Daily Archives: July 2, 2013

Parisian Cuisine

After our trip to Greece we had a several day layover in Paris before flying back to Seattle. We used it as an opportunity to site see and further our culinary adventure. While the food in Greece was simple, fresh, and delicious, the food in Paris is at another gastronomic level. We had several exceptional meals. I’ve highlighted a few of the plates and restaurants below.

Our first culinary experience in Paris was Monday night when we arrived in the late afternoon from Athens. We walked from our hotel (Hotel Minerve) to the Pantheon, but arrived 5 minutes after the last group is allowed in. So we went to a local bar call Bar Le Village and bought Clara her first croque-monsieur, perhaps the best one I’ve ever had. Its was a cheesy emmentaler bliss and a couple of delicious Belgium beers (although shocked at the Euro to Dollar conversion that made each of these beers $10 each).

Croque-Monsieur

Croque-Monsieur

Croque-Monsieur

Croque-Monsieur

Our first full meal in Paris was also Monday night. The hotel recommended we eat nearby (in the Left Bank) at Le Petit Pontoise, a brasserie featured in the Top 100 Parisian Restaurants Guide. While the prices shocked us (having just come from eating in Greece seeing 26 Euro entrees was unexpected) the meal was delicious. After eating here we decided to splurge all week and eat well while in Paris.

Salade de haricots verts aux écrevisses

Salade de haricots verts aux écrevisses

Foie gras aux figues

Foie gras aux figues

Range chicken and mashed potatoes topped with foie gras

Range chicken and mashed potatoes topped with foie gras (we think)

Crusted rack of lamb with wild garlic

Crusted rack of lamb with wild garlic

Delicious beef that I forgot to note what it was called

Delicious beef that I forgot to note what it was called

Creme Brûlée

Creme Brûlée

Given the high cost of the meal the night before we stuck to amazing French croissants and cafe au laits the next morning. But after walking the Pantheon we stopped for lunch at a little sidewalk cafe when we size an American football-sized meringue in the window. We HAD to have it. As it turned out we also had to have another croque-monsieur (not as good as last night’s, but still delicious) and a ham quiche.

Giant Meringue!

Giant Meringue!

Ham Quiche with (apparently) extra ham

Ham Quiche with (apparently) extra ham

Croque-monsieur

Croque-monsieur

Its a good thing we did lots of walking. We toured Notre-Dame, then went to the Louve (not knowing it was closed on Tuesdays) and then walked all the way back to our hotel. Tawny had spotted a little bistro earlier in the day near the Seine on a cute little side street and we decided to check it out. It was a French restaurant, but the owners we from Corsica so it had an interesting flair – Bistro de la B

Bistro de la B

Bistro de la B

Their pre fixe menu was very reasonable (20 Euro a person for 3 courses) and the wine reasonable too (24 Euro a bottle – and great!). Since the pre fixe only had 3 choices for each course and there were 3 of us we decided to order the whole menu. It was one of the best meals we had, but the I have to admit (and hopefully the owners never read this blog) the sausage was difficult for us to eat. I’ve eaten a lot of challenging food in my travels around the world and will eat most everything, but the “rustic” texture and periodic “crunch” of the sausage was more than our American palate could take. Not wanting to insult the chef we wrapped the sausage in a napkin and later on during our walk in Luxembourg Gardens we slipped it to a very appreciative dog.

Menu @ Bistro de la B

Menu @ Bistro de la B

Great wine suggestion by the owner

Great wine suggestion by the owner

Gaspacho Maison

Gaspacho Maison

Wraps au fromage

Wraps au fromage

OMG! Salade de Champignons de Paris, with parmesan

OMG! Salade de Champignons de Paris, with parmesan

Onglet de Boeuf, sauce å l'oignon

Onglet de Boeuf, sauce å l’oignon

Andouillette (sausage) de Troyes å la moutarde

Andouillette (sausage) de Troyes å la moutarde

Dos de Cabillavel aux petits légumes (fish)

Dos de Cabillavel aux petits légumes (fish)

Prunes and ice cream

Prunes and ice cream

Créme Caramel

Créme Caramel

Mousse au Chocolat

Mousse au Chocolat

Wednesday we went to Versailles and had an absolutely disappointing meal in the gardens. I won’t bother discussing it. But that night we met up with colleagues from my work and ate at another restaurant from the Top 100 Parisian Restaurants Guide called Restaurant Victor. Another fantastic meal. My cod was to simply die for. I must try and recreate this.

