Monday, August 12, 2019

International Adventures--Paris

Over the summer, my family and I went on a trip to explore parts of Europe—Paris, London, Windsor and Edinburgh. I have probably mentioned we used to live just outside of Windsor and my daughter did as well but didn’t remember it because she was so young. So we took the family to all the old haunts and to some other great cities.

We started in Paris (how could you not with that great direct flight from Indy to Paris?) We arrived just in time for a crazy heat wave. Anyhow, here I am just going to write about our food experiences, but we had a great time. 

To start with, we stayed at the Hotel Fauchon, which was a beautiful hotel, but is known for their bakery and fancy baked goods and sweets. Needless to say, the complimentary breakfast that came with our room was one of the highlights. The croissants alone were amazing. But I also loved the scrambled eggs that were so lightly cooked and not all dried out like they usually are in the states. They even asked how many minutes you wanted them cooked. After I got them, my whole family started getting them just about every day. Then there was the fancy chocolate cake and their French toast—which was light and custardy. We also had a dinner one night at the  hotel restaurant (The Grand Café Fauchon) which was also very good. There were crudos, risotto with tiny thin rounds of octopus, asparagus with soft boiled eggs. An extreme high end French meal—it was fun. And of course ended with fancy Fauchon desserts—the lips were filled with berries and there was a chocolate/caramel éclair. 
Fauchon dinner

The first night we arrived though, we ate at Breizh Café, which is known for crepes (it is a small Paris chain). I told you last week how much I love buckwheat crepes, and I sought this place out. This one is called the Mushroom complete (12.50). It had very thin ham, Comte cheese, mushrooms and a sunny side egg. It was perfect. The egg was runny, the ham was tasty, but in just the right amount to not overwhelm the flavors and the mushrooms just added a little extra earthiness. I also got a little side salad which was perfectly dressed with a tangy cider vinaigrette (3.80). One of my favorite meals in the world when done correctly. We all got some version of the complete—my son without the mushrooms and my daughter got one with caramelized onions instead of mushrooms. As you know I recently had a similar one at Buondi Caffe that was good as well, and that is the only place I know in Indy that does a buckwheat crepe. The kids also had a chocolate crepe for dessert and it was very tasty too. 

One morning we went on a walking tour and our guide recommended Le Relais de l’Entrecote. This is a restaurant that specializes in steak frites. And when I say specialize, I mean it is the only thing they serve.  The set menu is about €30. You sit down, order some drinks and have a plate of their house salad with walnuts and a tangy vinaigrette in front of you within minutes. You tell them how you want your steak cooked in their 3 offered choices-rare, medium, or well and that’s it. They bring your steak, slice pieces of it and cover it in their special sauce—hard to say what was in it, but it was delicious. Definitely a hint of anchovy in there as well as some nut I am guessing since they wouldn’t let my allergic son eat any of it. They give you a generous portion of fries alongside and then after you eat your steak, they come around and give you a second portion of the meat. And the frites look simple, but they were really salty and tasty. I don’t know how they made them taste so good.  It’s crazy. But really fun and delicious. One of my kids’ favorite meals of the trip. They have a couple of choices for dessert as well and we shared some profiteroles. Also so good—I love the dark chocolate they used everywhere. Just a note, there is usually a line when they open for lunch, so best bet is to get there right when they open or prepare for a wait. It’s a fast meal though, so I am guessing they turn over tables pretty quick. 

The last meal I will write about was at 58 Eiffel, which is in the Eiffel Tower. In the past, hubby and I ate at Jules Verne, which is a restaurant a bit higher up on the tower and was very fine dining. It was very decadent, but very good. However, it is currently closed for renovation, so we went with the other option. This feels less fancy and decadent, but I actually thought the food was decent. You pay a set price for the dinner (€125 for upgraded view; €95 without) and you get 3 courses plus two glasses of wine.  You can choose from a couple different options and like I said, it was pretty good-elevated (pun intended) wedding food. But in Paris. And with more interesting dishes. Lots of asparagus, some foie gras and several fish dishes. The star here is definitely the view. You can pay a little extra to be on the window, and I don’t know why you would go if you don’t have a view. Someday I would like to try the fancy place again when it re-opens.

Anyhow, this is a quick review of where we ate—of course there were lots of little pastries and chocolates along the way, but these were the memorable meals. In a couple weeks I will tell you about London—we ate very well there.

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