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Dolce Far Niente....the sweetness of doing nothing (well almost) in Paris

Dolce Far Niente....the sweetness of doing nothing (well almost) in Paris

Jan 1st, 2015, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,498
Oooooh, I am loving this!

Every trip we go to Verjus (it is so bad that, when we walk in the wine bar, they call me by name.) In the fall we spent a week in an apartment in Palais Royal so we just walked up the street to the wine bar....a lot! One time we even had a friend with us who was a vegan and they amended their menu for him (restaurant, not wine bar)

Last trip I attended a Fodors GTG at Le Bonaparte as flygirl and I had dinner reservations at Fish and wanted to be close by. We met gomiki and traviata with their significant others. It was a great spot and a fun evening.

My husband loves Relais de l'Entrecote so that also is a regular for us. I'll be interested to read your thoughts on it.

Waiting for the Chanel report.
Judy is online now  
Jan 1st, 2015, 01:40 PM
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DENISEA, so glad you started your trip report - there are fewer at this time of year and I always enjoy yours...
latedaytraveler is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 02:32 PM
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Verjus Menu

House baked sourdough bread with Verjus salted butter

Sea scallops with pickled butternut, clementine, smoked squash, chili oil, dil and grilled lemon

Squid with squid ink gnocchi, salsify, garlic butter, salsify chips, piment d'espelette

Roasted potato cappelletti, black ruffle, buttermilk, mushroom broth, chives

Skillet cooked duck breast, smokes celery root, orange, caraway, red cabbage sauerkraut

Braised short ribs, onion and sherry jam, warm egg yolk, Jerusalem artichokes

Roast pumpkin cake , egg nog ice cream, bourbon caramel, chestnut shortbread

Wine pairings
Azide da Agricola COS, Terre Siciliane, Pithos blanco 2012

Domaine Pepiere, Muscadet, Gras Mouton 2013

Domaine Patrick Miolane, Saint Aubin, 1 ere Cru, 2010

Domaine du Cellier des Cray, Savoie, Cuvée Octavie, 2013

Domaine Gravillas, Cotes du Brian, Lo Vielh, 2012

Domaine Francois Chidaine, Montlouis sur Loire, Les Tuffeaux, 2011
denisea is online now  
Jan 1st, 2015, 05:46 PM
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Posts: 542
Loving this so far!
travelchat is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 07:15 PM
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Also a fan of Relais de l'Entrecote...hope you enjoyed it...
kmowatt is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 07:59 PM
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Great report so far!
ruedebuci is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 02:40 AM
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Enjoying your trip report.
Looking forward to more.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 03:56 AM
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denisea, looking forward to all of this. We never took naps on arrival for years and always advised others to do likewise, then just couldn't handle it one time and have been taking them ever since. we've never slept through as we always feared and it sure makes dinner on the first night a more enjoyable experience. enjoyed your list of must get to's--we stay a block from the Cluny and only just recently managed to visit it after more than 20 trips. kept putting Val du Grace on the list and likewise never made it there until recently. It's always nice to have targets and to leave a few unmet so you have to return to favorite places.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 05:16 AM
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Here I sit with my morning coffee reading your TR and dreaming of Paris. Of course you knew I'd be following your adventure. We're still having firsts even after 10 visits to Paris so you still have a lot of room for more.

The menu at Verjus sounds lovely and just mentioning bread & butter puts my taste buds in a spin.
I think I remember another Fodorite talk about having a butter tasting rather than a wine tasting in Paris.
I certainly wouldn't give up my wine for butter but I think I could squeeze in both tastings. Why does the butter taste so much better in Paris? Is it actually the butter or the setting you are in?
Anyone remember that post about the butter tasting?

Champagne Bar at Gal. Lafayette? I've seen it and was tempted
Hot Chocolate at Angelina's? Was it really that good to wade through the crowds?
Food tour?
All things to put on our to-do list. More reasons to visit Paris.

OK, so I also guessed Starbucks as it was always a staple for your visit. The coffee at Cafe Bonaparte must be really good. We'll have to check it out.

Relais de'l Entrecote is always a go to place for us when we are tired, don't have reservations, and don't want to go on a food search. Not gourmet in any sense but good just the same. We call it "One Dish" as our 1st time there we asked for a menu and the server said "ONE DISH"--her only English.

Did you squeeze in a visit with Albano at Marco Polo? MDH wants to know.

Carry on, we're waiting for more!
TPAYT is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 05:48 AM
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Like this report very much!

