While my mom and stepdad were in Paris, Seth and I took them to as many of the nontraditional sites as we possibly could. We visited the Museum of Natural History, the old Roman ruins, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, the Pantheon, Luxembourg Gardens, Saint-Sulpice, Le Marais, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Arab World Institute.
On Wednesday night, we dined at Fish la Boissonnerie, a seafood restaurant owned and operated by a very friendly American expat. (He also owns and operates Cosi just across the street.) I enjoyed a three course meal of cauliflower-anchovy risotto; baked salmon with chorizo, sauteed potatoes, baby bok choy, and sweet mustard aioli; and rosemary-mint panna cotta with raspberry puree. (My mom enjoyed the same meal as I did minus the dessert. Blasphemy!) Seth ordered smoked eel with shredded carrots and pesto, cod with a sweet tomato chutney atop a bed of spinach, and a very pungent cheese plate. For Ken’s appetizer, he ordered a heavenly scallop carpaccio. As much as I loved my starter and main course, I thought the thinly sliced, barely cooked scallops were the most to-die-for delicacies on the table.
Yesterday for lunch, Seth and I took my mom and Ken to Le Marais for their first falafel. As much as everyone loves L’As du Falafel, Seth and I are bigger fans of Chez Hanna. Their lines are minimal, their chickpea balls and toppings are super fresh, and their eggplant is perfectly roasted every single time. After lunch, Seth and I explored some new sites alone, including the Church of Saint-Séverin (one of the oldest remaining churches on the left bank), the National Assembly, and Madeleine Church (a temple designed to glorify Napoleon’s army).
For dinner that night, the four of us reunited on the L’île de la Cité to meet some of my mom’s former work colleagues, Pierre and his wife Carlotta and Alex and his wife Helene. Pierre and Carlotta own the most amazing apartment on L’île which looks out onto Notre Dame. We had a class of champagne at their place before walking down the street to Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole. As you might imagine, the food was very traditionally French. After a filling dinner, we strolled to a curbside ice cream cart for an on-the-go treat.
My mom and Ken left Paris this morning for Normandy. We will see them in a couple of days but probably not for long. Seth’s friend Duncan will be in town by then, and we will have someone new to entertain.
[Fish la Boissonnerie: 69, Rue de Seine 75006 Paris]
[Chez Hanna: 54 Rue Rosiers, 75004 Paris]
[Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole: 24 Rue Chanoinesse, 75004 Paris]