Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shakespeare he's in the alley...Stuck Inside of Paris with the Short Hills Blues Again!

Well Shakespeare he's in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells
Speaking to some French girl
Who says she knows me well

And here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice

My friend Pete (we fondly call him Bexley) just flipped me the below, which is the text of a stream of consciousness email I wrote on a blackberry (remember when those were cool and developers made apps to support them?) in early March 2011 to another mutual contact who was "stuck" in Paris -- what does it mean to be " stuck" in Paris? Stuck in Detroit, sure. Stuck in Florida, sure….Stuck in Fenway Park, absolutely, but Paris -- no, lucky enough to be there! Well, my friend Bexley suggested I consider blogging about Paris so I guess I've not shared (effectively) with my friends this blog and its several lazy and rambling Paris pieces. Forgive the redundancy of the following (for the two of you who have actually read any of my Paris blog posts). Incidentally, the above stanzas are from Dylan's wonderful "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" from his amazing Blonde on Blonde album…genius! Since the email I wrote was stream of consciousness and I've always believe my uncle Bob Dylan wrote that way too...why not quote the master.
Ed (Short Hills, New-Boring-Jersey, 2012)

…and we adore the 6th and 7th (our favorite places in Paris).
We try to visit Berthillon in the 4th on the Isle St Louis on every single visit -- best ice cream and their tarte tatin and financiers are insanely great
We get pints to take out and damn they're fabulous

We LOVE Yugaraj, a wonderful (but not inexpensive) Indian restaurant on historic rue Dauphine in the 6th -- Dauphine is where the Jazz ex-pats like Miles and Parker brought beebop to Paris. There's an eggplant dish (not their bangan bertha) that is unbelievable -- they also have some killer wines. A family favorite

I love vin Sur Vin in the 7th, a very sweet little 1 star with a 50 page handwirtten wine list footsteps from the Champs des Mars. If you want to splurge on a great bottle, the _____ [FAT CHANCE I'M SHARING THIS TIP!] is underpriced there (US retail) but just ask the dude for a rec -- he's awesome

I love the non-starred Chez Les Anges (Laurent Fiot is the Sommelier and may even know me, which doesn't mean he likes me…I'm not that likeable). Also in the 7th and almost right across from the Invalides. Great spot with a few good picks on the wine list

I also adore Villaret in the 11th but my wife says "great atmosphere, warm service, good food (not insanely great but very good) and my husband is romantically entangled with their wine list" -- she's right. The wine list is well priced

When we want to splurge (and the Euro has to cooperate) our favorites are: Bristol (love it…culinary fireworks and dazzle and elegance), Taillevent (so classic and wonderful) and Arpege, especially when veggies are in season -- like in the late Spring, Summer and early Fall

I always enjoy a trip to Tan Dinh in the 7th for Vietnamese -- the beef Tan Dinh and goose dumplings are terrific. The wine list is a legend. No credit cards.

Relais de Comptoir in the 6th is awesome but tough to get in -- the beet soup served at lunch is wonderful, no, make that world class. They also have an inexpensive Marcel Lapierre Morgon 09 on the list -- it's special because 09 was a killer year, Lapierre was the king of that appellation and just died so no more will be made.

I always argue with my wife about the 3 best places for macarons -- Laduree (21 rue Bonaparte is the one we frequent -- and, yes, I was mayor on 4square) is great, Pierre Herme (multiple locations) is her favorite for most things and then there's Sadaharu Aoki 35 rue de Vaugirard (near Luxembourg Gardens, which we love). The macarons at Aoki are intriguing and delicious, but he makes this salted caramel and chocolate dessert for like 4Euro -- my daughter orders it and must tithe a bite or three to the church (me) and it is damn wonderful.

There's a killer crepe place but you have to wait for an hour if you don't get there super early (no credit cards either). It is worth it. The block literally has 11 crepe restaurants but this is the only one with a line out the door -- Creperie Josselin in Montparnasse (67 rue de Montparnasse - not blvd but rue) 14th

Places to avoid -- Chez Les Amis (they were nasty bastards to us), ______ (nice but not worth it), Tour D'argent (historic but not firing on all cylinders), ----------[name withheld] (a total scam)

We also like August (7th, classic one star), Les Botaniste (sweet homey place). For those renting an apartment for a week or whatever…. go grocery shopping and buy breakfast and prepared foods at Grande Epicerie at Bon Marche -- a classic landmark. We also really like Epi Dupin and have sweet talked the Sommelier into letting us bring bottles, which is super cool of him (Merci Beaucoup Mon Ami). The frites and the lentil salad at La Marlotte in the 6th are both exemplary and it is at 55 r Cherche Midi which is a great market street. Right nearby there's the best organic street market in Paris -- Sunday morning on Rue des Rennes by Hotel Lutetia. Enjoy being trapped in Paris!

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