Monday, April 3, 2017

I love Paris! Part II

European Appetizer Sampler Part II: PARIS DAY 2

Paris just continued to get better and better.  Day one was focused on tourist activity and day two we got fancy!  We visited the cheese shop above on the first day, but I felt like it needed some more attention.  The cheese was phenomenal.  I bought two different kinds. We also learned not to touch the cheese...whoops!  We made a couple faux pas in Paris, but nothing too embarrassing!  
Before we began our day we stopped for coffee and a restaurant on the Seine. Then we began our day of fancy things we began with a river cruise down the Seine.  It was so lovely to see the beautiful architecture and bridges of Paris from the water.  

Here's the Louve from the water.  
Pretty bridge that probably has more significance then I remember.  
Nice architecture with cute boats.  

After the boat tour we headed to La Maroquinerie Parisienne.  Thank you Jen, you are a true friend and wise sage to tell me about this gem.  This place sells purses...and not just any purses, but gorgeous, leather, handcrafted, Parisian bags.  It is four stories, it was heaven.  There were purses purchased...I spent two hours was worth it!  I don't have any pictures because I think they would have frowned on that, but if you are ever in Paris, skip the Louvre, skip Notre Dame, skip the Eiffel Tower, but don't skip La Maroquinerie Parisienne!  (I'm only kidding a little.)

After the purse excursion it began to rain and VA and I were hungry so we ducked inside a little cafe and had a wonderful meal.  VA had steak frittes (steak and fries) and she said it was the best steak she'd ever had.  I had salade fromage, which was a few greens and a ton of different cheese.  We also had wine.  Let's talk wine in Paris.  First, it's cheaper than the water, second the cheap stuff is good, and third they drink it all the time!  So, when in Paris!!!  

We then headed back to our hotel to get dolled up for our fancy night on the town.  

Don't we look like we're ready to hit the Paris night life? We hailed a cab (yes, we even sprung for a cab on our fancy evening) and we were off.  As we were driving we headed into a tunnel, which was not unusual, but the cab driver told us it was the exact spot Princess Diana had died.  Honestly, it was creepy and a little intriguing to know about that spot.  Our cab driver dropped us off at The Paris!!  Yes, that's right...we were at The Ritz! PARIS!!!  VA had looked up some of Hemingway's favorite old bars and The Ritz was his top choice.  VA told me that Hemingway used to say that heaven would be the bar at The Ritz in Paris.  
Isn't VA cute with her champagne cocktail with a white rose in it!  The bar had a $4 million dollar renovation and was reopened not too long ago.  It is precious.  It's small and cozy.
It has an air of bookishness.  
And there are several pictures of the man himself!

And here's my gin martini with an orchid.
Both our cocktails were beautiful and delicious!  VA said that Hemingway would have liked mine the best because it was so strong!

They also had a lovely table set up...I stole a napkin...don't tell.
When you leave The Ritz at night the view isn't bad.  After cocktails we headed to our dinner reservation at Ze Kitchen Gallarie, a Michelin star restaurant.  After all the cooking shows I have watched I've always wanted to visit a Michelin star restaurant.  Ze Kitchen Gallarie did not disappoint. Get ready for the food pics!

We had eight courses, plus an amuse bouche and bread and wine pairings.  It was a lot but some of the best food I have ever had.  Above is one of our first courses, a raw fish in a vinaigrette and herbs.
We also had this pasta that tasted like it was Thai influenced.  It was very unexpected because I don't associate those flavors with that pasta.  The restaurant is French/Asian influenced and the sauce on the pasta was spicy with coconut.  It was probably my favorite course.
Those are snails.  I like snails.  These were delicious.
Let's talk dessert...there were three of them.  The first picture is black pepper ice cream with chocolate and then wasabi ice cream with mango. Both ice creams were spicy and crazy good next to the sauces that sweetened them up.

And finally this cake, with vanilla ice cream and preserved lemons.  I know my food pictures could be better, but I was trying to take them all on the sly because I didn't want to be rude.  Now I just wish I had just been rude!  

After dinner we headed back to our hotel to get ready to leave Paris and head to Barcelona.  Paris is the best place I have ever visited and I want to back as soon as possible.  I fell in love with that city!

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