Last night I went to a restaurant in Le Marais called Auberge Nicolas Flamel and had their 5 course degustation with accompanied wines.
It was very enjoyable and really quite reasonably priced. The restaurant is in one of the oldest “houses” remaining in Paris. It is named after one of it’s long gone owners named Nicolas Flamel. I didn’t take photos of the courses as I was “worried” that it would upset them. There must be all sorts of places to dispose of touristes intolérables in a 600 plus year old house.
the first course was a potato and crayfish ball with the nicest parmesan biscuit and a shot glass of squash “soup”. I think this was a dish they bring out to everyone and was not included in the 5 course degustation
The second was Foie Gras topped with strawberry gelatine with toast. ( just normal wholemeal bread- no crusts). It was the first time I had Foie Gras and it was very different to what I had expected. It was so smooth and delicious . I had read good things about this restaurants Foie Gras and was very keen to try it.
Third course was scallops topped with salmon roe accompanied by a tiny bit of cauliflower cooked in tempura and a creme with basil. This was scrumptious.
Fourth course was a piece of Turbot on top of some butternut mash and a squash creme. I am not a big fan of fish. This did nothing to convert me. It was nice though.
Fifth course was a tiny bit of beef fillet with a celery puree , a sweet potato chip ( like a crisp) and a soya sauce gravy. The meat was so tender it didn’t need to be any bigger. I could have done with a bowl of sweet potato crisps/chips they were great.
Dessert was a hazelnut panna cotta on a plate with an almond cake topped with white and milk chocolate, a dollop of vanilla ice-cream and a gooseberry. Gooseberries are so yum.
I didn’t write down any of the wines but they were all very palatable. The red was divine.
I went early so it was not too busy. I would like to go back. If you are staying in the area I think it is well worth a visit.
A good friend from Melbourne was very insistent that I go to Marché des enfant rouge. It is the oldest covered market in Paris in a little section of Le Marais. It is named after the children from the orphanage that roamed the streets in their red orphanage “uniform”. It is only small but it breaths so much life. Well some of the produce looked like they had seen better days but the food on sale was YUM. A glass of cask wine was 3 euro ( thank you Celia).There was a hustle and bustle about it that made it feel like you were the only non French person there. We went to a stand that sold middle eastern type of food. They had a tomato salad that looked delicious so I asked for some of that to be put on my plate with some couscous, a sausage , a stuffed eggplant and some “casserole”. The man serving me said in very broken English ” NO! you cannot have that. Too expensive you have this!” The gentlemen next to me in the queue and I were quite amused. It is lovely that he was thinking of my wallet but I was thinking about my taste buds. It was delicious and for 10.50 Euro I will be back. I am going back one day to get some tomato salad to bring home and have on toast like a bruschetta mmmmmm bruschetta. He will not deprive me of tomato salad.
Candelaria- we went to Candelaria for lunch it was rather hard to find as it is a very oddly shaped building. It is very small menu of modern mexican. The guacamole and salsa were yum . There was a little too much coriander on the tacos. Well any coriander is too much for my taste but so be it. A nicely dressed young girl squat and did a wee outside our window. OMG what the?? It was daylight! You are nicely dressed! don’t wee in the street! Maybe this is another French custom that I cannot quite find acceptable. I have heard that they hold on to the past and are very traditional. It was like a modern day version of a scene from Monty Python’s “Jabberwocky”
We went to La Barav for dinner. It was a tapas restaurant that was very hot and packed to the brim. We had cooked cheese with honey, a duo of yum tapenade and some meat and then a main course. Their bottle of wine policy is- you go next door to the cave next door to buy a marked up bottle of wine bring it back pay for it with your bill at the end of the meal. I asked the shop assistant at the cave whether many people come in say they are taking a bottle of wine next door but then run down the street. This was all said to him in improvised “interpretive dance” as he spoke very little English. He said that “In France people are good” .
I have generally been very pleasantly surprised by the meals I have bought at restaurants . Except for the spaghetti that I got from a cafe on rue de turenne. It had a great big clump of burnt spaghetti hidden down the bottom of the bowl that they must have been saving for an unassuming tourist. They can assume I will not be back to that cafe ( Cafe Turenne) 😉
So my first weekend in Paris is drawing to an end. I spent most of Saturday doing as little as possible as I was a little over tired and my tummy wasn’t the happiest it has ever been.
Then in the evening I met up with Lily from a blog called jetaimemeneither who took me on the most amazing walk around a few inner sections of Paris. Her knowledge of history is very impressive! I envy being able to remember so much detail of such amazing stories that made the world what it is today. Seeing buildings made in the 13th century is a little “mind blowing” when you are an untravelled citizen of a very young country.
We walked and talked for what seemed like ( to me) half an hour but what was in fact two and a half hours and probably six and a half kilometres. She showed me so many buildings of great significance that I took photos of , I should have written down what they were. Lily told me wonderful stories about the people that lived in the buildings we were looking at that made the buildings come alive and took me back to the era momentarily. We went to the Place des Vosges were Lily told me a fascinating story about the man who my street was named after. He accidentally killed King Henry the second in a friendly jousting match in the Place des Vosges. His “Jousting stick” ( quick reference to the movie “the castle” 😉 ) accidentally struck the eye of King Henry the second and he died the next day from an infection from the injury.
Note the house in the left corner has a facade of a photo of what it normally looks like while he real roof is restored.
We crossed the Seines and
We went past the corner where Gil from “Midnight in Paris” picks up the car that takes him back to years gone by.
No car came and got us 😦 😉
We then went to a cafe and had a light dinner and a couple of drinks and people watched and chatted. We then walked back to the right side, I got to see the light show that the Eiffel tower does once an hour at night time. One more drink in a funky cafe near Hotel de Ville and then it was time to head home. It was so nice having a night out with a lovely soul that can speak the language and explain a few things.
Then on Sunday I retraced our steps and went to a few of the museums that Lily had pointed out. I made sure I took a map as I knew I would be getting lost a few times a long the way. I went to the Musee de Carnavalet where they haphazardly display what life was like over the many centuries of Paris. The art and furniture were amazing ( i wish I had’ve got the audio guide). I loved how comfortable all the bedrooms looked. Then I went to the Maisons Victor Hugo, what a man! I wish he had just been elected our Prime Minister instead of the ——– that has been. HIs love letters were very dramatic though. I got the audio guide for that one and heard lovely and not so lovely stories about his family. I don’t mind spending the 5 Euro on an audio guide. I feel like I am giving some money towards the free museums and I learn snippets and it slows down the whole experience.. After a fairly ordinary lunch at Comptoir Turrene ( my spaghetti had a big clump that had been stuck to the bottom of the pot and burnt) I went off to the Musee Cognacq-Jay for more amazing pieces of art and most beautiful furniture with very intricate wood work. I had forgotten that the supermarkets shut in Paris on a Sunday so my search for a bottle shop was a bit futile. Just as well there is the bottles of champagne in the fridge!