Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Paris Christmas: Part 4

Brunch appears to be big in France, too. We tried to eat at Le Vin Qui Danse, a cozy restaurant with an emphasis on wine, during the weekend and was told the restaurant was booked up! Thankfully, we were able to return for dinner later that week with reservation in hand.

My sister ordered scallops and as I recall, they were lovely.

I ordered the duck, which is one of my favorite proteins,. And of course, it was paired nicely with fruit (the entire clementine was interesting).

Choc dessert
A chocolate trio of a brownie (or whatever the French equivalent would be called) and a couple ice cream type desserts.

Tiramisu! Intense and really good.

We also enjoyed a bottle of red wine, which gave us the warmth to brave the cold walk home. This dinner was one of our favorite meals in Paris and I hope to eat there again next time I'm in the city.

A few days later, it was Christmas Day and we had a fantastic dinner of items picked up at the neighborhood cheese, sausage and seafood shops. And wine, of course.

paris shrimp
We bought this pre-cooked shrimp at the seafood supplier down the street and oh my God, it was so sweet and amazing. Later that day, I was daydreaming about the shrimp and to this day, I still think of it. Seriously.

paris cheese sausage
A beautiful plate that is signature France: cheese, sausage and bread. Just perfection with wine.

An unusual Christmas Day dinner that I will always remember. Especially that shrimp.

Le Vin Qui Danse
4 rue des Foss├ęs Saint Jacques
75005, Paris
Phone: 01 4354 8081

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Paris Christmas: Part 3

In the weeks leading up to our trip, I wondered if we, particularly my parents, would make it for 10 days without Asian food. Well, as it turns out, I was the one who led the charge for Japanese food, not because of strong cravings, but I didn't feel like settling for easier options close-by that didn't require multiple Metro line changes (sometimes, I like to prove simple things to myself).

So, we arrived at Higuma on Rue Sainte-Anne, a street chock full of Japanese (and some Korean) restaurants. We had a very brief wait before being seated and I have to tell you, readers, some things are the same the world over: our Asian lady server was as no nonsense and a bit brusque as her American counterparts... but in French! Same thing with the guy at the register where you pay your bill after your meal; I found it amusing that young people's cheery au revoirs went unacknowledged. Of course, I did the same farewell when we left and yes, there was no response, which was strangely kind of comforting. Anyway, onto the food!

Higuma gyoza
I got a ramen and gyoza set and these came out first: slightly crispy on the outside, greasy all over (pretty sure it was a pork filling). An especially welcome sight after having trudged through cold weather. Comfort food, bonjour?!

Higuma ramen
My dad ordered a set, too, and I think his ramen was the jjam-bbong (which is a spicy seafood and pork noodle soup served up in Korean-Chinese restaurants). I didn't try it, but clearly the spice level is nowhere near the oily red hellish quality we are used to. Still, I think he enjoyed it.

Higuma miso ramen
I believe this is my miso ramen. The broth was solid and I assume it was made with pork, but the noodles were much more interesting: springy and very slurpable. We also ordered donkatsu curry and kimchi ramen, which were both pretty good, but at that point, I was too involved in eating to keep up with the photos.

We ate Japanese food on a couple other occasions, but Higuma is the only place I documented. But, I will tell you that we had udon and sushi as a second dinner one night in a different part of the city, and returned to Sainte-Anne on Christmas Eve to try a Korean place, but they were closed, so we improvised and settled in at a small Japanese place where we ate donburi, udon (again), sushi, and even kimchi. In retrospect, that dinner was rather fitting as all the other December 24ths of my life were spent with a side of kimchi and surrounded by these three people. Travel poignancy, it happens when you're not noticing.

32 bis Rue Sainte-Anne
75001 Paris
Phone: 01 47 03 38 59

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Paris Christmas: Part 2

I don't know how often the average French person eats escargot (or snails), but as Americans visiting France, you know we had to order some. I had tried escargot in the U.S., but they were a first for my family. On a cold night, we stopped in at a restaurant which I'm 99% sure was Grand Bar Cluny (sorry, I was foolish enough to think I'd be able to remember everything from our trip with laser accuracy) and lo and behold, escargot were on the menu. The snails arrived on table with special utensils to get them out of their shells (smart French people and their utensils); while an entire meal consisting of escargot would have been too much, my family and I enjoyed trying this well-known dish in real, live Paris.

paris escargot

The rest of the food didn't photograph well, but the picture of my smoked duck salad came out all right. The slightly bitter endive was a nice counterpart to the rich smoked duck; the salad felt very French (okay, through an American perspective) to me.

paris smoked duck salad

More Paris food to come, dear readers! Next up is the Asian food! Yes, you read that correctly.

Grand Bar Cluny
82 Boulevard Saint-Germain
75005 Paris

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Paris Christmas: Part 1

I always spend Christmas with my family, but this year was quite different as we headed to Paris for the holiday! Having never been to Europe before, I had a lot of anxiety and excitement in the months leading up to the big trip. Once in Paris, though, my family and I hit the ground running and ended up having a very memorable and special trip. And as it turns out, most everything I had heard about Paris and French food turned out to be true (the bread! the cheese! the charcuterie!) and the wines were affordable and lovely. I didn't document all of our meals, but did manage to come home with a good amount of food photos. First up is Les Fontaines, a bistrot near the Pantheon that we stumbled upon after our brunch destination, Le Vin Qui Danse, was full.

paris foie gras terrine
Foie gras terrine: creamy and oh so French. Apologies for my hazy memory, but I wasn't in the mood for taking notes while on vacation.

paris charcuterie 003
Charcuterie plate: all my little heart ever dreamed of in terms of cured meats! Heavy on the flavor and the portions; one of the best starters we ate while in Paris. We also had a few other dishes, but these were the only photos taken. Check my next post for our obligatory ordering of escargot!

Les Fontaines
9 Rue Soufflot, 75005
Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 43 26 42 80 ‎