Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Archive for the ‘France’ Category

If I could go back to Paris for just one day

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Breakfast…espresso and croissant…what else!


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Written by Som

June 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Europe, France, Paris

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Crepe fix in Paris

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Bacon and egg galette

Located in Montparnasse, Cafe Josselin co-exists with several other creperies within a 300 ft radius, but Josselin is heavily croweded and others no so much. To avoid long queue during lunch hour, arrive at noon or earlier. Inside, it is warm and cozy – like a busy brewery. Service is fairly prompt and very soon you will find yourself sipping a dry cider.

Galettes and crepes are pretty much alike except one is made from buckwheat and other from regular flour. Galettes happen to be my favorite buckwheat concoction. Although, my mom-in-law’s buckwheat paratha stuffed with spicy potatoes is not too far behind. Galette should be crisp and lacy like an Indian dosa. The nutty flavor of buckwheat is perfect counterpart for butter. Not that galette needs any sprucing up, but I decided to order mine with bacon, egg and stuffed onions. My husband ordered one with ham, egg and stuffed eggplant caviar. Both were excellent, far nuttier and crisper than the ones we had at Breizh during our previous visit.

Cafe Josselin

Apple Cider

I love sweet galettes as well – buckwheat works really well with orange and chocolate flavors. If I had paid more attention to David Lebovitz,  I would have asked for a sweet galette at Josselin. But since I hadn’t, we ordered a basic crepe flambe to share which unfortunately was very forgettable.

Written by Som

December 29, 2012 at 4:11 am

The numbered duck (Le número de votre Canard: 1115233)

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La Tour d’Argent, a restaurant by Seine in Paris with a view of Notre Dame.

It is hard to not be enchanted by Tour d’Argent. I confess I was a just a touch concerned upon arrival. The downstairs seating area, with its mini-museum display of table settings of the bygone days, was a bit tired looking. However, a quick champagne, hors d’oeuvres and an elevator ride later we are seated at the table of the main dining area where all my concerns disappeared. Dining area is shiny with slivers, crystals and chandeliers. Rapidly, the room started filling up. We were seated at the center of the room. From where I sat, the view of Notre Dame was occasionally interrupted by Jeeves like accoutrement of the servers. Facing me was the duck press station, where an old gentleman went about the task of meticulously pressing ducks. I would have described it as an assembly line process were it not for the exaggerated rituals associated with the task.

Number of servers far exceeded the number of guests. While their movement in and out of the kitchen seemed chaotic, service at the table was a well choreographed dance. A couple of waiters coordinated placing the food on the table while the senior of the two took time to describe the food. A similar coordination took place when plates were removed from the table. Pacing was perfect. Nothing felt hurried, nothing felt delayed, no ho hum moment. One particular ritual felt quaint in this age – my husband’s menu had the prices and not mine. Wine pouring on the other hand could only be described  as elaborate. A lot of deep inhalation, swishing and slurping happened before we were served ours.

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Written by Som

December 28, 2012 at 4:50 am

Posted in Europe, France, Paris

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Day 2 in Paris

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Our last visit to Paris was in the interstice between summer and spring. We had tired ourselves walking the greater part of two weeks. By the time my mind was made up about walking up the stairs of Notre Dame church, my feet had defected. So we decided to climb the stairs early on in this trip.

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Written by Som

December 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

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Christian Constant’s Les Cocottes

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Christian Constant’s Les cocottes, near Eiffel tower.

This time it was only a week’s stay in Paris. It was colder than last time and a lot less sunny. Not much appeared to have changed for Les Cocottes in two years. We were still one of the first people to arrive at the restaurant and were seated at the same table as last time. The restaurant had filled up rapidly with tourists and locals. I usually decide between tourists and locals by their shoes. If attired in something comfortable and ugly, I put them in the “tourist” bucket. Right in my line of view was an petite old lady who appeared to be a regular. She sat at the counter and ordered a range of different cocottes, and ate with a gusto any young foodie would be proud of. Next to us sat a young dame in red stilettos with a large pet dog at her heels. She had an appetizer and a glass of wine for meal. I am always grateful that there is something to look forward to as we age!

For starters we ordered a cold tuna, eggplant caviar and tomato jelly. The dish arrived in a jam jar shaped glassware with tuna layer sandwiched between eggplant and tomato jelly. Richness of tuna was well offset by the smokiness of eggplant resulting in a refreshing and flavorful dish. For entrees, I ordered the langoustine ravioli. Perhaps I was dreaming of Robuchon’s ethereal langoustine ravioli, and I shouldn’t have.

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Written by Som

December 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Tucking in at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

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We may have gone a bit overboard while ordering. Our favorite – langoustine ravioli with truffle sauce.

Roasted bone marrow on toast, sitting atop a bone

Roasted bone marrow on toast, sitting atop a bone

Quail with truffled mashed potatoes

Quail with truffled mashed potatoes

Tower of eggplant, cheese and sundried tomatoes

Tower of eggplant, cheese and sundried tomatoes

Egg foam with mushrooms

Egg foam with mushrooms

Softshell crab tempura with avocado puree

Softshell crab tempura with avocado puree

Langoustine ravioli in truffle sauce

Langoustine ravioli in truffle sauce

Mashed potatoes that didn't kill Omar Sharif - 1/2 lb butter to every lb of la ratte?

Mashed potatoes that didnt kill Omar Sharif - 1/2 lb butter to every lb of la ratte?

Strawberry and basil gelato. May I recommend dessert at Eric Keyser a block away?

Strawberry and basil gelato. May I recommend dessert at Eric Keyser a block away?

Written by Som

April 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Les Fines Gueules

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Outside Inside
Steak tartare Six leaves of brussel sprout

Located near Place Victoires, on rue Croix des Petits Champs, Les Fines Gueules is beautiful both inside and out. I will remember it for two things:

  • One of the best Loire reds that I have had so far.
  • Eating la ratte potatoes with le boeuf tartare, the later being a specialty of this restaurant.

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Written by Som

April 14, 2011 at 12:11 am