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Everything posted by grace3

  1. You did mention that you enjoyed seafood. With that being said I could highly recommend Christian Constant's Fables de la Fontaine. A comfortable, small place with an excellent seafood reputation. Reservations a must, of course. Joan
  2. I think the Dijon suggestion would be a great one. Different from nearby day trips that most take. Certainly very do-able! Enjoy.. Joan
  3. I also spent Thanksgiving at Violon d'Ingres with 2 Parisien friends. I had told Christian the day before that it was 'our' Thanksgiving and he was surprised. On Thanksgiving evening when he spent some time at our table and I introduced him to my friends, he apologized for not thinking of it sooner. I had also mentioned it to Caherine in one of my emails. I don't thing we would have found stuffed turkeys and all anyway!Dinner was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We enjoyed a different wine with with each course. A good time was had by all. I will be enjoying lunch there tomorrow with friends. I will be leaving Paris on Monday, after being here for 6 weeks. I will be home for 6 weeks and think I will then be returning for another 6 weeks. Joan
  4. Holly, I think I know where you might be staying..if so, and fall is in the air in Paris, you should have some pretty colorful views! I have a feeling that you could put together something pretty special for dining. You could also get a bit of help from Dubernet and/or Davoli, in your neighborhood. Parisian friends have said it has been a cool and wet summer, but is nice now. Hard to tell what October will be like..anything from quite warm to quite chilly. You may have to play it by ear for dining terraces with color. Enjoy your planning... Joan
  5. I guess you could say that I am a Christian Constant fan, too! I always stay in the Bourdonnais/Rapp/St. Dominique area with Eiffel Tower apartment views. I think you could say that with my early arrival time that it works out perfect for me to have my arrival day lunch at Les Cocottes. I always vist a bit with Christian who strolls between his 4 places along Christian Constant's part of St. Dominique! I always dine at all 4 of his restaurants along with Au Bon Accueil, Le Clos des Gourmet, Le Florimond is always on my list. La Cuisine can be a good choice. I have also enjoyed 153 Grenelle. I did find this spot http://www.au-petit-sud-ouest.fr/ the one on Bourdonnais..if you are a foie gras person you will like it. The grande salad is a real winner. Casual place. They also have a dessert deli and do sell foie gras. Menu is same for lunch or dinner. Not exactly heart healthy, but stay a month or longer, as I do, and you can enjoy more than once! I'm sorry, but my L'Ami Jean experiences have not been good. Yes, I know what a favorite it is! I do enjoy a Sunday lunch at l'Obe(formerly l'Obelisque) in the Crillon. They have come to enjoy my regular dining by giving me free Champagne (Taittainger, of couyrse), extra "sides" offferred and even ask if I would like a 2nd dessert! Can't even finish the first! They treat those who dine with me in the same manner! I have many friends asking if they can join me at the Crillon for Sunday lunch..not brunch. A fun thing after l'Obe is to wander over to the Bar Vencome in the Ritz and have a cocktail of some sort, to round out the afternoon of slumming! What's nice is that I can jump on the # 42 bus and be there in minutes! I will be returning to Paris...and my little area of the 7th..the first of November for a 6 week stay. I will get to see all the Christmas decorations and take a walk across Pont Alma and stroll up ave. Montaigne and see all the decorations and then go on the Rond Point and Cjamps Elysees. Pretty special. Enjoy, Joan
  6. Ptipois, How were they? Did you enjoy either, or both? Thanks, Joan
  7. Do you mean that it is a combination of both Vin sur Vin and Fermin le Barbier together? That is interesting.... Joan
  8. I thought the oysters at Fables were the best I had ever eaten til the ones at l'Obelisque...I don't know what # they were, but have never seen such huges, fat things!! Maybe they were exceptional ones on that particular day! Interesting re your comparison..glad there was not a big difference in the cost or you would have been disappointed! I am in the midst of working on a month of dining mid April - mid May. I try combining it with areas that I want to be in along with must do restaurants and the great many others that I think I might like to try. Then there are the ones that you always repeat. I'm starting with some 85 wihout my regulars! I cannot eat two large meals a day..so you see, I quickly run out of time! I'm sure that some of my friends think I am nuts!
