Here's my blog entry on our dinner at Noimya last night:
Sunday was a beautiful sunny day in Paris and we decided to walk the Promenade Plantee in the 12th arrondissement. We made our way to the Bastille and found the entrance behind the new Opera House. This is an old elevated train track that has been converted to a walkway filled with greenery, flowers and plants. It runs 4.5 kilometres from the Bastille to Bois de Vincennes. It was a perfect day for a Sunday stroll and there were many families, joggers, rollerbladers and couples taking advantage of the nice weather. We saw so many beautiful apartment buildings along the way and enjoyed being surrounded by so much greenery while in the middle of Paris. About halfway through the walk, you come upon the Jardin de Reuilly, a great park with lots of space for sitting and relaxing, as well as the site for the new sparkling water fountain dispenser. Unfortunately, we had no empty water bottles to fill so we just scooped the water with our hands just to say we tasted it! After the park, the walkway becomes street level and we went through several tunnels and narrow walkways filled with fall leaves and vines. I would recommend this walk to anyone who wants to do something totally different while in Paris ~ you are far away from the museums, monuments, stores and noise. It was very relaxing and while it seems like a long way, you can leave the walkway several times throughout the walk and take a bus or metro back. We made it all the way to the end in about 2 hours, at a very relaxed pace. We were actually surprised when we realized we were at the peripherique already. There didn't seem to be any cafes or bars in the area, so we took the 29 bus back to Place des Voges where we found tiny Cafe Martini and sat for drinks and some charcuterie, cheese and bread. It was the perfect end to our afternoon.
We relaxed a while in the apartment and got ready for our dinner at Nomiya, the temporary restaurant atop the Palais de Tokyo. I had lunch here with my daughter in May and so enjoyed the experience that when they extended the term of the restaurant for another year, I vowed I would try to make reservations for the four of us. You can only reserve on the internet one month ahead of time. Reservations open at 10am Paris time so I got up at 4am our time on 4 different occasions but was unable to snag our places. I then began to check the website 7-8 times a day looking for cancellations and found one about 3 weeks before we left!
The restaurant is rectangle-shaped and only seats 12. The kitchen is part of the space and you can watch and interact with the chef as he cooks your dinner. The meal is 100 euros per person and includes champagne, wine, 7 courses, water and coffee. Oh, and it also includes the most spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower which is directly across the Seine from the restaurant. Our waiter told us that the meal is meant to be enjoyed with all our senses, including the sight of the Tower, which is why we were surrounded by windows. We are also part of the display as the restaurant is lit up with bluish lights which are visible from below and which draw people's attention as they walk along the Seine.
We got to know our table mates which included 2 couples from Paris, a couple from Boston and a couple from Australia. Everyone was so happy to be there and it was a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. Our good looking waiter set the tone for the meal and ensured everyone had a wonderful evening.
We began with tiny beef filets which had been marinated for 24 hours and were served raw. They were so tender, they melted in your mouth and I was sad they were just the amuse bouche as I would have gladly eaten a plate of them! Our first course was crusted foie gras served with a fig chutney and a slice of pink beet. The foie gras was creamy and the sweet chutney was a perfect foil for the unctuous meat. We were then served scallops with some type of jelly and powdered lobster roe (sorry, by this time, the champagne and wine were starting to take their toll and I kind of lost track of some of the food descriptions!). The scallops were raw, kind of cerviche style and were so creamy and light. The waiter kept pouring the wine a volonte and everyone was starting to feel more comfortable with each other and getting to know their neighbours. Our main course was a large white fish filet pan fried (again, can't remember which type of fish except that it was really good!). It was served with tiny potatoes, a carrot emulsion and broccoli. Next came the cheese plate (you guessed it, can't remember which kind, except it was a hard orange cheese thinly sliced and served with fresh figs. The fig theme was continued with a wonderful fig sorbet to clear our palate and we were then served a dark chocolate cake with a rum ganache in a salted caramel sauce (funny how I can remember the dessert details, isn't it!!). Perfect espressos finished the meal and by this time, we were all friends and talking and laughing as if we had known each other for years. We got to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle for us 3 times during the meal and it truly was an experience I will never forget. Everyone lingered and had some more wine and we finally left a little before midnight. This was one of the highlights of our trip for me and I'm so happy I was able to share it with my hubby and our best friends.
We took things easy on Monday, walking through the 2nd towards Galleries Lafayette. We had lunch at the 6th floor cafeteria and enjoyed another great view of Paris. We spent too much money at the food emporium downstairs and were home by 5pm, for a relaxing glass of wine and some blogging. Not sure what tonight holds for us, we may just take it easy and stay in and recharge our batteries for the rest of the week.