Saturday, July 17, 2010

Three Days of Birthday

Just a month late, but well worth the wait.  As my birthday present, Joe, Molly, and Amy presented me with a day in Paris first joining Wendy Lyn for a walk of the neighborhood artisnal merchants ( ) and ending with an evening cooking with Susan Herrmann Loomis of On Rue Tatin fame (  and  ).  And the best of that present?  Spending three days with Molly and Amy (sorry Joe!).

Arriving on what in the US is Bastille Day and in France is Fête Nationale, we watched the parade of military planes gliding through the dark skies.  Our hotel was a short distance from the Gare de Lyon, therefore, we could drop off out luggage before strolling through Paris.
Our first stop was the Bastille, former site of the prison where many just lost their heads.
 The darkening skies gave a flavor to the military parade that was before us---and the rains came
giving us no choice but to find a small cafe to enjoy lunch while sheets of rain flooded the streets of Paris.
As you will soon find out this was an eating adventure which continued for three days.  The following morning I met Wendy to begin the journey into Paris history and foods, present and past.  A pâtisserie (bakery), fromagerie (cheese shop), chocolatier, and wine bar were all part of that adventure.
Patrick Roger had the most wonderful chocolates from the world and created (or played with) chocolate to fill his window with whimsy.
What animal do you see?  Take time to look at his web site for interesting fantasies.
The final stop on Wendy's tour was a popular wine bar, L 'Avant Comptoir.
Time to sit?  No, time to stand at the bar and sample its fare.  Sausages, artisnal butters and salts, a huge artichoke that once the leaves had been consumed, the choke was cleaned cut in bite size pieces, and drizzled with an aioli to be enjoyed by all.  Thank you, Wendy, for a delightful day.
The evening brought us to an apartment in the area which would be our gathering place for cooking dinner with Susan Herrmman Loomis.  
To begin we had a salt tasting, great comparisons of taste, five nut oil tastings, and a comparison of chocolates, each with a different percentage of chocolate. 
Our recipes were posted for us to begin the preparation of our dinner.
Cucumber and Fresh Cheese Verrine
Pork Chops with Parsley and Green olive Condiment
Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Sautéed Cherries
I had also brought two bottles of Amy's rosé to dress our table.
What a delightful evening!  Thank you, Susan.
Our hotel was great.  Small and tucked into a delightful neighborhood.  We totally enjoyed it.
The most important part of the location is a delicious pâtisserie that we visited, no, frequented while we were in Paris.
The morning treats...
and the afternoon treats...
were all delicious.  Amy had to do a sampling of several and there wasn't a flake of anything left for the pigeons!
Oh, and yes, there was just one more we had to try before we left, a raspberry filled confection.
What a fun, but short three days.  Thank you  for a real adventure.  I would recommend everyone put this on your list to do.
Au revoir,
(If you need any more information on the places or people in my adventure, let me know!)

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