Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back in Paris

I'm back in Paris for a few more days and partaking of the important stuff: shopping, eating, and a bit of culture.

Also, I'm truly in my usual Paris mode of walking so long and so far each day that at some point, I literally can no longer can stand on my least until after I stop for a drink and/or go back to my room and put my feet for an hour or so. That's the way I was today at 5 pm, but by 7, I was back out on the rue.

Rosie from my cooking tour came back to Paris for a three day Paris tour with Hallie and Mary. She's staying in my hotel and was very aprehensive about being in Paris for her first time. She had one night here before the tour, the day she arrived.

So, when we got to the hotel yesterday, she went for a walk with me for a bit of my Paris. With only a few hours before dinner time, we stayed in the neighborhood and wound up at Invalides where Napoleon is buried and where there is a Military Museum.

Since I had planned to return to Les Cocottes one of these nights back in Paris, last night was a perfect time to do it. The nice thing about Les Cocottes not taking reservations is that you can get in at the last minute. I actually did check a few other places near us to see if I could reserve same day and they were all "complet."

Once again, a fabulous meal at Les Cocottes.

We both started with verrines, cold dishes served in glass jars. I had tuna with eggplant and Rosie had crab and lettuce.

Our main courses were lobster raviolis in a bubbling artichoke moussaline for Rosie and cod with tomatoes and caper berries for me.

Rosie had chef Constant's legendary chocolate cake and I had goat yogurt with honey as our desserts.

Lovely and lively dinner.
I started off my first full day back in Paris with a walk across the Pont d'Alma and then down Avenue Montaigne to the Champs-Élysées.

This little park on the southern side of Place D'Alma, with its life size gilded model of the flame held by the Statue of Liberty, became, 15 years ago, a shrine for Princess Diana who died in the tunnel under Pont d'Alma.

When I first arrived in Paris this visit, on August 31, the 15 year anniversary of Princess Diana's death, my taxi drove by here and it was overflowing with flowers. I didn't have a chance to get back here until now, two weeks later, and everything is quite wilted, but Diana's memory lives on and I never come to Paris without stopping by pay my respects.

It's Fashion Week in Paris and Avenue Montaigne is where many of the big fashion houses are located. The red carpets were still out from events the night before. So, while I wasn't invited, I did get to walk the red carpet.

By the time I reached the Champs-Élysées, I had to head back to get to a special lunch at Les Ombres, the fancy restaurant at the Branly Museum.

I spent time in the Branly's gardens before lunch. The museum and gardens are relatively new to Paris, having opened in 2006. When Jim and I were in Paris in 2008, we visited and enjoyed this unique museum devoted to the primitive arts of the world. The gardens are a delight, with lots of hidden spots and unique design and plantings.

All in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

The reason for my special lunch at Les Ombres goes back to 4 years ago when Jim and I booked here for dinner on our last night. Unfortunately, he got sick and we canceled.

My this year's birthday gift from him was a meal here.

The menu reflects the cuisines of the civilizations included in the museum.

As with many restaurants in France, lunch is often more reasonably priced than dinner. I ordered the three course lunch, priced at 38 euro. There were choices for each course.

To start, I was served thin cracker bread with a seasoned cheese spread.

My first course was a salad of greens with haricots verbs, raspberries, and a thin slices of duck breast. A raspberry sauce and two foie gras " bon bons were served on the side. The Bon bons are the little things in the glass to the left of the sauce bowl.

Chicken breast rolled around a shrimp stuffing was my main course. It was garnished with wok-cooked vegetables. My server poured an Asian sauce over the dish at the table.

And, for dessert, I had a fresh fig tart with a perfectly-shaped scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Looking at other tables who had ordered a la carte, I think the menu servings might be a bit smaller, but, for me, this all was perfect.

1 comment:

iBeBaconbits said...

I have so enjoyed your tour. Green with envy.