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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Chez Imogenes

For our last meal in Paris, I wanted to have crepes and found Chez Imogenes at 25 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud.

It was Friday night. I called at 7 pm and they could accommodate us at 7:30 pm. We would have the table until 9 pm. Otherwise, we could eat after 9 pm. Since our apartment was just a 12-minute walk away, we took the 7:30 pm reservation. We eat fast. 

We started with a green salad for €4.10. 

Le Pelerine--scallops, seafood and leek sauce for €12.50. I wasn't that impressed with this dish. It was just okay. The leeks were long and stringy--too much for a crepe.

Andouille and emmental crepe--€8. The French andouille is actually made with pork intestines (luckily there was an English menu to explain all this). It was an interesting dish but I can imagine that most Americans would find this disgusting. It had a very strong intestine flavor but I liked it. I just couldn't eat too much of it.

Of course, I finished with a Nutella crepe--€4.60. I just love the chocolate hazelnut creaminess.

We had Pear Cider with our meal--€10.30. I love the pear flavor.

We were done by 8:45 pm.

2015 02 06

Monday, March 30, 2015

Le Trumilou

I had read about Le Trumilou on Yelp and made reservations when we first arrived in Paris. Because we had the delay in Dallas, we had to cancel the reservation. We finally had a chance to eat there on the last day of our trip.

Le Trumilou is located at 84 Quai de l'Hotel de ville.

They serve a 3-course Menu for €21.50 or a 2-course Formule (either entrée (appetizer) & plat (main) or plat & dessert) for €17.50.

Assiette de charcuterie--there was a tete de fromage (head cheese), pate and prosciutto with small green salad. I loved it!

Pintade a l'estragon--guinea fowl with tarragon. We were excited to try the guinea fowl but it was on the dry side, despite a layer of oil on the dish. The tarragon gave it a nice flavor though. 

Cassoulet--supplement of €1.50. This was a great dish. The sausage was flavorful, the beans were creamy and the duck was delicious.

Assiette de trois fromages--the 3 cheeses we had were gaperon, cantal and saint-nectaire. Gaperon is a cow's milk cheese from Auvergne. It is flavored with cracked peppercorn and garlic. Cantal is a firm cow cheese reminiscent of Cheddar. Saint-nectaire is a soft cow cheese with a hint of hazelnut.

2015 02 06

Sunday, March 29, 2015


After our walk down the Champs Elysees, we walked to the Place de la Madeleine and found Fauchon, reputed to be the world's most famous upscale grocer. Fauchon was founded in 1886. There are 2 locations at Place de la Madeleine: fresh products & pastries at 24-26 Madeleine and a gift shop at 30 Madeleine.

Fauchon's macarons were beautiful but not as good as the ones at Laduree or Gregory Renard. The macarons are €1.90 each.

2015 02 06

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Champs Elysees, Part 2

Further down the Champs Elysees, you'll pass the Presidential Palace.

Presidential Palace--visible from the Champs Elysees. It's amazing that there was only 1 security guard.

At the end of the Champs Elysees is Place de la Concorde. The center is occupied by an Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics. The obelisk once marked the entrance to the Luxor temple. Across the street is a giant ferris wheel.

2015 02 06

Friday, March 27, 2015


Further down on the Champs Elysees is Laduree, a classic 19th century tea salon, restaurant and patisserie.

Step inside and ogle at the displays of delicious pastries. 

Even at such a fancy store on the most expensive shopping street in Paris, you can afford a croissant--€1.70.

The macarons are beautiful but expensive at €1.90 each. They were the best macarons I tried in Paris though--flavorful and not too sweet. They're about the size of an oreo.

2015 02 06

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Champs Elysees

On Friday, our last day in Paris, it was another gorgeous day. We decided to walk down the Champs Elysees.

We took the Metro to the Charles de Gaulle Etoile station and to the Arc de Triomphe. It's open from 10 am to 10:30 pm from Oct to March and until 11 pm the rest of the year. Climbing to the top of the arch cost €8 but visiting the tomb of the unknown soldier (the eternal flame is relit every night at 6:30 pm) and the arch itself is free. Don't try to dodge the traffic circle to get to the arch. Instead, use the underground tunnels. Bypass the line at the ticket booth and climb up the stairs to the base of the arch.

The arch is at the western end of the Champs Elysees.

We followed the Rick Steves' tour, which took us down the north side of the street. You'll pass a McDonald's, which was not allowed to use a yellow arch. Instead the "M" is white--is white classier than yellow?

Of course, there's a Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysees.

Le Fouquet's started out as a coachman's bistro. Today, the golden plaques at the entrance honor winners of France’s version of our Oscars, the Césars.

