Monday, September 17, 2012

Saint Eustache

We visited St. Eustache on our way to Montmartre. It was stunning. Could even be my favorite church of the trip... Better than Notre Dame. It was started during the middle ages and finished during the renaissance. It was the church where mozart's mother had her funeral and where Louis XIV took communion. There are several paintings by Ruebens and an altarpiece by Keith Haring within.

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We stumbled in l'intention, a little restaurant a few blocks from our hotel in Paris. It couldn't have had more than 8 tables and the menu changed every day offering a small selection of the best available ingredients of the day. Here are some photos from our meal there.

Mackerel rillette with Tons of fresh dill.

La rascasses (scorpion fish) in a saffron broth with summer squash.

Duck with roasted figs and radicchio.

Cheese including raw milk Camembert!
It was divine!
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 4. Hitting Le Pot de Jacques

What a fantastic time we are having here in Paris! Even though the weather brought us rain and clouds, there are still so many fabulous things to do that the grey skies didn't bring us down. Of course, our inability to be outside may have caused a slight expansion to the waistline... Museum going does build up a fierce appetite after all.

The morning brought us to the Pomidou Center, France's national museum for modern art. We enjoyed viewing some contemporary pieces as well as some classics from the 20th century. Below are a few photos of some highlights.




And we made the visit to the museum complete with a lavish lunch at the restaurant on the sixth floor, Georges. It was a very Chic space with a million dollar view.

We dined on escargots, a salad of green beans and shaved mushrooms, and pan roasted turbot with bearnaise sauce.

It was fantastic experience and it fortified us for the second half of our museum trip. Picasso, Brancusi, Bonnard (my new favorite), Matisse, and more awaited.

A little afternoon pick-me-up was required, so we made a stop at Mariage Fréres, the venerable tea shop. I had a beautiful tea from Nepal and Kyle had a tea that was named after him, Madame Butterfly. The accompanying pastries were also delicious.

We headed back to the hotel happy if not a little overstuffed from our decadent afternoon of eating. Little did we know that there was more bacchanalia ahead. But when in Paris...

Le Felteu turned out to be one of the nicest surprises of our trip. It's one of those places that you probably wouldn't stop into if you strolled by, but upon a recommendation, we were treated to a delicious repast.

We met up with friends who knew the place and had quite a meal prepared and served by 'Le Patron' avec beaucoup de vin rouge et Armagnac après diner. Kyle had sliced duck breast and I had veal kidneys fricaséed in mustard cream. Oh la la!

The potato gratin arrived as a suprise and we were thrilled to gorge ourselves on it.

We finished off the night at the bar with 'Le Patron' who also turned out to be the bartender at the one man show.

It was an evening that we are sure to remember for a very long time full of fantastic ambience, delicious food and drink, and resplendent company.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 2 and 3. Taking the city by storm on foot

Wow!!!! What an amazing two days of sight-seeing it has been. Paris is a beautiful city with amazing things around every corner. I'll share some pictures below of just a few of the things and places we have visited over the last two days. We have walked for miles and barely scratched the surface. Thank goodness for comfortable shoes.

These padlocks are found in the Pont Neuf. The custom in recent years is to write your name and the name of your significant other on the lock and attach it to the bridge... Then throw away the key.

Charcuterie is richer and more flavorful than back home. We could barely finish this delicious pate de campagne served with ham and cured sausages.

Night life is serious business in The Marais. Andy Wahloo was a super cool Moroccan inspired lounge with tiki drinks and delicious light fare. Kyle had a show stopper lamb burger spiced with cumin and coriander. The dancing and debauchery was just getting started when we left at midnight.

Everyone talks about the macarons. I've had plenty in the US and never really understood the appeal until now. We sampled two kinds in Montmartre. One was hazelnut flavored with salted caramel and the other was a variation on that theme coated in chocolate. They were 'slap-yer-grandma' delicious.

Keith Hering cast this sacred triptych in silver. We found it in the Église Saint Eustache near Les Halles. It is one of the last works he Completed.

The cemetery in Montmartre was blissfully peaceful. The above ground tombs were fitting monuments to the people buried there, most notably Hector Berlioz and Vaslav Nijinsky.

The Opera Garnier is stunning from all around. We stopped off for an aperitif at The Café du Paix in the Grand Hotel nearby after an afternoon hike up to Montmartre.

Église Saint Eustache was an unexpected find. In some ways we found it to be more beautiful than Notre Dame. It has not received the same level of restoration and seemed more ancient and profound as a result.

There were huge crowds of people surrounding the Basilique Sacre Cœur in Montmartre. Here, everyone has stopped to listen to a performer covering Adele and other pop artists. The view of the city from the top of the hill was well worth the labor taken in getting there.

There are beautiful plazas everywhere. It's hard to decide what the prettiest buildings are, but this is one if my favorites so far.

Musée d'Orsay. Need I say more? We especially enjoyed the special exhibition on Misia, The Queen of Paris, which showcased the art of many important artists around the turn of the century. Among other accomplishments, she was known as being a MAJOR benefactor of The Ballet Russe.

And of course, The Eiffel Tower. I was surprised at how close you can get to it and finding the park at the base was a teat.

This is my favorite shot of the trip so far. This glorious fountain is situated near Cleopatra's Needle in front of The Tuileries Garden.
More updates to come!
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Friday, August 31, 2012

Day One. Paris. Fighting Jet Lag

Bonjour! Here we are in Paris after our first full day. The sun has barely set and already we are getting ready for bed. Here's the view from our cute boutique hotel in The Marais.

We arrived early this morning at 7:30 am. We took a cab from the airport to our hotel. There doesn't really seem to be much regard for traffic laws here and, in fact, many of the intersections lack lanes, but somehow everyone seems to manage to stay alive.

We spent most of the morning staying active and not letting the lack of sleep get to us. Here are some pictures of the sights we saw...

Place des Vosges

Basilique Sacre Cœur

Basilique Saint Gervais

And of course, Notre Dame

We spent some time after gawking at the above landmarks checking out the sights, the people, and doing some window shopping. Our stomachs eventually led us to lunch at a cute bistro called La Favorite.

Kyle had 'fried' steak tartar and I had the house omelette with stewed tomatoes, ham, and cheese. We washed it down with a carafe of bracingly fresh and tangy Côtes de Gascogne blanc.

Finally the hotel opened and we were able to check in!!!! Our room is tiny and cute. The bed is comfortable and the surrounding area is clean and safe. We were quite pleased to find our accommodations so charming.

After a much needed nap, we headed out again to check out a little place I found on an iPad travel guide called Chez Moustache. It was everything you could ask from a tiny hidden gem in Paris. Here are a few pictures:

Rosé went great with the...

Crawfish salad with grapefruit and sesame vinaigrette.

In the mood to graze, we decided we needed a crépe. We headed in the direction of our hotel and stumbled upon the Cidrerie du Marais.

We shared a fantastic crépe filled with sautéed potatoes, confit shallots, and OF COURSE, bacon.

Feeling full, but not yet completely satisfied, we decided to make one more gastronomic stop... Pastries.

No pictures of the delicious caramel and chocolate eclairs simply because we ate them too quickly. Trust me... They were delicious!

Stay tuned for more adventure tomorrow!

Bon soir!

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