Monday, September 1, 2015
My morning started with yogurt from La Fermiere. This was the best yogurt I had in France – creamy vanilla yogurt with chestnut puree.
You can see the vanilla beans in here! I took care of Alexandre for about 45 minutes in the morning while Maggie took a shower. We had breakfast together, then cleaned up and got dressed before he went to school.
Thankfully the weather was just PERFECT today. Not too hot, but still sunny. There was a breeze and the air was the freshest it’s been. We decided to spend our day in Paris today. This is what we see for about 2.5 hours every day on our way to and from Paris.
Today I made all the plans because yesterday was Seline’s day! First, I wanted to go to Du Pain et des Idees (Bread and Ideas), which in the St-Martin Canal. Last time we went, they were CLOSED! They recently reopened after their break in August. I bought lots of goodies because they are one of the top bakeries (maybe even the #1!) in Paris.
They are famous for the chausson aux pommes, which is an apple tart, so I ordered one of these. I had this for “breakfast” at around 11:30. My yogurt was not filling enough to last me from 7:30-11:30!
This is an original recipe by Du Pain et Des Idees and has half of a whole apple baked inside. The pastry was crusty, thick, and buttery perfection. If only this was hot and served with some milk.
Seline had a bacon-cheese pave first, but we were a little hungry, so I got a pain au chocolat for her too. I took the first bite – a big one – and savoured every crispy, buttery layer and the melt-in-your mouth Valhrona chocolate. Quality ingredients really do make a difference. That’s what French cooking is all about!
For lunch, we decided on Le Bosquet. We took the Metro to the Eiffel Tower area. It was this review, by Kevin and Amanda, that made me decide on Le Bosquet for my very last meal in Paris. Favourite meal in Paris? A must-see? YES. I needed to try this.
Le Bosquet from the outside! We sat inside today. Unfortunately our waiter was not very nice and actually the epitome of a snobby French waiter. 😦 He didn’t seem passionate or knowledgeable about the food and didn’t give us a smile once, despite the hundreds of “mercis” we said.
There was only one word to describe this place: modern. The terrasse was filled with locals and some tourists, but it wasn’t touristy despite being in the Eiffel Tower area. We got here at around 2:00.
We were given complimentary baguette to begin. Seline liked these a lot and ended up finishing the entire basket. :O
Seline ordered the combo meal – a starter, main dish, and dessert for 24 Euros. For the appetizer, she chose the half avocado with shrimp and a salad. I cut the avocado into thin Cindy-slices for her to top the baguette pieces with.
I tried a bite. The filling was kind of like mayo + ketchup and I found the avocado a tad too firm.
Of course, I had the ravioli gratin for my main dish. I don’t even know how to explain this dish because I won’t do it justice. It looks so simple and unassuming, like Kevin and Amanda pointed out, but this dish was heaven in a gratin plate.
I freaked out after my first bite and Seline kept staring at me with wide eyes because I couldn’t control myself. This was so, SO cheesy. I think I detected ricotta, emmenthal, a bit of chevre, and spinach pureed into the ravioli. The sauce was simply cream, and it was topped with more grated cheese and breadcrumbs. I savoured every single bite and tried to eat as slowly as possible. This was one of the best things I’ve eaten all vacation. 😀
The salad was only okay, though. I thought the leaves were bitter and the dressing a bit strange.
Seline’s main was the duck confit, which was served with pan-fried potatoes and the same salad. She thought it was good, but not as good as my duck confit from Josephine Chez Dumonet.
Her combo meal came with dessert, and she chose the two scoops of ice cream: one vanilla and one strawberry. It’s funny because those two flavours just happen to be her favourites! I was debating between the tarte tatin (apple pie) and creme brulee, but ultimately decided on the apple pie because I’d already had a creme brulee at Bistrot Richelieu.
I’m not sure if I made the right choice. This was good, but I wasn’t in foodie heaven. I guess I still had that incredible ravioli in my mind and this didn’t quite live up to those standards. I was hoping for a thick, buttery tart crust with sliced apple, but these big apple chunks were tender and melted into a thin crust. Still good! The waiter added a scoop of vanilla ice cream free of charge. 🙂 I finished it all – this slice was BIG!
Our last time walking back to the Metro – AKA our last walk in Paris!
We got a final peek at the Eiffel Tower but only saw the tip.
We zipped home and arrived at about 5:15. I was so sleepy on the RER and bus! We made sushi for dinner.
Maggie taught Seline to fry the tempura while I played with Alexandre. Then we made the sushi rolls together and she showed us some interesting tips. I made my own roll. Unfortunately there was no crab or avocado, but we used fried egg, cucumber, and fried shrimp with mayo.
Seline made her own roll, too 🙂 The knives were hard to use and I wish we had a bigger cutting board! Seline’s “sushi salad” was apparently very yummy.
I had also picked up a loaf of bread, called “Pain des Amis” from Du Pain et des Idees. We cut it up and spread garlic-herb cream cheese on it. So good!
I’m so happy that I had some of Paris’s best bread (with the best spread!) on my last day.
For dessert, we had quite a spread! Some treats here are from Tholoniat, others from Liberte par Benoit Castel. We have a pistachio-raspberry cream tart, a chocolate choux, a millefeuille, a vanilla flan, two financiers (one “nature” and one chocolate), and a chocolate tart.
Liberte is on the left, Tholoniat on the right.
The chocolate choux was one of my favourites! There was dark chocolate cream in here.
This was my plate. All four of us had a quarter of each pastry.
The millefeuille was really good, and the chocolate tart rich and dark.
This pistachio-raspberry tart had a very interesting taste and fluffy texture. I think there was mascarpone in here? The flan wasn’t bad. It was my first time having a sweet flan and the texture was different than I’d expected.
I can’t believe today was our last day in France! 😦