So, part of the whole “turning 25” renewal (I sound like Ramona Singer) was fulfilling a long-sought dream of taking a trip with my mom to Paris. We’ve talked about this for years, but I finally brought it up seriously back in November, I sure didn’t have to ask her twice! We started planning and before we knew it, we were on the plane. This is when I start to say “this trip is going too fast already” because I truly like the planning/anticipation of something, once it actually starts I tend to focus on how quickly it’s going by! Ugh something to work on, but this time, it was 10 whole days in Paris. We had an apartment in Le Marais, and my full intention was to live like a Parisian, shop the markets, wander the streets, and not feel like we had to rush ANYWHERE. Oh, and a huge focus on the AMAZING food, we certainly didn’t starve.
I always feel like the best day of vacation is the first day. The excitement is in the air, you have the entire vacation in front of you. As soon as we arrived at our apartment and dropped off our bags, we went out in search of a market that I had read about. L’Estaminet in the Marche Enfants Rouge was the perfect place to begin our trip and soak up the sun to cure our jet-lag. A salmon tartine for my mom and a pesto pasta salad with fresh grilled veggies and a beautiful slice of proscuitto for me. (This place was so good we ended up eating there again later in the week!)
I had researched restaurants through google/blog searches as well as travel guides and personal recommendations. You know when you hear of something for the first time and then all of a sudden you start hearing about it everywhere?? That’s sort of what happened with this vacation. I tore out magazine articles, book-marked pages in books, and then ended up at the same places without even realizing that they were in the magazines (our first night, our waitress at Le Petit Marche recommended we get a drink at La Perle “everyone stands outside and it’s cool and crowded but you don’t really know why it’s cool” turns out, it was the sight of John Galliano’s Hitler rant back in March!). Our second night was dinner at Cafe de Musees, which came highly recommended on several blogs, Rick Steeves, as well as a recent NY Mag article!
Other highlights included white asparagus soup with foi gras ice cream at Pramil, fried goat cheese and seabass at Le Taxi Juane, to-die-for chocolate mousse in a giant vat at Chez Janou, grilled shrimp tart and artichoke and mushroom salad at Cafe Constant, and perfectly tender veal at Hotel Thoumieux (along with the best bread/butter of the trip!)
|Dare me? I promise I put my serving on my plate…..|
|Cafe Constant-a perfect lunch|
|Like a dream-we finished dinner just in time to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle!|
I have to say that my hands down favorite meal wasn’t even in Paris. We took an overnight trip to Brussels and had dinner at this amazing brasserie, inside the Galleries Saint Hubert, recommended by our innkeeper. They tried to seat us in the stuffy upstairs dining room, but after a little sweet-talking, we got to sit right in the hustle and bustle, my favorite way to take in the action. This meal was also special because of a few certain realizations that only a bottle of wine and your mother can help you come to, all part of the new year, new me program!
|I’m still too emotional to talk about how good this meal was….|
|Not sure if I was able to properly express my gratitude to the chef!|
Back to Paris; we spent our days walking from meal to snack to meal seeing sights along the way, the perfect way to truly “see” and experience Paris! There was a daily search for bread with figs baked in, something I experienced last time I was there (life changing let me tell you), crepes sucre and chocolate croissants, afternoon macaroons (you must try the giant, fudgey macaroons at Boulangerie Vavin on Rue de Vavin, out of this world! And such a better deal than the tiny Laduree ones!), my first fallafal experience (good, but not something I would crave), cocktail hour in our apartment with a bottle of wine and a cheese plate assorted at the local fromagerie, and beautiful fresh fruit (apricots, cherries, tiny cantloupes, and white peaches) from the fruit stands that seem to be on every corner.
|Sorry-couldn’t wait to take a bite before a picture!|
|The good life|