I always grab a taxi at CDG, just makes the most sense to me. I suppose there are exceptions but I've never had to wait long.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 05:49 AM
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Enjoying your TR as usual.
Your trip sounds like the one we had in Sept.
Did not sightseeing...was all about food ,wine, cheese and of course butter....even brought some home.
We just enjoyed being there and was best trip ever and yess we always take a short nap upon arrival and feel refreshed and ready for that first glass of champs. Never deny your body rest.
Keep more report coming.
cornelius01 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 09:47 AM
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Denisea, really enjoying your TR! Impressed that you could be posting so quickly after your return. We're still working away at a TR from our month-long trip; hoping to get to the Paris part soon.

So glad you had a wonderful time! Next trip, we'll have to try Le Bonaparte! Can just about taste a vin rouge in the Galleries Lafayette.

We're eager to hear more!
tomarkot is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 10:35 AM
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Not criticizing the Bonaparte at all, but it is a place where I never go just because of "too many tourists" even though obviously it has far fewer than the Deux Magots or the Flore (and not the same price range either).

Although I am rarely in the area, I prefer the cafés on rue de Buci or else at Place de l'Odéon, which still seem more "Parisian" to me.
kerouac is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 10:45 AM
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Enjoying your report and looking forward to more. We returned from 2 weeks in Paris on Oct. 1 (9th trip) and did a lot of not too much - sounds like your trip. Of course we ate a lot of fabulous food.

We missed breakfast at the Cafe Bonaparte this time. We normally stay in the 6th and eat there nearly every morning. This time we stayed in an apartment on the Ile de St. Louis - a wonderful location but I think we'll go back to the 6th next time.
mamcalice is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 12:01 PM
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I would love a butter tasting. I think the butter is better in France but the surroundings don't hurt at all.

Cornelius01---I am a terrible insomniac and had always been advised to avoid napping, especially when in a new time zone. I think this time I was so sleep deprived from a stressful few weeks prior to our trip ( leaving my current job and resigned just before leaving-- today is my last day at my old job).

Yep, Marco Polo is coming up and Albano is still there', TPAYT and I do remember your ONE DISH name now!

Kerouac, I am shocked that you are ever IN the 6th! ;-)

Will try to get something more up tomorrow!
denisea is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 01:06 PM
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Actually, I graze the edge of the 6th quite regularly, but only on the Montparnasse side usually.
kerouac is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 03:48 PM
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Denisea, I am also a terrible insomniac and always envy people sleeping on an overnite flight to Europe as I walk the aisles all night. I refuse to take sleep aids as I could land sleep deprived and in a drug haze! Your job situation must have been stressful as you departed and also to come back to...I remember those days and now the most stressful part of traveling is wondering if my knees will let me do everything I want to do in Paris!
cornelius01 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 05:00 PM
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The bathroom had to have been a pain in the arse for your poor husband. Bang his head much? So glad your apartment was ready for you though at that early morning hour. We napped once and woke six hours later so try not to do that anymore. Not so bad if you get in when it is 8 or nine am but before seven it is hard not to lay on the bed.
flpab is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 05:52 PM
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OMG....a fellow insomniac. I hate admit it, but I do employ an Ambien on the flight over and am so sleep challenged that. I can take a 10mg. Ambien and get a little sleep but not be zombie the next day. I totally know the envy of those who can will themselves to sleep on a plane or anywhere else.

Only the shower was super short, the rest of the bathroom was OK (didn't leave tons of head room, but was OK and no head bumping...it was crazy)!
denisea is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2015, 02:00 AM
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Day 2 – Saturday, December 20 2014

Chanello! As excited as I am about getting to the rue Cambon boutique (Mecca for me), we are slow to get up and get moving.
We started out our day at Le Bonaparte and we are loving their pain au chocolat. I feel sure they use a patisserie like Gerard Mulot to procure these. Very fresh, buttery, light---the breakfast of champions. Chaz gets 2 double espresso (most days) and I alternated between café crème and chocolat chaud.

We decided to just take our time since we had a lunch reservation at Le Souffle. We hadn’t been there in the past few visits but it is right around the corner from Chanel. We certainly don’t want to rush at Chanel, do we?? We visited a little Polish church at rue Cambon and rue St Honore. It’s a very pretty church inside and well cared for. It’s clear it is a little treasure to the parishioners. Last year when we passed a wedding had just taken place and photos were being taken of the wedding party of the front steps, so we didn’t want to interfere. We looked around a bit more and made our way to Le Souffle.

