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Friday, April 13, 2012

Meurice Hotel Lunch -- Oh La La!

June 7, 2012:  This is a second attempt at this post ... for reasons completely unknown, the entire post -- both photos and scintillatingly witty commentary -- disappeared about a month ago.  The experience kept me from blogging .... My excuse is that the vitrual "dog ate my homework"  and I could not bring myself to redo it.  All of us who work with computers know the feeling.  Then, after a few inquires from friends who actually read my blog, well, I'm back.

While spending time in Paris recently, I decided to lunch at the "restaurant gastronomique" of the Meurice Hotel.  I'd spent the morning on an epic walk ending at the Galignani bookstore on the Rue de Rivoli.  Then, books in hand and looking slightly disheveled -- more like a graduate student than a lady who lunches, I walked the short distance to the Meurice, also on the Rue de Rivoli.

There are a lot of stereotypes about the French, especially about rudeness.  But, I must say that I do not encounter it.  This visit to the Meurice is just another example.  Even though the hostess gave me a "look" (I had no reservation and I did look less than chic), once I made clear which of the hotel restaurants I preferred, no problem.  That's because the French take their meals seriously and they take money seriously -- restaurants gastronomiques have prices that are "astronomique."  They placed me at a lovely table with a view of everyone and everything [including an older man with his two nieces -- not DSK] and the waiters and waitresses could not have been more attentive.

So, even with the Euro then being higher than it is today, I proceeded to indulge in the multi course prix fixe menu.  For translation purposes, in France, the menu is called a "carte" while a set meal consisting of a number of courses is called the "menu."  The first course is called the entrée, the main course (which we call an entree) is called the "plat."

Anyway, my caloric indulgence started with a lollipop shaped bit of goat cheese and a small tomato dried to a crisp like a merangue.
This was followed by a beef consommé with a touch of shredded daikon radish and ginger ... simply amazingly delicious.
Along side there were breads and the yellowest butter I have ever seen -- one cube salted, one cube unsalted.
But, back to the main show ... after the soup came transparent langoustines with sliced turnip dotted with an unsweetened crème anglaise and decorated with gelatin.
A vegetable course followed -- fresh aromatic peas, tiny gnocchi and fancy foam ( at bit on the salty side).
The main course was some kind of fish -- good but it took at bit of adjustment for me to eat it.
Then, when I got a good look at its teeth, I stopped feeling sorry for it.

Finally, there was the multivariate desert ... oh la la!  A dried slice of pineapple so thin you could read through it, a very tart strawberry mousse, a mango meringue with tiny balls of ice cream topped with gold leaf, and a sublime crème brûlée, served rolled in a chocolate crust and decorated with gold leaf.   

For the record, I did not eat the gold decorations since I prefer my gold in jewelry not in food!

Finally, there came coffee with thin sheets of cardamom flavored chocolate.  Heaven!
All the above photos were taken using my iPhone.  It seemed more discrete than using a larger camera.  And, yes, I did have a fabulous glass or two of Chassagne-Montrachet (a white wine from Burgundy), one was in France after all.

I left the restaurant heavier in weight and considerably lighter in my wallet.  But, so worth the sacrifice.  I should have walked back to my hotel to burn off some of the calories, but a taxi was so much nicer.


  1. Oh my gosh. What an AMAZING lunch. It all looks so different and so darn delectable. I hope I can have lunch in Paris someday!

  2. Thanks ... but my post seems to have disappeared. Wonder how that happened?


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