2015 02 06

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Moules & Frites

By now, it was 5 pm and we needed a snack. We went back to the Latin Quarter and had moules & frites. The French eat late so 5 pm is too early for dinner but perfect for a snack.

We chose Le Sainsev' because they were making the moules on the street and we could smell them. It's located at 17 Rue Saint-Séverin.

Big crock of mussels-- €10.90, including frites.  €12.90 if you wanted 25 cl of beer or a glass of wine added. I chose Mariniere, steamed in white wine with fennel & parsley and my husband got Curry. The curry was the Mariniere with some curry powder--he could taste the graininess, and a little cream. Mine was better. 

The mussels came with a bowl of fries. Creamy and delicious.

2015 02 05

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gregory Renard

I had read about Gregory Renard's macarons and found the shop at 35 rue Daubenton.

I tried a Passion Ginger, Framboise, Caramel Sea Salt and Pistacchio. They weren't too sweet but the flavors weren't as intense. Can't remember how much they were but it was probably €1.90 each.

They also sold Marron Glace--chestnut candied in syrup and glazed. They were  €14 for 8 and that was with a 30% discount. Apparently, it's hard to get the chestnuts to stay whole after the entire process so the yield is low.

2015 02 05

Monday, March 23, 2015

More Cheese

After the Luxembourg garden, we stumbled upon rue Mouffetard, another pedestrian market street.

And, of course, there was a fromaggerie. I picked up Camembert de Normandie for  €2.60. This is a soft brie. Tell them when you plan to eat the cheese and they will pick one that will be perfectly ripe when you're ready to eat it.

Bleu d'Auvergne--a soft creamy blue. This slice was  €2.39.

Roquefort--pungent and tasty, €2.72.

I can't believe how inexpensive the cheese is in Paris. And, there are so many different kinds.

2015 02 05

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rest of the Left Bank

Continuing on the Left Bank tour, 

Church of St. Sulpice is the 2nd largest church in Paris. It has a neoclassical facade with 2 round, half-finished towers. Inside there are 3 murals by Delacroix and a display on the Shroud of Turin.

In St. Sulpice, there is a gnomon (Egyptian-style obelisk), which is part of a sundial. In the south transept window, there is a small opening with a lens. At noon on the winter solstice (12/21), a ray of light touches the brass line on the obelisk and at noon on the equinoxes (3/21 & 9/21), the ray touches an oval plate of copper in the floor. What happens if it's a cloudy day?

Next stop was Luxembourg Garden—Paris’ most beautiful park. The 60-acre garden is the property of the French Senate, which meets in the palace. The Luxembourg Palace was created by Marie de Medici, who fashioned it after the Pitti Palace because she was homesick for FlorenceApparently, there's a whole secret underground complex as well. 

In the nearby pond in the summer, children can rent toy sailboats.

2015 02 05

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Maison Georges Larnicol

Back to Paris ...

After our detour for lunch and a choux, we walked back to continue our tour of the Left Bank We came upon Maison Georges Larnicol and stopped in. It's located at 132 bd Saint Germain.

They sell chocolates, caramels but it was the macaron display that intrigued me.

The macarons were beautiful and bright. They sell their macarons by weight and I got 3 macarons for €2.40. I chose passion fruit, framboise and caramel with sea salt. They had intense flavors and the cookie part was light, airy but still had some body. They were on the sweet side though.

2015 02 05

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thursday Night Dinner

Here's last night's dinner at Flavor Bistro in downtown Santa Rosa. Still $24.95 for all this:

Torta Di Carciofi E Pomodoro--Warm Ricotta Torta Filled with Baby Artichokes, Organic Toy Box Tomatoes, Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Sweet Basil, paired with 2013 Tenuta Sant'Antonio Scaia Garganega/Chardonnay I.G.T., Veneto, Italy. This was served to the table then cut into fourths. This was so different than serving individual portions to each person that it threw me off and I forgot to take a picture. This was delicious! I loved the ricotta filling--creamy and rich.

Quaglia Arrosto--Pan Roasted Quail Served with Green Lentils, Bacon, Escarole & Homemade Petite Gnocchi in Sugo D'Erbe, paired with 2011 Umberto Cesari Sangiovese Di Romagna Riserva D.O.C.
Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Flavor does the best quail. Seasoned well and delicious!

 Bistecca Ai Ferri--Grilled Marinated Flat Iron Steak Garnished with Organic Fingerling Potatoes, Ragoût of Green Garlic, Spring Mushrooms, Sweet Peas & Carrots Served in Mustard Brown Sauce, paired with 2012 Preston Farm & Winery Zinfandel, Estate Bottled (Organic), Dry Creek Valley. Okay, I forgot to take a picture until the end. The steak was cooked medium rare and delicious. This was a new sauce. So flavorful and rich!

