Let Us Eat Cake! Emily in Paris (part one)

March 22, 2010

I promise that Emily and I did more than just eat during her 4 days here. We saw all the monuments, went to the Musée d’Orsay, stopped in at Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysées, went to a clothing auction with Ariane (Chanel and Hermès anyone?) and went vintage clothes shopping in the Marais (just a little more affordable than the auction). But when you bring together two girls who love good food and put them in the country that is home to some of the world’s finest cuisine…a lot of eating happens, so that’s what this entry going to be about!

1. Traditional French Cuisine: We had dinner the first night at one of my favorite restaurants in Paris. Le Florimond is small and the staff are very personal and kind-they are not attentive in the American sense, but they are there when you need them, they use your names, and are generally very welcoming. And the food is great!  Emily and I had lobster ravioli and duck terrine for starters, of which her ravioli was the better choice, and then rabbit sausage and stuffed cabbage (the house specialty!) for the main course. Both of those dishes are perfect for winter; hearty, rich, warm, and containing some of that French je ne sais quoi that makes everything taste SO good. For dessert Emily had a selection of French cheese, and I ate an entire giant mille feuille by myself. The night was complete with a half bottle of wine and a picture after dinner with the chef!

Le Florimond's Chef

2. The Jardin Du Luxembourg: Sandwiches in France are just so delicious! I think it’s the bread, and probably the mayonnaise. The cheese and quality of the ham can’t hurt either, but when you combine those elements with sunshine and little green chairs outside…quintessential Paris in my opinion! And what better way to end a lunch dans le jardin than with crêpes from my friend the crêpe lady? The sugar/lemon and sugar/grand marnier toppings were just the perfect amount of sweet to end lunch with one of my very best friends in one of my favorite spots in Paris.

3. Berthillon: Nobody understands when I try to explain Paris’ best ice cream. Until they try it that is! Emily is now a firm believer in the powers of that magical frozen essence of salted caramel or bitter chocolate or french pear or fresh fig or…well, as Emily put it, “when can we go back?”.

4. Dinner with the girls: One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to have dinner with my girlfriends. Whether we’re cooking for ourselves or just ordering off the menu, it is always great. Emily got to meet Amadi, Caroline and Miro over pizza, red wine, and of course dessert! As I knew they would everyone got along really well (it was Emily and Miro’s first time meeting my SBC program friends) and the night was so much fun-especially since we were bad and ordered cream puffs, crème brûlée, and chocolate mousse to share for dessert…

Girls and chocolate

5. Dinner Chez Ma Famille: My host family invited Emily over to dinner, but my host mother had painting class so my host father had to make the dinner! I wasn’t sure how it would go since Emily doesn’t speak French, but the evening was lovely. My host father made a tasty Nouvelle Caldonie inspired chicken with pineapple served over rice, and dessert was an incredible mirabelle/mango tart (mirabelles are a special kind of French plum) made by Madame, who joined us for dessert. And thanks to Emily’s accent influenced by British family and her theater major my host family understood her English really well. I am so glad that every attempt I’ve made at mixing the American and French people in my life has worked wonderfully so far!

To Be Continued…

à très bientôt!

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