|Dejeuner: a salad topped with tartine and frites, with a side of bread and French onion soup|
|If you get one of the tables facing the Seine, this is your view.|
|Cafe Madeleine for a dusk pick-me-up after walking all day and more walking that evening|
I saved this fruit tarte with pistachios to eat at Jardin des Tuilleries. It had been raining all day, but I found a completely dry spot under a thick canopy of trees facing a small lake. I put my feet up and ate. Ahhh...Paradise in Paris.
Like in the Latin Quarter, I found it a bit dubious to eat in Montmartre, just because it's so touristy it's difficult to decipher which places serve authentic and fresh food. That's why I think Le Troubadour was such a rare find. Tucked away on a dead-end of a street, this place has surprisingly good food served in a very cozy and quiet location. If you end up hungry in the Sacre Couer area, you can count on this little find for great French food!
Un Zebra a Montmartre is where we had such a great time with friends on our last night in Paris. A Dutch, a Filipino-American, two Brazilians, two French, two bottles of wine (and uhm.. some cocktails) equal an absolutely wonderful way to celebrate the end end of our Paris trip. The restaurant itself was intimate and young and fresh. Our Parisian friends chose the location so I suppose I can say that it's a place locals hang. I have no pictures so you'd have to take my word that the food is absolutely wonderful with a price tag that won't break the bank. Must bookmark!
A more sober Montmartre is what you'll see during the day. This boulangerie, Le Flute de Pain, as you can tell, is a blockbuster hit.
But a few blocks down on rue de Abbesses, Coqueliecot looks more like a Montmartre institution. We got front row seats next to the cash register and I was just amazed at how the French LOVE their bread. The lines were very long and endless. The smell of incessantly baking bread was intoxicating. This is the heart of Paris, in my view.
The boulangerie is testament that French cuisine is not all haute couture. The paradox is that the highest and most universal French craving I've seen lives in something so simple as the bread. If there's anything I can take away from the boulangerie, it's the lesson that not everything needs to be expensive nor extravagant. It just needs to be made with an abundance of passion. Maybe that's all there is to joie de vivre.