 Bomba--Italian Style Ice Cream Float, Vanilla & Chocolate Gelato, Espresso, Sweet Cream & Almond Gremolata, paired with 2011 Novy Family Wines 'Oley' Late Harvest Viognier, Russian River Valley

2015 03 19

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sonoma County Restaurant Week Review

It was a great week. Over the course of the week, we tried 3 different places for lunch and 6 places for dinner.

I thought the best lunch was at El Coqui. The picadillo over rice was delicious. For $10, it was also the best deal. We got the picadillo, rice pudding and ice tea.

I was disappointed by the porchetta at Rosso Rosticceria. The Chicken Marsala at Union Hotel was good but the ravioli was disappointing.

The best dinner was at Partake. I loved both the Garden and the Chef's Tasting menu. It was also the best value, with an amuse bouche, extra dishes and a very reasonable wine pairing.

My 2nd favorite meal of the week was at Sonoma Wine Club. I discovered a new restaurant and wine club.

I would probably skip Walter Hansel next Restaurant Week. They offer a similar 3-course dinner and you don't have to wait for Restaurant Week.

To make up for last week, I'll be eating steamed cauliflower for the rest of this week. Can't wait for next year!

2015 03 15

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Brasa Churrascaria

We ended Restaurant Week with dinner at Brasa Churrascaria, a Brazilian restaurant. It's located at 505 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa.

Their Restaurant Week special was the Rodizio with a parade of meats, cold & hot sides, a glass of sparkling wine and a dessert for $29.

Portuguese Soup. I loved this. It had linguica.

Sides of white rice, lasagne, shepherd's pie, green salad with artichoke hearts and mangoes. Some tables got a plate of plantain, fried polenta strips, crispy yucca and Brazilian cheese bread. We weren't served the plate and by the time we saw other tables served, we were too full. Service definitely needs improvement and it was a common complaint on Yelp.

Servers came around with skewers of meat. If your card was green, they stopped and offered you a slice. The choices were Picanha (top sirloin)--a little chewy but it had nice flavor; garlic marinated top sirloin--again a little chewy but I loved the garlic marinade; bacon wrapped chicken breast--I didn't like this because it was dry; garlic marinated chicken thigh--my favorite chicken dish, juicy and flavorful; chicken wings--good but nothing too exciting; Calabresa sausage--my favorite dish of the evening, nice and lean cured pork sausage; pork loin with Parmesan cheese--very dry. They ran out of the linguica (garlic and thyme pork sausage). When you were done eating, you turned the card over and the parade of meat stopped.

Dessert of strawberries dipped in Brazilian caramel. It was like a thick dulce de leche.

Overall, I liked the experience. The usual cost of the meal is $40 and I don't think it's worth $40 but $29 is worth a try.

2015 03 15

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Union Hotel

For lunch on Sunday, we went to Union Hotel Restaurant, located at 280 Mission Blvd. in Santa Rosa. They offered a $15 lunch.

Appetizer of salami and cube of Jack cheese on sourdough
Choice of Soup/Salad:
Garden Salad ~ Mixed greens, shredded carrots, fresh tomatoes, marinated kidney beans and red onions, tossed with our original red wine vinaigrette dressing

Spinach Salad ~ Fresh Sonoma County spinach tossed with cranberries, grapefruit, toasted almonds and goat cheese with an orange sherry vinaigrette

Hearty Corn Soup ~ Topped with jalapeno olive oil. It wasn't spicy; in fact, I couldn't even taste the jalapeño.
Minestrone Soup ~ Hearty and homemade, filled with fresh Sonoma County seasonal vegetables in a rich broth

Choice of Entrée:
Curried Quinoa & Butternut Squash Ravioli ~ Curried Quinoa & Butternut Squash Ravioli served with sautéed Sonoma County spinach, burre blanc sauce and balsamic syrup. 

Homemade Ravioli ~ homemade ravioli filled with fresh Swiss chard, onions, beef, pork, Parmesan cheese and Sourdough breadcrumbs in rich tomato meat sauce. This was a glorified "Chef-Boyardee" ravioli. The dish was too dry. It tasted like it had been prepared in advance then heated in a microwave.

Chicken Mushroom Marsala ~ Pan roasted chicken breast sautéed with garlic, mushrooms, butter, and Marsala wine. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and Sonoma County fresh vegetables. This had a rich Marsala wine sauce and had a great garlicky flavor. This was definitely the entree to get. My only complaint was the size of the chicken. Either the chicken was really small or it was 1/2 a breast.

2015 03 15