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Paris Food Trip Report - Finally....

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Lilia Dignan

Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Paris Food Trip Report - Finally.... Reply with quote

I have been meaning to post a report on our November trip and finally got a chance to make sense of my scribbled notes. I will mainly explore the foodie part of our trip.

Day 1, October 30- Air France still on strike but our flight was scheduled to leave on time. Plane left one hour late – it was understaffed, 5 flight attendants instead of 10. The pilot made up time; we even had a great view of London on the way and the flight touched down on time at CDG
on Day 2 October 31 - Then the fun begins. Some of the passengers didn’t get their luggage and guess what? Yes, we’re part of this group. One hour – two hours later and still nobody knew where they went. Hello! One French passenger got livid and started screaming at an AF personnel. How can you lose luggage when it is a non-stop flight? After another 10-15 minutes, he pomised that they will be delivered in 20 minutes at the baggage area. Did they arrive, you would ask. They surely did, enfin! One employee drove them somewhere in the airport and just left them there. Hooray! They were all there. Rushed to take a cab. You’d think we’re out of trouble, wouldn’t you? We were falling asleep from the stop and go traffic until we came to the Port de Bercy and a worse jam is happening. It was a parking lot. Only one vehicle was crossing at an intersection at a time. There was an African funeral going on and they were blocking the road. Took almost 1-1/2 hours to get to our hotel and cost us over 70 euros. IS IT WORTH IT, you’d want to know. DEFINITELY!

We’re finally in Paris – it has never been this hard to get to Paris before. After freshening up, off we went - in and out of the little streets in the Quartier Latin to the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Odeon to the Buci-Seine area. I originally was going to pick up a picnic lunch to have at the Luxembourg but it is now getting a little late but the sun was shining and everything looked soooo gooood! Walked over to Pierre Herme to pick up my Ispahan, an Emotion dessert in a glass for Tom, the best pain au chocolate I’ve ever had and a Kouigh Amman (a Breton specialty). That would be our late night snack.
Early Dinner is now called for as we were getting really tired. Rejected the tapas at da rosa on rue de Seine but opted to have a light meal at L’Atlas on rue du Buci. We met a nice surgeon from North Carolina and his wife who had to drive from Bordeaux to Paris because their Air France flight was cancelled and the trains were iffy.
- A Ricard for Tom
- Lapin au moutard avec rotini (for Tom)
- escalope de saumon aux morilles avec tagliatelle (for me)
- un pichet (50 cl) de Brouilly
- No dessert (you know what we have in the package from Pierre Herme)
- All these for 47 euros

Day 3 , November 1- Today is Toussaint. Lots of places are closed and it was pretty quiet. Breakfast was pretty good and included in the price of the room. Did we luck out on that – what with the dollar-euro exchange. Well, we will not worry about that now. Met a couple from Seattle and gave them some tips on sightseeing. Today is set aside for walking (in fact, everyday was set aside for walking except for the last few days, I succumbed and bought a carnet . I saw signs in the Metro Station that the Carte Orange will soon be obsolete – no date was mentioned, though.) We’ve never really explored this area. We lived in Paris for five years in the 80s and I did some shopping at Place Maubert for oriental food and occasional mass at Notre Dame. Walked around the Pantheon through narrow streets to rue Mouffetard. Took some pictures. Saw a bunch of students around the Ecole Normale Superieur (our son did some summer work there before he started his Ph.D program at Harvard, so that was exciting for us to see the faculté). Found out they were filming – probably a documentary. Otherwise, the streets are pretty empty. Spent the morning wandering around. Then, there is the Eglise Saint Hilaire – set back from the street with a fountain going in the place leading to the rue Mouffetard market. A real marché Volant – complete with hawking merchants. I have forgotten how much fun it was to shop in these markets. I can’t help thinking how hard it is right now for a dollar earning person to live in Paris. I should stop this obsession with the euro/dollar exchange.

