Monday, April 12, 2010

Paris Window Shopping and Dinner

To go window shopping in French is, faire du lèche-vitrines. Translated literally it means to lick the windows. OK, maybe it loses something in the translation, but it is an interesting way of putting it. After having coffee with our friend Rick last week, Nancy and I took the metro to St. Michel to look for some ephemera at the bouguinistes along the Seine. We arrived just a little late as they were putting their wares to rest for the evening, so we walked along the Quai des Grands Augustins and window shopped our way back towards our hotel. As the restaurants were preparing for the evening's diners, it was a visual appetizer for us. We passed by the Max Chaoul Couture shop as our breath was taken away by the fantasy and beauty of the displays. I didn't realize how the clear acrylic chair back with the perched doves, caught the sky's reflection at first. As we walked past the closed store, we peeked in to see the racks of luscious tuile, satin, pearls and sparkles for a lucky bride. While the moody Parisian sky changed, a few raindrops fell as we turned the corner. Stopped at the light to cross the Pont Neuf was a Citroën Deux Chevaux, which means 2 horsepower. It was one of the first economy cars. Turning onto rue Dauphine, there are more bridal shops, restaurants and shops on the side streets. The windows were so delicious, maybe there is something to the window licking idea! Now we are getting really hungry and decide to get back to the hotel to freshen up for our 8 pm dinner reservation that one of our concierges, Phillipe, made for us. We love Phillipe♥ We arrived at L'Ourcine just a few minutes late...somehow things always take longer than you expect. We ordered a couple glasses of red wine and gave our waiter our dinner choices. Immediately after, an amuse-bouche of asparagus mousse arrived. It was as light and delicate as a couture bridal veil. I half expected a white dove to appear and rest upon my chair. We chatted a while reflecting upon our day, and I soon saw my duck appetizer appear in the window open to the kitchen. It was served promptly. Nancy had a crab ravioli with a lemon cream sauce, which was full of flavor and the lemon gave it perfect balance. We both ordered the pork tenderloin with polenta, seasonal vegetables and garlic roasted in their skins, which was heavenly. The crusty bread was served with butter that had a sprinkling of sea salt. Since no day is complete without a little chocolate, I had the warm molten chocolate cake for dessert. It came with a mint ice cream, but they gladly substituted vanilla for me. Chocolate and mint should never mix! Nancy had a layered blancmange and pineapple dessert, and of course we shared. We loved every last bite of our meal. It was inspired in taste, prepared magnificently and the service was attentive. Friends had a different experience with the service previously, which altered their dining experience here. I am hoping this was just a fluke, because as I write this I am craving to go back :-) And now is there a French word for licking one's plate??

92 rue Broca, 13th
metro: Les Gobelins or Glacière

If you haven't been over to Zurin's site, Cherry on a Cake, take a look at her wonderful giveaway. It has a nice French flair to it :-) Thanks, Zurin!

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