after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

France Days 6-7 (and 8 and 9 …)

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t says:  The remainder of our time in Paris was spent doing a varied assortment of activities … including eating, drinking, and shopping (i.e. vacation g + t style!).  So here’s the final blitzkrieg of photos …

we started off the day at Merci, a store full of all kinds of interesting clothes and lifestyle objects ... including white-enameled eating utensils!  if they weren't 15 euro a piece, i would have picked up a set or two - they were pretty cool!

We started off Day 6 at Merci, a store full of all kinds of interesting clothes and lifestyle objects … including white-enameled eating utensils! if they weren’t 15 euro a piece, i would have picked up a set or two – they were pretty cool!

we met up with m and n at cafe rouchkine for our third round of macarons ...

Day 6 then featured meeting up with m and n (did we mention that we were vacationing with them?  well we were!) at Cafe Pouchkine.  While I wasn’t a fan of the setting (the goal was to be tres fancy), the macarons were …

... which ended up the best macarons of the trip!  great filling and profound flavors!

… the BEST of the trip (i.e. better than LaDuree, Pierre Herme, and Un Dimanche a Paris) – great texture, a good quantity of filling, and profound combination of flavors – superb!

after shopping at a few stores, we ducked into a wine bar for food ... and while we thought we were ordering some kind of bruschetta - it ended up essentially being pizza!

after shopping at a few stores, we ducked into a wine bar for food (they stuck is in the basement … which was fine – we had the whole place to ourselves!) … and while we thought we were ordering some kind of light bruschetta to have with our wine – it ended up essentially being pizza!

this was our wine selection of the lunch - not bad!

this was our wine selection of the lunch – not bad, but a little pricey for what it ultimately was

one of the stores we visited was a super-secret store ... well, maybe not "that" secret because our innkeepers did know about it - however, they had never been there.  it turned out that l'eclaireur is essentially a hidden store with no signs - you simply have to know the address and buzz on the door to be let in - and then after you are, you will be permitted access to an assortment of fabulous clothes and other items that are WAY too expensive for the meager salaries of g & t ... but drb got to trying on some badass leather jackets - he looks like an enemy "asset" in a Bourne film!

one of the stores we visited was a super-secret store … well, maybe not “that” super-secret because our innkeepers did know about it – however, they had never been there. it turned out that l’eclaireur is essentially a hidden store with no signs – you simply have to know the address and buzz on the door to be let in – and then after you are, you will be permitted access to an assortment of fabulous clothes and other items that are WAY too expensive for the meager salaries of g & t … but drb got to trying on some badass leather jackets – he looks like an enemy “asset” in a Bourne film!

dinner was at Le Chateaubriand - the ?#15? restaurant in the world!  we braced for excitement ...  the first dish was a "shot" of ceviche - quite refreshing, although I'm not sure why one had to consume all the liquid - it dominated the fish's flavor!

dinner was at Le Chateaubriand – the ?#15? restaurant in the world! we braced for excitement … the first dish was a “shot” of ceviche – quite refreshing, although I’m not sure why one had to consume all the liquid – it dominated the fish’s flavor!

i am blanking on the second dish ...

i am blanking on the second dish, but i feel like the main component was razor clams …

... but fortunately we had a copy of the menu!

… and unfortunately, the menu, when translated, only lists like three ingredients … oh well …

the best dish of the evening!

the best dish of the evening!  it was fresh and uplifted (greens) with some zest (shaved horseradish) and a fabulous cut of fish (it has the iridescence you can see!).  It seemed so simple, but it was fabulous.

the most disappointing dish - the steak was ok, and the accompaniments were all ok, but combination of the ingredients did not combine into something more delicious than the components - it just didn't harmonize for us

unfortunately, the main was the most disappointing dish – the steak was “ok” (technically prepared nicely, but with so tough a cut of meat, it would probably have been better to have it cooked a little more slowly), and the accompaniments were all “ok” … but combination of the ingredients did not combine into something more delicious than the components – it just didn’t harmonize for us, which is such a shame

according to m, this was the most disgnusting thing he ate on the entire trip ... but it was just some sorbet covered in creme and topped with something - but m felt like it tasted like a fish market smelled ... none of us had any idea what he was talking about

according to m, this was the most disgusting thing he ate on the entire trip … which is weird because it was just some bitter orange sorbet covered in creme and topped with something cardamom-y and accompanied by some rum and raisins … but somehow m felt like “it tastes like a fish market smells” … (none of us had any idea what he was talking about)

this was a bizarre dessert - it was like a shortbread cookie a layer of something and then a bruleed egg yolk ... when the egg yolk explodes in your mouth and then the salt and the sugar broke through

this was a bizarre dessert that apparently means “bacon from heaven” – it was like a shortbread cookie a layer of something sweet and then a bruleed egg yolk on top – all to be eaten in a single bite … when the egg yolk explodes in your mouth, you get assaulted by savory egg flavor, but then as you chew, the salt and the sugar break through, creating an evolution that’s remarkable.  this was the most interesting thing i ate on our entire trip for sure – i’d want another shot at it (and the next time, i’d be ready for the ride)

the mango thing that made up for m's disappointment

at one point or another, the waiter showed up with a plate of seasoned/spiced mango.  this dessert, while very simple, was quite amazing – even n was impressed with the quality of fruit and flavor combination.

pink flamingo pizza!

Day 7 included browsing around Canal St. Martin.  g drb and I decided to try out some Parisian pizza.  We went for the “Obama” pizza (it’s like a Hawaiian pizza), featuring healthy pieces of ham and a pineapple chutney that was absolutely insane – seriously – it was like curry and spices and pineapple, stewed together to a perfect spicy/sweet concoction that i’d easily eate on a piece of bread.  really the only drawbacks to this meal were that 1) they did not deliver to the Canal due to either lack of personnel or it being too cold (so we brought it to the canal ourself) and 2) the pizza was a little soggy/floppy in the center where the mound of chutney was – they need to engineer a better pizza

 

this was probably the last good thing we ate in paris ...

After more strolling, we located a bistro serving some creme brulee … which turned out to be prepared “correctly”, including not being pre-refrigerated and cracking into nice big pieces on a single strike.  this was absolutely the last good thing we ate in paris …


The last thing we wanted to eat was steak frites.  So we ventured around the St. Germain area before finally settling on a busy bistro: Le Mondrion.  This was a big mistake.  First, their wine list wasn’t updated with current vintages … so when I ordered a 2010 Bordeaux and was presented with a bottle of 2011, to which the waiter insisted, “nah – there’s no difference between 2010 and 2011 – they’re the same thing” … that should have been a red flag …  Their steak frites were half the price of the previous restaurants … that should have been a red flag … But we persisted … 5 of us ate dinner … 4 of us had steak frites … 2 of us were praying to the porcelain gods within 8 hours …  yuck.

So the “bonus” days in Paris were spent getting over gastroenteritis and advancing diet to solids … so there wasn’t much to report … we stayed in our BnB for one day then relocated to a hotel near the airport.  The morning of leaving, we were flummoxed at CdG by some USAirways stupidity (despite online check-in, they made us wait in line to print out boarding passes) and sign confusion (we went through customs 3 times by accident …).  We did, however, discover some cool things: 1) the wine store in the airport is AWESOME 2) the USAirways “preferred status” upgrade (~$30) is totally worth it – you zip right through lines in a jif (how else could we go through customs so quickly so many times?!).

And so … there’s our trip.  We omitted some details such that there are some details still to discuss in person …

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

4 April 2013 at 9:45pm

Posted in Happenings

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