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Paris report -- Days 4 & 5 (long)

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Restaurants & Bars

Paris report -- Days 4 & 5 (long)

wyf4lyf | Jun 17, 2005 01:08 PM

Day 4
Lunch -- in a pub called The Princess of Wales in London! Took the
Eurostar in the morning. Bought a small loaf of pain complet from the
Paul bakery counter at the station in Paris and my mouth and body
swooned at the whole grain goodness of the bread. Oh how I was missing
that! Will write about this meal on the London board!

Dinner -- We arrived in Paris around 9 and were refreshed from our nap
on the train, so walked around the St. Germain de Pres area, looking for
Cafe de Flore but couldn’t find it, so stopped at the Neo Cafe which was
busy (a good sign) and the food looked good. I had the Salade Bergere
which was mixed greens with lots of sliced prosciutto and walnuts, and
slices of toasted Poilane bread with hot goat cheese on them. Mixtures
of hot and cold and different textures and flavors were wonderful. And
so much fun to eat late at night on the sidewalk! Hubby had some kind of
croque sandwich (I think it was called croque provence which had
tomatoes and herbs in it) that was great, with a small salad. We walked
all over the place and finally found the Cafe de Flore and the Cafe Deux
Magots. Since my mom had eaten at the Deux Magots 45 years ago, we
stopped there for dessert and it was about 11 p.m. at that point. The
place was still hopping. We shared a huge ice cream sundae with fresh
berries, berry sauce and whipped cream...and had coffee, of course.
Fabulous.

Day 5
Lunch -- We took a long time to walk to the Musee d’Orsay and by the
time we got there, hubby was hungry and did not want to take the time
for a proper meal, so we got food from the vendor in the courtyard
outside the museum. Hubby’s French hot dog was actually pretty good,
very long, had some good flavor and was served on a fresh baguette. Far
better than our styrofoam hot dog buns in the U.S.! Wish I’d ordered
that instead of the panini sandwich which was HORRIBLE. Ate about 1/4 of
it and threw it away and was a bit of a grumpy bratty foodie, (my 2nd
moment of the week) but kept it to myself and enjoyed the museum.

Afternoon treat -- Walked to the much hyped Angelina’s for hot chocolate
and it lived up to everything I’d heard. Anyone concerned about the
recent buy-out of the place should not worry. The place is still lovely
(though I’d like some air conditioning, please!), and the hot chocolate
is truly amazing, though I must admit I thought it was going to be a bit
thicker than it was...a spoon would not stand up in it (but it’s quite
possible that was a different place that made that claim). But I
quibble...it was still pretty thick and the flavor!!! So rich, and
creamy and chocolatey. Loved the side of whipped cream to stir in (or
just to eat off a spoon!) I also ordered a mont blanc to go with it --
their other specialty. A pastry with a crunchy meringue base, big mound
of chantilly cream, covered with chestnut paste. I’d never had chestnut
paste before, and I really loved it. Mild spice flavor amidst all the
cream and crunch and sugar. Hubby had pear and raspberry sorbets, both
really fresh and delicious. Floating on our sugar buzz, we walked the
distance to the Hotel Bristol for some citron presse (lemonade) and
toasted my mom again, who had stayed there many years ago. Lovely
gardens, fun to make your own lemonade with a glass of lemon juice,
small pitcher of water and sugar to add as much as you like. (And at 11e
per glass, we enjoyed every drop!)

Dinner -- At Le P’tit Troquet which was so highly recommended on several
travel boards; I’d been looking forward to this. We were not
disappointed. It is TINY, so thankfully it’s also 100% nonsmoking. We
sat by the front window and were charmed by the mother who hostessed and
the daughter who served us. The food was to die for, and the price was
great -- 29.50e for starter, main and dessert. I started with the foie
gras, which came as a generous round slice, cold, totally buttery and
divine. The toasted bread that came with it was unlike any other bread I
had all week -- it was almost cakey (must have had some egg in it), but
still light as a feather, and toasted and buttery and perfect with the
foie gras. I was swooning. Glenn started with something lighter --
prosciutto and melon that was very fresh and delicious. My main course
may have been the best dish of the week (I have about 4 that might be
tied for that honor) -- braised pork with lemon confit. Doesn’t sound
all that special, but I took a bite and said to Glenn, “This makes me
want to sing!” I am not usually a fan of braised meat (I like things
roasted), but this was amazing. Large chunks of pork that were
caramelized and crunchy on the outside, moist and tender on the
inside...didn’t have to use a knife. Big meaty flavors combined with the
most amazing sauce -- Escoffier would have been proud. The perfect
balance of sweet, salty, sour and bitter, all of the tastebuds engaged!
I couldn’t stop singing its praises and I did the unthinkable and mopped
it up with some bread. :) Glenn had lamb with couscous, and it came
with a sprig of thyme they set on fire and brought to the table
smoldering, so the scent of thyme filled the air; a lovely and unique
touch. The lamb was excellent as was the couscous; hubby was happy, but
nothing compared to that pork! Hubby had the creme brulee and it was
perfect...silky and smooth with a perfect brulee on top. My dessert was
less stellar, but fine -- a pear-almond crumble with caramel ice cream.
Loved the ice cream; the crumble could have had a bit more flavor, but
perhaps it was just the contrast of all the flavors of the main dish
that made the dessert seem bland. Nonetheless, I was not unhappy, and I
would go there again in a heartbeat. It is such a sweet place, with
sweet people, and for the price, you won’t get better food in Paris.

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