The Romance and Food of Paris
A few weeks ago my husband took me to Paris for a long weekend. We were celebrating our 30th anniversary along with friends from Canada, she was turning 50. This weekend had been talked about for over a year so I had plenty of time to plan where we would stay and which restaurants we would go to. The sightseeing was left up to our friends to organize.
Because there were 4 of us, a hotel felt too unfriendly. I found a fabulous apartment in Montmartre thru “Feels like home in Paris”. The apartment was on rue Custine just north of Sacre Coeur with a neighbourhood housing a fantastic selection of Boulangeries, Patisseries, Fromageries and caves. The fellows found a great place for drinks just across the street.
Our intent was to go to at least 3 researched restaurants and then possibly a local eatery. Our first choice was Le Petit Bordelais, a Chaine des Rotisseurs restaurant. Chef Philippe Pentacote and his staff greeted us like old friends. From the moment we walked in to the last kiss good bye, we were treated as if we were the only customers. It was at LPB that I discovered Lillet, a brandy fortified wine served as an aperitif.
The second restaurant “l’Atelier du Joel Robuchon” near the Arc de Triomphe. It is a very difficult place to get a reservation but when I was in Paris in June I stopped by the restaurant and got one for September. This is a “MUST GO” restaurant and has moved to #2 on my all time favourite restaurants next to the French Laundry. The uniqueness of this restaurant is that you are seated at a section of counter that surrounds the kitchen. Our section was the Garde Manger, the most demanding section in any kitchen. This is the area where the amuse bouche, appetizers and cold food are produced and plated. We chose the tasting menu with the sommelier choosing the flight of wines for us. The interactive staff as well as the food orchestra in the kitchen provided ideal entertainment along with the superb courses.
The third dinner was a birthday gift from our friend’s sister in law, the river cruise with dinner supplied by Bateaux-Mouches. Although the service was severely lacking, the food was decent and the friends and ambience fun. It was the first time I had every seen the light show on the Eiffel Tower, very romantic standing on the deck drinking champagne and watching the fantastic sights of Paris.
The two tours we took were from the sublime (Versailles) to the ridiculous (Catacombs). And of course why go to Paris if you are not going to shop? It turned out that I didn’t buy a thing but my husband found the perfect store for clothes as well as running gear.
Paris is definitely a city you can keep going back to and finding new things to see and do as well as exploring wonderful places to eat.