5/24/2006 10:53 a.m.
Could it possibly be time to eat again? Starting out again, searching for dinner. With so many choices, temptation abounds. This place looks interesting...wonder how it is?
Hmmm, maybe not. Luckily I have a back up plan. So made my way across the Seine, wandered through the heart of the Latin Quarter, and off toward the Eiffel Tower. Stopped off at this teeming little boite, the Café du Marché on Rue Cler for a quick refresher.
This is my new friend I met while having a lovely glass of Lanson Champagne. I think my new ami's name actually is Theguywhowasstanding Atthebarnexttome....I know, I couldn't believe it either! A new friend and delicious Champagne in a restaurant for five bucks a pop? As soon as I think of something better than that, I'll let you know.
On the highest recommendation from my friends Amy and Randy (if you can't trust a guy who knows about cheese and his über-talented artist wife (http://amyruppel.com/), who can ya trust?), I went to Leo le Lion on Rue Duvivrier in the 7th. Kind of quiet, wasn't sure when I walked in the door. But by the time I walked out, I knew I has experienced some impressive kitchen talent.
The place itself is all dark wood paneling, old fixtures, with a chef/owner dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt who wandered out of the kitchen occasionally to gruffly ask "C'est bon?". Since I was both afraid of him and loving the food, I of course answered "Oui, c'st bon". Actually he was a really nice guy. Now, say this next sentence in your best British accent: Happened to sit next to this British chap, Robert I believe his name was, terribly interesting sort and he was in the British Navy and giving a lecture at the Ecole Militaire. See, didn't that sound better that way? I'm telling you, if the French accent conveys romance and sex, then the British accent conveys authority and knowledge. He could've told me anything.."Well, you see Bruce, if you do duck under a table during a nuclear blast, you actually will survive." Wow, okay....
Back to dinner. Another glass of Champagne to start, then ordered a simply amazing salad. A bed of lettuce which formed a nest around a perfectly tender pile of haricots verts, topped with langoustines, with everything lightly bathed in a strawberry/balsamic dressing...wow! I'm telling you, I'm not coming home! Since I decided on salmon as my main, I ordered a half bottle of this crisp, oh-so-perfect Loire Valley sauvignon blanc, the 2004 Jean-Michel Sorbe Quincy.
Here's a graphic representation of the salmon on the left. Light puff pastry, with this super moist salmon tucked inside, it being stuffed with spring vegetables. The salmon/puff pastry is resting in a perfectly decadent and somehow light butter, lemon, and parsley sauce that is flecked with sweet red pepper. Around the edge of the plate. Around the edge of the plate is a basil infused olive oil,just to make sure you have enough flavor. Egad! Since I was so much better to my body last night than the previous evening, I felt perfectly within my rights to have a wonderful dish of crème bruleé. So good! Then a sleepy Metro ride back to the hotel....back tomorrow........
Tomorrow already?? Okay, that means a quick Metro ride to my favorite cybercafé, Robar, by the Place d'Aligré market. Free wireless, great cappuccino and espresso.
Also wanted include a couple of market shots.
The flowers are from a vendor at the d'Aligré market, the vegetables and fish from a sweet little market street by my hotel.
Oh, and since many of you have asked which hotel I am staying at, here it is: http://www.hotelbellevue75.com/index-gb.htm
Nothing fancy, but at $83 a night, a perfectly respectable place to rest my overfed body and fall asleep.......
A bientot....c'est déjeuner!!