Last week we exchanged our usual view for the one above. We stayed in an apartment right around the corner from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We went sightseeing and we shopped, but that was just to have something to do in between meals. As always, the city lived up to its reputation for great food. Just about everything was delicious, from the superlative bread (and amazing butter!) to the luscious slow cooked meats, and the incredible pastries and chocolate.
For our first dinner, we ate at La Fontaine de Mars, a classic bistro, where the Obamas ate on their visit to Paris. I started with pumpkin soup topped with sauteed foie gras. The buttery meat juices added another dimension to the smooth creamy soup. A rich stew of duck legs in red wine was the main course. For dessert, I opted for an old favorite, Floating Island, poached meringue on a sweet creamy pool of vanilla sauce.
The next day we had dinner at a favorite bistro, La Regalade. It is always crowded, but I it is one place I have to go when I am in Paris. Their coarse country pate was as good as I remember it, and I loved the crackling crisp pork belly with lentils and celeriac puree that followed. For dessert it was a perfect Grand Marnier Souffle. On Sunday we explored the stands at the outdoor market on Avenue Woodrow Wilson. The vegetables and fruits were hard to resist…
…and so was the seafood. There were stands selling shrimp, scallops and many varieties of oysters. These oursins, or sea urchins, were tempting.
If you think all butter tastes alike, I wish you could try this kind from the Normandy region that I tasted at Drouant, a classic old restaurant that has recently been done over. I liked the butter so much, I took it’s picture. BTW, our lunch was excellent. I started with 4 little vegetable appetizers, including a tiny cup of jerusalem artichoke soup and 3 fresh salads: beets, curried carrots, and fresh coco beans. The main course was perfect roast chicken, thick cut French fries, and a green salad.
One day, we had an all-chocolate lunch at Jacques Genin, an elegant tea room and chocolate shop in the Marais District. The mille feuille is a specialty and each one is filled to order so that the buttery puff pastry layers stay crisp when sandwiched with the creamy filling. We ordered one filled with chocolate caramel ganache along with a pot of hot dark chocolate as thick as melted ice cream to drink. Was it too much chocolate? Yes! And it was soooo good.