When I read about David Lebovitz’s 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris it was like the challenge was written just for me. I will let you know right from the start that we’re not going to get to all 10 on this trip (probably best for anyone’s health not to). But we are trying like heck to get to as many as possible!
We began the day earlier than usual. Josh and I slipped quietly out of the apartment to walk down the hill to the close boulangerie that we like. We picked up quiche lorraine, croissant and little rolls. Walking home through the quiet cobble streets was so serene. It was as if we were backstage in a play, the dignified buildings standing as a painted backdrop with iron curly iron balconies, the shopkeepers sweeping their steps, church bells ringing in the distance, cafe owners arranging chairs and table for service.
Heading across town for our first stop, we were off to taste some Poilane bread (thanks Jane and Deborah!) described in our foodie guide as the “Mona Lisa of bread.” They sell big (14″ diameter!) round loves with curly “P” slashed in the crust. The bread remind me of Tartine bread, slightly charred crust, chewy big crumb and a lovely tang from wild yeast.
Continuing on to Le Bon Marche! We came here for the butter, but were delighted to find thousands of beautifully presented gourmet foods. Sections of the store were devoted to Chocolate, Vinegars, Preserves, Cheese, Le Picnic. I almost cried when I found a whole dairy case of BUTTER varieties. The Jean-Yves Bordier Butter that David Lebovitz writes about is swoon worthy. The store stocked many flavors of this special 97% fat goodness; smoked salt, vanilla, pepper, seaweed, yuzu, sweet, double cream, and demi salt with flakes of sea salt.
While I was busy at the butter, Josh and Emma were selecting a little cheese. Armed with bread and butter, we bustled over to the nearest park for a feast. (and photo shoot! for Emma’s photos see feelingtangerine.wordpress.com).
To walk off the butter we did some window shopping and crossed town to the neighborhood of Chez Dumonet that David Leboviz raves about. We arrived at 2:33 and they had closed for lunch service! So disappointed! Hopefully we will be back today for another try. Then I remembered the Breton Creperie place I wanted to try. We hustled over there and they just closed at 3:00! We were striking out! But eventually we settled for a lovely salad and a corner cafe with wifi.
Max has just started a little movie project “What’s the best thing about Paris” so we took some time out for him to film. You’ll notice in photos of him on this trip there’s not a lot of orange clothes! Max let me pack for the trip and as a result there’s lots of other colors to wear…
We were on the hunt again in the afternoon, this time for chocolates. We visited one from David’s list (we were working from his Paris Chocolate and Pastry App). Funny thing how this city can support so many chocolatiers– practically 2 on every block in some neighborhoods. Who’s eating all this chocolate?
Eventually we made it to my favorite A l’Etoile d’Or. You’ve got to read David L’s description of the place– the owner is the best part of the shop. Her little shop is like a jewelry box; worn tile floor, wood panel walls, wooden drawers beneath marble counters heaving with tins of sweets. Above, on glass shelves with gilded mirrors, are jars of caramels, apothecary displays of bon bons and in a glass-fronted case just at the entrance, the truffle display. She hurried over to us greeting her hellos and took us to a corner for chocolates for les enfants. She described in rapid french this and that chocolate bar to Max and pointed which he could have (ones with nougatine, or crackle rice) and ones he could not have (with espresso or pistachio, or Grand Mariner). Once it was determined that he preferred milk chocolate over bitter chocolate, she opened his hand and placed a 3×3″ chocolate pattie and urged him to take a bite. She was so excited for his enjoyment she practically hopped from one foot to another. Then she rushed over to get me a white glove and silver service tray so I could select pieces from the cases. Emma was snapping photos the whole time. Our visit was too short– I think I got pretty overwhelmed and we burst out of the shop with our purchase and chattered the whole walk home.
So how far did we get on the list? I am afraid to say only about 3/10 of David’s best things. But that is actually wonderful because we have much to look forward to on another trip to Paris! I must end here because we are off to the Musee de l’Orangerie and our last day in Paris.