Foodie Trip Report No 2
Day 5, November 3 – No rush! It is, after all, samedi matin. It is time for a leisurely petit dejeuner francais and the salle was fulll. The weather was overcast and the forecast was for cool and showery day. Can’t deter us from our market days.
But there are other markets to explore so on we trudged the streets of Paris. Had to oogle the vitrine of La Tour d’Argent Boutique which is fortunately closed and that made the hubby happy, very happy. Traversed the Pont de Sully and continued on bd. Henry IV to the Place de la Bastille. Spent time at the Richard Lenoir Creative Arts Fair (every Saturday) and looked at the different stalls of paintings, small sculptures, fabric design until it started raining. This calls for a coffee break to do some people watching.
On to the Place d’Aligre. This is the biggest and liveliest permanent market in town where one should go for middle eastern specialties and spices. We saw street after street of vendors advertising their fruits and vegetables. The market was bustling with great produce. A real feast for the eyes! I looked around for the spices as I was interested in getting some authentic Raz-al-Hanout for my tagine dishes. I’ve been getting buy with my own concoction of the spice which turned out quite good. There is also a stall of Bourjois make-up that I wanted to visit; and let’s not forget the beautiful glazed madeleines at Ble Sucre. I found out later that the permanent stalls are inside the covered market. Just walk until you reach the tin covered building and continue on inside. WHAT A LOSS FOR ME! Please don’t make the same mistake I did if you are interested in going through the whole experience. As for me, I will have to wait for my next trip. Boo, hoo, hoo!
It is nearing feeding time – the beasts will be growling soon. Slowly walked back so we can be at the Marais. Less looking at windows and concentrate on getting as fast as we can to Place des Vosges. Felt like grilled meats are called for so off we went to Ma Bourgogne at Place des Vosges.
- Bavette aux echallotte avec frites
- Grilled lamb chops avec frites
- Un pichet (45 cl) de Fleurie
- All at 55 euros (CASH only, no checks or credit cards accepted)
Eating at the terrace/arcade overlloking the place was quite pleasant. Luckilly, the rain has stopped and we kept dry. There were even little bits of sunshine peeking through. Back to the hotel to rest the weary legs and aching feet. Have you noticed that we have not taken any means of transport since the taxi ride from the airport.
Left the sleeping husband to catch Pierre Herme before closing. Had to stand in a long line for over half an hour. Is it worth it? You bet! Got a Desire (layers of pate a sable, lemon cream, compote of strawberries and banana, a soft cake, decorated with strawberries and wild strawberries in season), a Plenitude (macaron chocolat, little bits of dark chocolate with a sprinkling of fleur de sel, mousse and ganache of bittersweet chocolate and topped with a crispy coating of caramel), 6 petit macarons and a couple of Pierre Herme’s confitures made by the famous jam fairy, Christine Ferber (from Alsace). When I got back to the hotel and unpacking my beautiful Pierre Herme shopping bag, there is an extra box with my favorite Ispahan in it. The young man who served me remembered me saying that Ispahan is my favorite dessert. Am I a lucky woman? You bet and happy to boot.
Now that dessert has been secured, it is time to think of you know what. This is, after all, a foodie report (LOL). I feel like fish tonight. Off to Bistrot du Dome, I rue Delambre in the 14th arrondisement (just behind bd. Montparnasse near bdl Raspail):
- 2 coupe de Champagne
- Salade de haricot vert
- Salade de Saint Jacques grille
- Rouget grille au basilic et tomate (Rouget is a firm white fleshed fish with red skin which is a member of the cod family, I believe)
- Saint Pierre grille au beurre salee de Breton servi avec pomme de terre et potiron cuire au four (Saint Pierre is an eastern fish with real great flavor and is plentiful in the Nova Scotia coast. The vegetables were roasted in the oven and sprinkled with fresh thyme)
- 2 expresso et quelque petit four frais (remember that dessert is waiting in our room)
- Un bouteille de Mersault (my favorite white burgundy)
- All for 151 euros
A brisk walk back to the hotel. Too bad, can’t go through the Jardin du Luxembourg at night but a stroll on boul Mich is quite pleasant.
Day 6, November 4 –
Nice, cool , brisk Sunday morning! On the way to La Messe Gregorienne at Notre Dame, stopped at the Marche Brocante at Place Maubert. Found a pai of long benches to go along a kitchen table for 150 euros (for the bench only) which I thought would be affordable if I have an apartment on bd Saint Germain. Didn’t I notice one for sale yesterday which is nearby but I got a dirty look from you know who.
