Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Experiences Alongside a Dear Old Friend - Part One

My first day in Paris was filled with new experiences alongside a dear old friend, Anouk.  My arrival to Paris was smooth and  uneventful (thankfully!).  Flying business class was the biggest treat ever!  I believe I was asked at least 10 times if there was anything that I needed to make my flight more comfortable.  Upon reaching my seat, I was greeted with a nice fluffy pillow and comfy blanket.  Atop those was a zippered bag filled with an eye mask, comfy socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand lotion, chapstick, ear plugs...all essential items needed for a long trip. 

After landing in Charles de Gaulle, I went through customs in a flash and received my luggage in record time!  Off to the taxi line I went, where I was introduced to my non-English speaking driver.  About one hour later, I was at my final destination - le chateau Danan!  YAY!!!

(Fitting my luggage and myself into the tiny lift up to Anouks' Parisian home was rather glad I did not bring more than the one large luggage!)

After catching up on happenings, a well-needed two hour nap and a great cup of cafe', Anouk and I were off to walk the city of lights!  First phenomenal view...the Eiffel Tower!  It is minutes from her home!! 

Anouk chose a local restaurant to start our "day" - L'Ogre.  Super cute, very meat oriented, this spot is very charming.  We ordered fois gras (my first ever time trying this!) and then followed it up with a burger.  This wasn't just any burger (and I know my close friends reading this are thinking, "Of course - you go to France and get a burger." Au contrair!).  This burger didn't have a conventional bun - the "bun" was two delicious potato pancakes...did I mention the yummy cheese and bacon also?  I wish I took a picture because it was a true burger masterpiece...I think we may go back again before I leave. 

We walked...and we walked...and we walked some more.  And then it started drizzling, and then it started really raining so we decided to check out some stores on the Champs de Elysses.  We jumped from store to store, trying to stay dry (damn, I should have brought with us the umbrella my husband packed for us).  We checked out Dolce and Gabana (saw a pair of boots that resembled Sadie, my dog); a delicious smelling chocolate store;  Laduree for macarons; then to The Drugstore for coffee and more macarons - the creme brulee one was my favorite.  YUM!!  The Arc de Triomphe was right there - outside The Drugstore...amazing!!  (and a Cartier store as well LOL).  It amazes me how almost anywhere you walk, you come across some of the most beautiful, historic monuments...amongst the everyday life of the Parisians. 

Back to Nook's house for a rest, a shower and some wine - and then we were off again!  Dinner was astounding!  Anouk took me to Kura - a fabulous Japanese restaurant that she has been meaning to go to.   I don't think we knew what we had gotten in to - even after we reviewed the menu.  I have to list the amount of food we ate....insane and delicious (in order, of course).
  1. Foie gras with a sweet mango sauce (notice this is the second time in one day I have tried this new dish!) paired with a sweet peach infused wine
  2. Pumpkin tempura (delicious) paired with a crisp white wine
  3. Tofu, crab, shrimp and green bean roll (not my favorite but very interesting)
  4. Interesting egg roll filled with white rice, veggies and tofu
  5. Three pieces of yellow tail and 2 pieces of the BEST tuna, paired with a strong chilled sake.
  6. Main course (are you full and tired by now?) - beef cheeks (yes, I typed beef cheeks) with root vegetables and steamed white rice, and miso soup all paired with red wine.
  7. FINALLY - sweet sorbet dessert and these delicious puff pastries.
And I wondered why a few hours later I didn't feel so good!  The food was delicious, and I enjoyed it immensely - maybe too much?  :)

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