It’s been some time since the Chef had time to throw his culinary flare around the kitchen with his work schedule and such. Now that things have simmered down just a bit we had the chance to take in the city and work up an appetite. Yesterday we opted for a food history/culinary sort of day. After our regular cereal, milk and raspberries (we’re trying not to always eat like the French–helps the waist line) we headed out the door for the Louvre—set on seeing the royal apartments of Napoleon III—going back to the 19th century. Sure enough there they were like I remembered—full of splendor, pomp and dripping with luxury. What I had not remembered was the dining table, fit for a King no less. Can you imagine having this many guests at once? I would have hated to have been the dishwasher here!
Then we moseyed on over to the 14th century and toured the Conciergerie. My Chef didn’t realize that the main hall (“La salle des gens d’armes” ) in which we stood was once used to feed the two thousand people that serviced Louis IX of France during the 13th century! The history in this city is absolutely mind-blowing.
With all the talk of dining halls it was going on afternoon and our stomachs were telling us to pull over to the nearest bistro or café. However, that’s a lot easier said than done—well at least to us. Most places around these areas are tourist traps (unless you get off the beaten track a bit) and you can’t leave without blowing 50 euro easy. Since we had more pavements to pound and didn’t want to be held up by the regular hour or two lunches, we decided on the all American favorite. Yep, McDonalds! Yes, first time ever eating a Big Mac in France (can’t believe I just wrote that) I don’t even remember the last time I ate one in the US!! I’m a What-a-Burger kind of girl anyway. The whole experience of McDonalds in Paris is worth doing at least once. A complete madhouse! There must have been 50 people working in the back because all I remember is ordering and within lightening speed our food was there and we were out. Out because there was no way we could eat there—felt like we were amongst Louis IX 2,000 castle workers—if you know what I mean. So we ate our American delights under the comforts of a really beautiful tree in a really pretty park and enjoyed every last greasy bite of it!
After our gorge on the American addiction we strolled a bit more—over to the crypts of Notre Dame, around the Latin Quarter finally making our way back to our neighborhood just in time to do a little grocery shopping. With the Chef itching to cook he turned his inspiration to the weekend we just spent in the seaside city of Boulogne. Our dear friend’s mother gave us two bottles of the famous “soupe de poissons” that’s made in Boulogne. Naturally the Chef had a seafood dinner on the mind. We gathered what we needed at our local grocer, came home and he worked his magic to prepare a fish soup complete with Dorado, mussels, shrimp, sautéed onions and fennel. Garnished with chives. It was killer as usual.
Naturally dessert had to follow so we walked towards the Luxembourg gardens and popped into Amorinos for an ice cream. Our eating day ended with a view of the Luxembourg gardens and a bee slurping up the remnants of my mango and citrus gelato while I frolicked in the forbidden grass (no laying, running or stepping on it). More adventures to come in the next few days!