Mass is at 10:00 am and we walked in through the back gardens along the seine side to go to the front. We sat on the left side to take advantage of beinbg able to gaze at the Sotuh Rose Window. It was beginning to clear so we caught the perfect light. Hubby got his first wish – the second wish came shortly after – his angel arrived again, the same angel who appeared during our /February 2006 trip. He was so engrossed (the first time) looking at the Rose window with the sun shining through that he wasn’t paying attention to the mass, then this beautiful blonde in a French blue choir gown appeared and started singing with such heavenly voice. He thought he died and woke up in heaven! She is now th Matrise of Notre Dame de Paris Choir. After mass, I love walking out through the big open front doors, the only they open them is after each mass with the light streaming in, it feels like I’m on my way to heaven.
A little nostalgic stop to Place Dauphine looking in at the old aparment of Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. Taking rue Dauphine and enjoying the window displays, I particularly like the Bois de Rose full of smocked dresses for little girls. Perfect for our 3-1/2 year old peite fille.
On to Le Comptoir, 9 Carrefour de l’Odeon, 6th arriving just before noon. No reservations, one has to stand in line to get a table but it opens at noon , so we’re sure to get one right away. We got a nice window table inside – great for people watching.
- Cochonnailles de famillle (assorted Lyonaise charcuterie plate with cracklings & condiments)
- Tripes Bearnaise (for hubby who loves the more unusual offerings – not for the French but for most Americans, anyway)
- Tournedos de confit de canard (the confit wwas deboned and re-shaped like at tournedo then grilled – served with a glaze and assorted young vegetables)
- Crème de Riz au lait avec peches
- Café avec nougat Richard (What? No caramels from Jacques Genin! I ask the girl serving but she just smiled and said the are serving nougat this time)
- Une bouteille de Crozes-Hermitage Le Printemps (a young, fruity wine from the Cote-du-Rhone area)
- Total 97.80 euros
The rest of the afternoon was spent at La Fontaine de Marie Medici at the Jardin du Luxembourg amidst thw ducks swimming in the pond. The sun shines through the trees. Quiet and relaxing! On the way back, checked out Fish at 69, rue de Seine for a light dinner later in the evening.
After a late afternoon siesta, the old, tired bodies gave out – decided to finish reading the English paper and eat from Pierre Herme macarons box:
- Mogador (passion fruit and milk chocolate)
- Marrons et The vert Macha (chestnut and green tea Matcha)
- Plenitude (chocolat and caramel)
- Truffe Blanche et Noisette (Exotic – very unusual – I like the flavor of white truffle – very earthy but I’m not quite sure I care for it with my desserts)
- Huile d’Olive et Vanille
Of course, we have the extra Ispahan (macaron Rose avec crème de Litchi et framboise, garni par framboise et une petale dee rose rouge – extraordinaire!)
Goodnight, moon! Bonne Nuit!
Day 7, November 5 - Started out with scattered fog. Bits of sunshine starts peeking out of thje sky – slowly – in time for how slow I was sipping my café crème. The tops of the building began to be bathed in glorious light. By the way, the breakfast in the hotel is very good but I only need a light French breakfast, coffee, croissant, orange juice and sometimes a piece of tartine. They also serve yogurt, toast, chocolate, tea, some cheese and choice of confiture and honey for the tea.
This is shopping day. First stop: City Pharmacie, 26, rue du Four. 6eme. I pick up some supplies of Galenic face crème and Xeramance body cream, neat-looking cool French toothbrushes (Elygium) and a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I can spend the morning here if I give in to it. Next, I wanted to change a little money – a few dollars itching to be exchanged into euros. I find that getting a good exchange place is roughly the same as using my bank ATM. I have been doing this for a long time now and I find that it is still true. I got some comments from the forum one time for using an exchange place to get euros but what I use and how I use it works for me, all the time. Now, that’s off……. I go to Multi Change and they have an office on rue de Rennes. Besides, I have befriended some people there and it is like saying hello to a friend one hasn’t seen for sometime.
Had to stop at Montparnasse Monoprix. This is the only place I know that carries the Francois DoucetNoisettes dela Forets that I love. Picked up some tablettes de chocolat (assorted ones) and some fleur de sel (de Camargue for the daughter and d’Ile de Noirmoutier for the son), add a condiment or two and more confiseries and soon, les paquets sont tres lourds. Time to drop them off the hotel. Through the Luxembourg – these errands have to be transported through scenic routes. Are there any other way? These articles are to become special gifts on arrival back to the US, they deserve to be treated royally. Would your chocolates be happy just taking some non-descript streets? Mine would be complaining san cesse and what headache that would make! How can one buy more goodies if you don’t take the ones you have back first. The sun was shining – nobody notices the aching feel and shoulders sagging.
