Friday, June 3rd

Friday was our designated “catch-up” day…..a day to do everything we had missed….and, boy, had we missed a lot!

Winged Victory

We started at the Louvre…..making a swing past the “Big 3″…..taking time to enjoy the art between these masterpieces.

 
 

Mona Lisa

 
 

Venus de Milo

Venus' seldom seen backside

 
 
 
 

After a short break, we walked over to Ile de Cite for a Seine River cruise.  The day was sunny and warm but the river sent some cooling breezes our way. 

Next up…..ice cream at Berthillon on Ile Saint Louis.  Waiting in the long line made the reward even more tasty.  I tried a two-scooper…..Strawberry with Rose Essence and Red Peach.  The Strawberry with Rose was fabulous…..some bites tasted of fresh strawberries, others evoked rose….the two conjoined flavors stood alone and never seemed to mingle.  Sadly, these two strong flavors overpowered the peach…..if only they had reversed the flavors when they made the cone.  Oh, well….Craig was the beneficiary of their error….at least he could discern the peach.

We took a break at a cafe down the street while we determined our next move.  We still had Sacre Coeur and Montmarte on our list but it was after 3:00 pm and we had a dinner reservation for 8:00 pm.  We could rush through Montmarte, rush back to the hotel, quickly clean up and then rush to dinner……or we could return to “our” neighborhood, take an appreciative walk down Rue Cler, have a leisurely shower and still have time to stroll over to the taxi stand and get to the restaurant in time.  We opted for the latter.

Marie Cantin's Fromagerie

Rue Cler is a (mainly) pedestrian market street (there always seem to be some cars driving down its center).  We started our tour at one end and made our way up to the other browsing its many offerings…..chocolatiers, fleurists (florists – one sells nothing but roses!), boucheries (butchers), 

Pastries

a boulangerie (bakery), a deli, a bookstore, fruit and vegetable stands, fromageries (cheese stores), cafes, luggage, shoes, clothing….. almost anything you could possibly need could be found on this small street. There’s even a health food store around the corner where Craig found aloe vera for his sun-burned head (Note to self: tell Craig to wear a hat on our next boat ride).  

We returned to the hotel and agreed to meet at little later in the lobby.  Two hours later, we were freshened up and ready to go.  Bev was treating us to dinner at Le Grand Colbert…..a tradtional brasserie featured in one of her favorite movies, “Something’s Gotta Give.”  When Craig called to confirm our reservation, he asked for the table from the movie.  “I am sorry, but it is not possible, that is a table for two.  But I can seat you at the next table.  Would that be fine?”  “Yes, that would be very fine,” he replied. 

The taxi ride didn’t take long and we arrived early.  No problem…..our table (as promised, next to the one shared by Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves and Jack Nicholson) was waiting for us. The restaurant’s interior was classic Belle Epoch….with high ceilings, mirrored walls, potted palms, leather booths, velvet curtains and globe lights that exuded an amber glow.  Service by black-tied waiters was prompt and attentive. 

We started with kirs….toasting to our lovely hostess……and an amuse-bouche of potato chips (a restaurant favorite) and a selection of lightly herbal-flavored olives….some of the best I’ve ever had!

We started with various appetizers….onion soup for Bev, melon for Pam, caprese salad for Craig and a salad verte (green salad).  For our main courses, Pam had salmon, Craig went for the Lamb with Thyme while Bev and I heeded Diane Keaton’s advice and tried the chicken….served in an earthenware dish and almost swimming in a fabulous herbal gravy.  For dessert….Raspberry Sorbet for Pam, Profiteroles with a warm chocolate sauce for Bev, Craig tried the Ile Flottante….letting everyone have a taste, and I had Fromage Blanc (a fresh ‘white cheese’ akin to yogurt) with Rouge Fruits….a simple, light ending to a wonderful meal.

            
“I love this bistro called the Grand Colbert.  It’s behind the Palais-Royal.  It’s the best roast chicken in the universe”…….Diane Keaton in “Something’s Gotta Give”  

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About Languedoc Lady

I'm a newly retired woman from California getting ready to spend a year (or more) with my husband living the good life in Languedoc in the southwest of France.
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