It was pretty full and we were offered our choice of table right by the entrance or alone in the back room. We took a lovely corner booth in the back room and it eventually filled in with non-Americans (we feared we had been stuck in the back where we Americans often are placed). We had a glass of Champs to start (but you knew that). Our waiter was wonderful and willing to put up with our French or speak in English.

The lunch was very good, as always. I had a goat cheese and walnut soufflé, served with a dish of walnuts in honey. Really good, Chaz got a blue cheese and pear soufflé. I liked his a bit more than mine but it’s splitting hairs to choose one over the other. Dessert (did I mention I love a souffle and can’t get enough of them?) was chocolate for Chaz and Grand Marnier for me. Both good but I liked mine better and that extra big shot of GM that they pour all over it was felt immediately (maybe he was a secret agent for Chanel and in cahoots to be sure I spend at Chanel to help the Parisian economy). Check paid and on to 31 rue Cambon.

Well, now I know exactly where to go in the boutique and I knew I would start with earrings. Initially, I was disappointed at the selection but at closer look found a new style in a pewter finish. I made my choice and then asked to see necklaces. We had a great sales woman and she showed a number of things that I really liked but she showed me the necklaces that matched my earring s and I was in love. The only choice was the shorter one or the long one….hmmmm. The long one struck me the most and I made my choice and decided to think about the runners up. So, it’s a multi-strand, pewter finish necklace with all kinds of “Chanel” coins attached. Very cool, less dressy than most of their necklaces and quite contemporary. I love it! Another glass of Champs to celebrate while we waited to pay. I could have been done then and there. Is there anything I love more than Champs and Chanel? Not much, plus I had 2 souffles at lunch. Heaven!!

On to rue St Honore and then rue Faubourg -St Honore for more browsing. They play American Christmas music on the street, so it’s a little crazy to hear Nat King Cole on a Paris street. Roberto Cavalli had some amazing things but the clothes are made for tall, skinny Italian girls (which I am not). A lap around Tom Ford. Very nice. I think I have mentioned this but I hate the way the sales people follow you through the store, every floor, every step---just wanna look, let ya know if I need something. Sorry for the rant.

We stopped into Panerai to look at watches. Chaz is a big fan and we met Edward who was right at 20 years old and dreams of living in LA (I dream of Paris and the Parisian dreams of LA). He looked at Chaz’ watch and asked when he got the watch because he didn’t really recognize it. We told him 10 years ago (my wedding gift to him) and that he was probably 10 when he got the watch. He thought about for a second and confirmed that he was 10 years old, 10 years ago---so funny! He was a lot of fun. No watch this time but he did give us their Panetone as a holiday gift---very kind of him and I hope he gets to LA (there is a Panerai store in Beverly Hills). One disappointment was the Hermes window. Nothing special this year and it was so cool last year. Life goes on.

One thing we had discussed buying this year, were crystal Champagne coupes from Baccarat. We always go in and gawk but never buy. The chandeliers in there are crazy! They were out of the coupes we wanted but we had seen some flutes that we really liked and chose 3 sets of 2 in that style (a red set, a clear set and an amethyst set). It should make our Sparkling Saturdays extra special and we can mix up the color depending on the season or occasion. (See how I can justify these things?) Let me say they were perfectly, individually boxed up (very well) but once you leave with something that heavy---it’s the end of the shopping for the day! Ain’t no way you are going to mess with the Metro on a late Saturday afternoon with all that. We cabbed it back to rue Bonaparte.

A little Christmas music and clean up time in the apartment and then over to Le Bonaparte for a pre-dinner drink. Pierre remembered us and we now have “our” table. Parfait! I do feel so lucky (and spoiled) to be out and about shopping all day and enjoying the city and he was still there---the job of waiter is not easy. We timed our exit for a few minutes before 7pm. Tonight is nothing fancy—we are headed to Relais L’Entrecote. There was a fairly short line out front but we did get in and it filled up in a snap. Our server looked a bit like Catherine Zeta Jones but was all business. No time for pleasantries. A little more wine, some salad and our steak and fries came out. Chaz can put some food away and he is serious about protein (he works as a trainer with athletes, so he has to be serious about protein—souffle is not really the best lunch for him). He finished and looked up at me, like “I’m gonna need a second order” when, boom another plate of sliced steak and fries showed up. We enjoyed it, and it was exactly what we wanted that night. I have been to their outpost in NYC and they are pretty much identical. Dessert? Sure. Anytime profiteroles are on a menu, Chaz is gonna bite. We split an order (they were quite good) and then waddled down to the apartment for the night.
denisea is online now  

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