Where To Marry In Paris (part 2)

(This is part 2 of 3; part 1 is here, part 3 is here)

There’s a lot in Paris to be seen besides museums. Unfortunately, most of these things are outdoors and can best be visited with a bit of sunshine and a pleasant spring temperature. As we had neither of these on our short trip, we had to spend a lot more time inside the shops on the boulevard des Champs Elysées than we normally would have. We had to admire the view of the Eiffel tower from underneath it. And we had to extrapolate what it’s like to spend a day in the park from sitting on a bench in the tuileries for 10 minutes in the only rays of sunlight that we did get.

There is however another very important indoors activity to be done in Paris, as in every part of France: eating! At lunchtime, heavy rains were usually poring down on us, making it impossible to sit down in a park with nothing more than a baguette and some Coulommiers or other cheese. At dinnertime, we were forced to eat out as we stayed in a hotel room, so we really were unable to do some shopping at a nice Parisian market and have a go at the local ingredients ourselves. In short, we couldn’t help but eat out twice a day; and as we felt obliged to do as the Parisians do, we just had to eat a hot meal twice a day as well. What a punishment…

So how to find a good restaurant in a city that probably has hundreds or thousands to choose from? For lunch, our strategy was to move away from any tourist attractions, find a brasserie full enough with businessmen and otherwise Parisian-looking eaters, and hope for the best. We were never disappointed. For dinner, we came prepared with a list compiled from various sources like David Lebovitz’ blog and the Cityvox restaurant site. (On a side note, I had hours of reading pleasure with Ms. Glaze’s weblog, about her adventures as an intern at a Paris 3-star restaurant. We never made it to Guy Savoy though; maybe next time!). That list led us to…

  • La Boussole (map: marker I): small, crowded, just a single table left when we arrived, with tasteful Mediterranean food with North-African influences. We had sweet and spicy lamb and fish tagines; and spiced crèmes brûlées for dessert.
  • Chez Dumonet (map: marker G) was a different place altogether. We came here mainly because of the promise of the giant Grand Marnier soufflé; but before that, the homemade confit de canard and the millefeuille of pigeon were exquisite enough to make us momentarily forget the dessert that we had had to order beforehand. But soon enough, there it was, brought to the table hot and steaming, golden brown, and indeed, humongous as soufflés go. I did not poor the extra glass of Grand Marnier into the soufflé; it contained enough liquor already as it was. It was delicious, warm, sweet, perfect comfort food; I could have another one right now or at any hour of the night you might wake me for it. So probably it was the booze that made us imagine all sorts of shady deals going on in this restaurant. It certainly had a very Sopranos-like feel to it, with expensive-looking guests walking in and out of the kitchen, behaving like they owned the place. We had a great time and were in soufflé-heaven for about 15 minutes.
  • Le Baba Bourgeois (map: marker H) we saved for the last night. I must admit that it was again a dessert that brought us here, in this case rum baba (I love cake drenched in liquor, what can I do…). It was not easy to book a table, as the phone was not answered for several nights that I tried; but luckily I managed to get through on our last night. This very trendy place is run by a couple of friendly guys and their young dog, who was in the process of learning that the dining room is off limits for him.

Just three examples of what could easily have turned into a month-long eating experience, had time and money allowed. Not that you can’t get a decent meal where I live (but please call before you drop by!). It’s just that there’s a buzz and a liveliness in this city that is nowhere to be found in Holland; as well as a feeling that this city has everything you could think of, food-wise and otherwise. Almost everything.

(Continue reading part 3)

Grotere kaart weergeven

2007-04-01. One response.


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