Friday, September 21, 2018

September 21, 2018. Lunch – Japonais and French Revolution Dinner – Aubergine

September 21, 2018. Lunch – Japonais and French Revolution
Dinner – Aubergine

We started around 9:30 with a cup of coffee at Starbucks while Aaron ordered an Uber that took us to a flea market that was closed.  So we ubered back to the Natural History Museum.  Aaron left us and returned to the apartment, while we toured the museum. The Natural History Museum is like the Museum of Natural History in New York, most of the exhibits are stuffed animals and fish displayed in dioramas or skeletons grouped in displays, like the skeleton on an elephant beside the skeleton of a Mastodon.

After the Museum we were hungry so we crossed Victoria to the Japonais Restaurant.  I ordered a Soba Noodle bowl with puréed spinach, a seaweed,  pork, and Edamame salad, tempura chips, and soba noodles.  Suzette ordered a box of sushi.  We ate outside the restaurant.  We both enjoyed the light but nutritious lunch.

We then walked next door to French Revolution split a pistachio cream filled éclair and a hazelnut cream filled éclair.  They were each 14 lei, or about $3.50, and Suzette and I shared a coffee with steamed milk for our dessert.

We then walked to the Peasant Folkart Museum, where Suzette did some serious shopping and found a blouse that fit her that was about fifty years old for about $65.

Suzette successfully ubered us back to the apartment by 4:15.

I napped until 6:00 and then showered and shaved.  We walked to Old Town, which is quite large in Bucharest and after a bit found the Aubergine restaurant that Aaron had recommended.  To our pleasant surprise, Aubergine was a Middle Eastern restaurant that featured many eggplant dishes.  We started with eggplant caviar and bread.  We ordered a rose, but sent it back and ordered two Merlots instead.  I ordered duck confit on polenta and Suzette ordered fried sea bass with roasted vegetables.  Both were delicious.  The best thing about Suzette’s dish were the roasted vegetables and especially the roasted leek in consommé.

I also ordered a Mediterranean salad that turned out to be the show stopper with its fresh vine ripe tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and red onion cubes with a vinegar dressing mixed with chopped Italian broad leaf parsley.

After dinner we walked around Old Town some more and on our way back to the apartment we stopped at Emilia’s Creamery for an ice cream cone for a sweet creamy finish to a lovely evening of food.

Bon Appetit

September 20, 2018 Danube Delta Day 2 to Bucharest

September 20, 2018 Danube Delta Day 2  to Bucharest

We took a boat ride from 9:15 to 12:30 through the Danube Delta.  The Danube flows to the Black Sea through three large arms of water.

Wikipedia states
The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania, while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine. Wikipedia
Area: 312,440 ha
Location: Tulcea County, Romania
Did you know: The Danube Delta is comprised of an intricate network of waterways and lakes divided between the three main estuary channels of the Danube.

Tulcea, where we stayed and boated from is located on the middle St. Ghoerghe arm.  We went from the large arm into a man made canal linking all three and then into a smaller channel that linked to several lakes.  The lakes are generally where waterfowl live although there are birds everywhere.  I believe were told there are 300 species of birds in the Delta.  Some of the larger birds I saw that I could identify were Purple Heron, euroasiatic spoonbill, a large white heron with yellow bill and legs, an Eagle with a white tail, a Harrier Hawk,  Mute Swans, cormorants, ducks, and  huge brown geese.  There were many other smaller birds of all kinds. One small perching bird that particularly attracted my attention had flecks of iridescent green.

The furthest extent of our tour took us to a large lake whose entrance had been blocked with trees, so it was inaccessible by boat, filled with birds of all kinds.

The skipper returned the four of us to Ivan’s fish restaurant and we had another meal with the wonderful appetizer of pike roe creamed with sunflower oil and lemon, then we had several orders each grilled sturgeon again and a carp in brine and polenta, and a carp in tomato and Chile sauce.  Both carp dishes were delicious.

We drank Beer with lunch today.

                                                   Pike Roe Sakad

                                                        sturgeon Borscht

Pike in tomato sauce   

                                                    Grilled Sturgeo

                                                       Poached Pike

Grilled Carp

After lunch Andre started back to Bucharest by way of a partially demolished 14th century castle built near the Black Sea to protect Romania from the Turks that provided protection for about 100 years.

Andre then drove us to the port of Constanta on the Black Sea.  We walked about ½ mile on the promenade and viewed the beautiful old Belle Époque casino that is now abandoned.

