Four Dinners in Paris

October 3, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to go to Paris on a business trip. Business trip, you may ask? Well, for those of you who don’t know, I actually have a job in corporate America where there is no cooking involved from 8 to 5. I am in the marketing world and I really enjoy it, especially for perks like having to travel to Paris. Who wouldn’t?

As I was there on business, I spent all day in offices and was only free to enjoy “la ville-lumière” (the city of light) in the evenings. My trip was for a total of 5 days, so here is my journey of 4 dinners in Paris.

First I want to give you some tips on finding where to eat and how to maximize your time in Paris when traveling with very little time to spare and with a conscious budget.

Do your homework:

  • List all the things you would like to do and prioritize them.
  • Familiarize yourself with public transportation ahead of time.
  • Read and follow recommendations of food bloggers that actually live in Paris.

Immerse in the culture:

  • Eat where the locals eat.
  • Avoid over-touristy eateries.
  • Pick one or two neighborhoods and really enjoy what they have to offer.
  • Go on a tour guided by locals.

I followed all of the tips above and here is my story in a nutshell.

1.  I read reviews and recommendations from amazing bloggers and Paris residents: David Lebovitz and Clotilde Dusoulier.

2.  To save time and money, I bought a  5 day metro pass, which allowed me to ride the metro without limitations.

3.  I decided to spend the majority of my budget and time on a French Desserts Cooking Class.  (I will write a later post just about this experience)

4.  As my hotel was located in Montmartre, I focused most of my adventures in this area and went on a  tour of Montmartre guided by true Parisians.

So, back to food. Here is my summary of FOUR DINNERS IN PARIS

{ – Frog Legs

My first dinner was right after taking the French desserts class so I was not really hungry. I decided to be adventurous by trying a dish that Parisians are famous for enjoying and that was completely new to me. So my options were escargot or frog legs. What would you have chosen? To me the choice was clear, I jumped right away on the frog legs wagon as I still can’t imagine sucking on snails, pardon my French.

They turned out to be very tasty probably because all the garlic and butter they were prepared with. The texture was very similar to fish but it tasted like chicken; Crazy! I couldn’t really eat it all as my brain took over and all I could think of was our slimy green friends from the Budweiser commercials.

Les Coins des Amis 50 Rue du Mont Cenis

Service, food quality and overall experience: 3 stars

{ – Bone Marrow and Foie Gras Terrine

What I ordered the second night would still seem adventurous for some (beef bone tissue and whole duck liver) but as I have had these dishes before, I was confident I would enjoy them. The bone marrow had been placed under a broiler so it had a crispy layer followed by a buttery inside which I slathered on the baguettes. The foie gras terrine was served with dried fruit chutney that created a good balance of texture and flavors. To start the meal, they complimentary served ham and olives brioche bread.

A la Pomponnette  42 Rue Lepic

Service, food quality and overall experience: 4 stars

 Foie Gras Terrine                                                             Grilled Bone Marrow

{ – Wild Boar

To keep with the adventurous theme (which was not planned at all), the third dinner was light and consisted of a charcuterie plate that included wild boar sausage. My palate really could not make a big distinction between pork and boar and I blame it on the fact that they were smoked. Regardless, this was delicious. The plate also included two cheese options and came with baguette, of course, and a fig jam.

Epicerie Terra Corsa  42, rue des Martyrs

Service, food quality and overall experience: 3 1/2 stars

{ – Potatoes Stuffed with Caramelized Pig’s Feet Meat and Mushroom and Greens Stuffed Squid

This diner was also on the adventurous side for most but I can assure you I have never had a dish made of pork more delicious than these stuffed potatoes.  This was my best experience of all. The restaurant was fabulous, the crowd was super chic locals, and the food divine. A perfect last supper in Paris.

Les Cocottes 135 Rue Saint-Dominique

Service, food quality and overall experience: 5 stars

Potatoes Stuffed with Caramelized Pig’s Feet Meat

Mushroom and Greens Stuffed Squid

With this you can see how everything is relative. Food is consumed to nourish our bodies, to fulfill a craving, to comfort,  to heal and because we are all unique and come from different backgrounds and cultures our food is also unique. What may seem a delicacy for me it might not be for you and vice versa. So be adventurous try new and exciting things, don let others tell you about it experience it for your self. You could be surprised and discover a new favorite dish. And above all lets remember to always be respectful of foreign customs even if they don’t come close to ours. Bon Appetit!

If you have any questions about my trip or any other Paris tips let me know!

 

 

10 Responses to “Four Dinners in Paris”

  • Hmmm – this post has me longing for another trip to Paris. Such a gorgeous and delicious city.

  • mariel

    waoo this is awesome dear melissa! keep up the good work!! :D :D love your blog!

  • First of all, you totally lived my dream!!!!! I would love to travel to Paris to take a French Cooking and Baking class. I pray I get to go next year. Can’t wait for your post on this. Secondly, I love that you truly explore everything that Paris had to offer. You were so adventurous. Kudos to you!!! I know who to talk to when I go next year, fingers crossed!

    • Melissa B. { hungryfoodlove }

      Jocelyn this was my second trip so I definitely have tips for you anytime. Trust that your trip will happen at the right time!!

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