Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birthdays and Ile St. Louis

Birthday filled weekend.  We celebrated the Mr.'s birthday one last time Friday night with a great dinner at Auguste, a restaurant in the 7th. Thank you Joe and Michele and Uncle John and Aunt Claire!  What a treat!! It was our first Michelin starred restaurant and the French fusion cuisine certainly did not disappoint.  My piece of black cod was cooked to perfection.  And the chocolate souffle - I don't even know where to begin... not to mention that our server translated the entire menu for us.  It was a true fine dining experience and a great memory that we will always have.  
Don Giovanni
We continued the celebrations on Saturday at a birthday dinner for one of our friends at a great little Italian restaurant in the Marais.  A four and a half hour Italian dinner was certainly an experience.  The food kept coming... and coming... It was a great time and we enjoyed the evening with new friends.  

Ile St. Louis and Ile de la Cite
Sundays in the Marais have officially expanded to Sundays in the Marais and Ile St. Louis.  Ile St. Louis is the charming little island that sits right behind Ile de la Cite (the bigger island that is home to Notre Dame).  It has become one of our very favorite spots in Paris.  It is like a little tiny piece of solitude in a city that is constantly buzzing.  The quaint streets that run through the island are always quiet and littered with picturesque restaurants, patisseries, flower shops and boutiques. Not to mention Berthillon - the most famous ice cream shop in Paris.  Perfection.

 Fell in love with this little flower shop.  The most beautiful and unique flowers.

 I especially loved the cotton.

I love this little patisserie because it has divine macaroons.  Definitely the best caramel macaroon that I have had so far in Paris.   Delicious doesn't even begin to describe this thing.  A few key factors for a perfect macaroon: temperature (needs to be slightly chilled), filling (needs to be thick) and crunch (not so flaky that it tastes old but enough to give it good texture).  The macaroon from Calixte excelled in all categories.  I have a feeling I am going to become a regular here... 

The Mr. opted for Berthillon instead. He never passes up an ice cream shop.  I must admit I was a little jealous of his choice (even in the -2 degree weather).  I don't think I've ever seen that much real vanilla bean in a vanilla ice cream before. 

And down the street is my favorite little biscuit store. We didn't visit today but the almond cookies are delicious!  They have these all over Paris, but the one on Ile St. Louis is my favorite. 

We walked over to Saint Chapelle after our afternoon treats hoping to get in at least one tourist attraction for the weekend.  Unfortunately, the line was very long so we decided the -2 degree temperature was not the best day for line waiting.  We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the 5th and 6th. 

We spent some time admiring Place St. Michel, a square in the Latin Quarter right off of the Seine in the 5th.  The larger than life fountain captivates me every time I see it.  The fountain depicts St. Michel, the Archangel, and figures of the four classical cardinal virtues - justice, fortitude, prudence and temperance.  

Only in Paris do you find such creativity.  Now it is back to the real world - time to MOVE! Which means time to pack.  If all goes according to plan, the next blog will be coming from 26 Rue de l'Annonciation.  Keep your fingers crossed!

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