  9. Randy, When In Paris in Dec. at l'Obelisque I had some Gillardeau oysters. They were the fattest most wonderful oysters I had ever eaten. A few nights previous to this I had oysters at Fables des la Fontaine. I thought they were great..but not like the Gillardeau's. I did some searching and this is what I found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gillardeau_oysters Enjoy... Joan
  10. I would say all 4 of the Constant restaurants, l'Obelisque at the Crillon for a nice spot, Les Saveurs de Flora was a recent good experience. You can try calling Daniel at Spring right away from the US. I always call about 5:30 AM EST and Daniel usually answers the phone. Who knows he just might have a concellation for you. A charming little bistro is Cafe Max on laMotte Picquet...a block from Le Florimond, wich is another good spot...153 Grenelle... Enjoy.... Joan
  11. A little update re the oyster that I had at l'Obelisque on Dec. 14th. We had been to Les Fables de la Fontaine a few night before when I enjoyed their Cancale oysters. I couldn't believe the oysters at l'Obelisque..magnifique! I did a bit of research on them. I was not familiar with the name: Gillardeau..here is what I found: Gillardeau oysters are produced by the Gillardeau family and their small private company. It was founded in 1898 in Bourcefranc-le-Chapus near La Rochelle and the Île d’Oléron in western France. "A French Family Dynasty Reinvents the Oyster", New York Times (October 26, 2008). Retrieved on 27 October 2008. "The family’s small private company, founded 110 years ago here by the sea near La Rochelle and the Île d’Oléron in western France, produces only “spéciales,” oysters that are fleshier and, consequently, more expensive than the standard Here is a recipe from the Michelin 3 star restaurant Troisgros with the Gillardeau oysters: Troisgros Warm Oysters wrapped in Sorrel with Almonds - The wonderfully firm Gillardeau oysters is what makes this dish. They even stay firm after being warmed slightly. They are wrapped in sorrel leaves that become a bit wilted from being heated, and then topped with a sliced almond. Add contrasts of sour lemons and a crunchy nuttiness, some butter and then lemon, and you have a textbook example of the Cuisine Acidulee which occupies so much of Michel Troisgros's interest. Enjoy.... Joan
  12. Voila le dernier repas (The Last Supper!)!!!! Does this call for a big cry???? We had such a great time last week at l'Obelisque that we cancelled our lunch at Drouant to have our last in the Crillon. Joan has sent an e-mail to the hotel telling them what great service we had the last time so we were welcomed with open arms upon arrival. We were seated at the same table. Quelle surprise! We ordered champagne for our aperitif and when it came, we were told that they are compliments of the Crillon!! Taittinger, they were!!!!!! Mme. J started with Huitres de chez Gillsrdeau - the fattest oysters and most delicious ones you'd find. It is even fatter than the ones served at Les Fables de la Fontaine. Mme. L had her last Foie Gras de canard de Landes (she just have to have them) sprinkled with some poivre noir et sel de Guerande. For the plat principal, Mme. J has a Homard en salade, mangue, coeur de iceberg, vinaigrette curry (her favorite thing to order in this place). A glass of 2007 Alsace Riesling Cuvee Albert accompanied the lobster. Mme. L had a Gigot d'agneau en tranche (bien rose), haricot coco piments. A glass of 2000 Pessac Leognan, Chateau Olivier was a good dmatch with the lamb. Charlotte Poire/Caramel for Mme. J and Millefeuille a la Vanille <Bourbon> for Mme. L and coffee after finished off the meal, accompanied by a plate of mignardise - mini macarons au caramel de beuerre salee et des quelques chocolats. An old man across the room and directly facing Lilia, thought that the two ladies across the room was watching him. He told our waiter that he thought we had our eye on him (the waiter said "he wished!!!"). It turned out that he's been lunching there for over 20 years, he is 94 years old and has been a widower for 15-----. When he stood up, waved to us goodbye,he really looked 94........ Joan will have a date with him when she gioes back in the Spring. That would be a lot of fun to see what he can do when they converse with Joan's less that passable french!!!! That's all for now.............
  13. grace3

