We leave three weeks from today (squeal!). I’m listening to my 15-minute French CD. My pronunciation is great in my living room but something will happen to me when I open my mouth to explain to a waiter that je ne mange pas le viande mais je mange le poisson et le fruit de mer. Speaking of wondferful French food, here’s some of the places I look forward to visiting in Paris:
With the help of my 2001 Gourmet magazine Paris collector’s issue, egullet, SlowTrav, and various foodie blogs I have made the following reservations (well, the concierge at the Marriot Champs Elysee made them – yay for well-connected concierges at fancy hotels we’re staying in for free).
Dinner at Restaurant du Palais-Royal, known as one of the most romantic places to dine in Paris and according to Fodor’s, sole, scallops, and risotto — including a squid-ink and lobster version — are beautifully prepared.
Jardins du Palais-Royal, 110 Galerie Valois, Paris, France
Dinner at L’Epi Dupin, one of the “true hot locations on the Left Bank” according to Conde Naste Traveller. “From the kitchen emerges an endless parade of imaginative dishes, hottest tips being the specials inspired by Pasteau’s daily visits to Rungis market, which might include tatin of endive and goat’s cheese“. I also hear the chef will whip up a vegetarian meal on request. (note to self: near Le Bon Marche)
11 rue Dupin, Paris, France
Métro: Sèvres Babylone
Dinner at Flora: Acording to Time Out the food at L’Astrance, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Flora is likely to be as good as anything you might taste in Paris, if not the world. The female (in Paris!) chef is Flora Mikula, former second to Alain Passard at L’Arpège. The New York Times says, “Standout dishes on the frequently changing seasonal menu are a scallop tarte fine with truffle vinaigrette, roast sea bass with a potato-olive purée, roasted-apple mille-feuille with salted-caramel ice cream and a spectacular Grand Marnier soufflé.”
36 av. George V, Paris, France
Lunch at L’Astrance. This is our 2 Michelin star splash out (that’s why it’s lunch, not dinner). The Times says, “[Chef] Barbot’s cooking has such an ethereal quality that it’s worth even the monthlong wait for a table.” Patricial Wells reports that “Pascal Barbot is the hottest chef in town, and one of the hardest tables to secure. Vegetables come from vegetable king Joël Thiebaut, and the chef is a pure magician in the kitchen.”
4 rue Beethoven, Paris, France
That’s four reservations in four days — the other meals of the day are left open to discover.
Other food related fun:
Once per month visitors (non food professionals) may tour Rungis Market, the largest fresh food market in the world. We just happen to be in Paris on the date of the October tour. Here are some quick facts about Rungis:
- 18 million European consumers are supplied from here
- The market is over 573 acres (bigger than Monaco)
- 26,000 vehicles pass through Rungis daily
- There are 1,400 companies including 700 wholesalers, brokers and import-export companies, 300 producers-sellers, and 400 other various companies at Rungis
- 20,000 regular buyers come to Rungis
We’re getting up at some crazy hour of the night to be there at opening time.
I also plan to go on a walking tour of the old Les Halles market area, once know as the Belly of Paris. Rungis took over as the citie’s market in the 70s.
And of course I’ll do my European grocery shopping. A visit to La Grand Epicerie is in order to stock up on spices and other yummies.
At some point I suppose I should wander into a museum or something, but there’s still E. Dehillerin for sauce-pan shopping to do …