We started out with breakfast chez Paul. We had missed breakfast the past few days, in part due to our schedule, in part due to our overestimating the ease of finding good boulangeries along whatever path we were taking (turns out they aren't that easy to find in St. Germain). We also realized that we hadn't taken any time to sit and read and/or people-watch in a cafe. So this morning we decided to make up for lost time and kill two birds with one stone: We headed to Paul and got a handful of pastries and some hot chocolate and installed ourselves on the chairs outside.
While we digested all the butter and sugar our systems could handle (yum!), Amanda pulled out her Kindle and began to read. While she did that, I talked to her about the play we saw last night and where we were going to eat for the rest of the day. Between her iPhone and my Michelin guide (and despite Amanda's great sadness at not being left alone to read), pretty soon the rest of our Thanksgiving meals were planned -- because, you see, breakfast was just the beginning!
After visiting the Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame (sorry, Puritans!) and the deportation memorial, we had lunch at La Regalade St. Honoré. This little gem is on the Rue St. Honoré, not far from the Louvre, and was recommended by the Michelin guide. We were greeted by an elegant hostess in a black and pink sheath dress and a severe up-do who spirited away our coats and seated us at the last open table in the tiny dining room. Once we were packed in among those happy diners, our waitress plunked down a terrine de campagne, basket of bread and jar of cornichons. Amanda and I took one taste of the terrine and the cornichons and knew our lives were about to get much, much better! We basically giggled our way through lunch, it was SOO delicious -- a revelation after the mediocre food we'd been eating so far on the trip.
|Bread, terrine de campagne (porc et volaille), cornichons|
|Oeuf aux escargots avec émulsion de quelque chose de délicieux|
|Pavé de cabillaud, endives, jambon, sauce au vinaigre balsamic|
|Grosse crème caramel|
The place was Azabu, located on yet another tiny street in the St. Germain neighborhood (not far from our hotel), and was also recommended in the Michelin guide. The dining room was even smaller than La Régalade (we counted 15 seats) and very simple. The staff was very attentive throughout the meal, and the menu was easy to navigate (unlike so many Japanese restaurants in America, which can overwhelm you with endless sushi charts). Just as the Michelin guide had promised, the food was delicious, obviously a result of high quality ingredients. Everything we ate was simple and fresh and, oh! so pretty! (The eggplant that Amanda ordered, in particular, was astonishingly good.)
|Potatoes that had been soaked in something alcoholic,|
brussels sprout, and something marinated and green
|Soup with mushrooms and seafood|
|Salmon tartar with wasabi and algae wraps|
(best wasabi I've ever had)
|Emincée de porc au gingembre et haricots verts|
|Traditional Japanese pear cake|