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Walking and a new dinner in an old place

So we headed back out around 5:30, refreshed after our naps. We had thought of just walking around the Marais, but Den mentioned that we hadn't said our hellos to the Seine yet, so off we went to ensure she wasn't offended by our lack of courtesy! Being on rue Rivoli, we are mere minutes from the river and before we knew it, we were crossing one of the beautiful Paris bridges and Denis was snapping pictures like crazy. (Speaking of pictures, he has his new Canon DSLR and is driving me nuts, stopping every 10 paces to take another picture. I'm sure I'll be happy with the memories later, but it sure made our walk that much longer yesterday.)

We walked the length of Ile de La Cite. There was a boulangerie exposition on directly across from Notre Dame and we stopped in just as they were announcing the winner of the best croissant in Paris. Too bad I wasn't listening, but I was busy drooling over the long tables of oysters, cheeses, bread, appetizers and desserts that filled one part of the long indoor tent we were in. I asked if they were going to hand stuff out to onlookers, but it was for a "by invitation only" party later on. Well, we were out of there pretty quickly after that, and slowly made our way to Place Dauphine. A pretty little square (a triangle, really) and I checked out the menu at La Rose de France while Den snapped another dozen pictures. I had read good reviews online but it was still a little early for dinner and we decided we would try to come back on a sunnier day and take advantage of the little outside terrace.

We decided to walk back to Ile St Louis and see if one of our favourite little restaurants, Les Fous de L'Ile, was open and could take us for dinner. I had read on one of my favourite websites about Paris (Our Paris: Variations on a Theme) that the windows had recently all been covered up, so I hoped it was for renovation instead of an outright closure. Turns out it was a little of both, but more on that later.......

We decided to cross over to the Latin Quarter side for our walk back. We walked by all the touristy places and popped into Shakespeare and Company. I was looking for Cara Black's latest book, Murder in the Latin Quarter. They did have it on hand but I'm too cheap to pay more for it in euros than it costs in Canadian dollars! :) We kept walking and came across a cute little square, Square Viviani with St Julien Le Pauvre in the background. We stopped for pictures (of course!) and then found our way to Les Fous de L'Ile. We had walked for almost 2 hours and were getting hungry and a little tired. It was a little windy during our walk but the sun had peeked out a few times and we were still ecstatic to finally be back in Paris. We walked up rue Ile St Louis but most little shops were closed by now (it was almost 8pm). We were so happy to see that the restaurant was open that we went in before noticing it didn't look quite the same as it had the last 2 times we had been there. Once we were inside, it was clear it has gone through a major overhaul and wasn't the quaint, kitschy little place we knew. We asked one of the young waiters if the place had been sold and it had indeed! It was now sleek and hip rather than dusty and quiet, but since we were already seated, we opted to stay and check it out. Although a bit disappointed that we wouldn't start our stay with a reliable favourite, we were excited to try something new. The place bills itself as a bistro/bar a vins. The menu was very reasonable at 26 euros for 3 courses and we were actually very happy with our meals. Den had a terrine de poulet to start with and I chose the tatin au aubergines and chevre. We decided to keep the wine simple and chose a 500cl carafe of house Sancerre. While Den enjoyed his appetizer, mine was the clear winner. Roasted slices of eggplant, layers of tomotoes and chevre on a savory crust, served piping hot. It was melt in your mouth perfection! I had the poulet with sauce de tomate and basmati rice while Den enjoyed filet de dourade on a bed of julienned vegetables. Both mains were very good, but Den's had the slight edge. My chicken was very tender and the sauce tasted so fresh, with just a hint of sweetness. The wine went very well with our meals and disappeared quickly (I'm so lucky that Den isn't much of a wine drinker, there's always lots for me!) Before dessert, we started talking with the couple next to us, they are Dutch but live on the outskirts of Paris (I did tell them that I hated them, but they weren't offended!). We commented on our meals (they shared a cote de boeuf for 2 which looked wonderful) and spoke about Paris, Amsterdam, the state of the economy and lots of other fun stuff. I love talking to new people and learning new stuff! Dessert was pain perdu with fruit coulis for Den and cafe Gourmand for me. Den's was like a French toast and he enjoyed it and mine was just right, a nice tiny expresso (decaf, SVP) and 3 miniature desserts ~ creme brulee, a tiny chocolate chip cookie and a small apple tart, all served with a cute little jar of orange marmalade. I love dessert and I really loved the small portions, just the thing to end a nice meal. Dinner was 78 euros and we really enjoyed our first complete meal in Paris. An old favourite has become a new favourite and we will hopefully come back again next trip.

We walked back to the apartment and quickly fell into bed at around 10:30pm. We had successfully managed to get stay up most of our first day and get our bodies used to Paris time. I slept until just past 8:30 this morning and we had our first pain au chocolat with a big pot of coffee and are ready to face the day. It was sublime to wake up in Paris this morning. I think we will check out the Bastille Brocante today (thanks Jody!) and tonight is the Nuit Des Musees and I have an ambitious plan of hitting 3 museums and taking full advantage of the freen entrances. Stay tuned.........

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 16, 2009 3:47 AM.

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