Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Walking Paris

Paris is eminently walkable, particularly given its size. I stayed at the Hotel Vieux Marais, just a few blocks from the Pompidou, and it was the perfect location: just ten minutes away from the Notre Dame, and then just a few minutes more to the Latin Quarter and the Sorbonne. 45 minutes to Belleville. And so on. I could eat breakfast on the run: pick up a clementine from the fruit stand, then grab a coffee from a random café, a demi-baguette or a croissant from a boulanger some distance further. Art and the city beckoned.

With all that walking I wanted a seat for lunches and dinners. My budget was modest and when not picnicking I tried to choose my bistros well. I was particularly impressed by my lunch at Les Itinéraires. My glass of white Saumur may have been dull (I don't remember the producer) but both my seiche and my filet of bass were gorgeous and extremely fresh. If they'd had great natural wines by the glass I would've flipped my wig.

Thanks to Bert's Wine Terroir blog — which I found valuable in several respects — I knew to hit Le Baratin for dinner. Here, the food was simpler but likewise pure; I had an unadorned but nicely prepared bit of cod. Here, natural wine rules, and I followed a glass of Leroy Anjou Blanc with a glass of 2007 Foillard Régnié. I also liked my dinner at Le Hangar — the green lentils were particularly good, and I washed them down with a decent enough 2003 Arbois poulsard from Rolet, which showed energy and underbrush. I guess poulsard can age well!

Did I find myself in Paris during the French Open? Why yes I did, and on the most perfect day imaginable. Soderling and Stosur on the back courts? Yep. After Paris, it was on to Provence, where the real wine adventures begin...

1 comment:

vlajos said...

Sounds like a nice trip!