Thursday, May 16, 2013

Europe: Paris II

 Before leaving on my grand adventure, I did a little research. Ok a lot of research. I knew the places I wanted to try I prioritized them, and categorized them, and mapped them out. Fortunately we were able to go to almost all of the places on my list. Angelina's was one of them. I read stories of hot chocolate so thick you practically have to chew it, descriptions of treats with names I couldn't pronounce, tales of tea time that made me want to cry. It all sounded so beautiful. So French. We had to go. And so we did. For tea one afternoon.

The restaurant and patisserie are beautiful to say the least. Colorful treats lie in straight lines underneath glass counter tops. Gold leafing outlines crown molding and light fixtures. It's all so elaborate.  

We got the classic hot chocolate served with cream, and a kettle of mint tea infused with lime. We also got a treat. I don't know what it was, exactly but I can tell you that it was wonderful. And caramelly. And creamy. And yummy.

After our tea time we walked through the tuileries gardens on our way to the Louver. And I was again reminded that Spring time in Paris can't be beat.

We got to the Louver and I became immediately overwhelmed, and we hadn't even gotten inside yet. But the huge stone buildings housing thousand pieces of art standing before me were slightly intimidating. Maya told me she read somewhere that if you spend 30 seconds on every piece of art in the louver it will take you 100 days to see everything, or something like that. It was crazy huge.

We mapped out our course, and planned what we wanted to see. I was most excited to see the Napoleon apartments. They were over the top. It doesn't get much fancier than red velvet walls and crystal chandeliers.

After the Louver we decided to go grab dinner at what ended up being my favorite restaurant of the trip.  La Fontaine de Mars, was nothing fancy. This sweet unassuming restaurant was on the corner of a quiet street in 6th arrondissement near our hotel. The owner a middle age French woman was hurrying around the restaurant chatting with diners, and seating new guests. Wait staff was friendly and welcoming. A little french girl there with her mom, was wandering around the dining room passing out dessert menus. The restaurant itself was charming and traditional. We sat near the busy kitchen and watched plate after plate of scrumptious looking food go out to hungry diners. It was all lovely, but the best of course was the food. It was spectacular.

To start rustic french bread was brought to our table with a ramekin filled with sweet french butter. Our entrees came quickly, I got a chicken dish with rice and mushrooms and we finished our meal with creme brulee. It was perfection.

 The next morning we got up and visited some of the coolest thrift stores I've ever been to. I found some treasures, mostly vintage scarfs. Then the afternoon was filled with eating. And walking. And then more eating. Sheer gluttony. But we were in Paris so...I feel like it's ok.

After shopping we found a croquet monsieur to munch on. Yummy french country bread was topped with ham and Swiss and Gruyere cheese, then it was melted under a broiler. 
 We visited the famed E. Dehillerin, the biggest cooking supply store in Paris, famous for their assortment of copper pots and pans. It was amazing, a store filled with all kinds of cooking tools, some familiar, some that I'd never even seen in my life and in all sizes and shapes. Basically I wanted everything.

After cooking supply shopping we went to Au Pied Le Cochon and ordered their famous french onion soup. A thick layer of cheese floats on top of bread and rich, beefy, oniony soup.

Heaven in a bowl.

Later we went to a restaurant called Chartier. It was founded in 1896 and has only had four owners since opening. The dining room was huge and has been conserved to look the same today as it did so many years ago. The food was cheap and remains that way because the restaurant was originally started to serve poor working men. We ordered two poulet and frits, and continued to fill our bellies.

After our chicken dinner we walked to A La Mere De Famille it is the oldest sweet shop in Paris. Founded in 1761! We stocked up on French caramels and died when we tasted them. Holy. Crap. Best caramels ever. I guess that makes sense if you've been in business since the 1700's.
To finish our afternoon we walked to the Paris opera house. The building that inspired the story of the Phantom of the Opera. It was cool. Another childhood dream, crossed off the list.
So here's something awesome: we found the BEST macarons in Paris. Laduree on Champs Elysee was a beautiful patisserie, filled with beautiful treats. We struggled to pick macaron flavors and then couldn't resist other tasty looking goodies. 
I got a cream and strawberry filled, coconut topped Paris breast. And Maya got a raspberry and rose giant macaron. We were pretty happy.

We boxed up our treats and took a walk to the Arc Du Triumph. We found two seats with a killer view and watched the sun set as we munched on our treats. And can I just say HOLY. YUM?! They were so good. And were gone in 30 seconds. flat. Not kidding.

After we were througly buzzed with sugar we wandered back to our hotel after yet another perfect day in Paris.
 Only a couple more Paris posts, bear with me. Can you tell I loved it?

1 comment:

  1. All the cheese in this post is making me salivate. Can you please replicate these foods for me?? Especially that croquet monsieur...yum. PARIS OPERA HOUSE! Please let there be more pictures of that!! Also, I can't get over your pan collar shirt. It is to die for cute.