paris underground

When Seth’s brother Eliot first arrived in Paris, the weather was absolutely beautiful: sunny and decently warm. An hour later, the sun vanished and the temperature dropped. Somewhat discouraged, we walked down the street to grab a crepe. Seth ordered a very delicious bacon, leek, tomato, cheese, and sour cream crepe; Eliot ordered a beef crepe (I forgot what else was on it); and I ordered a potato, tomato, and sour cream crepe. After a short food coma, we waddled to the Eiffel Tower to introduce Eliot to the Paris cityscape. By then it was windy and rainy outside, but we powered through. We walked from the Eiffel Tower to the sixth arrondissement, searching for a decent French restaurant along the way. We finally stumbled upon Les Jardins Saint Germain, a French restaurant with the interior appearance of a Chinese restaurant. I was immediately skeptical, but our meal was actually really delicious. Seth, Eliot, and I all chose a three-course menu option which included une entrée, un plat principal, et un dessert. For starters, Seth chose la soupe à l’oignon gratinée (french onion soup); Eliot, le chèvre chaud rôti aux amandes (goat cheese cakes fried in an almond crust); and I, la terrine de porc (a forcemeat loaf of pork served with bouillon jelly). For mains, Seth ordered le magret de canard (duck breast served with a berry sauce and parsley potatoes); Eliot, l’escalope de saumon au beurre nantais (a salmon filet served with buttered noodles); and I, le confit de canard pommes persillées (duck leg served with parsley potatoes). Because the decor and a majority of the waitstaff were Chinese, Seth and I assumed the duck was going to be the best main course option. I think we were right. My meal was absolutely amazing. Seth thought his was a bit overcooked, but I thought it was still very good. For dessert, Seth and I picked la crème caramel parfumée à l’orange (crème caramel flavored lightly with orange); Eliot, a sort of yogurt-fruit combination. By the time our desserts arrived, we were so full from the appetizers, main courses, and wine that we could hardly finish them.

After dinner, we walked down the street to meet Will, Sohael, and Sanket at Le Bar du Marché. We sat outside and had a drink apiece before wandering to an underground sangria bar Sohael and Sanket had visited on our sophomore trip to Paris. 10 Bar (pronounced Dix Bar), was extremely hip in a retro, vintage sort of way. The stairs leading to the basement were insanely steep, and the fire exit was blocked. (Basically, had there been a fire, we all would have died.) The space was small and cramped. The walls were adorned with mirrors, warm yellow lights, and old neighborhood posters. The clientele, much like that at La Perle, was young, attractive, and artsy. As we sipped our pitcher of very sweet red sangria, we noticed a skinny little door in the corner; we thought it might have been one of several doors in Paris which leads to the catacombs. (Apparently, the labyrinth of catacombs is a site for very secret and very wild underground parties. We all really want to go, but we have decided to save the journey until the end of the semester just in case we get deported.) Everyone had a good time relaxing and talking. Around one in the morning, Seth and I decided we had tortured Eliot enough and decided to take him home for some sleep. At least now he will not be jet lagged!

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