First off, I apologize…I have been irresponsibly neglectful of this blog (a space so precious to me), but I do have some good news to share and hopefully a good excuse for the neglect. I have landed a new job, one that has me waking up giddy every morning and skipping to work in joyful anticipation. That’s right, I am now in the Chocolate business! I go to work everyday cranking out the brand marketing work I love, and come home every night satisfied that I have contributed to the endorphin production of millions of consumers. Eat your chocolates everyone, because Chocolate = Happiness!
Since EC Pursuits was my means of expressing my repressed creativity during my old job, it was easy for me to save all my energy and inspiration for this blog, but it just means I will have no other choice but to indulge in extra chocolates during work to keep that inspiration and passion ignited for ECP
As long as I am riding on this happiness cloud, I’m going to post about the trip of a lifetime. For my official entrance into my “late 20′s”, the mister swept me away with a trip to Paris! Ah, Paris – the lights, the romance, the FOOD. It was there that I experienced “The best thing I ever ate” at Les Papilles.
Les Papilles is a small, unassuming, and cozily charming winebar/delicatessen/restaurant near Jardin du Luxembourg. The pleasantly unpretentious atmosphere with exposed bricks, enchanting orange glow, bottles of carefully selected wine collection, and jars of delightful gourmet condiments dotted all around made me feel like I was dining in the middle of food haven. The handsome owner Bertrand Bluy graciously tolerated our terrible (almost nonexistent) French, gave us excellent wine suggestions, and was more than happy to accommodate my vegetarian diet. For a mere 30 Euros, we enjoyed a relaxing four course “no choice” prix fixe meal. The menu varies daily, depending on the seasonal ingredients available, and the chef’s creative fancy, but you can trust that it will always be delicious.
The first course was a delicious Creamy Endive Bisque – pure silky perfection balanced with the impeccable crisp of toasted summer greens, croutons & bacon (optional), and an indulgent dollop of cream. It was a harmonious marriage of sweet, savory, & creamy. It tickled my senses and left me wanting for more long after we devoured it all.
The main entree was what I nicknamed “Sunset Glory” - A simple baked dish made especially for the vegetarian, consisting of fresh snowpeas, carrots, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes, broiledwith 2 sunny eggs atop. Such a simple dish should not impress, but I took one bite, and then another, and another, thinking, “How did they make this sooooo good? How can anything so simple possibly taste this heavenly?” The dish brought out the sublime unadulterated flavor of each vegetable as they swirled and danced around in my mouth. It was like visiting a French grandmother’s country home and being treated to a dish cultivated through decades of experimentation into a flawless masterpiece. With every bite, I was transformed into another world. I could visualize the stone walls weaving through the village, the sound of the nearby babbling brook, the aroma of the fresh herbs and vegetables harvested straight from the garden, and the view of the glorious sunset in the horizon, pops of intoxicating orange, pink and purple haze, signifying the culmination of a satisfying day. If you think I’m sounding a bit crazy right now, just wait until you hear that I spent weeks relentlessly trying to recreate these flavors back in my own little kitchen. I must have made 10 different versions before I finally found one that comes close (teaser – recipe to come!)
The meal then followed with a small cheese course and ended with a fabulous panna cotta with a frothy caramel emulsion, so light and airy it melted in my mouth and left it with only the sweet memory of the meal.
We had many more meals in that wonderful city, but Les Papilles occupied our minds the whole time and nothing was able to hold a candle to its glory. http://www.lespapillesparis.fr/EN_index.html
Here are some more fun highlights of the Parisian Adventure. Stay tuned for another blog post about our Parisian Photo tour, where we received an amazing photography lesson from Randy Harris, and captured Paris from unexpected perspectives.