Finally, around 4:00 turned the car toward home and at speeds reaching 120 mph, we reached our apartment by 7:00.

Aaron’s friend Monica joined us at 8:00 and we took the metro and then an Uber to the Kunnai Thai Restaurant.  Here are a couple a pictures.

Suzette and I split a Larb (a cold chopped chicken salad with basil and other herbs and fish sauce and chili) and a pad Thai with shrimp

Aaron ordered a chicken satay appetizer and Thai Cashew Chicken and Monica ordered Tom Yum Gai soup that was served in a young coconut and Pad Thai also.

                                                            The Larb

                                                    The Tom Yum Gai Soup

                                                         The Oad Thai

                                                     The Cashew Chicken

We all drank beers with dinner.

After dinner we ubered back to the apartment.  I blogged and Aaron and Monica went to Old Town.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, September 20, 2018

September 17, 2018 Lunch – Mozza Café Dinner – Au 2 Saveuers

September 17, 2018 Lunch – Mozza Café  Dinner –  Au 2 Saveuers

We started the day eating a lovely breakfast with an omelet in the basement dining room of the hotel.  As best I can tell, Breakfast is included with the price of the room, but two eggs are €2.50 extra.

We paid about 400€ for the three day stay, which ranks among the best deals I have ever found in Paris.  I highly recommend Hotel Fertel Etoile.

It is ½ block from the Argentine Metro station which is on the fast and excellent No. 1 line that crosses Paris and go down the great boulevards, Grand Armee and Champs Elysses stopping at the Louvre and other important buildings.

At 11:00 we took the Metro to Rue Bac and walked the two blocks to the Musee Maillol that was showing an exhibit of the work of Alberto Giacometti, the great Modern Swiss sculptor.  It was a comprehensive exhibit that included his earliest works from the age of 15 and going through his greatest post war minimalist pieces.  I particularly liked his small “Walking Man”.

After we visited the Maillol Museum we walked along Rue Bac past Gallerie Maeght to the Seine and walked along the river to The National Assembly.  We stopped at a pop up restaurant on the quai called Mozza, where I ordered a focaccia panini filled ham, cheese, tomato sauce,  ham and salad. Suzette ordered the daily salad of spinach, arugula,  mixed greens, parsley and a lovely ball of fresh buttera, which is creamy mozzarella within a firmer mozzarella wrapper to hold it together.

We returned to the hotel after lunch, stopping at the Boulangerie/Patisserie at the corner of Grand Armee and Acacias to buy a Royal pastry, which had a crisp thin bottom crust and alternating layers of chocolate mousse and cake. We took a nap until 5:00.  Then we rode the Metro to Gard Lyon and after getting lost for a while during which we discovered an interesting restaurant, we found Kathryn’s apartment.   We got a tour of her 600 square foot apartment that she has completely remodeled with all the latest conveniences and then sat in her comfortable living room bathed in late afternoon sunlight and she served us Cote Mas Rose and then a light Chardonnay from Pay d’Oc.

We discussed restaurant choices and Kathryn was kind enough to try the restaurant I discovered while we were lost named Au 2 Saveuers on Rue Gilbert about 1 block from Gard Lyon around 7:30.

Kathryn had read several reviews, which were favorable, especially about the fried egg rolls.  So we ordered two orders of egg rolls first.  Then Kathryn ordered a special dish with beef and sautéed shrimp served on a pile of noodles with a decidedly pad Thai flavor.  I ordered the plate of the day that was a fish filet of Durade lightly sautéed and served on a bed of sauce with haricot verts, and around of turmeric flavored rice.

Suzette ordered a sautéed duck breast served with a pile of ramen style noodles tossed with beef also on a sauce.  This was a fusion restaurant in reverse.  The food was prepared by Oriental chefs who prepare ingredients in either traditional oriental style, or French style,  or a mixture of both (fusion).  The sauce used with both my fish and a Suzette’s duck was a dark reddish brown color and had an indescribable East Wast flavor.

We loved the egg rolls with their crisp egg wrappers filled with lots of different ingredients served with a delicious dark house made fish sauce that was slightly sweet.

The rest of the dishes were not quite as exciting, but still very delicious.  The restaurant is definitely worth another visit to try the entire range of its cuisine and to understand its fusion strategy.  I suspect its food could be quite addictive.

