We returned last week from our twelve day trip to France, where we spent a few days at the beginning and end with our friends in the Paris suburbs, with a trip to Normandy and Brittany in between, which I will post about separately.
I will give a cursory description here, but there are complete reports on my blog, including photos and touring information:
We arrived in Paris in time to have lunch the first day, at Clown Bar. The highlights were calf's brains, tempura sardines and pigeon. That night, we returned to Le Radis Beurre, which we had been to a year ago. It was just as wonderful, and our friends enjoyed it very much. The lamb belly confit was particularly notable, as was the beef tongue, and the pig's feet appetizer that I had for the second time was just superb. The next day, we had lunch at Amarante, again a repeat of last year. The tripe and breast of Guinea hen were delicious. That night, we dined at Tomy & Co., which we did not get to try last year, and has been on our list as we have loved Pirouette in the past, the former location of the chef Tomy Gousette. The food here is at least as good as it was at Pirouette.
On our way back to Paris the following week, we stopped in Chartres, to see the Cathedral, which is undergoing restoration, and to have lunch. Our first choice, Le St. Hilaire, was fully booked, but we found a nice place, Brasserie des Changes, and had an inexpensive and very tasty lunch.
Back in Paris, dinner was at Les Enfants Rouges, one of a number of recently opened places that feature French food as interpreted by a Japanese chef. This food was of particularly high quality and creativity. The saddle of lamb and blanquette de veau were favorites. The next day we drove out to two chateaus, La Roche-Guyon and Domaine de Villarceaux. In between, we had lunch at a lovely place in the village of La Roche-Guyon, Les Bords de Seine. Our friends had been there before, and we found it to be charming and a great value for lunch. We had originally planned to have dinner in Paris that evening at La Ferrandaise, but for various reasons decided to cook a simple meal at home. The next day, Sunday, we cooked both the main afternoon meal and an evening supper at home. On Monday, our last day, with an early evening flight to catch, we had a wonderful lunch at Ze Kitchen Galerie, with our friends and John Talbott and his wife. The food here has Asian influences and is very creative. We hadn't been there since not long after it opened, more than fifteen years ago. It has held up very well and was a perfect choice, with a Michelin star to boot.