A blog about food and cooking by Chris Norris

Paris Day 4

Paris Day 4
20 November 2007

The temperatures are increasing along with the amount of rain, but we have finally managed to crack the secret to getting around Paris at least partially. Line 1 of the Metro, which runs East/West is at about 75% capability, and we managed to see the Arc de Triomphe, Tour Eiffel, Tuileries, etc. Eventually we came to understand the Metro announcements, all in French, including the words “désolé”, “retard”, “minute”, “ligne”, and “trente” when we attempted any other lines. Bottom line: lots of standing on platforms where trains may never arrive.

This morning, there was a newspaper outside our room for the first time since our arrival. I had been wondering why no paper, but of course! The newspapers have been on strike along with all of the transport workers. And the Opera workers. And the school teachers, which explains all of the kids wandering around at all times of the day … The whole strike fuss centers around a 17th century law that allows ballerinas to retire at 40, on a pension, after working at least 10 years! Cabbies can retire at 50! Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, had the audacity to attempt to reform these perfectly good and relevant laws and the working man (and ballerina) has rebelled! According to the paper, of which I read every word since I have know idea when I will see another, Air France is set to strike on Saturday. Ha! We leave on Friday! Of course, we still need a taxi to get to the airport …

Ahh, but I digress. We did indeed make it to L’atelier de Joel Robuchon in the 7th arrondissement, which is a Zagat 27 rated restaurant with an Asian seafood emphasis presented in Robuchon’s traditional small plates approach. We’ve been to Robuchon’s restaurant at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and had a great experience, not quite equaled by his Paris establishment. We chose four plates to share for our lunch, including scallops on macaroni with truffles, terrine of foie gras, crab with daikon and radish, and egg cocotte with mushrooms and parsley. All were truly fine food. Actually, the only disappointment was dessert, which consisted of a soufflé with chartreuse glace dropped into the center when served. The execution was great, but we just didn’t like the flavor of the glace very well.

After such a fine lunch, we figured we should break from tradition a bit and chose Gli Angeli, a local Italian restaurant in the Marais district for dinner. Good food, a fun atmosphere, and I could recognize almost every dish on the menu! It’s clear we eat more Italian food than French in our haunts back home.

Today, our goal is crepes. And Mediterranean food. And café. And wine. And …

– Chris

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