After months of waiting after my fateful morning of calling France to make a dinner reservation the day had come. Of course it did not come without a little trepidation that they actually wrote down my correct information and that it would still be there after all that time. After coming back home from the day of walking around the city i received a voicemail message email from my google voice account confirming my rsvp for the night, but unfortunately there was no phone in the apartment and all pay phones in the city use a calling card so what was i to do. So of course we just walked on down to confirm in person. With some time to kill we walked along the Rue Montorgueil which has a bunch of local type cafes, boulangeries, fromageries, and did a little shopping and snacking.
Once it was time for our reservation we found a line of people waiting for the Frenchie wine bar to open up across the street, and a few people seeing if there were any cancellations for the main restaurant (which there weren’t). It felt pretty special to come to such a exclusive type place that didn’t cost an arm and a leg to eat at. There are only two seating times 7pm and 9pm, and which i learned the 7pm is basically the seating for the Americans as we got to know our table neighbors were from Philadelphia and the other from somewhere from the midwest.
They offer up basically two different choices for each course along with a Foie Gras supplemental. We ordered once of each dish, along with the Foie Gras and a bottle of wine for our meal. The meal was paced out nicely and every dish was delicious. The stand out dish for me was the Foie Gras and its typically hit or miss for me, but i really enjoyed it with the fig compote. The Foie itself was smooth and not gritty and along with the sweet fig and toasted bread was delicious. The horseradish on the smoked trout kept surprising me, which made me go back again for another taste.
Foie gras torchon, figs
Mushrooms, speck, chestnut
Smoked trout, horseradish, fennel, Granny Smith
Royal sea bream, Swiss chard, sorrel, pine nuts
Quail, celery, raisins
Napolean sheep’s milk cheese, summer truffle honey
Mirabelle plums, lemon curd, aromatic herbs ice cream
After our meal Joy made me go take a picture with the Chef Greg Marchand. Probably the only thing that i wouldn’t have had would be the espresso after the meal because in the middle of the night i was buzzing and couldn’t go back to sleep. That stuff is crazy strong.
I woke up Friday morning which happened to be my birthday, and we started it off with our first croissant that our host left for us, and a nice cup of coffee to get us ready. Our first event of the day was a trip to the Eiffel Tower to some of the first people up to the top for the day. We headed out to the metro stop and purchased a two day pass which we would be using to get around the city for most of the time besides walking.
The metro is by far not the nicest that we’ve been on, and the doors have a manual doors which have be used quite often, but one thing good is that there are plenty of useful routes, and cars so there’s not much waiting once you get under. There was definitely a fear of pickpockets when the car gets crowded, but i think everyone else on the train is pretty paranoid so it felt safer than normal.
Once our ticket was bought, we hopped onto the 9 and headed to the Palais de Chaillot which dropped us off just to the west of the Eiffel Tower. Once we exited the metro and turned the corner the Eiffel Tower presented itself in all its glory. We took some pictures, and saw a wedding couple getting some pictures taken.
We got there a few minutes before the opening and it was pretty cool to be the first people to take the elevator all the way to top and have the entire top to ourselves for a few minutes before everyone else was let up.
It was a great 360° view of the entire city and it really made me realize how winding the streets are and how lost you can get if you’re not careful. We spent a good amount of time taking in the views and did the same on the second level as well. We then exited and took a stroll through the park on the east side of the tower.
On the way to the metro to take to Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es and happened upon a market, so we stopped in and found that cheese and meats were so cheap that we stocked up on some comte cheese, jambon, a baguette, apple and a small bottle of wine and had a little picnic in the park. It was all so tasty and all for under 10‚¬.
Feeling good after a refuel and wine we took our time walking down the Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es checking out some of the stores quickly until we happened upon the Louis Vuitton where we’ve been told has a line to get in, but when we got there we just walked on in. Joy was planning on replacing her old wallet and definitely had her fun rubbing elbows with the elite who were buying multiple purses and walked out a happy lady.
Once we reached the end of the Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es it conveniently led us to the Arc de Triomphe which is an impressive structure. Its so small from a distance, but when you walk right up to it, it was really impressive to see all the carvings and sculptures that surround the entire structure. After a few laps around it we were pretty tired already from all the walking and headed back to our apartment to get a rest before dinner.