Over baguettes, fromage and thé, I asked Hud what he wanted to do on the last day in Paris. He though for a moment and replied, "Have a really, quintesentially French meal. Like Julia Child would have eaten in a Parisian Cafe."
I had my mission and I chose to accept it.
But first, we had a task to complete. So off we went to the Ile de la Cité.
We got off the Metro and ran smack dab into another seasonal street fair. We made our way towards Notre Dam past the Hôtel des Ville.
Over the Seine...
Through the quaint streets...
Passing Notre Dam...
To the bridge on the flying buttress side of Notre Dam.
When we went to Sainte Chappelle, Hud and I checked on the lock we placed on the Lover's Bridge and could not find it. We happened into a little shop for a hat for him to wear in the chilly wind and found this one with a vow to return and replace the lost one. Tying it with brightly colorled ribbon, we placed it on a really great lock that we could easily find.
I had promised my friend Tatia that I would put one on the bridge for her and love, Marcus.
That's it, straight from Memphis, tied with blue ribbon. It has a fantastic view of Notre Dam, don't you think?
We wandered around for a while looking at the restaurants' posted menus, trying to find authentic cuisine. I knew two things had to be on the menu: cassoulet and sole meunière. At long last we found it on the menu of Le Navigateur. As I opened the door, I let out a happy sigh. The restaurant was packed --with French people!
We had a salad with duck kidneys and a terrine of fois gras. Devine. The salad was our favorite.
Sole Meunière! Happy Furry Godmother. Julia would have proud of the copious amounts of lemony butter this fish was swimming in.
And Hud had the earthy, comforting cassoulet!
There was a cheese course we neglected to photograph with three fantastically succulent locally grown fromage - a blue, a triple creme and firm white. I wish I had written down their names. They were so rich!
For dessert, Hud had a warm chocolate rice pudding cake. Not too sweet and oh, so toothy.
While I chose the claflooti with raspberries and crème anglaise.
The meal took up the better part of three hours. It was, indeed, dining at its best.
Back out onto the blustery streets, we headed towards Notre Dam.
As we crossed the bridge to get back to the Hotel de Ville, a couple of guys were playing some jazz. We had noticed them earlier, when we were on our way to Notre Dam. They were laughing loudly with a street performer. They had no instruments at the time.
Back over the Seine. Lovely.
Then back past the Hotel de Ville. The Hotel is not a Hotel. It is Paris' administration building. It stands on the site where public executions happened. During the French Revolution, Robespierre was shot in the jaw and captured here with his followers.
Sometime in the late 1800s, it went through a reconstruction following a fire. That's when all of the figures of famous parisians were added. Along with some lions and figure of Science and the Arts, flanking the door. Some 230 something sculpters were hired to do the 388 figures. Nice gig.
You could look at it for hours and not take in the whole exterior. I wonder what it looks like inside, but it is not open to the public. In fact, one of the rare times it was open, for Nuit Blanche (a city wide "Seepless Night" celebration), the mayor was stabbed. He lived. But it was proof that they are better off with the doors closed.
So back into the belly of Paris. Back to the Eiffel Tower to bid it adieu. Up the hill to the Etoile Trocadero on a chilly night.