Somehow a stroll down the streets of Paris has a way of revealing just the spot to retreat from a long day of shopping or site seeing. You will find a filling feast with your eyes, as well as your heart, soul and as you pick a place to dine whether you mood calls for a “laid back” open air, bistro to people watch and reflect upon the events of the day s with your closest traveling companion and plan out tomorrow’s adventure over a glass of port accompanied by the finest wine and cheese - or – you wish to follow the back brick road to the oldest restaurant in Paris “A la Petite Chaise” where you might make a little history of your own by dining with artists, politicians, actors, writers and others in the place where, “some very “close” relationship s continued after desserts and Singers poured out their hearts with love ballads under the restaurant windows. You can visit the website where you can take a virtual tour of the restaurant and check out the menu. Most of the site is in French, but you can go to the English page first to read about the history at www.alapetitechaise.fr/english.htm
Mixing up your selection between the higher priced more leisurely, late evening experience that is common to Parisians and the stops at the Bistros or Beautiful Pastry shops during your day trips provides variety and creates a balance in the pocketbook. All the walking also offsets added weight you might think you’ll gain on your “Sweet Paris” side tour, and you may be surprised to find that the portions, ingredients and artistry of the pastries are able to fill you to your hearts content and you actually drop that excess baggage you carried with you as you began your trip. I actually found myself walking into pastry shops, spending 15 minutes walking around as if they were art museums and leaving without tasting one morsel, but feeling incredibly full and enriched because of the aroma and sites I’d experienced. Even the grocery stores, opened wide with the owners waiting eagerly to greet their customers are a treat to just “visit”, but if you’re a gourmet cook, there are many gourmet provisioners with original touches that you’ll want to seek out. Who knew a year-round, boutique could be found that is entirely devoted to apples and apple products and just viewing food and its presentation could be just as satisfying as visiting the Louver and “calorie free”!
A coffee table book, “Gourmet Shops of Paris” by Pierre Rival may be just the thing you want to pick up and view with your friends over a cup of coffee and your choice of a handmade almond crème, chocolate or raspberry, a specialty at the locally owned Incredibly Delicious located at 925 S. 7th St | Springfield, IL 62703 | Phone: (217) 528-8548 | Fax: (217) 528-7355 | Website: www.incrediblydelicious.com.
Or, if you’re so inclined – you can invite your friend(s) in and prepare your own preview delicacy by making one of 50 recipes included in a most delectable, informative and entertaining book which my friend just introduced me to on her face book page. We both agreed that reading “The Sweet Life in Paris” and discovering the writings of David Lebovitz and then going to Paris would be a perfect way to enjoy this book! Check it out for yourself on the author’s website http://www.davidlebovitz.com or the “Fans of The Sweet Life in Paris” http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=96649418593 and read a few pages at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0767928881/davidleboviswebs#reader
Also, as you look over the extensive list of restaurants that Travel Planet has provided, consider where, when and how you’ll be traveling and --the energy you’ll have-- on any given day based on your overall itinerary. There is so much to feast on in Paris, that it’s best just to resolve yourself to become a sampler of the gastronomic delights of Paris and to savor and hope that one day you’ll be able to experience more of when time allows. Before you depart, pick your favorites from the list, talk with the hotel concierge when you arrive and take it all in stride by living in the moment
– Bon Appetite!
Stephanie Moore Chipman
August 18, 2009