I discovered it’s like a brioche but if you look at the crumb, it’s denser then usual. There’s also a orange scent and one little fleck of angelica in my half. Here’s a bit about the fouasse. Again it reminded me of the Pain Mouna at the two boulangeries mentioned above. The one at Gambette, by the way, is a real real treat.This one was milky, eggy and buttery in all the right ways, and I can’t recommend it strongly enough with coffee in the morning.