What a surprise! Hubby reading the paper at the lobby! Fish on rue de Seine sounded good but today being Monday, it is closed. He wanted to eat at Le Comptoir again. By the way, this is owned and run by Yves Camdeborde, ancien chef at Les Ambassadeurs, Crillon Hotel during the time of Christian Constant. After a few minutes wait, we secured a table.
- Salade de saint Jacques poele (sautéed scallop salade)
- Crème de Marron celery et foie gras (cream of chestnut soupwith celery and chunks of foie gras – yummm)
- Cochon de Lait aux Lentille (suckling pig with lentils)
- Une Bouteille “Bugey Cerdon” Rose Petillant (Sparkling Rose)
- 102.50 euros
- Proved to be another excellent meal
Hubby sat at the Luxembourg to enjoy the afternoon sun. I ventured to the grands magazines to look around and to Lafayette Gourmet for more foodie goodies. How can one not be happy as one looks at mounds of spices, herbes and different salts and surrounded by Laduree, Sadaharu Aoki, hundreds of bottles of wines, all those Iberico hams, all kinds of teas and coffees, jams, chocolates all tucked in this not so huge store. Armed with a shopping cart which began to fill up with more specialy salts, confiture de Noel, The de Noel, more chocolates, caramels, mustards and my shoulders asking me who are going to carry those things back. They are close to a rioting mood if I didn’t stop right then. Luckilly, I found that I had some metro tickets leftover from the year before. OK, the autobus it is. Rioting shoulders averted – this time! Now to face hubby’s question of how to get these home.
A romantic evening walk “le long de la Leine” is in order. Stopped by Les Bouquinistes to reserve a table to next day’s lunch. Continued on the quais and leisurely watched the boats on the Seine and the lit monuments. Turned on rue du Bac and enjoyed the quartier Saint Germain. Walking the streets of Paris seems like a feast each time we do it especially when doing it leisurely without any time constraints – no rush to be somewhere at a certain time. Another good day!
Day 8, November 6 - A little rain in the night just enough to wet the streets – gone by morning. Went to Place Maubert market to buy some grapes and figs for later snacking. They were still setting up so there’s not much buying to be done. Then after breakfast, took Bus No. 63 across the street to Place de l’Alma. Stopped by 5, rue Debrousse (this was our first apartment in Paris). It is being remodeled so the whole front is covered. Walked Avenue Montaigne and enjoyed looking at the couture houses. I like Valentino windows the best.
Read the menu at Alain Ducasse. His top degustation is 360 euros/person. Can someone translate that in dollars for me? Even their cheaper degustation is 220 euros. I miss those days in the 80s when my husband and I can can have a wonderful meal at Taillevent drinking good wines (not grande but really excellent ones) for less than $200 but I am talking around 9-10 francs to the dollar. I remember having a 5 hour degustation lunch at Les Crayeres in Rheims for my son’s 14th birthday paying $300 for 4 of us (including a good vintage bottle of champagne and a good bottle of Gevrey Chambertin) in 1985. Those are the good, old days, indeed!
Champs Elysees is being prepared for 11 Novembre. I see lots of security people around. There are fewer tourists around. It is so enjoyable strolling one side and down the other with a little stop at Fouquets for some morning coffee. Reaching the Place de la Concorde, decided to take rue Boissy d’Anglas to Faubourg Saint Honore crossing rue Royale to the other side which becomes rue Saint Honore – turned right on rue Castiglione with a peek at Place Vendome to the Jardin des Tuileries, enjoying this scenic route on the way to lunch at Les Bouquinistes, 53 quai des Grands Augustins for a 1:00 o’clock reservation.
- 2 Coupes de Champagne Guy Savoy
- Salade Mesclun
- Ravioles de Tourteau aux homard (Wow – big chunks of lobsters)
- Bar a la Plancha
- Saumon d’Ecosse
- 1 verre Sancerre blanc
- 2 verres Beaune du Cahteau
- Dessert – autour du chocolat (came in three different forms of chocolate desserts surrounded by a light crème anglaise
- 1 verre Grappa Veneta (great tasting grappa – smells heavenly, too)
- 1 café serve avec truffes
- All for 154 euros
It is now 4:30 and the sun still shines. Magnificent Notre Dame beckons. Another perfect time for a South Rose Window watching and enjoy
These feet deserve some rest and quiet time. A little nap gives a boost of energy - just. Maybe more strolling in the evening. Another meal is definitely out.
Guess what? No strollling done later that evening.
TO BE CONTINUED………….