Saturday, June 12, 2010

Adventures in France, The End

We’re approaching Nova Scotia, or so the plane GPS tells me. We’re alternating between awful comedies and halfway-decent flicks, trying to entertain ourselves during this eight-hour flight home. We’re two and a half hours out from Philly. Someone in front of me is watching New Moon, and try as I might, I have to steal peeks at it.

Nope, we’re not in Paris anymore. I won’t lie; it’s pretty sad. Sad that we’re not in Paris, but mostly that such an amazing honeymoon is winding down. It’s going to be a strange adjustment for sure.

But our last night in Paris was probably our fave. We’d been looking forward to dinner at Gaspard de la Nuit the whole week. Lauren got a recommendation last time, and everything about the experience blew us away. We had to make it the last stop on our last night. It’s this wonderful family-owned restaurant with ten tables right in the Bastille area. So after getting dolled up and having a few pre-dinner glasses of wine at the bar across the street (another fave: it’s called Bubar, check it out the next time you find yourself in Paris), we finally began!

Most of France was occupied with their first-round match against Uruguay in the World Cup, so the restaurant was only half-filled, mostly with tourists. Fine with us! We got the seven course tasting menu with the wine pairings, and a complimentary glass of honeymoon champagne. So, for those keeping score: before a bite of food entered our mouths, we already had three glasses of wine in us.

First course: foie gras. It’s impossible to overstate how much I love foie gras. Lauren’s not the biggest fan, but even she agreed it was amazing. We had a wonderful sweet white wine to match it.

Second course: amazing tiny pesto raviolis. Amazing and succulent. Another white to match this.

Third course! Perfectly-seared scallops. Deeeeeeeeelightful. Another glass of white! Are you keeping track now? That’s six glasses of wine apiece. We were beginning to -- well, Lauren, how were you handling this?

Um, I may or may not remember this evening from 11 p.m. onward. Back to you, Scott.

The fourth course: a marvelous sorbet. Made with vodka. Oooooooh boy.

Fifth course: a marvelous steak and potato, paired with a great red Bordeaux. We had recovered by this time and gotten our second wind. THE PARTY RAGED ON.

Sixth course: cheese! FROMAGE, oh France how I adore your bounty of fromage.

And finally: warm raspberries in vanilla ice cream and an apple tart with cinnamon ice cream. Paired with something amazing. I am finding it slightly hard to remember.

I think it was port.

The great thing about Gaspard is the atmosphere. The meal wasn’t the most cutting-edge or super-gastro we had, but it was happy happy happy food. It was amazing. It brought big stupid smiles to our face.

Full, happy, and quite quite drunk, we stumbled home for our last night in Paris, just beating the torrential rain by mere minutes. The next morning, we gathered all our stuff, hopped a cab and said goodbye to the apartment, the neighborhood, the city.

We waited in many many lines at Charles de Gaulle. We have been served unsatisfactory snacks. We are not ready to land; we are completely ready to land. I don’t want it to end. I’m trying to be eloquent or profound, but I can’t. I just don’t want it to end.

Yeah. What Scott said.

P.S. There would have been photos of all of this delightful food, except we accidentally left the camera on the plane. If we ever see it again, we'll update this post accordingly.

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