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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

Old Jan 11th, 2015, 09:58 AM
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<b>dlejhunt</b>: Something to keep in mind when making a reservation at Reed ... the restaurant is open Wednesday to Saturday; closed Sunday to Tuesday.

I emailed Catherine for a reservation about 2 weeks before our arrival in Paris last September. The date we requested was fully booked and then began a flurry of emails back & forth until we were able to secure a date! For us, it is always a special evening to have dinner at Reed!

So, my suggestion is to make your reservation well in advance. You & your sister will enjoy it very much, I'm sure!

<b>denisea</b>: Just wondering how far in advance did you make your dinner reservations for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day?
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 10:21 AM
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Catherine could well change her dining IF she gets her cooking classes really going. That is what she would like to do, only.

I discovered Catherine several years ago, when she was also open for lunch. I introduced Florent and Michael and they have become great friends. Catherine and I have surprised the boys on a fridy for lunch at Florent's restaurant.

I then discovered 110 Taillevent for us and we enjoyed that often...last was Belhara a couple years ago. When I first took them there it was sort of uggh upon arrival as to the table, but we ended up being last ones there and chef spending a lot of time with us, too. We now go regularly.

I am introducing them to another discovery soon. They always tell people that I find them the great restaurants in Paris. They can be particular, too.

Good friends.

a bientot...

Joan
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Old Jan 11th, 2015, 11:23 AM
  #143  
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I did not make the reservation at Reed until about 2 weeks before we left for Paris. I got lucky on that.

Hmmm --maybe I could go to Robuchon with T Dudette for those FG sliders, Lisa!

Judy-- you got it exactly! I hate to have made a bad "Rec" to someone!!!

Swandav-- it will be here before you know it! Hang in there!
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 05:16 AM
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Catherine is great! I enjoyed her class with Judy and friends, and, our meal there too.

I had duck confit at Reed and now I'm addicted. I have to get into Chez Dumonet next time. I couldn't fit it in, in October. We had rez and then we had to cancel, and the only other day I could do it, they were closed...
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 05:25 AM
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Sighing for Paris!
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 04:36 PM
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December 26 2014, Friday

One day trip that we had not gotten around to was Chartres. It is still probably best to visit at a prettier time of year and one of the museums that had been recommended is not open late in the year.

We met our friends at Le Bonaparte. A funny thing that happened and would just be so awkward to correct was, as we were paying the check my friend had given me a 5 euro note to pay for his drink. In the blink of an eye, i signed the credit card slip and the waiter (not Pierre) picked up the signed slip AND the 5 in one fell swoop. We both were just a bit stunned and I would rather lose the 5 than embarrass everyone by taking the 5 away. Maybe that's the game, but I don't need the 5 that bad. Truly awkward moment!

We hopped on the Metro to get to Gare Montparnasse. I am always amazed how far you have to hike to get from the Metro station to the actual train station. That's my cardio! We had some trouble finding ticket machines for the grand lines but I had wriitten a note on how to ask for 2 round trip tickets to Chartres (in French) on a piece of paper, so we just waited a minute of two in line at the ticket window. We got that done with no trouble and then we found the machines. Of course.

We walked to the platform and the train was there. Nice. We remembered to validate, climbed on and found seats. I think it was about an hour from Paris to Chartres. The train ride was uneventful and because I had my passport and remembered to validate the tickets, no one asked to see them.

You can easily see the Cathedral from the train, so exiting the train station, it's easy to figure out which way to go. It was cold and sunless that day. I always hope that cathedral visits will be blessed with sun to highlight the stained glass, but no luck. This was the grayest visit to Paris for us.

Malcolm Miller was there that day but only giving one tour, which had begun when we got there. We decided the night before we left not to take the earlier train. This is a beautiful church, no doubt. I have to say that I prefer the cathedral at Reims but it doesn't mean this cathedral isn't magnificent. The town itself is nice and would be good to visit in better weather. There were few restaurants open on the day after Christmas. The church displays Mary's tunic..not sure how anyone knows it is really hers. It did survive a fire, so maybe it really is!!I I also liked the labyrinth on the floor. ( I wonder if chairs are always over it, or if that is just because of seating for Christmas services.) The chancel screen inside was incredible and quite impressive. That's what really struck me. The rose windows and the Blue Virgin window were all beautiful but not at their best without the sun. I don't like the mismatched spires---I like symmetry!