After dinner Kathryn walked us to the upstairs dining room at Gard Lyon called Trein Blue that is one of the remaining Belle Époque wonders of France as far as I am concerned , with its rich plaster articulated griffons and beautiful murals that adorn the entire wall and ceiling space depicting areas served by the French railroad and beyond.
It was as lavishly adorned as any room I all decorated to the max.  Here are some photos of it.

At around 9:15 we took the Metro back to our hotel, where we packed and went to bed.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

September 19, 2018 Visit to Danube Delta Day 1

September 19, 2018 Visit to Danube Delta Day 1

Today we went downstairs and exchanged money and bought some baked goods for breakfast at the bakery around the corner beside the metro station.

Then at 9:00 we met Andre, Aileen, and Marius, who drove us 300 km.  to the Danube Delta where the Niculitel vineyard is located near Tulcea.

We arrived at noon and started touring the vineyard.  Wine has been grown in this area since Greek times.  The winery is huge.  It was a communist era collective with thousands of acres in production and 2500 employees.  Since Marius and Andres’ father bought the winery out of bankruptcy three years ago, its production has been increased to 800 hectares (about 1800 acres) and staffed by approximately 70 persons but plans are in motion to increase planted areas and production capacity.  Given the size of the buildings and aging area, there is huge capability to increase production.  The wine also is good it is winning lots of awards and the wine making process is state of the art with zero exposure of grape juice to oxygen from the crush through fermentation to the finished bottle.  The current fermentation capacity is 800,000 liters with plans to grow it.  Already a huge operation.

After the Tour we were served a meal in the dining room of the winery, which included an appetizer tray of Romanian cow milk feta and salami, another semi-soft white cheese that tasted and had the consistency of Havarti, and smoked pork belly. The other tray was a vegetable tray with sticks of cucumber and bell pepper, and tomato slices.

After appetizers we were served chicken borscht with a farm yard chicken.  Borscht as I understand my Romanian friends’ description is a sour soup made with a base of fermented wheat bran.  That rudimentary understanding is a far as I have gotten, except to say that it seems often to be flavored ith chopped lovage and parsley.  The soup today also contained wheat noodle strips, potatoes, and carrots.

The two meals we have had in Romania have been served family style.  After the soup plates were cleared we were brought plates of polenta, which seems to be the starch of choice and a large bowl of grilled lamb was passed around.

Finally, beignets were served for dessert.  After lunch we drove to another vineyard property.  The pick has just begun.  Today they were processing White Feteasca grapes.  Rose and then red grapes will follow.  Marius impressed me as knowing a lot about both growing and producing “new world” wine.

Aileen is our wine maker and we were impressed with his skill in conceiving and blending our four wines.  My favorite is the white Fume Blanc, which is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Feteasca Regala (a white Romanian grape variety).

After lunch we drove to another planted area and then an archeological site where a paleo Christian Church was located dating from the 4th Century in which there was a crypt in which was found the bones of four martyrs.  We toured the church and every one except me went into the crypt, which has been reconstructed.

We then drove to the Cocos Monastery and visited the basilica where the bones of the four martyrs are enshrined.  Sort of a super reliquary inside a large Eastern Orthodox Church.

After that we drove to Tulcea, a small town located on one of the three large arms of the Danube where it reaches the Delta.

We were provided rooms at the Hotel Delta, which is a very lovely 4 star hotel.

Andre and Aileen were joined by their friend Florin and we drank the two white wines we ordered, the Fume Blanc and a chardonnay.

The Chardonnay was aged only three months in American oak so it had a lovely light oakiness.  I discovered something today; as the Chardonnay warmed a bit to above 12 C., the bitter finish went away and became sweet.  Aileen confirmed this.  Voila. Maybe I will yet become a Chardonnay drinker.

After we drank the Le Dans and Nori Whites we agreed to walk along the curved promenade about
500 meters to a famous fish restaurant named Ivan Fisherman, after the owner, who was one of Romania’s famous Olympic canoeists.

One of the problems I am having with portion control with these meals so far in Romania, and it is a wonderful problem, is we do not understand the menu and we are relying on our Romanian friends to order for us.  This results in waves of food arriving. I am finally figuring out that there is at minimum, an appetizer course, an entrée course, and a dessert course.

Our fish snack turned into a fishy feast.  The first appetizer course included platters filled with ramekins of wonderful pike egg caviar, an interesting taramasalata like creamed pike egg spread, pickled sardines, smoked fish belly, mixed vegetables of bell peppers, and smoked mackerel served with toast and butter.  We drank a bottle of Niculetel prize winning Aligote.

