Birthday Weekend part 1

Last weekend was my birthday.  My good friend, Dollie, jumped the pond and was here for a visit.  She arrived Thursday, just before noon.  Luckily she felt good and we went out for lunch.  One thing I must say here is that Dollie loves haute cuisine and I will certainly not say no to it!  So, let the food photos begin!

First, we went to bakkus.  A little wine bar a few blocks from where I live.  It’s on the Rue du Cherche Midi.  There are a lot of shops and quite a few places to eat located on this road.
Neither of us has ever been there, but the menu looked good from the outside, so we went in.
I had an uncooked burger, otherwise known as steak tartare, and a salad with a very nice wine.  They had those cool wine machines that syphon the wine while keeping it vacuum sealed.

We wandered around town window shopping and since we didn’t have any reservations for dinner, we went to Cafe des Artistes, in the 3rd district, for dinner.  We’d both been here before along with another friend a couple of years ago.  We really enjoyed it then and they did not disappoint this time either.  There’s a mix of tourists, like us, and locals.  We got there “early” at 7pm, and we were able to get in.  There were a couple of Dutch ladies next to us, a group of Brits and later French people arrived and we also saw Asian people come in.

No photo here.  I swear I thought I took a photo, but alas, I did not.  I remember everything being delicious but don’t have something to show you.  I ordered off the menu and I got the soup of the day for a starter and a milk fed pig for dinner.  I don’t think we had dessert here I think we just had coffee.

On Friday, Dollie and I went to the Musee Jacquemart Andre.  We had a piece of strawberry tarte and a coffee at the museum’s cafe.  Both were very good.

I thought the little old lady behind Dollie was so cute but I needed to pretend to take a photo of the room!

Dollie and I walked a lot! And, from the museum, in the 8th, we walked to the Galleries Lafayette in the 9th.  The dome in the gallerie is famous and beautiful:

You can find places like this if you need to go to a decent bathroom.  Paris is practically devoid of public bathrooms so you have to be creative on where to find a decent one that is free.  Most people choose McDonald’s but I say, find a department store and use their bathroom.  
We still had some time before our 8pm dinner slot at AOC, so as we were walking around, Dollie and I stopped to have a glass – or two – of wine.  We came upon Le Mesturet bar/restaurant in the 2nd.
While there, we asked for some “munchies” (mignardises) and they gave us these fantastic seasoned olives.  Looking at a menu on the wall, I noticed an unusual dessert – Cheesecake!  Cheesecake is now very popular in Paris but it was once unknown.  How it became famous I do no know but I know that you can now find it everywhere.  I tried one the other day from a boulangerie.  It was not like our cheesecake, it wasn’t bad but this cheesecake was too light.  So, I’ll have to try one of the cheesecakes that say it’s the “vrai” or real U.S. cheesecake.  I’ll let you know.
So, on to AOC!  I really like this place and it was my 3rd time there.  Staff is very friendly.  The hostess is the wife and the husband was a butcher.  They are known for their meats – rotisserie style – and I just love it.  I had the bone marrow, the cochon du lait.  Dollie’s wild boar that had been marinaded for 48 hours was outstanding and then I had the coffee gourmand, which was coffee with a few tastes of other desserts.  Awesome.

The next day was my birthday.  Dollie and I wanted to check out a street market.  So, we went down to the south side of the 5th district to rue Mouffetard and collected items for a picnic lunch.  Fantastic bread, 2 types of cheese and some quiche.  Very tasty.  It soon started raining and we made camp at a cafe on the Mouffetard that was across the way from a butcher’s shop.  What a show we were given.  If you are vegetarian you might want to look away, but Dollie and I were fascinated.  We could tell the butchers noticed us taking pictures of them and they were equally amused by us.

to be continued…

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