We walked around the exterior of this cathedral and it really as an impressive sight. There is a maze on a lower level in the back--no idea how you get there.

We were cold and ready for some lunch. We decided on a pizza restaurant that we passed earlier and everyone else in town was there, as well. We had to wait for a table where there is NO ROOM to wait. they were very nice at the restaurant and we finally got seated. Well almost. They had meant to put a group of 8 at the table we were given so they asked us to move upstairs. Alright, except once we got up there my friend went to the restroom only to find the ladies room was being worked on. Not good as I was kinda dying at that point.

Orders were placed, wine on the way and it was all good. The pizza was good--not Rome good but better than most pizza in the US (except Verrazano's in Atlanta). I got the four cheese pizza and I don't remember what Chaz had. Prosciutto, I think. We were finishing up and I got word that the ladies room was back in business. Thank god.

I got back to the table to see my party dressed , ready to go and moving out...Uh, did I miss a memo?? The men were throwing some money at the register before I knew it and we were out the door. The next train back leaving in four minutes. If we ran--we might make it. Apparently, that decision was made while is was in the ladies. Running after pizza and wine seemed like a bad idea. We dodged a car or two, as we crossed the street to the station and then ran down stairs and then back up to the platform. We made it. We waited about a minute or two and the train pulled up. We validated the return tickets and climbed on. It was crazy packed.

We sat separately but close and at least we got seats. I brought my chocolate covered almonds from Pierre Marcolini and we all had a few for dessert (including the girl sitting across from our friends. the trip back was uneventful until the Metro station. I don't know how but a kid fell getting off the moving sidewalk and the woman behind him also fell and nearly took me out. Chaz managed to catch another woman who was falling in front of him. This was all because someone else was hurt or passed out off to the side--guess everyone was thrown off by that (second odd thing we saw on the trip. A few days earlier a man had a seizure at Le Bonaparte while we were there).

We headed back to the apartment and our friends were off to wander before their movie.
We needed a minute to rest as we had dinner plans with Joan, Florent and his mom and Mika at Bistro Belhara.

That's next.....
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 04:54 PM
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I' m usually a lurker. Always enjoy your TR's. But we are going in May and love chocolate covered almonds. So am interested in Pierre Marcolini. are they your favorite? Thanks - can't wait for more.
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 01:32 AM
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Odd that you mention the man with a seizure at Le Bonaparte. One evening, we were meeting friends there before dinner. Aman sitting on a bench to the right just in front of the restaurant passed out and fell to the ground.

We thought he was dead as he did not move for what seemed like a very long time. One of the young waiters went and sat with him until the pompiers arrived. They sort of milled around and waited. Eventually he regained consciousness and they helped him up, sat with him for a bit and then he walked off. After watching all this (seemed rather morbid to sit there sipping wine) we all thought that his problem may have been over-sipping something. All the waiters seemed to know him, not as a customer I think.
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 04:38 AM
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Loving your report. http://www.presidentcheese.com/chees...cts_butter.php

The 8oz sea salt domed butter is the best I have found here in the states. I only allow myself to it on very special times.
Congrats on the new job.
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 11:01 AM
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Omg, the FOOD. so enjoying your report... how dreamy. Love trips like this. Thanks for taking us along and getting me pumped for our next visit!
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 01:53 PM
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CarolJean---they are very good. Paris is loaded with great chocolate shops, so you can't go wrong. The Pierre Marcolini almonds are excellent and he first dark chocolate ones that I really like and aren't at all bitter.

Odd Judy---we felt the same way as this gentleman was with someone but laid in the floor for quite some time before getting up. Scary stuff.

You are welcome-tessietoes
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 02:04 PM
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Maybe it was the same guy, denisea!
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 06:59 PM
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bookmarking for next trip in June where we plan to indulge the taste buds!
Thanks so much
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Old Jan 14th, 2015, 09:56 AM
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@denisea Sorry to jump in on this thread (new to Fodor's Forum)- have some specific questions on your upcoming Amalfi Coast trip - not sure if you're still checking that post. Thank you.
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Old Jan 15th, 2015, 04:55 PM
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Hey Denise, I'm along for the ride. Love all the details in your report!
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Old Jan 16th, 2015, 07:28 AM
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Denisea, Joan, et al., thanks for the advice on Reed. I am indeed thinking of doing a cooking class. Are they in English or in French? I do speak French but my sister does not, and since this is her trip, I want her to enjoy the class as much as I do.

