It is no secret that I am a food lover, foodie, chef (former chef), whatever you’d like to call me. I am always infatuated with delicious dishes and though I strive to eat healthy, food is a great passion of mine. But, the food we had in Paris was on quite another level than anything I am used to.
When planning our trip, Casey and I found restaurants first, and charted our daily course around our reservations. She was kind enough to call and reserve us tables at each of the places we chose to dine. My French is quite poor these days. She also had to call almost every place we went, because we were always running a few minutes late – you know, girls take forever to get ready. Then we were always commuting on foot, stopping to take pictures along the way, and regularly getting turned around (thankfully never too lost).
Our restaurant list included:
- L’atelier Gambey – Pierre Sang
- Breizh Cafe
- Eric Kayser boulanger
- Pierre Hermé
I am dividing this up into 3 posts, because I clearly have far too many words to say about these dining experiences. I completely understand if you’d like to skip these posts!
On Saturday after we arrived, we took the Metro to our hotel, were thankfully able to check in early and freshen up, then we headed to lunch. We had decided to try the tasting menu at one of Pierre Sang’s restaurants. He was a Top Chef semi-finalist in France and has multiple restaurants in the Marais. Read this article from The Paris Kitchen for more info about where we ate lunch. The tasting was 5 courses, and we were served the dishes without knowing what we were eating. After eating several bites, the waiter would come and ask if we could guess the ingredients. Casey and I are both (too, perhaps? no such thing?) obsessed with food, so we were in our element.
The first course was seared mackerel with an aioli type sauce with lemon, coriander, and paprika I believe. It was served with lemon leaves, thin potato crisps, and dots of lemon curd.
The second course was daikon soup/puree with prawns (gambas), herring caviar, fennel coulis, frisee lettuce, and potato crisps.
The third course was pork. It was a cut near the shoulder, served with the jus, beet puree, spicy miso sauce, brussels sprout leaves.
The fourth course was a cheese (I cannot remember the name) with yuzu marmalade. The yuzu was bitter and sweet, and we loved it.
The fifth course was some type of blueberry corn cake that was not overly sweet. It was served with fresh blueberries, blueberry compote, a blueberry sorbet that was fantastic – deep, bold blueberry flavor, a piece of meringue, chantilly cream, and some type of mousse.
We each had a glass of wine – Casey had chablis and I had chardonnay. I wish I had written down the names! I did not record the wine we enjoyed during this trip, and I regret it now.
For dinner on Saturday, we wanted something more casual. Casey found several ideas for restaurants that strayed far from traditional French, and we chose Hero. This restaurant was small, and served food that was a spin on Korean bbq and fried chicken. We started with an arugula salad with nuts, and a citrus shiso dressing (I think). Then we had a pork bun with some type of slaw and fresh jalapenos. It was incredible. For the main plate, we had 3 types of Korean fried chicken: plain, sweet and sour, and spicy. We also had cocktails…Casey had one with spritz, prosecco, etc, and I had a whiskey drink with pear. The flavor was quite smoky, and tasted mostly like scotch, but it was good.
Hero had a fun vibe, and we were seated upstairs at close, hi-top style tables. The servers were very friendly and helpful. I would certainly recommend this restaurant, especially if you’d like to stray away from traditional French fare.
So that is day 1! Stay tuned for more restaurant details!