Rainy and cold in Paris

Our first night in Paris was rainy and cold.

Our first full day in Paris was rainy and cold.

Last night we walked down the street in the cold rain (did I mention it is rainy and cold in Paris?) to La Forge restaurant just a block away. In the rain and the cold, that was about as far as we wanted to go.

Dinner turned out to be great classic Parisian bistro. A wonderful family run restaurant, tiny, warm and inviting. They welcomed us after we made a reservation online (highly recommended–it shows you respect their establishment) and seated us at a very private table in the corner of the stone-walled room. Across the wall to our side was a table of some six French diners who were laughing loudly and having a great time. A good sign, but they got louder as the night progressed.

As we ordered our wine, another large group of women marched in and were seated opposite our little table. They were soon joined by a gentleman who spoke fluent French and seemed very friendly with the ownership. But he spoke English with a Texas accent, and it appeared that the group of women were all from Houston on some sort of European adventure as singles. Thankfully, they were animated but much less noisy than the French.

Our dinner was spectacular. We shared an appetizer of escargot swimming in a cream sauce with bits of garlic and lardons (bacon pieces). The menu’s English translation called them fried, but indeed they were fricase├ęd and all that implies.

For our plats, Lynn ordered the sausage stuffed chicken leg, which was prepared with the meat falling off the bone and the delicious stuffing spilling out. My lamb shank came out falling off the bone as well, awash in a rich jus after being cooked sous vide for five hours, according to the waiter. This was the perfect dinner for a cold, rainy night in Paris.

We slept well and late.

When we finally woke up Friday morning and emerged from our fourth-floor apartment, it was rainy and cold. Surprise, surprise.

Exploration of the neighborhood eventually happened, with a walk to the market on rue Mouffetard, near where Hemingway once lived almost a century ago. The Mouffetard market is a very pleasant pedestrian mall featuring meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, candies and lots of non-food offerings like clothing, beauticians and home furnishings. Very upscale, very inviting. We will spend more time here, for sure.

In fact, it is becoming apparent that this part of the Fifth is more upscale than our old neighborhood. So the apartment may not be the best, but the surroundings are awfully nice.

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