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Feedback on our Paris Trip

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First of all, I want to thank you all - those who replied to my questions before our trip, and those who have posted about food in Paris. I went armed with a long list of fromageries, boulangeries, marches, and restaurants that made our week in a Paris apartment fantastic!

Our first night in Paris was spent at Villa Beaumarchais in Le Marais. We dined at Le Bar Huitre, simply because it was the closest place to our apartment and we were a bit tired. The next morning we walked around - a lot - down a small side street where we found an artisan boulangerie with a wonderful baguette des graines. From there we headed to rue Rambuteau for Pain du Sucre. Also ran across Legay Choc, where we found some delicious little tarts. Then to rue Rivoli where we visited a fromagerie and charcuterie. My husband popped into a little greengrocer and bought some cherries and fresh apricots. All of this, with some bottle gazeuse comprised a wonderful picnic on the train to Germany, where one of our sons was marrying a German girl.

We returned to Paris in the late afternoon on Tuesday 7/23, for our apartment on rue de Navarre, just off of rue Monge. After 5 days in Germany (where moderation in food or drink was not the norm) we wanted a light dinner, so we walked to the end of rue Monge where we had a fabulous meal at Dans le Landes. Sardines rillettes and a passion fruit creme brulee were the high points of that meal.
Wednesday morning we visited Erik Kayser for croissants and more, followed by Marche Monge for fruit to make a breakfast chez nous.
Our almost 21 year old wanted to do the Eiffel Tower, so we purchased a 2 day Batobus pass for transport. The lines were outrageous, so did not ascend the tower. I'd left my list of restaurants at the apartment, so we headed away from the river until we found a place that appeared to have no tourists and where the diners all seemed content or better. The Suffren Bar/Brasserie did not disappoint.
Dinner that night was at Lilane - our 3rd time there, and it did not disappoint at all! My husband won the lottery - of the 3 plats he had the ris d'agneau. Lilane does sweetbreads very well! I had a beef dish with a mushroom lasagna - not very lasagna-like, but incredible with chanterelles! Our son had a veal dish that was also spectacular. At age 20 and a budding foodie, I'm not sure whether he was more impressed by the food or the the French women! Somewhere between all of these events we made a trip to Laurent Dubois - after that, I couldn't even think of buying cheese from any of the other shops on my list.

The next day's breakfast was from Maison Gregoire, and was followed by a visit of le Marche Maubert before the college student awoke. Off again for the Batobus in hopes that the lines at the Eiffel Tower would be shorter if we arrived earlier. (the kid really wanted to do this, and his father felt a need to atone for a tomahawk not purchased in Arizona years ago. Never mind that he would have used said tomahawk to murder his older brother, Dad felt a need to atone.) Lines were not as bad as we'd seen previously, so we made the ascent to the first stop - the summit was already at peak capacity. This time I had my list of restaurants and Paris Pratique with me, and realized Chez l'Ami Jean made a convenient stop on the way to Musee d'Orsay. What a lunch! 3 courses of mushrooms - the most tantastic mushroom soup ever, something salmon with a few mushrooms, and a rabbit stew. Dessert was creme brulee. After that lunch, our dinner was comprised of some cheese, fruit, baguette and bottle of wine at the apartment.
Friday was Maison Gregoire again, and lunch at Le Bonaparte in the St Germain du Pres area. Husband had a layered beet and goat cheese served over salad, I had salad nicoise (and was glad it did NOT have rice.) our son was diappointed with his Croque Monsieur (misunderstood his father's recommendation that this is a fairly safe thing if he was out on his own as a recommendation to have it at that time.) Friday night he had a picnic on the banks of the Seine with a friend who is a native Parisienne. We met a friend (his wife grew up in our town) and dined at Chez Clement. Not what I would have chosen - it wasn't horrid, but wasn't a high point of gastronomy. Not sorry for the experience - it's all part of education oneself about a particular city.
Saturday morning my stepsister and her family arrived from Cote d'Ivoire and from Virginia. We had a brunch for them - pastries from Erik Kayser and a fruit salad made from muskmelon, fresh apricots, cherries, white nectarines and currants. We didn't need lunch that day, but did have ice cream from Berthillon while walking around. Dinner for 6 of us was at L'Atlas - every bit as good as the recommendations, and the decor and dishes were spectacular.
We'd been warned that many restaurants close on Sunday, but not all bakeries or butchers. So, on Sunday morning we walked up the stairs across from rue de Navarre, and across Place Contrescarpe, and bought our morning croissants at Anthony Bosson, as well as a tiramisu framboise for dinner. Walked back down to rue Monge and stood in line at Boucherie de Tradition (corner of Monge & de Navarre) with the locals to buy 2 rotisserie chickens. Chicken and tiramisu were safely stored in the fridge, and we were off le Jardin du Luxembourg. I sat and painted, husband wrote in his travel journal. Son came along and found us, then they went off to purchase sandwiches from the vendor in the garden. The saucisson sec with butter on baguette was simple but delicious! Dinner for 6 was chez nous - chicken, roasted potatoes and a salad of the most fantastic mixed greens - purchased at le Marche Maubert on Saturday morning! Dessert of course was the tiramisu framboise. We also had more cheese from Laurent Dubois - the roquefort with quince paste was entirely too good!
After dinner, the young men went to Place Contrescarpe for beers, while the old fogeys headed to Cafe L'universel for jazz and cocktails.
On Monday, breakfast was again from Erik Kayser, where we also purchased 2 baguettes. Lunch was a picnic on the banks of the seine - leftover chicken with mesclun and olives on baguette. A little bit of cheese, and some cherries. After that we walked to Les Halles to explore and met up with my step-sister, her husband and son at Au Pied du Cochon - again not my choice but a favorite of my step-sister and her husband, and I had chosen L'Atlas as our other meal out together. As long as I was there, I braved the pigs foot. That was definitely a been there, done that experience (as was my husband's experience with St Anthony's temptation.) We had an early departure the next day, so breakfast was coffee and croissant at a cafe on rue Monge, and then we were off to the airport.

Although not all of our meals were fantastic, the overall experience was. We really enjoyed the taste of living in apartment, and experiencing the food of Paris almost as though we lived there.
I'm already planning the next trip - though we'll probably wait 2 years, as the 21 yr old has 1 1/2 more years of college.
Thank again to all for your help.

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  1. thanks for the great report. We stayed in an apartment last fall (for the first time) and I never want to go back to hotel-staying.

    1. I love long detailed reports like these....

      First of all, congratulations on your son's wedding!!!

      What did you think of the ice cream? I am planning to go to B's this week.

      And, did you prepare the fruit salad? If not, where did you buy it? Thanks

      2 Replies
      1. re: t19103

        I'm glad you enjoyed my report - I worried that it would be too long, but know that I've enjoyed others' detailed reports.
        I made the fruit salad with fruit purchased at the market that morning and the previous day. It was all so nicely ripe that I didn't add anything to it - simply let the fresh fruit flavors shine.
        I love the Berthillon ice cream - especially the fruit flavors. They're not as creamy as some, but I think that allows the flavors of fruit to be dominant. It helps that I've been lucky to never experience the iciness that others complain about.

        1. re: EllenGST

          A long report is a wonderful thing, especially yours which is folksy and personal as well, thanks.