Then the entrees came.  Three portions each of carp in brine and grilled fresh sturgeon.  We loved both dishes.  The sturgeon steak was super thick and served with a white creamed garlic sauce.  There are six species of sturgeon living in the Danube, of which the Beluga is the largest and the largest fish in the world the largest Beluga ever caught was over 3000 lb. and over 20 feet long.  They used to travel up river into Austria, but their habitat has been limited by the Iron Gates dams at the eastern border of Romania.  The Iron Gates are a narrow gorge through which the Danube flows that forms a part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania.

The carp in brine was even more interesting.  A carp that was boiled in a brine and served in a ceramic dish with polenta.

We drank Aileen’s newest creation with dinner, a blend of Fetneasca neagra, fetneasca regala, and white fetneasca.

Although over stuffed at this point, our hosts announced that we had a surprise dessert, which turned out to be a rectangular piece of cheese pie, a mixture of cheese, a little sugar, milk, raisins, and flour baked into a very moist fluffy cake and dusted with powdered sugar.

The Americans ate only a few bites of cake and we had the rest boxed for breakfast because we had once again exceeded our food capacity for the second time in one day.

We walked back to the hotel and went to sleep in the luxurious bed after taking a hot shower.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September 13, 2018 Dinner – Stir Fried Pork and Hamburger with Napa Cabbage, Green Beans, and Lychee Nuts

September 13, 2018 Dinner – Stir Fried Pork and Hamburger with Napa Cabbage, Green Beans, and Lychee Nuts

I was too busy to do anything interesting with food until dinner.

Granola for breakfast with fruit and yogurt.

For lunch a liverwurst sandwich and the last few pieces of herring in wine sauce.

But Dinner was a different story.  There was a ton of unused food.  I minced two or three T. each of garlic and ginger root plus 1/3 onion and 1/3 orange bell pepper and 1/3 of a pasilla pepper.

I stir fried these ingredients with a cubed one lb. pork boneless sirloin and 1 PPI grilled hamburger shredded.

Then I added about three cups of shredded Napa Cabbage and about 1 lb. of snapped green beans and 3 oz. of white beech mushrooms and 4 white mushrooms sliced.

After a bit I added about 1 tsp. of sesame oil and 1 T. of Chinese Cooking wine.

Then I made a seasoning sauce with 2 tsp. of cornstarch, 2 T. of water, 1 T. of Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp. of sesame oil, and 1 T. of soy sauce.

When Willy arrived a bit after 7:00 I added the seasoning sauce and heated the small container of quinoa and we ate a great dinner.

The reason this dinner was so good was because I used a large quantity of garlic and ginger.

Then we packed for our trip and packed food for dinner on the plane.

Bon Appetit

September 18, 2018 Paris to Bucharest. Lunch/Dinner – Casa Doina

September 18, 2018 Paris to Bucharest. Lunch/Dinner – Casa Doina

Today was really unusual in several ways. First, was the extreme traveling conditions of a 5:15 walk to Porte Maillol to catch the 1:20 minute bus ride 70 km. To the Beauvais Airport to board the Wizz jet to Bucharest in which the seats did not adjust and one was forced to sit like a sardines or 2 ½ hours.  It reminded me of an initiation ceremony into some weird cult of low cost fellow travelers.

Then everything changed from spartan frugality to wretched excess after our arrival in Bucharest, like God had ordained a sumptuous meal for us as a reward for making it through our initiation ordeal.

Aaron met us at the airport and got us an Uber to our BNB apartment in the center of Bucharest where we changed and freshened up and took another Uber to Casa Doina Restaurant.  Casa Doina is an old mansion converted into a restaurant.  We were shown to a table in the garden which was filled with tables and guests eating al fresco behind the restaurant building where our host Bogdan and his assistant were waiting for us.  Bogdan owns a vineyard we are interested in buying wine from.  It produces amazing organic wine.  We were served a glass of Chardonnay that I could not stop drinking.  It had a brightness and crispness that only one or two other Chardonnays I have ever tasted had.  Then we were poured Bogdan’s 2017 Rose, which I initially found to be just a well balanced wine, but as it opened up and aired out I found it to have a compelling character.  It won the gold medal in a Provence wine competition, so the picky French must have liked it also.

We made an appetizer selection and an entrée from the menu.

