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Oct 7, 2012 07:49 AM

Paris Trip Report- Day 1

The first day in Paris was a long one. I left my house in Kentucky at 6:30 a.m. and arrived the next day in Paris at 8:15 a.m. I was eager to begin the trip. All of the hours, days, weeks, and months of researching restaurants, bars, museums, and maps amounted to a jumble of information waiting to get a chance to be utilized effectively. Unfortunately, dealing with a lack of sleep for days leading up to the trip coupled with a textbook case of jet lag, my time might not have been used as efficiently as normal. However, this is Paris we are talking about so I tried to relax without relaxing too much and anticipated the first dinner, that just so happened to be scheduled much too late that night.
8:45 p.m. finally came and we made it to Josephine Chez Dumonet. I was accompanied by exhaustion and quite a buzz from hitting cafes en route to dinner in order to waste time in a non-active sort of way. We were seated in the front section of the restaurant. The doors were open as it was a very pleasant evening. The restaurant was packed and seemed to have more English speaking diners than French, although there was a mix of both. We were greeted with a glass of white wine and gazpacho. The gazpacho was really nice. It seemed like you could pick out every single vegetable that went into the dish although it was pureed as smoothly as a cream sauce.
For the entrée, I chose the foie gras. It was a very simple presentation. 2 huge slabs of buttery smooth foie gras encased by butter and served with grilled bread. I knew I wanted to order this dish months before I got to say the words to the waiter and it did not fail to impress me. It was everything I thought it would be.
The plat was a bit more difficult to choose. I knew the recommendations were duck confit and boeuf bourguignon and I kept going back and forth debating which one would suit me better. The waiter approached and asked what I would like. Lingering a bit, I said, “Foie gras and … the pigeon millefeuille. I am not sure what caused the disconnect from my brain to my mouth but I need to start ordering that way from now on. The pigeon was served rare and it was in between layers of thin, crunchy potatoes with a red wine and garlic reduction. This dish was seasoned perfectly and the meat couldn’t have been cooked better. I thought this was one of the best dishes of the entire trip. It would definitely make my top 5 of the week.
I finished with the Grand Marnier soufflé. When it arrived, the soufflé continued to tower above the dish that was meant to contain it. It was as high as Texas hair on a Saturday night. Although I have had this dessert at many different restaurants in the past, this one is the new benchmark. What can you really say about a soufflé? It was light, pillowy and absolutely delicious.

*The entire meal, for 2, was 160 euros. We did have a bottle of wine with the meal but that was a total blur. I wanted to order a bottle of dessert wine with the foie but the sentiment was not shared due to exhaustion.

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  1. "as high as Texas hair on a Saturday night."

    Bravo. Am stealing this.

    1 Reply
    1. Your perfect description of the effects of arrival (including at home stresses) on cognitive effectiveness should be pinned. You did a brilliant job however, whether on auto-pilot or not. We look forward to your continuation.

      1. Great report - I would recommend an Ambien on the plane. I took one this last leg (aisle seat in economy class from Newark). Landed feeling like I'd slept in my own bed. Walking around for 6 hours in business shoes left my feet a tired mess by dinner, however.

        7 Replies
        1. re: ronakshah2000

          An ex-wife took an Ambien on a transalantic flight to London, and to this day swears she has never been in Heathrow airport. She had a 14 hour void in her life and memory.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Yes, happened to me and 3 of 4 neurologists (who wrote it up in the NE Jl of Medicine.)

            1. re: John Talbott

              another anecdote goes, a Bush prez took one for a transpacific trip and met with the Chinese head of state still under its influence.

              1. re: moto

                That probably did not make much of a difference.

              2. re: John Talbott

                And no doubt you are all still paying blackmail to the 4th Neurologist!

              3. re: Delucacheesemonger

                I too have experienced Ambien Amnesia. But at home. I am so tempted to take one on the plane, but it also worries me. Plus, I snore. I will say, though, I do wake up exactly eight hours later feeling incredibly refreshed.
                Thanks for the report. I am anticipating similar disorientation upon arrival in 12 days...

                1. re: shanemio

                  I've had an ambien amnesia experience as well. Went to a dinner, delivered a speech and recalled absolutely nothing. I always thought the problem might have been having a glass of wine after taking the ambien. Perhaps it was just the ambien.