Monday, May 24, 2010

David Lebovitz Book Signing and a Candle Light Dinner

It all started with a hum. I couldn't hear the hum, but then again after so many years of working near jet engines, hearing a whisper is pushing it. Back to the Apple store we went with my son's brand new humming computer. We left it for the Apple Geniuses to diagnose while we browsed around the mall. Wondering if Williams-Sonoma was offering any free samples, we wandered in. Right up front beside the counter was a fancy ice cream maker with an enticing book propped in front entitled, "The Perfect Scoop", by David Lebovitz. It was like manna from heaven! Our recent ice cream making experiments were just that....experiments. This looked like we could actually make real ice cream, interesting ice cream, by an expert (or ice cream genius!). Being July, the month of my son's birthday, I bought it for him as a present. Later we sat and read through it together as my son took little green stickies to mark recipes he wanted to try. It was a good summer that year. I also discovered David Lebovitz had a blog....and....he lived in Paris. He just kept getting higher on the throne as I read and laughed and bookmarked and revisited his blog about "The Sweet Life in Paris". Then he wrote more books and I kept getting them. Through the blog I noted his book signings in Paris. It didn't work out last year, but voilà...this year I was in Paris for the signing. I brought all of my books from Boston to WH Smith Bookstore on rue de Rivoli this past Wednesday.

My friend, Nancy and I arrived a little early for the 7pm signing and found David already signing books. I was smitten as he patiently and sweetly gave everyone time without rushing. He graciously posed for pictures and chatted with all. Of Course, I had David sign "The Perfect Scoop" to my son. The rest were for me :-) Wh Smith said it was their largest turnout since "Harry Potter." My friend, Doug arrived as David was giving a short talk and answered questions. I introduced him to David and we left feeling lighter, even while carrying our bounty of signed books. It was about 8pm by now as we made our way to the Marais for dinner at Chez Omar, a North African restaurant. When we arrived, it was still light outside on this warm late spring evening. Inside, candles were lit at every table. We ordered a chilled Bordeaux Rosé that smiled in the candlelight. All 3 of us ordered the same meal, Méchoui roasted leg of lamb with couscous and and vegetables. Doug chose the wines, with a St.-Émilion Clos de la Cure for dinner. I liked the name and liked the complexity and flavor even more. We noticed the overhead lights still weren't on as the glow of the candles danced around the wood paneled dining room. Our conversation kept coming back to meeting David Lebovitz, his cookbooks, blog and how utterly sweet...(have I mentioned that?) and charming he was. When the food arrived we marveled at the large, finely roasted lamb, platter of couscous, tureen of vegetables in an orangey red broth and small dish of a spicy red condiment. As we dug in, the darkness grew. I looked up and saw the chef cooking by candlelight. We finally deduced there was a power outage, but it really didn't have any effect on the full restaurant or the diners. And I think they will have no trouble paying their electric bill this month. I couldn't believe we had devoured almost everything but the bones, which left no room for dessert. I guess that will have to wait until I get home and choose from David's, "Ready for Dessert" cookbook.

Stay tuned :-)

Chez Omar
47, rue de Bretagne
Paris, France 75003
Phone: 01 42 72 36 26

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