I chose smoked butter fish, which I have never seen before for my appetizer and cabbage rolls for my entrée.

Soon the four appetizers were served family style on a large platter and Suzette’s selection of fish soup was served in an individual bowl to her.  Suzette chose the fish soup because it was a sour soup that included lovage as one of its ingredients.

The appetizers included a cured duck breast, slices of  the smoked butter fish, puffs of pastry extruded caviar creamed in olive oil and lemon juice similar to taramasalata, rectangular wedges of foie gras terrine topped with a sweet red currant gelatin and served on a base of Wasa bread white hard bread, and two wedges of Romanian sheep cheese that tasted like a mild feta. I had mentioned having trouble deciding between a chicken and duck liver cream and the butter fish.  Apparently Bogdan had ordered both appetizers.

We talked and ate and discussed Bogdan’s commitment to making great wine.

After a bit the entrees were served, most of us had ordered cabbage rolls which were served on a bed of polenta.  Also served to the table were grilled sausages with sweet pickles, lightly pickled pimientos, and chopped pickled cabbage.  But Suzette ordered a Moldovan minced meat dish that was delicious also served on polenta.  Bogdan’s assistant, who was a trim younger lady, ordered a small plate of meat and vegetable filled fried egg rolls wrapped in rice paper.  The smoked and cured duck was particularly tasty as was the butter fish smoked on premises.  Casa Doina is not only a beautiful restaurant, it also has a fabulous kitchen capable of greatness in food preparation.

The entrees were served with Bogdan’s 2017 feteasca neagra.

Here is a description of the grape and wine.

Feteasca Neagra (Black Maiden or Black Fairy)
Feteasca Neagra or Black Maiden and Black Fairy is the jewel of Romanian indigenous grape varieties who has a millennial history related with dacians history. Seeds of Feteasca Neagra were discovered in ancient vestiges discovered in Romania, more than 2000 years old.

Feteasca Neagra is similar, for the Romanians, to a sophisticated fairy, hard to tame, seductive and mysterious, imposing through presence, complexity and acidity, all very well balanced like an irresistible woman.

The grape is very versatile, they can gets from 200 to 240 grams of sugar per liter, if is late harvested can gets 270 grams. The acidity can be more than 7 g/ l in tartaric acid for crops up to 7-8 tonnes/ ha.

It is possible to obtain special rose and red wines.

The maximum potential after the maturation in oak barrels followed by the aging in the bottle, resulting high quality wines with a strong typicality.

Depending of the wine-making techniques the the wines get various flavors and fine tannins, good acidity, medium to full body and often more than 13,5% alcohol.

It is typical to have aromas of dried plums, blackberries, and black blueberries along with nice black pepper, vanilla and coffee flavors, and for the old wines toast and skin senses.

The assistant would not eat the foil gras because she found the gelatin too sweet, which gave me an insight into Romanian taste, which often gravitates toward sour flavors.  Lots of things were pickled, like the leaves of the cabbage rolls, or served with pickles, like the sausages.

At around 5:30 or 6:00 Bogdan and his assistant excused themselves because he had another meeting and was scheduled to fly to Lisbon in the morning to visitors children.

We sat and finished the wine and returned to the apartment.  I lay down and slept three hours.

At 10:00 when I awakened Suzette went to sleep for the night and I read and blogged a bit longer.

Our introduction to Romanian food and wine was fabulous.

This will be a fun vacation if things go moderately well from here on.

The deprivations of the early part of the day were by now forgotten under the weight of great food and wine.

Soon after we returned from Casa Doina Aaron left to meet a lady friend, but we were unable to move from lack of sleep and excessive amounts of food and wine.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, September 16, 2018

September 16, 2018   Breakfast – Hotel Fertel. Lunch – Brasserie Bert
Dinner – Montmartre

I awakened at 6:00. No U.S. NCAA football on any channel, so gave up watching TCU v. Ohio State.  Got dressed at 8:30 and went to the basement, where the hotel had a small but lovely breakfast room with three small dining areas facing a small courtyard planted with a few plants.  It reminded me of the small posada in San Miguel de Allende, but more elaborate with lots of breakfast choices placed on counters.
Tomorrow I will take photos.

I took a chocolate croissant and a piece of fresh baguette with butter and orange marmalade and a cup of tea one a glass of orange juice.

I ordered two eggs sunny side up and when the u came made them into a sort of omelet with three slices of ham and two slices of cheese.

