Paris, France!

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First glimpse at the Eiffel Tower!
I was REALLY looking forward to Paris on our trip not only because it is the most popular tourist destination in the world but because I would be reunited with one of my best friends and foodie soul mate, Aman Adatia, who is currently living in Paris until the end of August. YAY! He is attending one of the best culinary arts schools in the world: Le Cordon Bleu and seeing Paris through his eyes was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Although Paris is notoriously expensive we lived like a true Parisian and picnicked in the gardens surrounding the Eiffel Tower for every dinner which saved us tons of money. Here are some highlights and what we ate!:

Just arriving in Paris - Food soul mates reunited!!!
Picnic in the park! Partying like a Parisian :D
Simple and beautiful! We were STARVING and were worried this feast of baguette, cheese and olives was not going to fill us up but we were stuffed! Ohhhh the cheese... The cheese is amazing. They are not even legally allowed to produce brie and camembert with as high of a percentage as they do there... like 75% cream... Mmmm... The baguette was AMAZING! And wine is cheaper than water.. We purchased great bottles of vino for only $1.99!!!
Best. Cake. I. Have. Ever. Eaten... One of Aman's chef friends is registered for pastry as well as cuisine at Cordon Bleu... He brought this UNBELIEVABLE cake that had crunch and Nutella and ANGEL WINGS in it! HA!!! SO GOOD!!
I didn't know that the Eiffel Tower twinkled like this EVERY night at 9 pm and 10 pm I believe for 2 minutes. I started crying the first time I saw the light show :)
Pastry and bread is an art form in Paris... Pastry is serious business and the passion and skill shows in the flavor of all of the breads.. TO DIE FOR! Bakeries like these often sell out of their most popular items and there are always trays of delights flying out of the oven...
The croissants are world renowned and I see why... oohhh butteryyy goodness. I loved the chocolate croissants on the left and raisin spirals...
The first full day in Paris we headed on the "Aman tour" which began with a hungover hike up to Sacre-Coeur which is a Roman Catholic church overlooking the city. This amazing basilica is located at the highest point in the city and was extremely ornate inside.
What would a visit with Aman be without some find dining? Dining out is NOT cheap but we opted for a three course lunch instead which was around 34 Euro and saved us a lot of money instead of fancy dining in the evening. Here is what we ate at Chamarré Montmartre:
Here is our amuse bouche! Hollowed out carrot slices with some delicious yellow sauce ?, radishes and chives. The menu was all French so you will have to excuse my knowledge of the ingredients here!
Here is another amuse bouche! This was a sweet pea foam with carrot and fava beans.. So light and refreshing!
I love fancy bread and butter presentation. I don't know what was in this butter but oh man I could pop this entire foil wrapper into my mouth! HA! Love the bubbles on the cutlery as well- they were a seafood restaurant that had a marine theme going on.
Aman chose the gaspacho (cold soup) for an entree which was delicious and had a little fried surprise on the side :)
James and I had the carpaccio which is a very thin slice of raw fish... This is one of the most beautiful dishes I have ever been presented and the citrus flavoring was out of this world. The fish was really clean meaning it didn't taste like fish AT ALL and I loved the texture of the roe and the spring colors... Look how thinly sliced that radish is!
Aman and James both ordered the suckling pig for an entree with a side of mushrooms and a red wine sauce. See how crisp the skin is on these pieces ? HEAVEN!!! As Aman said "this skin is giving me a boner." BAHAHA The pork was extremely tender as well.
I had the daurade fish with some soft veg underneath and what made this dish was the sauce in the upper right hand corner by the lemons.. OMFG... I can't describe it.. It was so creamy and matched the fish really well. Yummm!
For dessert James chose the fruit salad with the mango sorbet... My favorite were the candied oranges! You could bite item them like a real candy- peel and all. So pretty.
Aman and I had the strawberry sorbet with a "fraisier"cake... These French cakes are SO YUMMY...
So yummy it needed a second profile photo... Look at all that creamy goodness :D
Notre Dame.... Photos do NOT do this infamous church justice.
Dessert/chocolate/pastries are serious business vol. 5... Look at these chocolate works of art! Easter is really a big deal in Europe and I love the beautiful chocolate chickens and eggs.
Happy Hour in the Jewish quarter... Beer in a restaurant is anywhere from $10-14 a PINT but during happy hour you can find more reasonable prices OR live like a Parisian like we did and get a FLAT of beer for only $7!!! What a steal!
Random fish market.. Made me curious about not using any ice to keep it chilled ?
If you are ever in Paris MAKE SURE to hit up La Duree for a macaroon... O.M.F.G. HEAVEN! Parisian macaroons are very famous around the world. No cameras allowed inside though :(
Fancy lounge inside La Duree.. Love the metal stools.
I did sneak one photo... Look how perfect these pastries are!
Salted caramel macaroon... Other favorites include pistachio and vanilla bean :D
Final picnic with new foodie friends... This time we got a rotisserie chicken, more cheese of course and were treated to some more homemade pastries from class.
Tiramisu-esuqe cake that a dog stomped on before we opened it... hehe sooo good! Sponge cake and coffee flavor.
Here is James with the infamous Venus de Milo at The Louvre. The museum blew our minds... So beautiful and their collection is so extensive.
We even made it to the palace of Versailles on our final day. We were blown away with the ornate rooms and the opulence of the palace. STUNNING!
Aman and I went for a late night sushi feast the last night in Paris.. James was a bit under the weather but we had a fun time :)
Assorted tempura didn't seem to be their specialty.. Not as good as home.
Aman and I went for a late night sushi feast and here are our eats...
Yummm.. I am on a huge sushi kick lately- especially nigiri and sashimi so this was delicious
Yakitori! Ie. Japanese skewered, BBQ meat. This is chicken and beef in a sweet sauce.
Our final morning had to be supplemented with final pastry indulgences... Look at the big macaroons on the right! I thought all of the Easter pastries were so beautiful.
Final full meal... Roasted chicken sandwich on a baguette and a strawberry tart :D
"Happy Easter"
mmmmm... Nutella is EVERYWHERE in Europe... I had a final banana Nutella crepe before we left
Au revoir Paris! Thanks for exceeding my expectations and leaving me fantasying about your food until we meet again!

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