Here is one of the posts where photo accompaniment would have been stellar. In due time . . .
After spending a few days in that showery part of France known as Normandy, I was quite happy to spend some time in Paris, one of those places on earth where I feel truly content (not even the rushed Parisian attitude and infinite strikes can change that!). I will admit, I can only take pretty limited quantities of the ultra-rich buttery and creamy cuisine in Normandy, so my stomach was looking for a change. Moreover, my husband and I were looking forward to taking up some of our old habits that we’ve developed in Paris, namely, taking long strolls. Even though my husband hadn’t been back to his home country in over a year, and we had an itinerary full of friends before we had set landed at Charles de Gaulle, we found plenty of time to do that.
Our first day back, it was stifling hot outside, but we strolled through the Jardin des Plantes hoping to find one of their several museums open. Of course, being Tuesday, all of its museums were closed. Instead, we got a peek at the animals sleeping in the higher branches of the walled off zoo within the park. Later in the day, we were even treated to a rehearsal for a change of command ceremony for a local fire company.
Seeking respite from the heat, my husband, one of his best friends, and I went to the famed Mosquée de Paris for some thé à la menthe. It truly does feel like an oasis once you pass the Mosque’s heavy gates. Ornate carvings, painting, and enamel work cover every surface. What makes the whole thing a bit more idyllic is that there are dozens of small birds flying freely about, ready to grab crumbs from the floors and tables.
When it came to dinnertime, I was pretty cranky, and ready to eat anything. Really, it could have been anything. However, my husband’s friend convinced me to wait for one of his favorite places, le Resto-Zinc des Marcheurs de Planète. Some Americans complain that French portions are small, but there would have been no complaining here. This wine bar has its own cheese cellar, where they bring in an affineur to age their cheeses to perfection (they do this for their wines too). We ordered a sampler plate of 8 cheeses and meats/pâtés for 2 people, and my husband ordered their daily special consisting of 2 enormous andouille sausages on a bed of ratatouille. The sampler plate was gargantuan, though. We had, if I remember correctly, Salers, Comté, St. Marcellin, Livarot (delectable!!), Rillettes de canard, pork and chicken pâtés, and rosettes. We took pictures of the plates as they arrived, and as we finished them. For our sampler plate, there is hardly any difference between the “before” and “after” shots. There was just so much food. However, what we did manage to tuck away, we washed down with a lovely bottle of Corbières, which I wasn’t familiar with before.
It was one of this trip’s first meals in Paris, and I think, the best.