Monday, May 21, 2012

The Girl Who Ate Paris

In Paris, I'm like a little girl who finds herself left alone with the big box of macarons...

I want to taste every flavor, quickly devouring every last colorful crumb. I may be left feeling slightly sick, but still want more when the box is empty.

Heather from Lost in Arles asked to hear about our Paris eats. What can I say--we ate everything. And I'm barely exaggerating. At home, I'm a bit of a carbophobe. But in Paris every morning started with a croissant. Or four. Dessert both at lunch and at dinner? Mais bien sur. And wine? Oui. Let's start with rosé at noon and carry on through that glass of Cognac around midnight.

Quantities aside, we kept things fairly simple -- no formal starched dining rooms or Michelin stars. Instead, a mix of old favorites and a few new discoveries, most withing walking distance from our hotel on the Place St. Sulpice.  No need for Haute Cuisine -- what I love most about eating in Paris is that the food tastes like, well, food. The tiny baby strawberries on a bit of frisée salad accompanying duck confit and turnip purée at old standby Fish on the Rue de Seine were a revelation. They couldn't possibly be related to the giant green and red berries packed in plastic bubbles and available year-round in grocery stores at home.

And the asparagus. Just in season and on the fresh sheet at nearly every place we dined, from the always good and welcoming Au Bon Accueil to the worth-the-wait L'atelier Joel Robuchon, which completely lived up to the hype. We returned twice to a favorite from our honeymoon, Le Comptoir du Relais because they they make the best salade Niçoise ever.

And I can't thank my dear friend Liane and Elizabeth from Pretty Pink Tulips enough for pointing us in the direction of La Cigale Récamier. Cheese soufflé? Please! But it's the salted caramel soufflé I'll never stop dreaming of. 

What's your favorite Paris meal?


  1. I've had so many memorable meals in Paris but it's always the gorgeous cakes and pastries that I really love especially at Angelina's with hot chocolate! Your images are so pretty!

  2. Like you I loved everything but the silly husband of mine had to keep trying blood sausages everywhere we went even though he didn't care for them at the first two! At least he tried things he normally wouldn't eat. Your trip sounds wonderful!


  3. saving all of these links for future trips to Paris, yum

  4. Oh hooray! Thank you for the mention Jeanne!! That makes two in one day as Vicki at French Essence did as well--two total surprises from two very lovely ladies. :)

    I am SO glad that you just let yourself enjoy. It truly breaks my heart when I see women being super strict with themselves while they are in France. Now, I know that some people need to be for health reasons but vanity really needs to be put aside when there are such fine eats available!!

    My favorite Paris meal? On the last great family vacation, my Dad told us on the plane that each of us could chose any restaurant as long as we could get a reservation. My choice? Le Grand Vefour. Heehee. Luckily, those were posh times for the family! It was the quintessence of what French dining can be (and this was before Guy Martin). The room, the service, the food...all of it!

  5. Paris without great food just wouldn't be Paris! Looking forward to seeing you on the 4th! :)

  6. I think it's been too long to remember so I must make a trip back this year. I do remember a fabulous dinner at L'Orangerie and a foie gras with Sauternes to die for. Love your pretty pictures!

  7. Lovely post and even lovelier illustrations, Jeanne. I felt as if I were *almost* in Paris! I can't wait to return in a few weeks, sit down at a café terrace, and people watch as I nibble a favorite pastry ("le millefeuille" or "le baba au rhum" as a close second...) -- Ah... If I close my eyes, I can almost picture my table. Almost. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  8. I can't wait to tell you after my honeymoon!

  9. i'm bookmarking your glorious post! i am def a bistro girl, not a fancy schmancy restaurant girl. i mean i get excited about a good baguette (esp when it is baked by me...true, i am admitting it!).



  10. Does a Mont Blanc count? I am dreaming of one right now! You suddenly made me J'ai faim!



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