Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ah, To Be In Paris...

Oh, wait, I AM...Come and join me. We can meet just about anywhere...with the other 3 million tourists that are here.
Yesterday was a wonderful day with my great friend "A". Deux café crèmes first, then off to the Marais and lots of little shops. AND this is SOLDES (sale) season! This shop at 6 Rue de Trésor, Un rien vous manque,

had charming art items like this bowl:

and this lamp made from squares of seashells strung together.

We saw wonderful little shirts and dresses at Comptoirs Des Cotonniers and walked around the Place de Vosges.

We took a needed break for lunch at a café/restaurant on Rue de Trésor. Very delicious - Milles Feuilles of Eggplant - (no puff pastry, just eggplant), served with a tomato reduction packed with flavor

and Composed Romaine Salade that had all kinds of good things in it besides the romaine - parmesan, ham, artichoke hearts, olives and tomatoes.

Then the metro to the Orangerie, where we saw the always magnificent Nymphéas, by Claude Monet, as well as works by Picasso, Renoir and Cézanne and lots of other folks. This is a lovely highly do-able museum that has been completely renovated and re-opened in May of 2006. A bit more wandering and shopping and it was time for a breather before apertifs and dinner with husband.

Another Kir Royale, this one stayed on the table, and over to El Mansour

for FABULOUS couscous. My husband's was a sweet chicken one and I stuck to a vegetable couscous. Couscous, of course, is the semolina grain, which is always served separately. (This one had the chickpeas with the couscous, rather than in the stew, which is customary.)

The chicken comes on yet another plate

and finally the wonderfully soupy vegetable stew comes in its own bowl. AND there was plenty of spicy harissa to go with it all.

The Chicken Fassi was fascinating. The chicken pieces were very sweet and had lots of rosewater steeped raisins cooked with them. The couscous that went with it was covered with whole blanched almonds, raisins, mint and POWDERED SUGAR. It was just yummy.

The Vegetable Stew was swimming with carrots and zucchini and the broth carried the robust taste of the celery pieces.

Our dessert was a Pastilla au Lait,

a phyllo pastry tart filled with a wonderful custard. The filling reminded me of a South African Melktert. It was a delicate, crispy and sweet end to a delightful meal. The only thing that awaited us was a sprinkling of rosewater over our hands, when the last plate was cleared, which allowed us to carry the fragrance of El Mansour into the Paris night.

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