After breakfast I went back to room and slept another hour.

We finally awakened at 10:00 and dressed and arrived at Porte Du Clingencourt about twenty minutes late where we found Kathryn waiting on the platform.  We made our way to The market of Clingencourt and walked around for several hours until we stopped for lunch.  We ate at Café Claude Bert in The market.  The food was not great.  I had a dish I had never eaten before! Boeuf Coccete, which is a sort of Boeuf Bouguinon without the addition of red wine.  It was delicious and I loved the fact that it had so much tendon with the meat.  I love dishes the have lots of inner muscular gelatinous tissue, because I  think eating it provides more collagen.

After lunch we walked back to toward the metro station and I followed the girls into a shop called Colonial and was confronted by large blocks of red coral.  I was transfixed that something like this was in France, since taking it is promoted in Chinese waters where it grows.  The largest and best specimen was 550€. I took the owner’s card and think I will buy it.

                                                     Kathryn and me in front of Colonial

Ditto with Suzette 

Colonial interior

                                                           The red coral specimen

We then returned to the hotel after telling Kathryn we would visit her apartment at 6:00 tomorrow and her succeeding we visit the Abbesses area in the Montmartre district.

We went back to the hotel and rested until 7:30 when we got dressed and made our way to Abbesses Metro station and the Jardin de Face for  dinner.  We arrived at Jardin de Face after walking several blocks up and down the curving warren of streets going up and down through Abbesses.  It terrain is similar to San Miguel de Allende, where many of the nicer homes are built built on a rather steep hill side or Zacatecas, where most of the town is built in a steep valley.

I guess this is what some folks call charming.

We were ½ hour early for our 9:30 reservation so we walked down the street to a small place and I drank a beer and Suzette drank a white wine for 30 minutes and watched people.

When we returned to Jardin we were seated at a table on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. There were more tables on the sidewalk that inside the restaurant as there were at many of the restaurants in the area taking advantage of the balmy evenings.  We were able to enjoy the evening air without a jacket, which was particularly pleasant.

Our waiter and waitress spoke perfect English and were very knowledgeable about the food and wine, which made the meal more enjoyable.  I think we collected oui first recipe of the trip; a ramekin containing a T. of cream, an egg, and a few pieces of foil gras baked for three or four minutes until firm.  The result is a hot creamy amalgam of egg and foil gras.  Very simple and very delicious.

Our second appetizer may also be a winning new recipe.  It was a loaf of freshly made cottage cheese (fresh cheese perhaps mixed with cream like the texture of ricotta cheese) served with Sautéed strips of eggplant and oven roasted cherry tomatoes lightly marinated with and served cold on a bed of lettuce.

Our entrée was less thrilling or memorable, a cushion (chunk) of veal breaded and deep fried to medium or beyond served with a round of mashed potatoes and a salad and a very flavorful sauce of cooking juices thickened into a light brown au jus sauce.

Our waiter recommended a Brouilly Beaujolais, which turned out to be perfect with the meal, light, fruity with just a hint of spice or acidity at the back of the throat on the finish, which gave the wine a cleansing after taste.

After we finished splitting our entrée, we still had ¼ of the bottle I drunk, so we ordered a cheese plate.  As in most French restaurants, it was exceptional, four small decoratively cut pieces of cheese, a creamy cow milk blue cheese, an amazing Münster style Brie like wedge, an obliquely sliced slice off a log of goat cheese, and a wedge of semi-firm Comte (which we can buy in Albuquerque at Costco) served on a plate of salad and roasted pieces of walnut with dark bread and butter.  We loved the cheese course as a finish to dinner. So very heavy and with lots of interesting enzymes and flavors that went well with the last sips of wine.

The meal was surprisingly inexpensive for the quality of the ingredients.

The wine was 24€, the apps and cheese plate  were each 8€, and the veal entrée was 16€ for a total of 62€.  The service is included in France, so no tip.  We loved dinner and stretched it out until almost 11:00.

Then we walked back to the Abbesses Metro station and returned to our hotel ½ block from the Argentine Metro station.  We love the ease and efficiency of traveling by metro in Paris, although a rather unusual thing happened tonight.  There was a ticket check just beyond the exit at Concorde, where Suzette was charged a 35€ fine for having no ticket.  She threw it away before boarding the subway.  Who knew you have to keep your ticket to prove you paid for your ride until your ultimate destination?

Bon Appetite