Salmon and avocado

Salmon and avocado

Heirloom tomatoes and a special kind of mozzarella flown in from Italy that day.

Heirloom tomatoes and a special kind of mozzarella flown in from Italy that day.

Aritichoke

Aritichoke

Risotto à la crème de Homard et Petits Pois

Risotto à la crème de Homard et Petits Pois

Cod in a ginger and lemongrass broth

Cod in a ginger and lemongrass broth

Thursday was our last day in Paris and we did a lot of walking. Seeing the Towers of Notre-Dame, Saint Chapelle, and Musee d’Orsay. We stopped for lunch behind the d’Orsay and found a packed out restaurant called Café de l’Empire. We had to wait nearly 45 minutes to get a table and almost gave up, but it smelled and looked so good we stuck it out. This may have been my favorite restaurant and meal in Paris. It was SO good. We had a simple meal of roast chicken. some open face cheese sandwiches, and a great little dessert plate. Everything about it – every bite – was perfection. Would love to return and eat dinner here.

Roasted chicken and mashed potatoes

Roasted chicken and mashed potatoes

Incredible cheese melted on incredible bread.

Incredible cheese melted on incredible bread.

Incredible cheese melted on incredible bread with bacon and potato. OMG!

Incredible cheese melted on incredible bread with bacon and potato. OMG!

Cutest dessert tray - ever. Toujours!

Cutest dessert tray – ever. Toujours!

Our last meal in Paris was at Le Buisson Ardent. It was exquisite. We had two pre fixe menus and they were so nice to split the one pre fixe for Tawny and Clara to share, lovingly plating each half plate of food split as if it was a full order. Very classy. It made the meal. Highly recommend.

Sesame Crispy goat cheese, aubergine and sundried tomatoes, pesto and grilled coppa

Sesame Crispy goat cheese, aubergine and sundried tomatoes, pesto and grilled coppa

Nice candied vegetables with sherry and roasted almonds, burrata with argan oil and smoked duck breast

Nice candied vegetables with sherry and roasted almonds, burrata with argan oil and smoked duck breast

Supreme chicken breast "roast & lacquered"with satay, smoked bacon emulsion, creamy polenta, shiitake & onions

Supreme chicken breast “roast & lacquered”with satay, smoked bacon emulsion, creamy polenta, shiitake & onions

Supreme chicken breast "roast & lacquered"with satay, smoked bacon emulsion, creamy polenta, shiitake & onions

Supreme chicken breast “roast & lacquered”with satay, smoked bacon emulsion, creamy polenta, shiitake & onions

 Cod a la plancha, melted fennel and turmeric, péquillos & chorizo ​​Bellota, aioli sauce

Cod a la plancha, melted fennel and turmeric, péquillos & chorizo ​​Bellota, aioli sauce

Shortbread with strawberries, mascarpone cream with vanilla and spicy wine

Shortbread with strawberries, mascarpone cream with vanilla and spicy wine

Millefeuille "minute" praline and caramelised hazelnuts

Millefeuille “minute” praline and caramelised hazelnuts

Categories: Paris | Tags: | Leave a comment

Grecian Meals

I loved the food across Greece. It is so much better than the Americanized Greek food we commonly see here. What makes a great Greek meal? Add one part atmospheric Greek taverna (preferably by beach), two parts wait for the sun to go down so and it cools off enough to have an appetite, combine fresh ingredients, a sense of culinary adventure, chilled wine (red or white), cold beer, and a little ouzo.