    Cafe Max

    Just a little note about a funky bistrot that exudes charm in both decor and the charming owner, Valdo Riva! It is located at 7, ave de la Motte Picquet. If you happen to go there mention that you were sent by Joan from NC..hopefully you will not be asked to leave! We had agreat party there on Friday evening..til 1:00 AM. Fun for all, including a truly American gift for Valdo..an Indian headband with 2 feathers! Some good food, many items with Perigord truffles. All enjoyed. Give it a try for lunch or for dinner. You might be surprised. Joan
  14. grace3

    Paul Bocuse

    Mai oui, How could we forget our wonderful Daniel Rose from the list!! Joan
  15. Randy - what a big coincidence...I was at Les Cocottes at lunch today but was ahead of you. Had the cocotte of the day, dessert, wine and my special coffee for 31 euros...... Lilia was at Secco later in the day buying some bread for a little party we're having tonight at the apartment for drinks. She also got some magret de Canard sechee at Dubernet. We're then going to Cafe Max on 7 avenue La Motte Picquet at around 9-9:30. It is a small, funky bistro that exudes charm. If you'd like to join us, please come and ask for Joan. Valdo (the charming owner) will be happy to receive you. a bientot............
  16. grace3

    Tante Louise

    Today, we were amidst the Embassy people; several business lunchers; shoppers and two visitors from the good U.S. of A. The setting is an old classic Burgundian Bistro on the rue Boisy d'Anglas. The service was good, food was classic (just like your Aunt's which is what we expect from Tante Louise, oui?) and the people watching was excellent! Little bites of saumon fumee and creme fraiche accompanied our coupe de champagne which we continued to drink with our entrees, Mme. J having the "Marbre de rouget et pommes de terre larde". This is a terrine of fish and thin slices of potatoes larded so the appearance is marbelized. Mme. L had the "Ravioles de Royan au jus de poulette, creme de champignons. This are very tiny raviolis filled with cheese and mushrooms, finished off with creme if mushrooms and light chicken stock. With the plats principal, we had glasses of Santenay (1er Cru) which has been bottled for Bernard Loiseau. That went well with "Supreme de volaille poche, legumes au bouillon" for Mme. J and a "Blanquette de veau a l'ancienne, riz pilaw" pour Mme. L. These are classical french dishes sthat do not need translating. For dessert, we had "Clafoutis de noix de macadamia et poire" and "Panna cotta aux fruits exotiques". With our coffe, came a plate of mignardises - pates de fruits, mini financiers and caramels (unfortunately not in the class of Jacques Genin caramels...) The sun was shining and it is a good afternoon to walk and see some of the stalls at the Champs Elysees Marche de Noel. We were at the opening of the Saint Sulpice Market which is much better than the one in the Champs Elysees. a bientot et bisous de Paris.....
  17. Thanks to Both for clarification!!
  18. Bonjour de Paris! Dinner at Les Fables de la Fontaine. It will always have the Constant touch. Cold evening but no wind so walking La Bourdonnais and rue Constant part of rue Saint Dominique was great for window shopping. Spotted a magnum of La Grande Dame but just ignored the widow Clicquot and went to 131 rue Constant/rue Saint Dominique. Still thinking of La Grande Dame which does not match the pocketbook, we opted for 2 flutes of Demoiselle Parisienne. Hey, any sparkling wine would fill the longing at this point (LOL!). Mme. J had the huitres speciales Gillardeau numero 3 (we surmised that was plumper and bigger that numero 1...) and that was delicieux. Mme. L had a Bouillon leger d'Ossau Irraty, gambas rotie au lard, creme glacee au piquillo. That was one lovely dish - a round piece of the Basque cheese topped with a large roasted prawn, topped again by an oval scoop of frozen creme of piquillos (a Basque red pepper), all floating in a light bouillon with a slight foam. That could have been dinner but we have to conitnue, n'est-ce pas? There was something in their menu we have not seen before: "Maigre de chalut, croustillants de topinambours et chataignes, jus au chorizo". We both had to order that one! Maigre is a deep-water fish, a sort of cross between a bass and a sea bream; firm in texture with a deep-sea taste to it. Chalut is a small fast boat that fishermen take for deep-sea fishing. The maitre-d was very pleased to explain to us and he enjoyed coming by every once in a while and making sure les mesdames are alright. With all that, forgot to ask what a topinambour was but it had the taste of patate douce; together with the pieces of chestnuts inside the croustillant (they came like a couple of large nems) made the dish more delightful - salty, sweet, crunchy and slight bitter taste from the green herbs added to the plate. WOW, I'd like to have that one again. a big BRAVO to Sebastien et David(Fables two chefs). Riz au lait a la confiture de figues, creme legere de pain d'epices pour Mmme. J. It would be a shame to translate that to just plain Rice Pudding, don't you think? Gateau Basque was on offer that night pour Mme. L which, of course, does not need translating. We have invited the Swiss couple from Bern sitting next to us at dinner for coffee and some of the best caramels (my humble opinion). It is from the new shop of Jacques Genin at 133 ru de Turenne on the 3rd. IT IS WORTH THE SPLURGE! a bientot et bisous de Paris......
  19. grace3

