Monday, May 7, 2012

Shock and Awe

So Mr. Oil and I have been going around thinking that we're pretty good at this eating-our-way-through-Paris thing.  However, this past weekend we realized that we are mere amateurs, at least compared with our latest visitors, Mr and Mrs Foie. (As in gras. This will become clear.)  We have not yet recovered from the shock and awe inspired by their gastronomic abilities.

Mr and Mrs Foie are friends from DC. We knew they loved foie gras and all sorts of other Parisian delicacies which they discovered when they honeymooned here more than four years ago. In three days, we ate foie gras three different ways (in mousse/spreadable form, in awesomely delicious burgers, and seared with mango).  We ate at least 10 different pastries, and multiple macarons, and chocolates, and caramels, and cheese, and breads.  Baguette tradition, pain au figue, curry bread, sesame baguette, and more.  And viennnoiseries - pain au raisin, croissant, pain au chocolat.  I'm still full.

We joined Mr. and Mrs. Foie on Sunday afternoon for a few hours to better understand how serious eaters approach Paris.  This is serious, folks.  You should train for this. There are sacrifices to be made, and careful planning that is required, and most of all, dedication to the mission.  It's like an Olympic sport, or a surgical strike. 

Un Dimanche a Paris had been on our list for a while, and I am already looking forward to returning.  The brainchild of Pierre Cluizel, son of the famous chocolatier Michel Cluizel, Un Dimanche a Paris includes a restaurant, a salon du chocolat, and a boutique.  The chocolate-covered coriander, fennel, and peppercorns were just some of the delectable treats we discovered there.

Mr. Oil kicked it up a notch by deciding to go for the Chou Pistache avec Fruits Rouges.  Yum.

Mr. Oil chows down.

Keep in mind that Mr and Mrs Foie had already visited Patisserie des Reves, Sadaharu Aoki, and the farmer's market at Raspail earlier in the day.  Undeterred and with room still in our stomachs, we then hit up Henri Le Roux followed by Gerard Mulot.  After a break to eat a warm-from-the-oven baguette from Mulot and some awesome Taleggio cheese from the farmer's market in the Jardin du Luxembourg, we still had a few hours to get hungry for dinner at Yayin.  Lamb charlotte - just thinking about it makes me salivate.  Juicy lamb cooked to lamby perfection in a round, covered with thin strips of eggplant, with pesto and lamb jus on the side.

And I haven't fully done justice to the foie gras burgers that Mr. Foie cooked up for us on Saturday night in honor of his 30th birthday (yes, he cooked his own birthday dinner - I swear he wanted to! We at least provided French champagne).  Half a pound of fresh ground beef, with a solid chunk of foie gras in the middle - the foie gras gets all oozy and permeates all of the burger with its richness - yum yum yum.

I think we must go on a diet this week since we leave on Saturday for two weeks in Italy, in which our main activity is going to be eating. Oy.  Now I'm even happier that I recently purchased jeggings (jeans + leggings = jeggings = elastic waist!).

And just in case you were wondering if we do anything in France but eat, I would like you to know that this weekend we also attended a pirate-themed birthday party.  Photographic evidence of the Dread Pirate Baby Oil below.
No foie gras at the party. But no worries, there was truffle cream on warm flatbread and plenty of bubbly.