Denisea I do love this report and can't wait for more!
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Old Jan 16th, 2015, 08:03 AM
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Catherine is Canadian and speaks both French and English fluently. I took one of her classes a couple years ago. I don't cook. It was fun. A nice group, too.

a bientot..

Joan
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Old Jan 16th, 2015, 12:19 PM
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Sorry to be slow here--drinking from a fire hose at my new job!

Bistro Belhara

The plan was to meet at Joan’s apartment in the 7th and of course, it started to rain as it was time to head over. We decoded we should take the Champagne we bought at Le Derniere Goutte (Egly-Ouriet).

A cab ride over and we were at Joan’s door and the first to arrive. The apartment is gorgeous and spacious (and without the squeaky, creaky floors we have in ours---I assume that she can stand up to take a shower but didn’t ask ☺).

Florent, his mom and Mika arrived shortly after and they were toting their favorite Champagne, Desmoiselle. We have seen it all over Paris but haven’t had it yet---looking good for a fun night!

I had to admire Florent’s mothers scarf! French women and their scarves—always very chic! Champagne was poured and Florent played IT support for Joan and her French cell phone (not getting texts). I always love how they call her Jo-ann, there is no Joan in French apparently! Mika and I chatted in our usual mix of a few French words and charades. Somehow we got to the fact that I used to be blonde and I can’t believe they had never seen me as a blonde since I was for the first 45-46 years of my life. Out came wedding pictures from Chaz’ phone from 10 years ago –it seemed quite the novelty for them. And somewhere in there an explanation of what strawberry blonde is. That led to pet pictures and somewhere the second bottle of Champagne was popped open. Florent’s mother was sticking with orange juice and they are merciless in making fun of her. I think she had a little sip of two of Fizz.

Well, 2 bottles a great Champagne (I preferred the Desmoiselle ) and we were off to Bistro Belhara. All fun except the drizzle. We had the same waiter from last year and Florent decided where we all should sit. I got located right in front of a pole that I hit my head on constantly from laughing! We got some Bordeaux (Clarendale)
And Florent’s mom got tomato juice—Madame jus de tomate was born! She is wise as she knows that too many glasses of wine will hit you back the next day!!


Out of nowhere a picture or mirror fell off the wall right next to a baby. Amazing that no one was hurt!! I was probably going to knock myself out from hitting my head on that damn pole! I think I did it at least 6-7 times!

I started with a pumpkin soup, perfect for a drizzly night. We got a beef dish similar to pot au feu but a thicker broth/gravy and totally yummy.

Chaz got a chocolate soufflé for dessert and I got cheese with cherries. Both good. The food there is really terrific. We were the last to leave and it was a very fun, chatty night. As always, a lot of laughter. Those two really are the life of the party. We were walking back but Chaz and I knew we had to get a cab back or we would be out way too late and the next day was our last. One came up out of nowhere and so we bid adieu in the rainy street. Always hard to leave but I think the party continued on back at Joan’s apartment.

Next- Our last day in Paris---a visit to Musee Rodin, my favorite meal of the trip and Les 110 Taillevent
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Old Jan 16th, 2015, 02:17 PM
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I continue to enjoy your food-centric trip report, denisea! How nice to share these wonderful meals with friends!

Re: French women & scarves - always very chic. It's so true, isn't it? Now, my mother who was Japanese not French had a flair with scarves. With very little effort, she could transform a simple outfit into a stylish one with the addition of a colorful scarf - voilà! I inherited my mother's scarf collection & have been adding to it since. I wish I could say that I have the same flair with scarves that my mother had but I am working at it!
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Old Jan 16th, 2015, 05:07 PM
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Sounds like a fun night at Belhara. Loved the Jo-ann reference. Here at home, we just call her "Joanie". Not sure how she feels about that.

May have to add Belhara to my list for next fall. But I may have to include the dinner guests to make it fun!

~Roberta
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