Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Medley

For many, the return back to work and school after their holidays in August is a time of sadness. For me, it's joy as the restaurants begin to open again and the bakeries are once again wafting tempting smells onto the streets.
Don't get me wrong, I have been eating in August, just nothing so spectacular that I needed to tell you about it. So in this edition, a medley, if you will, of bits and pieces I have been nibbling at.

First up was the bottarga. First having spotted it in the market upon arrival, I had thought it was a relation to the Taiwanese delicacy. Turns out it is almost the same thing! I stumbled across a simple recipe on the talented Lobstersquad blog and proceeded to make her simple pasta recipe by grating it and mixing with olive oil. Unfortunately it was a bit too mild for my taste, perhaps my olive oil was too strong. However, thinly sliced, it was lovely with a crisp white wine, my favorite of the moment being a Vouvray I bought on our Loire Valley trip (for those of you who read that post, can you believe we're down to our last dozen bottles?!?)

The boy also took me to Marriage Freres one blustery rainy afternoon to partake in their tea menu. The open faced sandwiches failed to impress the tastebuds but not so their take on creme brulee.

Cut from one big circle of creme brulee 'cake', this was so rich, so decadent that the boy's eyes rolled back in his head so far I feared they'd never be the same again. He exclaimed it as "THE best in all of Paris" and I had to fight him for a bit of the piece as he kept moving the plate just outside of the reach of my spoon. Let me just say there was almost a brawl in the midst of the tea time calm.

I also finally tried Umami's "rice salad" using some leftover roast chicken (which was FABULOUS if I dare say so myself!). I think I used a touch too much vinaigrette as it was a bit too puckery with the apple and cukes I put in. Tasty all the same.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. I bought some Ile Flottant at the supermarket, curious as to what they'd look like and missing our neighborhood bakery's tarte fine au pomme for a post dinner sweet. It came in a little pot with caramel sauce to drizzle over. It was fine if a bit too much 'creme anglaise' to meringue-y bit. Although the boy complained that creme anglaise was most definitely NOT custard (Susan, you know what I'm talking about), he still licked the pot clean.

Walking past Pain au Sucre, we were delighted to find that it was open and picked up a wild strawberry tart and a lemon one. Both delightful if a little melty from the hot afternoon. The wild strawberry was not too sweet, perhaps a little past its season but nice and fresh with the simple buttery tart shell. The lemon tart was nice, tart and lemony and absolutely wonderful with a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

Another pleasant surprise was when we walked past the falafel street and saw one stand (I forget the name but it was on Rue des Rosiers closest to Rue Vielle du Temple) boasting of the "world's best falafels". Quite a statement to make seeing as one of the most famous falafel shops in all of France was just down the street. While the boy ordered one immediately, I went for the 'foie de vollaile', or chicken liver pita. Stuffed with a tomato-ey, cucumber and chili mixture along with melt in the mouth aubergine, caramelized, slightly crunchy onions and drizzles of tahini, it was topped with the most rich, perfectly cooked, deliciously soft chicken livers. An absolute mess, it was the highlight of my day.

And to end this medley of foodstuffs I have been partaking, is a newly discovered favorite of Umami's. The Affrogato at Pozetto. I cannot even begin to describe....

Let's just say that when confronted with a heaping cup of delicious gelato and a tiny pitcher of strong, gorgeously bitter coffee, there was only the sound of spoons and orgasmic "mmmmnnns" to be heard throughout the shop. Our smiles were as huge as the gelato cups themselves.

So, dear friends. I have to admit all the above has not led to any weight loss whatsoever. Let's just say I'm on diet hiatus. Until deliciousness ceases to exist.

And if you have not tried any of the above, all I can say is, you only have yourself to blame for not coming to visit.

39, rue de Roi de Sicile
Metro: Hotel de Ville

Pain de Sucre
14, rue Rambuteau
Metro: Rambuteau


Robyn said...

AHHHHH [jealous]

I passed Pain au Sucre once early on during my stay in Paris but was too chicken to go in or something...instead i just settled for taking photos of the window. I SUCK! I never went back! Or I did go back once, on the day it was closed of course.

Pozzettooooo!!! MY HOOOME!

I think I went to that falafel place! This one?

Oo, I love creme anglaise. It's like custard SOUP! I could eat it with a spoon.

susan said...

Hi Jess, I also wondered if bottarga was the same as the Taiwanese mullet roe - glad to know you did a comparison.
So does The Boy actually prefer Bird's fakecustard to creme Anglaise?
and did the not-Berthillon place ever have the cherry sorbet?

see you soon,

umami said...

You made the rice salad, wow! I'm glad you liked it. Will definitely miss you when you go home.

Anonymous said...

You're at your last dozen of bottles??? I've "spread" my 4 very carefully - now have only one left
Gen :)

Sui Mai said...


Yep, that's the one! Oh, the chicken liver one is to die for. In fact, the boy was so jealous, he went back while I was away!

Nope, luckily he's not fond of Bird's. But to him, custard still whips creme anglaise's butt.

That non-Berthillion shop is never open! And no cherry last time I checked...sob, sob.

I'm staying longer! Heehee, can't keep away from the deliciousness....

I cannot believe you still have one. Yep, there's barely a dozen left, sad to say... sniff, sniff

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess,

You had the best creme brulee in Paris (or according to Drew), was it served warm inside? Aaron had the best creme brulee at a local restaurant in Paris as well. Since then he had hard time finding the same kind.