    Jacques Genin

    We just came back from there but luckier than you Randy, because we were able to buy the mangue/fruit dela passion. Almost fainted when we didn't see the flavor on the counter but my friend, Lilia, had to ask. Imagine coming all the way from San Francisco and going home without her favorite caramels which she first tasted at Le Comptoir (Yves Camdeborde - mango flavor only). Guess what? It was in the refrigerated section. As explained it is so light and delicate in flavor that those caramels need to be refrigerated. With the new, beautiful shop with modern clean lines, his prices went way up. Caramels are 110 euros/kilo; nougats are 130 euros/kilo. The chocolates we tasted wwere divine but the caramels, we've never tasted anything like it. Monsieur Le Roux, move over. Believe me, these caramels have the lightest most delicate feel in one's mouth. BRAVO, MONSIEUR GENIN!!!!
  20. Cool and brisk Tuesday morning - lots of French Fathers walking their children to school all cutely bundled up, the children...not the fathers.... Lovely to be inside the cafe having our grands cafe cremes with our morning croissants.....la bonne vie de touristes a Paris.... Got to rush - we have to buy up those scarves on rue Augereau. Unfortunately, there's only one left. Joan needed more so we will go on another adventure somewhere else. On to Le Violon d'Ingres. We started with flutes of "Demoiselle Parisienne" (champagne made for Christian Constant). J started with "Salade de noix de Saint Jacques" - those scallops were fat and cooked just right ---so tender they might just melt in your mouth. That was accompanied by glass of Sancerre blanc. L had the "Tranche de Foie Gras d'Oie brioche aux Gelee de Pinot Noir". It's as good as if one is in Perigord. Half glass of the demoiselle accompanied that one. Didn't think we can handle a Sauternes at this time; besides Sauternes make L sleepy (it's too early in the day for a nap). J had a "Canard Croise" - half a wild duck caramelized and coated with crushed pistachios, served with pureed and sauteed quince, served with a bunch of lambs lettuce. This was accompanied by a glass of Rousillon. L had "Supreme de Bar Croustillant aux Amandes, Sauce Ravigote" accompanied by a glass of Sancerre Red. This is the crispiest croustillant we've ever had. At this point, Christian comes in the restaurant, stopped by to chat and of course, to give us "des gros bisous" to tell us that Catherine (his wife) will be coming in later to say hello. Dessert time: Gelee de Marrons for J (a layer of chestnut cream topped by a layer of mascarpone and topped again by a layer of red fruit jelly); and L had Souffle chaud aux sauce caramel de beurre salee - so light is the souffle paired with the richness of the the butter caramel sauce - just right as before the desserts were serve Catherine Constant came in abd bought us more Demoiselle Parisienne and presented J with one of the aprons from the restaurant. That would make a great souvenir to take back to North Carolina. And a great way to end the afternoon. On to our new gorgeous apartment - Cotes du Rhone of Paris Perfect. I think we'll stay in now for the rest of our trip. It is so beautiful!!!! More later......... a bientot et bisous de Paris......
  21. No, the meringue was pink but not rose-flavored...... there were tiny bits of fraises in them but not substantial enough to give it a strawberry flavor. There was a group having a party (a family-owned one, it seems because the old man and his two sons have the same forehead and those prominent noses!!!!!); next to ours was a couple of businessmen who both ordered a mixed plate of different pates and foie gras with one ordering the special plat of risoto with large slices of black truffles (can't miss it as the aroma wafts over to our table as soon as the lid of the beautiful white casserole was taken off.......wish we've ordered one of those!!!) and three ladies on our other side who's celebrating somebody's birthday. My friend Lilia is doing these great reports for us.... Joan
