Une mélange du mercredi

June 24, 2009 at 10:27 PM | Posted in Paris 2009, Paris markets | 2 Comments

A few random Wednesday thoughts…

Today on my way from Alliance Française to work, I cut through the Luxembourg Gardens as usual, and again there was an orchestral concert in the covered performance space in the northeast corner of the garden where I saw those kids perform on Sunday.  The sun was shining so it is hard to see the non-shaded parts of the garden in the video–but given what I have heard about the weather in the U.S., I am not complaining about having a sunny day!

Last night I met up with Liesl, one of my friends from grad school, who lived in Paris with her family when she was younger and was back in France for a wedding in Brittany.  It was great to see her and have an alfresco meal sitting on a patio at a restaurant in the Latin Quarter.  Although the company was fantastic (one of her closest friends just got to Paris for a visit yesterday, and we met up with another HSPH alumna and her husband, so we had a really interesting group) I have to say that this is the third time I’ve had a rather uninspiring, and uninspired, meal off of Rue Mouffetard, which is very cute and fun, but also very student-oriented.  I think I have learned my lesson once and for all that a 15-euro formule (which is a kind of set menu where you can choose one each from a limited range of appetizers, entrees, and desserts) is just not worth it, because in this case you really do get what you pay for.  If you are going to spend 15 or 20 euros (with wine) on dinner, you might as well spend 5 to 10 more to have it be really good, and either eat out less often or save somewhere else to compensate.

And…I have definitively found my neighborhood caviste, or wine retailer.  There is a small independent wine shop on the corner of R. St. Honore and R. Lingerie, literally steps from my apartment (across the street from the award-winning bakery) called Caviste Contemporaine, and it’s pretty small but very thoughtfully stocked with a wide range of French wines at a variety of prices, AND they have a plate of chocolate-covered almond pralines at the counter to nibble on while you chat with the caviste and weigh the options.  I told him (in French) what I was planning on having for dinner and asked if he could suggest a wine for it.  He thought for a bit and suggested that I try a rosé, since I was making pasta with zucchini.  Last year when I came to Paris I definitely had a prejudice against rosé–all I could think of was sickeningly sweet White Zinfandel–but I have had it many times since (it’s popular here in the summer, since it is served chilled), and this particular one was really good.  Fruity but not sweet.

Plus, the bottle is “hermetically sealed” (doesn’t that sound intense?) which means that instead of a cork made of wood or rubber, the cap is a completely non-porous glass stopper with a rubber ring to hold it in place, and the top was sealed in plastic.  He explained to me that this prevents any air at all from getting into the bottle and allows you to keep it in the fridge for over a week without a noticeable change in quality.  AND, we only had to switch to English once or twice–mostly because I hadn’t yet learned the words for “hermetically sealed.”  Granted, he spoke slowly because he could tell that I was still learning French, and the linguistic style was not especially elegant on my part, but it was a nice confidence booster to have a real conversation.  And alongside the glass of wine in this picture you can see the meringue that I bought from the boulanger/patissiere and had for dessert.

I realize that after going on and on about the cork, the photo cuts that part off.  Oops!

I realize that after I went on and on about the not-cork, the photo cuts that part off. Oops!



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  1. Cher ami!

    Tu me manque!! Je souhaite que nous pourrions partager un verre de vin ensemble. La Californie est amusement, mais pas aussi aventureuse que votre été ! Email bientôt ! (I think, I put it in the translator app on my computer)…


  2. France est trés jolie, mais je voudrais goûter un citron de ton arbre! Comme ça va en California? Boire un bière pour moi!

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