Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hey Dad...

I forgot to say so on the phone, but the blackberries in the back are beautiful again this year. Great memories of picking them last summer. At the perfect stage of ripeness, so they were big, sweet and juicy for breakfast.

Friday, August 10, 2007

More wine bars

We were in a couple of other good wine bars:

Le Baron Rouge, 1 , rue Théophile Roussel, off Place Alígre, the market square. A good local place, our 'hosts' recommendation. A wine store with an old zinc bar, where you can get a glass of wine and a bite of cheese and charcuterie. They have oysters Sunday morning, we didn't catch that, pity. Lots of good Loire wines, the Paris locals. Some other stuff, too. We had two nice Loire reds - Borgeuil og Chinon - and brought a nice white, Touraine, home. Wines by the glass, bottle and in your own container from casks along the walls.

Lavinia, 3-5, bd. de la Madeleine. More for the wine store, it has a huge selection of wines and spirits. The bar itself, on the 1st floor, is rather soul-less. We had glasses of chablis and champagne with a little food, everything ok, nothing memorable. Closes 8.30 PM. Lots of wine accessories. We played guessing games for a long time with Le nez du vin, the sæt of small bottles of wine aromas - ceder, quince, gardenia. No sweaty saddel, though...



There's something nice about having the demons frowning down on my head from their perch on Notre Dame. Instead of having them living inside. I used to think that the most important thing was getting rid of them altogether, that that was the ultimate freedom. Now it feels more free just to live kindly, whether they're there or not.

It's great to be back home, haven't completely left Paris yet, though.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Le Baratin

A super little wine bar/bistro without white tablecloths, 3, rue Jouye-Rouvé, Belleville in the 20th arrondissement. Metro: Pyrenées. A great find by my otherwise food-uninterested companion in Pariscope, the what's-on-in-Paris-this-week mag. Our last dinner in Paris, couldn't have been better. Delicious food and wine; warm, knowledgable people, full of wry humor. There was soul in everything.

We had a mild quail/onion appetizer, beef cheeks in a summer variation, with a light bouillon and new vegetables. Topped with pureed sorrel, that donated the acidity, that kept the whole dish light. Mussels, too, and a delicious cherry dessert with vanilla mascarpone cream. The food builds on the French classics with new variations. We had a great time with the people at the next table, they told us that the cook is Argentinian, a woman.

The wines: a Loire chenin, Benoit Couralts Gilbourg, a table wine, VdTdF. Chenin is one of my favorites, this one had the body and little tight bzzz, that I go after. Mmmm. Class. Then a Bandol, good. For dessert I had a Côteaux du Layon, Loire's well kept sweet wine secret, from Domaine Cousin-Leduc. Organic. As good as everything else, and I'd been longing for a glass all week. The waiter brought some great sweet bubbly rosé, too, that was perfect with the cherries.

Not expensive. 40 Euros/55 dollars for two, tip included. We called first, a good idea... they've got 10 or 12 tables, and it's crowded. You can buy their wines to take home, too. Great place.


Last nectarine...

The last plate of breakfast fruit in Paris, a last portion of sweet, ripe white nectarines and rasberries. One of my all time favorite fruit kombos, a classic that just keeps tasting good, year in, year out. Sheer pleasure. Perfect with a madeleine and some ewe's milk yogurt.

I'm really going to miss the fruit. Damson plums, greengages, peaches, apricots, melons. Muscat grapes. All juicy, headily perfumed and sweet. Bought at the markets, the good, daily at Place de Alígre (Metro Ledru Rollin next time you're in the neighborhood) and the big Sunday market, that starts at Place Bastille. Chosen to be at the perfect stage of ripeness to eat for todays lunch or tomorrow evening.... Ohh the precision! and the quality it ensures!