Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Put your foot in your mouth...


Or, if you prefer, try a pig's foot.  I did last Thursday while celebrating the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine here in Paris.  Read all about it here and check out the video.  Then try some pied de cochon next time you're at a French restaurant...or don't... 



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fall at Spring...

Simple and elegant...
With a new job under my belt I had a reason to celebrate, so last week when a friend invited me to try Daniel Rose’s restaurant Spring over by the Louvre, I couldn’t say no, even if my wallet wept a little at the price tag for such an experience.  I’ve been waiting to go ever since it opened this summer – old news, but a big deal for a young student!

In a simple and elegant dining room next to the open kitchen, plate after plate of delicious dishes filled the table.  A delicious smoked eel amuse-bouche started us off, followed by a scallop and diced beet entrée with cacao beans on top. 
Sweetbread...mmmm
Next, the first main dish was a delicate white fish over chard in a foamy cream sauce.  I miss broccoli rabe here in Paris and the chard brought me pretty close to its texture and crunch.  All I needed was more bread to wipe up the sauce…so rich.

I thought that was it, and while my mind went into dessert mode, the chef came out with plates of sweetbread and mashed potatoes with white truffles.  I’d never had sweet bread in this form, but all I listened to was the word “veal” and I thought nothing of it, accepting pieces from my friends’ plates.  Afterwards I realized what sweetbread s (neck glands?) but I would still go back for seconds…

The immense cheese plate came out on a piece of lumber – it took a two-by-four to serve up all of the different varieties from mild goat cheeses to ripe Roquefort and foul-smelling but delicious Muenster.  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Le Petit Ecolier...

The cookie!  The student!
Dear Readers,

My apologies to you (both of you) who have been keeping up with my blog.  Sadly due to various commitments I had to take yet another hiatus, but things are looking up in Paris, even as the rain falls down without signs of stopping.

I have, over the last month, joined the ranks of great French minds like Madame Curie, John Calvin, and the Petit Ecolier as I have begun my masters degree at the Sorbonne!  I am enrolled in a program for communications, so continuing to blog is, I figure, an important component to keep up with the shenanigans going on in the internet world.  

More importantly, being an American student in Paris is exciting in a less-than-usually-cliché sort of way.  While plenty of foreign, English-speaking students do enroll at French schools, few enter into exclusively French programs like real French people.  So far, in my program of 200+ people, I have yet to meet anyone who speaks English as their mother tongue.  

This point is reinforced by the fact that I take an English course, mandatory for all students.  In my seminar, I am singled out as the sole reference for all things "anglophone," be it British culture or koalas.  I don't mind, but it's starting to get intense.  How do you stand a chance to fight a skewed representation of your own nation when A) you haven't lived their for two years and B) there is no standard representation of your nation?

I digress, these are topics for future classwork and blog posts, but for now, just a note that I will do my best to share these fun stories with you as I step out of the kitchen (no more cooking in restaurants...it's been real...) and into the classroom.  And while I'm studying I'll also have tales to tell from the life of a tour guide as I am now giving English walking tours to travelers.  Aiy aiy...and I'm still writing and flexing that journalistic muscle as much as possible...
Available in the US, too...