  22. Lunch today is at Les Saveurs de Flora, 36 avenue George V. The dining room is so whimsical decorated with pink butterflies, orchids, pink water glasses - even the big chandelier is studded with different sizes of pink butterflies. Sitting in that room makes you feel like you're in a roomfull of cotton candy!!!!! For our amuse bouche, glasses of chipped "soupe aux legumes vertes" served with rillettes of pork with olive oil bread squares. A glass of Muscat went well with it. With the rest of the Muscat, Joan had a veloute de potiron served with a dollop of cream. Lilia's first course was a Tatin de boudin aux pommes vertes. Deliceux! A glass of Saint Nicolas de Borgeuil was served with a "Couscous de Rascasse aux legumes d'hiver aux Moules, sauce Corse". Joan enjoyed that one. Lilia had confit de Caille, petits legume a l'oriental saute en wok, accompanied aby a glass of petit Bordeaux. For dessert, Joan had the Poire Melba and I opted for the specialite de la maison - a waffle with marrons glacee, chantilly de Nutella, glace aux marrons and some warm chocolate sauce. WOW!!!! With our cafe creme (for Joan) and espresso for me, came the mignardise - tiny madeleines and meringue and a very thin "sucettes" (lollipop) made of fresh lemon juice resting on what we thought were chocolates but turned out to be made of metal. C'est domage!!!!!
  23. I always try to make it to l'Obelisque when in Paris. I had made reservations for my travel guest to join me yesterday. I must say we had a very special afternoon at the Crillon..the friendliness, service could not have been better.. Sunday afternoon - Just got back from our lunch from l'Obelisque (Crillon). We had the best reception - great service. Started with flutes of champagne (what else but Taittinger!) I started with a risotto aux girolles et roquette (the risotto was served over a puree of rocquette (arugula) topped with the sauteed girolles with the right touch of garlic. I mentioned how I was so looking forward to having girolles as we get chanterelles in SF but not girolles. A few minutes later, a mini-cocottes came and our server announced that a little birdie told them that we don't get the genuine girolles in San Francisco so an extra serving has arrived for me. Joan had a creamy soupe de volaille avec crevettes, coriande et gingembre. In honor of the season of chasse, we both had the Lapin de Garenne en civet a la Frrancaise, puree de celeri. It was rich! What a wonderful game dish. Service was superbe - wine is poured when needed - even our water glasses seemed to be always full - those house made rolls looked so good but I did not touch any because I did not want to fill up on carbs. Lovely millefeuille a la vanille "Bourbon" was a thousand layers of flaky pastry that is one of Crillon's specialty - served with just a touch of coulis de framboise. Les petits pots de creme en vanille, cafe et chocolat servi avec langue-de-chat. A little plate of mignardise (petits macarons de chocolat et de chocolats framboise) rounded up the coffee service. When we ate the little mignardise, another plate showed up. It's not as if we look like we're starving, au contraire. We were asked when we're leaving for the States and when we told him the 15th, he ssaid he hoped for us to be back and dine with them before our return home. What a fine Sunday it turned out to be. We visited a little Marche de Noel de Crillon before we went out to the cold air at the Place de la Concorde.
  24. We had lunch at Spring on the 5th. Catherine Constant and Carolyn Byrne(Paris Perfect) joined my travel friend and me for a fun time. Catherine rarely gets out and this was an event for her. She looked around and asked if this was it..all of it?? Quite surprised with what she was seeing. We had a superb meal, great conversation and a fun afternoon! Our meal: We started with a potato soup with some thin crisp slices of potatoes topped by a poached oyster and a spoonful of chopped sauteed greens on top of that. Deliceux! It was followed by boneless breast of canette (bien rose) over a nicely cooked half parsnip, garnished with slices of betterave and young bettrave leaves (beets)with a touch of pureed artichaut and a dollop of creme fraiche. Need I say deliciex? Dessert was quartered apples crisp in the oven by a sprinkling of sugar; apple sauce and a dollop of cream on the side; followed by a demi-tasse de chocolat chaud topped by a mini financier. We had a bottle of Chablis Premier Cru and a bottle of Bourgogne Faverelles and our meal was served by Daniel Rose himself. Lovely meal - lovely afternoon. On Saturday at Les Cocottes we visited with Christian. Asked what Catherine had said about Spring. He commented that she had really enjoyed it. We talked about T the new location. Christian did know where the street was. Maybe, just maybe Christian will join us in the Spring for a visit to Spring's new location! A very talented and charming young man. Stay as you are, Daniel..you have a great following! Joan
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