My day began so glamorously that I started to chronicle it with photos--which I will soon add to this blog. First there was my trip to the post office, then my trip to Monoprix, my coffee with my old friend Walter, the tarte tatin that I ate with the cream, the trip to the pharmacie to pick up my prescriptions. It never ends. But since it's all being done in Paris, it seems more exotic than the usual real-life errands.
My hostess, Karen Fawcett (of bonjourparis.com fame) walked me to the taxi stand at 6:30 last night-- she was off to a literary soire for a mutual friend who has done a translation of Simone Beauvior. I was headed to see a girlfriend's mother and then to dinner in the 16th, and I dont mean just off Etoile.
The dinner venue was chosen by Alexander Lobrano whom you probably know from his Hungry For Paris books (with web site and blog)-- I silently griped about the bizarre location, across from Radio France, until I got to this modern bistro overlooking the Seine, the Eiffel Tower AND the original Statue of Liberty. (L'Ogre, 1 ave. Versailles,16 e)
What a dinner we had-- this was a young, hip crowd enjoying wine and meat; Alec and I shared a giant veal chop for two. Portions are enormous (rare in France) and we had started with lunch size portions of appetizers. I ended up asking that all my leftovers be packed up for my Eurostar trip to London tomorrow.
Naturally the carte in every restaurant I have visited reflects the seasons and the traditional winter meals of France. I had a lamb parmentier one night and then noticed a beef stew parmentier at L'Ogre. This is so easy to do and makes such a nice presentation that I plan to try it at home. Simply place the stew on the bottom of an oven proof dish, cover it with whipped up mashed potatoes and then bake.
For lunch today, I continued with the fruits of the season and had two fried eggs (sunnyside up) over broccolini on a bed of melted cheese and topped with grated truffles.
My hostess is cooking up a storm for dinner tonight so I was asked to produce a suitable dessert from one of Paris' reknown bakeries so that other guests at the table could ooohhh and aaahhhh and feel at peace with the notion that dinners in Paris are always like this. To keep with the seasonal theme of my recent meals, I chose a galette du roi -- the king's cake-- complete with feve inside. Instead of the traditional frangipani cake, this one is chocolate,caramel and lemon cream, You re-heat in the oven to melt the chocolate a bit and voila, party on a plate for three people at only $42.