Friday, October 10, 2008

Wild thing...

Whenever people come to Paris, one of the things they want to do is experience the food. Some friends from the US are here this week, but not for the sights. They are here for the restaurants. They are "Serious Foodies".

Let me introduce you... I met Tobi through an AOL support board almost 10 years ago! We have stayed in touch and visited each other over the past few years... she's come to Paris, I've gone to NYC. Tobi is a member of several other forums and boards, the topics include Paris, travel and food. Peg is a member of the travel and food boards. She's also a professional caterer in Atlanta. Jo (a friend of Peg's) and her husband, Don, are from the San Francisco area and come to Paris for a month or so every year.

We all had lunch together on Sunday at Brasserie Balzar in the 5th and the topic turned (naturally) to which restaurants they had been to on this trip. Jo whipped a sheet of paper out of her purse that I HAD to see. She has compiled an impressive list of restaurants and cafes that is broken down by arrondissement and includes price ranges and comments by friends and critics. She very kindly gave me a copy of it. It's better than a Zagat guide!

The conversation then segued into the variety of entrees, plats and desserts that have been tasted and sampled during the week. I was astounded when Peg said she had had cassoulet for dinner the night before and then ordered charcroute for lunch! (I could feel my arteries hardening by the second!) But, I totally understand the "I want to have all my favorites while I'm here" syndrome. I did the same thing in NY & Boston; Reubens, bagels with cream cheese, garlic pickles, lobsters... I won't even tell you what I go for in the South!

We met again for dinner last night at L'Epigramme in the 6th. I had the canard sauvage, the others had the cote de cochon basque. The duck was tasty and came with the added ingredient of buckshot. I have long ago learned never to take a solid bite into anything "sauvage".

I used to be quite a chef back when I had time to cook and someone appreciative of the efforts. In my old neighborhood of Suresnes, I had all my "guys"... the wine guy, the cheese guy, the fish guy... my favorite was my butcher. These are the people you really need to know if you live in France. I once got a gift of a dead pheasant. It arrived in a FNAC bag, its tail feathers sticking out the top. I had no idea what to do with it. So, I took it to my boucher and he did all the magic things that one does to make it cookable, charged me 25 francs and off I went. I called a friend whose husband is a chef and asked, "What do I do with it now?" Well, let me tell you... I barded that baby in bacon, browned it, then doused it with Calvados, threw in some onion and apple slices and let it simmer for a short time. I invited said friend and her cheffing hubby for dinner that night, et voila... I got the seal of approval! Kudos (and Calvados) all around!

We'll be meeting up for one more dinner on Sunday night before they all head back to the US. Not sure where we'll be dining, but it will be good, I'm counting on it!

You make everything, groovy!


Unknown said...

Well, D- I have to say...we love dragging you to all our restos, even when we have no idea what we are doing. I promise you Sunday will be another fab place to go! Kissies, T

QBParis said...

You all know the best places and I enjoy being "dragged"! Bises!

Puzzles to Print said...

At least your guests are into dining out! My most recent houseguests were thrilled with the food in Paris - all of which I cooked. Argghh. Your pheasant reminds me of several unwanted game stories in my past - all of which ended badly. Guess I needed that boucher!