These are some images from some of our favorite meals.

Breakfast usually consisted of yogurt and honey with fruit (the honey in Greece is unbelievably flavorful) or open face omelets.

Yogurt and honey with fruit and fig

Yogurt and honey with fruit and fig

Greek Omelet

Greek Omelet

Lunch was often gyros which we didn’t eat nearly enough of.

Gyros

Gyros

Pork Gyros

Pork Gyros

Chicken gyros

Chicken gyros

Meals always started with fresh ingredients:

Garlic on sale from back of truck in Skiathos

Garlic on sale from back of truck in Skiathos

Fresh fish for sale from back of van in Skiathos

Fresh fish for sale from back of van in Skiathos

Fresh fish for sale

Fresh fish for sale

Fresh fish for sale

Fresh fish for sale

Before dinner happy hour would usually be on our boat or in a taverna with beer or wine and snacks

Mythos - Hellenic Beer

Mythos – Hellenic Beer

Mythos - Hellenic Beer

Mythos – Hellenic Beer

Skopelos cheese pie

Skopelos cheese pie

Pita cheese pie

Pita cheese pie

Meals often started with appetizers such as saganaki or fried eggplant

Eggplant sald
Eggplant salad
Vegetable croquettes
Vegetable croquettes
Fried eggplant
Fried eggplant
Fried eggplant
Fried eggplant
Eggplant and feta salad
Eggplant and feta salad
Toasted bread and oil
Toasted bread and oil
Fried zucchini
Fried zucchini
Tzatziki and olives
Tzatziki and olives
Saganaki - grilled or fried cheese
Saganaki – grilled or fried cheese
Fried eggplant
Fried eggplant

The Greek salad is a staple of every meal and always a cool crisp salty favorite

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Feta & Olives, Greek Salad

Feta & Olives, Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Greek salad

Greek salad

Greek salad

Greek salad

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

The octopus was aways fresh and delicious

Fresh caught octopus

Fresh caught octopus

Octopus salad

Octopus salad

Grilled octopus

Grilled octopus

Octopus salad in oil

Octopus salad in oil

Octopus salad in oil

Octopus salad in oil

The seafood was always fresh as well, but fish tended to be very expensive so we stuck with squid or prawns which were more affordable. Once we had bream, a rather bland whitefish.

Fresh fish

Fresh fish

Fresh fish

Fresh fish

Grilled Bream

Grilled Bream

Fresh Prawns

Fresh Prawns

Fresh prawns

Fresh prawns

Prawn salad

Prawn salad

Anchovies in oil

Anchovies in oil

Fried squid

Fried squid

Fried squid

Fried squid

The chicken souvlaki was another staple of each meal. At the BLO Taverna on Skopelos they had this incredible bacon wrapped souvlaki.

Chicken souvlaki with bacon and lemon

Chicken souvlaki with bacon and lemon

Chicken souvlaki

Chicken souvlaki

For dinner main courses we tended to share a variety of dishes to get tastes and flavors of the taverna and Greece.

Chickpea salad

Chickpea salad

Gnoci in browned butter

Gnoci in browned butter

Homemade tagliatelle with shrimp

Homemade tagliatelle with shrimp

Seared tuna

Seared tuna

Tuna salad

Tuna salad

Lamb in tomato sauce

Lamb in tomato sauce

Moussaka

Moussaka

Lamb in tomato sauce

Lamb in tomato sauce

Moussaka

Moussaka

Stuffed eggplant

Stuffed eggplant

Stuffed cabbage

Stuffed cabbage

Lamb with potatoes

Lamb with potatoes

Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara

Stewed veggies and cheese

Stewed veggies and cheese

Meatballs

Meatballs

Stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers

Moussaka

Moussaka

Now that I’m back in Seattle I want to return to Panos Kleftiko and order more authentic items from their menu.

Categories: Greece | Tags: | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.