Monday, September 1, 2014

First Day in Paris

I was going to create an entirely new blog for my sabbatical month in Paris, but blogger won't let me.  So... for now, at least, My Life in Food is also My Life in Paris.  (Which is largely the same thing, anyway.)

I arrived this morning after a three-plus-hour delay and made my way to the Universite Paris Descartes, where I have a one-month appointment as professeur invite (don't know how to insert diacriticals in blogger, sorry!)  After taking care of logistics and paperwork, I went across the street to a little cafe and had my first food in Paris (on this visit, anyway) -- an inauspiciously forgettable "club sandwich."  (Note to Paris:  You cannot compete with us in this area.  Stick with what you know.)

Later -- after a lovely hour sipping rose at a cafe with one of my host/collaborators -- I wandered aimlessly up boulevard Saint-Germain and down a side street, ending up at La Jacobin (59, rue St-Andre-des-Arts).  I didn't realize that it was mentioned in Lonely Planet and rated very high on tripadvisor -- I just thought the menu looked good, and reasonably priced.  The food was very good, but it had definitely been discovered by tourists -- everybody I overheard was speaking English.  A family of ten Asian people seated next to me ordered ten orders of escargots, which I thought was pretty funny.

As an entree (which means appetizer in French -- get used to it, Americans!), I had the foie gras terrine on pain d'epice, which was translated as gingerbread -- and sure enough, it was a circle of foie gras on a round of gingery bread.  Really super-yummy -- the sweetness and zest of the pain d'epice complemented the buttery, rich foie gras perfectly.  Even the little salad of minced greens drizzed with balsamic was delicious (except for the tomatoes, but that's just me).

For the plat (main course), I had duck leg confit, which was prepared perfectly (succulent, tender cut-with-a-fork meat and crisp, flavorful skin).  It came with some herbed roasted potatoes and vegetables -- those were just OK.

On the way back home, I stopped in a Carrefour market and picked up a few things for the apartment -- budget-wise and waistline-wise, it would not be wise (ha) to eat every meal out.  It's a pretty minimalist kitchen, with absolutely no pantry staples (not even salt and pepper), so we'll see what I can do with chicken breasts, haricots verts, radishes, mushrooms, ginger, an avocado, assorted charcuteries and cheese, soy sauce, olive oil, and fines herbes.  Plus the mini salt & pepper shakers I swiped from the plane. :-)  Oh, and of course a bottle of wine!  There's a boulanger right across the street from the apartment, so I'm all set there.

Stay tuned for the next installation!

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