Thursday, January 06, 2011

Les Fables de la Fontaine

On recommendation from Willi's Wine Bar we made a lunch reservation as this 25-seater was booked all week for dinner. It is in the 7th near the Tower just off the Champs de Mars and was a pleasant 20 minute walk in the wet 50 degree weather. Some suggested global warming. I'd like to think it was just a warm send off from Paris so I would return again. Paris does that to you.

This is not a bistro but fine dining. The small space is elegantly and simply done as are the dishes. I didn't expect the 4 mini lobsters as an appetizer as my French is still weak, but the wet nap and lobster fork and cracker should have been a warning, but by then it was too late. In Midwestern fashion I got it done but left the little claws alone as I was beginning to splatter the nearby guests. And as this was a popular spot, the guests included a table of dignified grand parents, their son and grand son, a table with a married middle-aged business man in his suit and his elegant but mature 'niece' who was decked and voluptuous with signs of some work done to improve her looks, and a table of 16 workers on a Holiday lunch with their boss.

As homage to Julia Childs, we ordered sole meuniere for two as this was the first dish she had when she first landed in France after WWII. The Sancerre paired very well with all courses. We skipped dessert and settled on cafe noisette and then headed back out into the warm January afternoon. Stop in if you can get a reservation.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

NYE Resolution #4

As I have been fortunate this last year, I am going to give back to my community in a meaningful way with time, effort and resources. It's time to "pay it back". The Cincinnati Freestore and Foodbank could always use some help, so that's a start.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Maceo, Paris

Maceo is the upscale restaurant located a few doors down from Willi's Wine Bar on Rue des Petits Champs in the 1st. Mark Williamson, an English ex-pat since the 70s, runs the place with old world charm and a very dry sense of humor. The room is grand and colonial, and I have it on good authority that it used to house the best brothel in Paris. That may explain my reluctance to leave after a leisurely 2 hour lunch with a shared appetizer, main course, a large pichet of Dolcetto d' Alba, and a pear William dessert with cafe. All this for 115 euros. I am guessing there would be extra charges for a truly 'happy ending'.

Maceo has become a regular visit on my trips here and will continue to be so as the food, service and ambiance are 5 star. As an example, when the server noticed that I was having trouble cutting my beef filet with the butter knife (usually it takes two large pichets of Red to lead me astray like that) he silently slid over and dropped a new steak knife at my side and removed the other knives from my reach. I expected and deserved a slap on the head and a curt "Hey dummy, try the steak knife not the butter knife!" Like I said, very smooth.

Stop in and enjoy a great meal, and if you find out where the 'private' dining rooms are, let me know. I will be on the next flight out from Cincinnati.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

NYE Resolution #3

I will send out timely, hand-written Thank You Notes. As a bachelor I am way bad at this, but this year I will get some personalized note cards and use them. Besides, the US Post Office is really hurting for revenue.

NYE Resolution #2

I will go to Barcelona and stay for at least three days, and not eat dinner before midnight. This will require several naps through out the day. I may go to a museum. Or not.

NYE Resolution #1

My list for New Years' resolutions is incomplete so I will roll them out over the next week one at a time in no particular order.

I will go to Le Baron Rouge during Happy Hour to swill cheap wine and slurp oysters with a rowdy crowd.

24 hours in Paris

When I'm fresh out of words, I let the photos do the talking. Twenty four hours in Paris with NYE smack in the middle.