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by on May 10th, 2012

Paris, Provence and A Few Pounds

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating — Luciano Pavarotti

And we did just that while in France.

Were those few pounds worth it?

Our first night in Provence, and in our tiny little town of 1,800 (Eygaliers), we had one of our most fantastic meals in France (we had several) — Sous les Micocouliers. What impressed me most about this dish was the way they had the leg cut flat on the bottom so that it would stand up. And, the boneless thigh was wrapped around some sort of risotto mixture. Don’t ask me what the smear on the plate is, I have no idea, just know it was delicious.

Now, were those pounds worth it? Of course they were! Every ounce, and I’m not even sure what the scales would say if I were to get on them. I’m holding off until I can get back in the gym.

We enjoyed all the sights of Paris and so many wonderful meals and experiences. We had an apartment in the 2 arrondissement, Montorgueil area, and had a 15 minute walk to the Louvre. I loved walking down the Champs-Elysées before heading to the Eiffel Tower at dusk — what a sight.

Normally in the morning we would grab something from one of the bakeries in Paris and head out for the day. If we did not stop for lunch we would make an early afternoon visit to a bistro or bar for some wine and FRENCH FRIES. Boy, where those fries good and we did this almost daily. We learned really quick how to say “frites”. And, please, a glass of “vin rouge”. Later in the afternoon we would start thinking of where we were going to have dinner. I had read about Verjus months earlier and made reservations so we knew one night was already planned. Believe me when I say where we eat was just as important as what we saw during the days. We turned our heads at the sight of a McDonalds or even a Starbucks — none of that for us. We were there to enjoy everything French.

We saw many wonderful museums but one of our favorites was the Musee du quay Branley. After all the museums full of amazing art work by some of the most famous artist in the world, I was ready to get to Provence ,and if I had one ounce of “go” left in my knees, ready to see some of the hill towns. Provence was my favorite of the whole trip and I think we had our best meals and wine there. (Update, looks like I have no go left in the old knees, one getting replaced this summer.)

So, here are some food pictures from our two weeks in France. Hope they don’t slow down your computer. I just did not know when to stop.  Sorry about some of the blurriness; I did not take my big camera and these were shot with either an iPhone or my point and shoot and the restaurants were pretty dim (should say romantic) at night. The big camera is going everywhere I go from now on. Hope you enjoy looking at some of what we feasted on and I hope to try recreating some of these dishes.

First meal in Paris and was this ever good.

Fish dish also from  Sous les Micocouliers.

We only had crepes once in Paris but these Crepes Suzette were so yummy.

This was one big piece of quiche at a bistro in Paris and I did my best to eat the whole thing.

I had a Croque Monsieur (hot ham and cheese sandwich) twice in Paris and frankly was a little disappointed. It consisted of one very thin slice of ham sandwiched between two pieces of bread and covered in cheese and broiled. I think I could recreate this and add a twist to it.

One delicious lunch at Le Varietes in Les Baux de Provence. We lunched outside with all the locals.  This dish was fantastic a green olive tapenade cream sauce with black and green olive tapenade garnish along with red and yellow rice.

One of our courses at Verjus, Paris. We had these reservations about six months out.

Another one of our lunches at Le Varietes in Les Baux de Provence – Pasta with sliced smoked duck breast.

Dinner in Paris at Aux Trois Petits Cochons (The Three Little Pigs). This was a brandade (potatoes and cod) mash on the bottom with cod on top. Very good. We almost ate there twice.

Duck confit from Epicerie in rue Montorgueil (our neighborhood in Paris). Cool tables with spices underneath glass tops.

Our first course at Sous les Micocouliers in Eygaliers. Some salmon topped with roe. The green fluffy stuff int he glass is an asparagus emulsion, a soup (? can’t remember but I did write it down) a little salad and a stuffed zucchini tower).

Another Provence meal. I know those dare little gnocchi pieces on the side. I honestly do remember this dish, it must have been my husband’s.

One of our most favorite meals at Le Bistrot du Paradou. We were the only tourist in the place. This was a leg of lamb with artichoke, mashed potatoes.  We also got to try the only other entree offered that day – Sheep’s head with cheeks and tongue. We are opted for the leg of lamb. This was preceded by escargot and then following this they brought the below cheese platter for us to enjoy as long as we wanted before they brought dessert.  All this for 29 euros and to top that off all the wine you could drink.

FANTASTIC — this had fig preserves and cherries along with 5 goat cheese, blue and a few others. We were full by the time we got this but we did our best to try a little of them all.

Just one of our morning breakfast treats from one (we had two) bakeries in Eygaliers. We made daily trips to try all their scrumptious treats. Locals lined up at these bakeries every morning to buy their baguette for the day. We were there right along with them. This is our place there VRBO.

One good quiche at a bistro in Paris.

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