One more post about Paris, and then on to what’s happening in the Maine garden these days. Right now there’s a pounding Nor’easter in the garden so it’s more pleasant to blog about dinner in Paris, but soon. . .
We went to a traditional French restaurant for our wedding anniversary on April 12. Restaurant Astier is tiny, friendly, and thirty feet from the apartment we were renting. Did I mention tiny? The waiters had to back down the stairs to the wine cellar – I don’t think there was enough room to turn around down there.
We chose the prix fixe menu and split the dishes between us. The first course was one dish of thin slices of duck breast on a circle of mirepoix, and the other a bright green cold soup with a “dumpling” of lightly smoked haddock.
Second course: a circle of lamb in dark gravy topped with eggplant tomato puree; grilled pork chop on a plate of white beans.
Third course is The Famous Cheese Platter – renowned in song and story. Fifteen pounds of cheese folks, representing every shape, flavor and region. The waiter brings this huge platter of cheese to your table – on a metal stand because it’s much too big to actually fit on that tiny surface with your plate and the accompanying bread basket – and hands off a couple of sharp knives. That’s it – for this course it’s you against the cheese.
Last course, dessert! R. had creme brulee covered in diced strawberries. Delicate and delicious, very sorry the photo was taken moments too late to see its lovely presentation. I had Baba au rhum traditionnel. Now baba au rhum in my experience is a nicely glazed brioche sort-of-thing. At Astier our waiter brought me a cylinder of yellow pound cake in a soup plate, a sharp knife, and a soup spoon. I was puzzled. He took the knife back from me and cut the pound cake into quarters, produced a dark green decanter and poured a cup of rum into the soup plate, then handed me a drinking glass full of whipped cream and wished us “Bon appetite”.
It was a wonderful meal, we had fantastic (and very friendly) service, delightful people-watching, and it was also fortunate that our apartment was two doors down the street after wine with dinner and rum with dessert.
And evidently wedding anniversary #26 is the French restaurant anniversary. If I could, I’d make reservations for #27 right now.