Back to the hotel for a little rest. All these walking is hard on the old bones. Time to go again – checked out the marché at Place Maubert, it was bustling. Lots of colorful scarves and jewelry. Bought a few fruits for my evening snack and a scarf to add to my collection. I was talking to one vendor who was asking me where I’m from – he said he detects an accent but have no idea what it is. We carried on for a while – he said he is there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
On to the quais to walk along the Seine. We were going to make reservations to Les Bouquinistes for another day but it was closed. Read the menu Ze Kitchen Galerie (I think it is too expensive for what they are offering). Also checked the menu at Chez Louis XIII, lunch at 50 euros and dinner at 70 euros are not very inspiring. I remember eating there when they first opened and it was a great dinner. They had a small room designated as non-smoking. It was wintertime and I still remember the Foie Gras and the Saint Jacques ending with carpaccio d’ananas with a scoop of ice cream. They were still using francs in those days and I couldn’t remember how much it was but it was quite reasonable.
We decided that lunch would be at Les Papilles on 30, rue Gay Lussac thanks to the recommendation of David Lebovitz). They had a table waiting for us. The lunch is 31 euros each. You pick a wine from the shelf and show it to the host. They will charge you for the retail price of the wine plus a little extra. Here is the menu:
- Velouté de carrottes aux cumin avec croustillant de carrotte, lardons et crème garnis de persil frite (Carrot soup with cumin and julienne of raw carrots, lardons and cream garnished with fried parsley)
- Supreme de vollaile fermier grille avec tomate confit, pois gourmand aux rigatoni et crème aux basillic, garni de thym (Roasted breast of chicken with tomato confit, sugar peas with rigatoni and cream with basil, garnished with thyme)
- Petite salade de chevre et toast aux tapenade (Small salad of goat chesse served with toast and olive spread)
- Dessert de crème aux fruit de la passion garni de gellee de fruit de la passion (Dessert of cream of passion fruit, garnished with passion fruit jelly)
- Un café avec un petit bol d’amandes grille enrobe aux chocolat noir (Coffee served with a little bowl of grilled almonds covered with dark chocolate)
- Une bouteille de Saint Joseph blanc (A bottle of Saint Joseph White Wine from the Cote du Rhone)
- Total cost of food and wine, 96 euros plus 10 euros extra for wine service.
A little walk and a little rest. Since we are so close to the Luxembourg, that is the perfect place to get a little rest and settle down the lunch. We encountered a religious procession for All Saints Day. It was orderly and cars stopped until they have passed. Went on to Place Saint Sulpice where they are doing a big renovation in the front and around the Church.
Another stop at Pierre Hermé to pick up some chocolat and more goodies for later. This time, we got a Garanche (pate brisee, figues roties, framboises, crème a la cannelle caramelize) and Plenitude (macaron chocolat, eclats de chocolat noir a la fleur de sel, mousse et ganache au chocolat amer, caramel croquant). Mmmm!

"A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry."
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Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to the hotel for a little rest. All these walking is hard on the old bones.


In spite of the exchange rate, it sounds like you had a great time. The thing with cities like Paris and London and even a large town like Brighton is that they just make it so easy to walk that you do... then it catches up with you later!!!

Can't wait for Chapitre deux!
Confusion comes fitted as standard.
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Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bring on part 2 lilia---this is great reading!
Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
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Lilia Dignan

Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because of the current status of the dollar right now, I haven't planned on a trip to Paris this year. Getting my notes in proper written form is like a trip to Paris - it is like I am there walking along the river and the meals --- most of all, I can taste the great pastries of Pierre Hermé.

Your right, Griffin, as far as walking, cities like London, Paris, New York, San Francisco are tops. True, you need to have a foot massage at the end of the day but great for keeping the weight down. Chapitre deux dans deux heures ou moin.........

David, part two is coming later this morning (Pacific time).
"A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry."
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