Monday, March 08, 2010

Alien pastries

Creme moelleux de citron "yuzu". I didn't really know what to expect...I thought it would be more like a mousse in a glass cup. No, its a dome of silky citrusy cream glazed with an un-natural shade of green and topped with some red currants. 

Definitely a visually stunning presentation but it left me wanting something more. Kinda wish it was airier with a more complex citrus taste.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The move

While my poor movers were going up and down 3 flights of stairs carrying boxes of clothes, shoes and a couch or two, I went to Au Levain de Marais, which will probably become my new local boulangerie. First time in my life that I've had a croissant that was still warm from the oven. I walked back holding it in my hand and trying not to crush it, all the while hoping it would stay warm in time for me to eat it.

Flaky shattering butterly salty sweetness. With a touch of warmth and a gooey inside. Yum.

FYI, according to my French teacher (Google confirms), there are actually two types of croissants. This one is a croissant au beurre, as opposed to a croissant, and has an elongated shape, rather than the shape with the sides tucked in. The difference? Croissant au beurre must be made with 100% butter (apparently French butter at that) and have no other kinds of fat like margarine or oil. The other ones, croissants can be made with fats other than butter. But if you're going to eat it, why not go for the real, 100% buttery goodness? Apparently you get in trouble if you mis-label or mis-shape your croissants. Frenchies are serious about these kinds of things.

That thing is messy and you get shards of pastry all over the place. So I snuck in bites when the movers weren't in the apartment. Oh, and I got them some water. In between cursing my apartment to l'enfer, they made fun of how much stuff I had relative to the size of the apartment.

Then they discussed whether or not my couch would fit through the doorway to the apartment. And what I was going to do with two couches (the apartment came furnished). Well my couch didn't fit so they're coming back next week and putting it through this window. I don't know what I'm doing with that other leather couch (its actually super uncomfortable).

And on Saturday I spent 12:30pm - 9pm assembling furniture, cursing Ikea to l'enfer while putting together, pulling apart, and breaking off pieces of my bed, being thankful that I had the foresight to pack a hammer and a screwdriver, and organizing my kitchen and shoe closet. Yes, I have a shoe closet. Although depending on how things go, it might become a stacked-clothes closet. Still lots more to organize thought and gotta get it ready by Saturday morning in time for JP! Stay tuned for pictures of the apartment after it's ready next week!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Pig's feet

A few weeks back, my friend VL's (who lives in Hong Kong now) coworker came to Paris for training. This means I had another person I can have dinner with! She'd never been to Paris before, and it was a Sunday night, and we know how notoriously annoying it is to find a place that's open for dinner on a Sunday. I gave her a few choices and we decided to go to Au Pied de Cochon next to Les Halles.

Sure its touristy, but she just wanted to get a feeling for traditional French food and I don't think thats just an awful place to try the basics. But even though their Soupe a l'oignon gratinee (one of my favorite French dishes) is supposed to be pretty good, it fell flat.

Too little flavor in the broth, and too much cheese. I barely even saw an onion in there! And then I ordered what I thought were mussels, as in mussels in their shells piled high, but I got something reminiscent of escargot dishes, a mussel or two in each little hole, with some kind of tomato / herb sauce on top. Also underwhelming. But it was redeemed with a glorious fromage frais topped with almond crumble and morello cherries. I could've just eaten that all called it a night. (And look, the girl take gorgeous photos too!)

On the plus side, it is open 24 hours and claims it hasn't closed its doors since 1947 so I guess if you're starving in the middle of the night, you can go and get some porky goodness (I actually had no pork whatsoever tonight...although maybe I should have and that was my problem?). Just skip the soup.