contournement

by jemma margaret

The day began with a run along the Seine. As it turns out there are many beach like bars on this part of town. Fancy cocktails and riverside lounging. DJ sets, too! It’s awfully schmancy, though less so when deserted at 7 in the morning.

Mondays are funny in Paris. No one seems to be awake yet from le weekend. During my run I realized that we lived quite near a Monoprix (possibly my favorite major French grocery store).  However, I found out shortly thereafter that the store didn’t open until 9 am. This meant a pretty lousy breakfast (we were still hungry from a miniature dinner) of salted oats and instant coffee (without milk–some milk brings up the quality of instant coffee dramatically). When nine o’clock finally rolled around I rushed up the stairs, down Rue Thomas Mann, left on Ave de France, and down to the Monoprix. Feeling flush I bought nectarines, apricots, apples, milk, eggs, beaujolais and balsamic vinegar potato chips (goodness!).

The BnF doesn’t open until 2, so I decided to work from home. After a simple lunch of lentils and vegetables, Madeleine set off for the cinema museum. We rendezvoused at Au Fer du Cheval with small glasses of wine and a plate of potato chips. Our dinner plan was to enjoy steak and/or duck confit at Aux Tonneaux des Halles. My father had warned me that the restaurant might be closed on a Monday evening, but as this blog attests we went there last year on a Monday evening.

Well, he was right, the place was completely boarded up. Having been forewarned, I developed a back-up plan. Not far from our original plan was the Verjus wine bar, where we had thought to eat on Thursday. Since the hour was still early, we walked through the charming galérie and very fortunately found two recently vacated seats. Verjus is run by an American couple and the clientele reflects this. Hence the volume level was a bit higher than usual French experiences. In particular, as Madeleine pointed out, pairs of women from Southern California.

We enjoyed two glasses of wine, Madeleine was particularly impressed with her flavorful Patrick Miolane, St Aubin from 2010. My red was not quite worth writing down.

After a thorough menu consultation we decided on sharing fried chicken, a salad with rhubarb and haloumi, and codfish beignets. Each plate was tasty, though a bit lighter on the vegetables that I may have preferred. In particular we liked the pickled rhubarb and the mint sauce that accompanied the beignets. Dessert options were variations on the same theme–brownies or clafoutis. We decided to head home in the evening light and stop by the grocery store for a combination of caramel ice cream, sheep’s milk vanilla yogurt, dark chocolate, and French strawberries. Very fine indeed.

We’re watching The Birds now. I may skirt some pigeons and gulls tomorrow! Picture updates soon.

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